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Red Kettle Reflections

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john-marshallJohn F. Marshall
Senior Vice President

Show me an Officer’s son or daughter who has no recollection of experiences with Kettles and I’ll show you someone who has unfortunately lost their memory. Every son or daughter of the regiment could sit down and share an interesting array of stories centering around either ringing a bell or playing a brass instrument on the Red Kettle. That certainly was my experience growing up in an Army home where, once we were done with Thanksgiving, we would find ourselves the very next day standing next to a Red Kettle. I guess you could say that it was just expected. I certainly have a long history of serving on the Red Kettle and take great pleasure in sharing a few favorite recollections with you.

The Very Early Years
I couldn’t have been more than eight when I received my “baptism” into bell ringing. My father was the DYPS (the P has since been dropped) in Pittsburgh and one afternoon he suggested that I come with him downtown where he was going to “man the Kettle.” He brought along his old, beat up cornet and was joined around the Red Kettle by two others. “Here, Johnnie, take this bell and when we are not playing, ring it.” So, not really knowing what was going on, I did. The trio played some pretty interesting renditions of what should have been fairly easy Christmas tunes from the same green book and I got to stand there and watch as people threw coins and stuffed dollar bills into the pot. Now THAT was pretty neat! After we had finished, Dad packed up his cornet and we carried the Red Kettle back to the car where he placed it on my lap for the drive home. It was really heavy!

The Corps Cadet Project
“Now next Saturday kids, we are going to do a special project. So be here at the corps by noon at which time we will travel to our special Corps Cadet Red Kettle location,” stated our leader, Mrs. Mildred Hostettler. “And be sure that you dress warm: it may be cold,” she added. I looked at Don and he looked at me with an expression that said “we are in big trouble.” The next Saturday, we met in the lobby of the old Cincinnati Citadel corps and piled into the corps wagon (back in those days, it actually could hold up to 30 children) and were off to our special spot. Four hours later, and after having endured temperatures which I swear were well below zero, we returned to the corps for hot chocolate and cookies, and with a bulging Red Kettle. “Great job, kids; you have done a wonderful service,” stated the corps officer, Major Allen Weyant. I can’t recall if I had any hot chocolate but I do remember that it wasn’t until two days later that the feeling in my hands returned.

Macy’s and the World’s Largest Red Kettle
Now, I don’t really know if it was the world’s largest kettle, but we said it was. It was very likely the heaviest one as it was a 2′ high and 3′ wide cast iron monument to Christmas fundraising. It was the property of the New York Metro Division where my father was the DC at the time. It had been in operation for a number of years and every year it would receive a fresh coat of bright red paint in anticipation of being positioned just across from the main entrance of the Macy’s Department store on 34th and Seventh Avenue. It was a terrific place to have such a huge kettle given the enormous volume of shoppers going in and out of Macy’s, especially on a Saturday. That Red Kettle brought in a ton of money (literally!) and became especially full when a brass band was playing.

I was barely fifteen and just starting to get the hang of playing the tuba and my brother Norm, four years older and a trombonist, was also a regular in what was at least a quartette at Macy’s, but usually an octet on Saturdays. What was so great was that the majority of our group was comprised of younger New York Staff Band members, each a “wailer” in his own right. I cannot begin to tell you how awed I was to be a part of this group. And the music! One of the guys had a series of terrific arrangements which we would whip out and entertain the crowd with. Great stuff, but hard to play! I must admit that it was challenging to keep up with the older fellas, but I somehow always seemed to finish when they did. We would be there for eight hours and had so much fun playing and bantering with shoppers that the time just flew by.

