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Current Events/News

Tax Reform Under President Trump: What’s Next for Nonprofits?

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, News You Can Use, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. is a proud member of The Giving Institute, and as such, we also belong to the Charitable Giving Coalition. Formed in 2009, the Coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable tax deduction, which is crucial to ensuring our nation’s charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions.

Firm President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne served as The Giving Institute’s representative to the Charitable Giving Coalition in 2015 and remains actively involved in the Coalition’s mission to ensure that the charitable deduction and other tax provisions retain their positive impact in supporting essential community services. JB+A will continue to monitor situations that could affect charitable giving incentives and update you with developments or when calls to action are encouraged.

With days to go until the Trump administration takes office, The Charitable Giving Coalition is working hard to ensure the future of the nonprofit sector. Over the past few years, our sector has been subject to increasing scrutiny, and with talk of impending tax reform under the new administration, it is crucial that our government representatives understand the impact nonprofits have on people and communities.

What is at stake?

Charitable giving incentives, particularly the charitable deduction. Congress enacted the charitable giving deduction in 1917 and since then, no other tax provision has generated a more positive public impact. It offers a vital and unique incentive to taxpayers that, in 2015, helped generate more than $373 billion (the highest total ever recorded over the past 60 years) to support charitable causes (GivingUSA).

Consider the following:

  • Nonprofits generate $1.1 trillion every year providing human services
  • 1 in 10 Americans work for a nonprofit, providing 13.5 million jobs
  • For every $1 subject to the charitable deduction, communities see $3 in benefits

Still, some politicians have suggested lowering or even eliminating the deduction in order to reduce the federal deficit. Proponents of preserving the deduction feel very strongly that the government cannot and will not find a better way to leverage private investment in nonprofit and worthy causes.

Why now?

All new administrations bring change, but President-elect Trump’s campaign promises suggest a major overhaul to the current tax code is in the works. We know that taxpayers adjust their charitable contributions based on changes in the tax code. As the President-elect’s team considers restrictions on itemized deductions ($100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples/families filing jointly), it is vital that charitable giving is exempt from these restrictions. If not, the incentive to give is no longer there and the future of many nonprofits is at risk.

What can you do?

The Charitable Giving Coalition is already taking action to preserve the charitable giving deduction. You can read their letter to President-elect Trump here. As nonprofit professionals, philanthropic leaders and American citizens it is also our duty (and privilege) to interact with, educate and influence our representatives in government. There are many ways you can advocate for the philanthropic sector. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Jeffrey Byrne’s piece on Advocacy in Philanthropy from the JB+A archives.

Our sector is lucky to have a number of highly competent bodies monitoring situations like this and advocating in support of nonprofits, but it’s up to all of us to make sure they succeed. To learn more about the Charitable Giving Coalition and how you can take action to preserve the charitable giving deduction, visit http://protectgiving.org/.

Success Stories from the Front Lines: #GivingTuesday 2016

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The results are in and #GivingTuesday 2016 was a resounding success raising $168 million and surpassing last year’s total raised by more than 43%. But how has this global day of giving made a difference to the nonprofits who participate and the individuals they serve? Here are two success stories from nonprofits that demonstrate just how impactful this giving phenomenon has become.  

kidsight-logoSaving Sight
Saving Sight is on a mission to prevent childhood vision loss through charitable vision services for the children of Missouri. This past #GivingTuesday, they harnessed the power of social media to support their signature charitable program, KidSight, which provides free vision screenings to Missouri children.

The Saving Sight team credits their #GivingTuesday success to their prep work. When you have a plan in place you’re already halfway to your goal – the rest is just execution! Leading up to November 29, they mobilized their staff, Board, donors and program recipients to participate in #GivingTuesday through email blasts, a dedicated webpage and regular social media posts.

They reached out to their dedicated base of supporters and recruited them as ambassadors to their #GivingTuesday campaign. Ambassadors not only donated, but also spread the word  by posting the #GivingTuesday version of the selfie, the #unselfie.

Take a look at a just a few of the many #unselfies posted by Saving Sight supporters.

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So how did they do? 40 individuals donated on #GivingTuesday adding up to $1,040 in total donations. At $5 to screen a child, they raised enough to support KidSight vision screenings for 212 children. Incredible! Well done to the entire team at Saving Sight and KidSight.

urlHealthEd Connect
HealthEd Connect empowers women and children through evidence-based health, education and advocacy. They train volunteer community health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and Nepal and provide free primary (K-7) education for orphans and vulnerable children in the Copperbelt region of Zambia through three community schools. For this year’s #GivingTuesday, HealthEd Connect focused their efforts on their Girls Achievement Program (GAP), which aims to empower, educate and enable 5th, 6th and 7th grade girls in the developing world to focus on their studies and break the cycle of poverty and dependence.