Norman and transporting the Red Kettle
I failed to mention that brother Norm was also at that time a seasonal employee for the Division and responsible for seeing that at the end of the day the World’s Largest Kettle was placed into a van and transported the 20 blocks back to 14th Street where it was to be emptied, the money bagged and the pot stored until the next day. Well, one Saturday night, as Macy’s was closing at about 9:30 p.m., Norm was in a particular hurry. “John, help me throw the kettle into the van; I need to get going!” he said. So, we somehow managed to get the kettle into the back of the front-seat-only van and took off for 14th Street, at a pretty rapid pace. Despite my suggestion that he slow down, Norm was not to be deterred. He was in a particular hurry on this Saturday night, for whatever reason I have never learned. So here we are, me riding shotgun and Mario Andretti behind the wheel. The words “Norm, slow down, man” were no sooner out of my mouth than he executed a far-too-fast left hand turn which resulted in the World’s Largest Kettle crashing through the rear doors of the van and bouncing onto the intersection of Seventh and 35th where all of its contents spilled onto the street. I’ll never forget the look of horror on Norm’s face as he was running all over frantically grabbing at flying bills, many of which were already on their way to the Bronx . We retrieved as much as we could and made our way to headquarters, this time at a far more deliberate speed! I never did find out what happened the following Monday when Norm had to explain why Saturday’s proceeds were lower than expected. I suspect that it couldn’t have been good!

Asbury College
My very first fundraising job was with the Development Department within the Metro New York’s Divisional Headquarters. I was 28 at the time and literally started on the bottom rung of the fundraising ladder. Just prior to my first Christmas there, I was assigned the task of traveling to Wilmore, KY in an effort to recruit Asbury College students as bell ringers for the Division. I was fortunate to have Lt. Col. David Moulton at Asbury (he was the ASF coordinator at the time) as my liaison and he was terrific in helping me to meet my recruitment goal of 50 students. While recruiting, I created a special “Kettle Op’s” team, one which I would personally supervise and which would be placed within the borough of Queens. This was to be an elite group, to consist of eight young men who were willing to work very long hours but with the promise of earning a correspondingly handsome level of pay. I interviewed several students, assigned most to corps and recruited what I thought was a terrific group of ambitious and competitive young men. I was able to get them situated in one of the Queens corps and they started the day after Thanksgiving. Two of them actually worked almost until the last possible moment on December 24th. That experience was among the most rewarding of my fundraising career. These young men were tireless and for the most part kept a cheerful and positive experience, despite the fact that Monday – Friday, they began in the subway stations at 6:30 a.m. and concluded at 9:00 p.m.. Like these students, I was exhausted when the experience was over, but felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment and appreciation for a team of truly special young men.

Chicago Staff Band
I had the privilege to play with the CSB 1967 – 1974. It was a wonderful experience and one I shall always cherish. Well, maybe except for one particular experience. You see, every December, the band would choose a Saturday to go caroling within neighborhoods located along Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, an incredibly wealthy area. Now, this did not involve a Red Kettle, but we did play as we moved outside from one very tall apartment building to another. As you might imagine, the temperature across the street from Lake Michigan in December is anything but temperate. So, here we are a group of about 30-40 uniformed icicles going from one high rise to another. The idea was for people to put cash or a check in an envelope and throw it down to where we were playing and where “gatherers” were awaiting to retrieve the donations. Only one problem: those towards the top of the high rises, some of which were 20 floors high, had to weigh down their envelopes by enclosing a few coins. I was so glad to be playing a tuba when a heavily weighted envelope was descending. At least I had head cover. Those poor cornet players! The other problem was the temperature itself. We would be right in the middle of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” when half the bands valves would freeze up. We actually had one person running around providing valve oil wherever and whenever needed. Honestly, I don’t know if the Band still engages in this activity. If they do, hopefully they have special winter issue steel helmets!