Their goal? Raise $12,000 for 12 girls to study through the 12th grade.

Like Saving Sight, HealthEd Connect credits a great deal of their success to the prep work. Using the JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide, they developed a robust plan with assigned roles, responsibilities and deadlines.

They mobilized their base through targeted pre-#GivingTuesday emails intended to spread the word amongst Board, staff and key volunteers, and through #GivingTuesday-focused newsletters throughout the month of November. They approached social media with precision and efficiency drafting all posts in advance with engaging photos and pre-determined launch times in place. They also developed a unique hashtag for their campaign: #12GX3.

And they didn’t stop at the prep work. Throughout #GivingTuesday, they sent real time updates to their donors and contacts keeping them informed and engaged in the fundraising process.

Lauren Hall, Executive Director of HealthEd Connect, also credits Board participation with their #GivingTuesday success. “JB+A’s Guide helped us communicate the importance of #GivingTuesday to the Board and they got 100% behind the campaign,” says Hall. “We acquired three matching pledges from the Board in addition to commitments to forward pre-written emails to their contacts. Their support was essential to the success of our campaign.”

So how did they do? HealthEd Connect’s goal was to raise $12,000 ($6,000 online, three $2,000 matching pledges) sending 12 Girls to high school on HealthEd Connect scholarships. They more than surpassed their goal raising $32,365 which will get 32 new scholars through high school. They also acquired 41 new donors and reached more than 3,500 people.

Truly an inspirational account showcasing the power of social media to harness generosity and passion.

Congratulations to the entire team at HealthEd Connect!

Interested in getting your organization to participate in this phenomenal day of philanthropy? The next #GivingTuesday is scheduled for November 28, 2017. It’s never too early to start brainstorming your plan of attack! Leading up to #GivingTuesday, JB+A will be posting helpful tips and guides to help your organization make the most of this global day of giving. Stay tuned! 

Giving in America Exhibition at National Museum of American History

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Events, Giving USA, News You Can Use, The Giving Institute | No Comments

The National Museum of American History is currently featuring an exhibition on the history and evolution of American philanthropy. The exhibition examines how our national ideals of participation, equality, resourcefulness and shared responsibility have shaped a distinctive form of giving that is uniquely American.

deliveryserviceOne of the artifacts on display is a 1960 copy of the Giving USA report on fundraising statistics and trends published by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel (now known as The Giving Institute). As Jeffrey Byrne carries out his duties as Board Chair of The Giving Institute, we are delighted to see the inclusion of this report.

To learn more about the Giving in America exhibition, please click here to visit the Smithsonian’s website.

Jeffrey D. Byrne Appointed Treasurer of MoHEFA

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Fiscal Management, News You Can Use | One Comment

jdb_governor-nixonJeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., has been selected treasurer of the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority (MoHEFA) by Governor Jay Nixon (right). Jeffrey was first appointed as a member of the State Authority by Governor Nixon in February 2016 and is delighted to take on the additional role of treasurer less than a year after his initial appointment and senate confirmation.

MoHEFA is a seven-member appointed Authority that assists health and educational facilities across Missouri in their financing efforts.  The Authority provides access to capital markets in an effort to lower the cost of health and educational services in Missouri by providing high-quality, readily available, low-cost financing alternatives for Missouri public and private, nonprofit health and educational institutions.

Comprised of experts in the fields of healthcare, higher education, investment banking and finance, the Authority advises and assists borrowing institutions in qualifying for, structuring and completing quality transactions, overseeing the financing process. In this role, this bipartisan Authority has succeeded in obtaining more than $23 billion in financing for 500 projects across the state since 1979.

As a member of MoHEFA, Jeffrey brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit and financial business sector. For more than 25 years, he has worked with healthcare and educational institutions across the country on capital and development efforts. As treasurer, he will oversee all aspects of MoHEFA’s financial management working closely with the Chair and Vice-Chair to ensure responsibilities are met.

“This has been an incredible year for MoHEFA and the organizations we serve, having approved $1.7 billion in bonds,” says Jeffrey. “It is a great honor and responsibility to not only be appointed as a member, but now treasurer. As I prepare for a more robust role with MoHEFA, I look forward to making 2017 our most successful year yet in our quest to improve the health and educational landscape of our great state.”

Jeffrey’s term as a member of the Authority ends on July 30, 2019.

#GivingTuesday 2016 sets more records!

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Congratulations!  The early results are in:  #GivingTuesday 2016 was another resounding success:  an estimated $168 million raised online through 1,560,000 gifts.  The estimated amount raised surpasses last year’s total of $116.7 million and is more than 16 times the amount raised in #GivingTuesday’s inaugural year, 2012.

Data is still being gathered, so stay tuned for more information about the global day of giving…

Lamar Advertising and JB+A Support #GivingTuesday for Fifth Consecutive Year

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Social Media | No Comments

giving_tuesday_logostacked-2016For the fifth year in a row, Lamar Advertising is collaborating with JB+A to support #GivingTuesday by generously providing pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City metro and St. Joseph. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving following the consumer frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Fueled by the power of social media, #GivingTuesday encourages us to give back, support and promote our favorite nonprofits.

gt-billboard-11-2016David Halpin, Sales Manager at Lamar, had this to say about the collaboration: “As the largest provider for outdoor advertising in Kansas City, Lamar feels it has a responsibility to support #GivingTuesday.  Anything we can do to make this community stronger and show our employees’ spirit to give, we’ll do. Lamar is proud to have supported #GivingTuesday for the past five years, and we will continue to support this great cause in the future.”

Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc.,  appreciates the energy and momentum generated by #GivingTuesday: “#GivingTuesday harnesses the power of this time of year, by inspiring people to take collaborative action and give back.  #GivingTuesday also reminds us of the true spirit of the holiday season:  community. One of the most powerful gifts we can give our loved ones is our promise to work together to help create a better world…for everyone.”

JB+A is grateful to Lamar Advertising for their continued support of this important cause. Keep an eye out for #GivingTuesday billboards all over KC and St. Joe and be sure to participate on November 29th!  For more ideas on how your nonprofit can participate in #GivingTuesday, click here.

And be sure to participate in #GivingTuesdayKC!

Growing Popularity of Donor-Advised Funds: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Tops Philanthropy 400

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, News You Can Use | No Comments

photo_73754_landscape_370x247This year’s release of the Philanthropy 400 confirmed what many nonprofit professionals have suspected over the past few years – the way we give and the way we raise money is changing. In The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of nonprofits that raise the most from individuals, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund claimed the number one spot collecting $4.6 billion in 2015. Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund is an arm of asset-management firm Fidelity Investments. In the 25 years since its launch, it has become one of the biggest grantmakers in the country awarding $3 billion to nonprofits in 2015. In the last year alone, Fidelity donors have recommended grants to over 106,000 charities, with over 220,000 nonprofits supported since its inception in 1991.

A year ago, as we celebrated our 15th anniversary of nonprofit fundraising success, JB+A hosted speakers Matt Nash, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Client Experience at Fidelity Charitable, and Debbie Wilkerson, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, in exploring the role of donor-advised funds in the powerful future of philanthropy.

Jeffrey, Matt and Debbie “unshrouded” some of the mystery surrounding donor-advised funds by explaining the dynamics of donor and fund relations, the benefits to donors who use donor-advised funds and the continued need for donor stewardship. (Check out the JB+A anniversary event here.)

Fidelity’s top standing in the annual ranking is significant:  it is the first time an organization that primarily raises money for donor-advised funds has held the top spot. It’s also worth noting United Way has consistently held the top spot and has been usurped only twice since the list started in 1991. This year, United Way saw a 4% drop in funds raised while Fidelity saw a 20% increase.  Fidelity credits its rise to the top to investments in technology, claiming its online platform has turned charitable giving into an easy digital transaction that allows for more transparency and easier record keeping.

But not everyone is celebrating this trend. Critics of donor-advised funds argue money can sit in these accounts for years, but could be used for critical causes now. Others say these funds look to the future by offering donors alternative ways to be charitable. Despite all the differing perspectives surrounding donor-advised funds, data shows they aren’t going anywhere and are quickly becoming an attractive option to the modern, busy donor.

Therefore, it is critical for nonprofit professionals to understand donor-advised funds, remain aware of trends and data and learn how to make this giving vehicle part of their fundraising efforts. For both donors and nonprofits to fully benefit from the powerful capacity of donor-advised funds, JB+A recommends focusing efforts in three areas:

  1. Creating a culture for investment.

The movement happening in local and federal government will affect what we do in daily practice. We need to carefully follow these happenings and advocate for policy that supports a culture of long-term giving.

  1. Providing donors with options.

By offering different mechanisms or vehicles for giving, we can encourage charitable giving and facilitate the process in a way that is comfortable for donors. We especially need to capitalize on new technologies that enable maximum giving potential such as the giving widget, which encourages giving on a nonprofit’s website through a donor-advised fund.

  1. Continuing to tell our stories.

As donor-advised funds grow in popularity, we must remember that behind these giving vehicles, there are people. In fact, 92% of donor-advised funds are not anonymous, so we must engage these stakeholders by sharing stories of all the good works nonprofits do.

Introducing JB+A’s Newest Team Member

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sd-headshotAs JB+A positions itself for a transformational 2017, we are delighted to welcome Suzanne as an Associate Consultant. Suzanne’s background in fundraising, nonprofit administration, marketing and business development will help take our expert fundraising services and marketing activities to the next level.

-Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO

A Kansas City native and graduate of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Suzanne recently returned home after working in Edinburgh, Scotland, as the marketing manager for a firm of conservation architects and engineers. Prior to her adventure abroad, Suzanne graduated with honors from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs where she majored in arts management and music.

Suzanne brings a history of success in fundraising and marketing with a particular enthusiasm for brand positioning and social media. She has worked for several major nonprofit organizations including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender & Reproduction. Now, she is eager to immerse herself in Kansas City’s thriving nonprofit sector and is delighted to join JB+A.

Suzanne is particularly passionate about promoting, developing and participating in the philanthropic activities of Kansas City’s Jewish community as well as local animal advocacy and protection organizations.

Suzanne looks forward to helping you and your organization achieve fundraising success. You can reach Suzanne at 816.237.1999 or at sdicken@fundraisingJBA.com.

Jeffrey Byrne to Speak at DonorPerfect Community Network Conference

By | All Posts, Campaign Planning + Management, Current Events/News, Events, Fundraising, Major Gift Solicitation, News You Can Use, Prospect Research | No Comments

Jeffrey Byrne, JB+A Firm President + CEO, is honored to be presenting with our Prospect Research Partner, DonorSearch, and the Belcourt Theatre, Nashville’s nonprofit film center, at the 2016 DonorPerfect Community Network Conference in Philadelphia, PA , September 19-20.  They will be discussing how to effectively utilize prospect research in capital campaigns.

DonorPerfect’s Community Network Conference is an annual gathering of industry experts from around the nation to speak about ways to improve fundraising success. It’s also a great time to network with other fundraising professionals to share best practices, tips and success stories.DP CNC LOgo

Jeffrey will join Ryan Woroniecki, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at DonorSearch, and Brook Bernard, Director of Development for the Belcourt Theatre, to illustrate the value of prospect research in campaign planning and implementation. Using the Belcourt Theatre’s recently completed campaign as a Case Study, Jeffrey, Ryan and Brook will share their processes and best practices for utilizing prospect research. Check out Jeffrey’s recent blog post on how to utilize research to improve capital campaigns.

Recognized for his distinctive client-focused philosophy to fundraising, Jeffrey is a frequent guest speaker at workshops and conferences across the United States.  He has also been quoted in numerous publications including the New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Kansas City Star, and interviewed on many public radio and television stations.

As national consultant thought leaders in philanthropy, JB+A team members share our fundraising leadership, industry best practices and the latest sector research and trends.  If your organization is looking for a speaker or workshop presentation, reach out to JB+A here.

DonorPerfect provides complete fundraising and donor management nonprofit software – including managingdonorperfect logo constituent contacts and donor development, sending personalized communications, managing and scheduling fundraising events, online donation pages and DonorPerfect mobile – while integrating with other industry products and services.

SofterWare is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1981 with a mission to develop and support software that is easy to learn, easy to use and adaptable to users’ unique needs. The company has grown over 30 years from a small entrepreneurial business to a $35 million+ company with over 10,000 nonprofits and childcare, camp, school and payment processing clients. To learn more about DonorPerfect, click here.

donorsearch logoDonorSearch was founded in 2007 to provide more accurate, more comprehensive, more actionable data to help nonprofits of all types achieve better fundraising and outreach results. Using information from 25 databases, DonorSearch uses proprietary algorithms to help clients find the best philanthropic prospects. Its data can be easily integrated with most common donor management and general sales software, putting critical donor information at a client’s fingertips. (Learn more about DonorSearch here.)

The Belcourt Theatre’s mission is to engage, enrich and educate through innovative film programming in its historicbelcourt theatre, its community and beyond. A unique Nashville treasure with a vibrant historic past and deep roots in the community, this cultural institution is dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, world, repertory and classic cinema. Learn more about the Belcourt Theatre here.

Help your nonprofit make the most of #GivingTuesday 2016: 501 (c) Success with Asha Curran – September 15, 2016

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Lessons Learned in Nonprofit Innovation
Thursday, September 15, 2016
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Reserve your spot and register today.

Lessons Learned in Nonprofit Innovation with Asha Curran is a program of the 2016 501(c)Success National Speaker Series. Make sure to attend, and help your nonprofit make the most of #GivingTuesday 2016 and other powerful innovations.

Asha CurranAsha Curran is the Director of the Center for Innovation & Social Impact with the 92nd Street Y in New York. In her role with one of the most respected and historic cultural institutions in New York, she leads initiatives that have garnered national and global attention, most notably, #GivingTuesday.

You won’t want to miss Asha as she shares her expertise and lessons learned in embracing innovation – working in the paradigm of the entrepreneurial world to increase social good.

Check out this recent article by Asha Curran and Henry Tims (Executive Director of the 92Y) in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. “Five Lessons on Innovation and the Institution” outlines solid principles for nonprofits to follow as they re-define how they will remain relevant and impactful in an ever-changing world.