With My Wife and Children
In 1984 I was recruited to the Michigan Tech Fund in Houghton, MI located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula. When I arrived, I was quite surprised to find out that there was an Army Corps in the little town of Hancock located across the Portage Lake from Houghton. I was introduced to Major Mary Postma who wondered if I would be willing to become a member of the advisory board, which I was only too happy to do. As a board member, we were expected to do our part as bell ringers during the Christmas season. I signed up for four hours on a Saturday afternoon and thought I would see if I could entice my wife Gwen and our three children to share in the experience. Gwen was happy to join in, but my kids were initially a bit skeptical. They had placed coins in the Red Kettle before but had never been on the receiving end of the experience. With a bit of prompting, all five of us arrived en masse at the Red Kettle located smack dab in the middle of the small shopping mall in Houghton. Our kids started off a bit timidly, but once they saw how sharing people were, they quickly got into the spirit of things. Our three-year old became our most demonstrative “thank-you-er” and relished the role. It was a wonderful experience, so much so, that for each of the four years we were in the UP, we made it a family tradition to spend at least half a day each Christmas Season ringing bells.

JB+A Senior Vice President John Marshall has more than 40 years of experience in the nonprofit sector — almost as much experience as he does serving on the Red Kettle. You can reach John at jmarshall@fundraisingjba.com or at 816.914.3780.

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.

ss-gt-collage

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! 

The Results Are In: 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Commentary, Donor Cultivation, Education, Fundraising, Insights, Major Gift Solicitation, News You Can Use | No Comments

ustrust_bulletinlogo_140820Editor’s Note:  The 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, reports the giving patterns and priorities of America’s wealthiest donors and provides valuable insights into the strategies, vehicles and approaches that can make giving more effective. This Study is a continuation of the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 reports. 

Results are based on a nationwide sample of 1,435 responding households with a net worth of $1 million or more and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more. For the first time, the study includes a deeper analysis based on age, gender, sexual orientation and race.  The Study offers comprehensive information on the charitable giving and volunteering activities of high net worth households that will apply directly to our Kansas City philanthropic endeavors. 

This past June, JB+A partnered with U.S. Trust and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to present Giving USA 2016:The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015.  We are pleased to continue to share valuable information that complements Giving USA data and can be used by nonprofit professionals, donors, volunteers and others interested in promoting philanthropy.

What did we learn?
The Study reveals that giving levels remain high and the future looks bright, supported by several findings:

  • The vast majority are giving: Last year, 91% of high net worth households donated to charity compared to 59% of the general population of U.S. households.
  • They are spreading the wealth around: on average, wealthy donors gave to eight different nonprofits last year with donors over the age of 70 giving to an average of 11 organizations.
  • These households plan to give as much or more in the future: 83% of wealthy donors are planning to give as much (55%) or more (28%) in the next three years than they have in the past.
  • Time is also treasure: these high net worth households also demonstrated their commitment to charitable causes through volunteering.  50% of wealthy individuals volunteered their time to charities they support. This is twice the rate of the general population (25%).

Motivations to Give
While there is an assortment of reasons motivating high net worth philanthropy, the following were cited as the top motivators for giving in 2015:

  • Believing in the mission of the organization – 54%
  • Believing that their gift can make a difference – 44%
  • Experiencing personal satisfaction, enjoyment or fulfillment – 39%
  • Supporting the same causes annually – 36%
  • Giving back to the community – 27%

Only 18% of the respondents cited tax advantages among their top motivations for giving compared with 34% who cited this as a motivation in 2013.

What do high net worth donors want?
Donors have strong feelings about how their donation should be used. They feel that nonprofit organizations should:

  • Limit the amount of the individual’s donation that is spent on general administrative and fundraising expenses – 89%
  • Demonstrate sound business and operational practices – 89%
  • Acknowledge donations by providing a receipt for tax purposes – 88%
  • Not distribute their names to others – 84%
  • Send a thank you note – 61%

“This year’s Study reinforces that our wealthiest donors are engaged, willing and eager to give,” says Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc.  “with nearly half the wealthy individuals surveyed indicating that charitable giving has the greatest potential for impact on society, it is up to us – the fundraisers and nonprofit professionals – to connect, cultivate and steward these individuals.”

The study also highlighted several key findings regarding volunteerism amongst high net worth individuals.

“A significant finding from this year’s study is the correlation between volunteerism and giving” said Lewis Gregory, CAP, Senior Vice President, Institutional and Private Client Advisor for U.S. Trust in Kansas City.  “A high percentage of wealthy individuals give financially to the organizations with which they volunteer. They also give 56% more on average than those who do not volunteer. I hope this inspires nonprofits to appreciate and cultivate their volunteers on a whole new level.”

Other Key Takeaways
And the winner is:  basic needs organizations.  While many of the nonprofit subsectors benefited from increased contributions from high net worth donors in 2015, basic needs was the clear front runner.

  • 63% of high net worth households gave to basic needs organizations
  • Religion received the largest share of dollars (36%) – more than basic needs (28%), higher education (8%), health (7%) or the arts (5%).
  • The highest share of high net worth households also prioritized education as the most important current policy issue (56%) ahead of poverty (34.6%) and healthcare (33.8%).
  • New research: There’s no better time than election season to study the political giving behavior of high net worth individuals.  The study found:
    • One out of four wealthy individuals contributed to a political candidate in 2015 or planned to do so in the 2016 election cycle
    • Donors over the age of 70 (40%) and LGBT individuals (38%) were more likely to give to a political candidate or campaign
    • The top three public policy issues that matter most to wealthy individuals are health care (29%), education (28%) and national security (27%), closely followed by the economy (26%)

To access the full 90-page report, visit www.ustrust.com/philanthropy.

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

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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

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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.

The Resource Development Plan: Your Key to Fundraising Success

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Katie LordKatie Lord, Vice President

We can all agree that fundraising is key to the success of a nonprofit organization. But you can’t fundraise effectively until you know what you are working toward and how you are going to get there. Enter the resource development plan – this is your organization’s roadmap to fundraising success and, when done right, can guarantee you reach your goals.

The AFP defines a resource development plan as “a tool that helps your staff and board set realistic income goals with respect to your budgeting process. The plan outlines the strategic steps required to reach those goals, as well as board and staff responsibilities in accomplishing the plan.” Reaching your fundraising goals is a collaborative process, so ensure that both your staff and board members are involved in writing the plan.

There are 3 keys to a good resource development plan:

  1. Diversity in revenue streams
  2. Timeline of goals and benchmarks
  3. Measurement and course correction

If you have always relied on one or two traditional fundraising techniques, consider diversifying your approach.  The more diverse your revenue streams, the easier it will be to reach your ultimate goal. The essential revenue streams in a resource development plan are annual fund/membership, board giving, grants, corporate/special events, planned giving and major gifts. A robust fundraising department utilizes all of these strategies to get where they’re going.

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty – building your plan. Approach each revenue stream in three parts:

Part I: Goals and Tactics

This is the HOW. Set a specific, measurable goal ($$) and determine how you will get there. For example, tactics for reaching your annual fund goal may be laid out in your vehicles of solicitation. Will you use email, phone calls, in-person visits or direct mail? Get even more specific and rate your prospects by solicitation type. The more you break down your goals into manageable pieces, the easier it is to evaluate and course correct over time.

Part II: Calendar and Due Dates

Now that you’ve determined the how, you need to know when. Establish clear deadlines and check in points for each step in your plan to reach your goal. For example, in a direct mailing, establish clear dates for pulling and review your donor list, writing and approving the mail piece, date of the mailing to be dropped and when to begin follow up calls. Clear, established deadlines lay the foundation for execution and accountability.

Part III: Roles/Responsibilities & Measurement

You know the how, the when….now who? Responsible parties for each task must be written into your plan. Since your staff and board/volunteers are already helping you write this plan, they should have direct input into this component. Lastly, ensure you have a timeline in place to measure progress. Establish projections and meet regularly to discuss progress and course correction.

Congratulations! You have a plan in place that clearly defines who, what and when. Ensure your plan is easy to digest, shareable and flexible. If your staff and volunteers are on board, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Want more tips on putting together the perfect development plan? Katie would love to hear from you – get in touch at klord@fundraisingjba.com or at 816.237.1999.