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News You Can Use

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News You Can Use
Issue 125/May 2013

Building Blocks to a Successful Campaign Steering Committee 

Mary Ellen Clark

By Mary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President

The Feasibility Study is completed and your Board has voted to move forward with a capital campaign. Some around the boardroom have a skeptical look on their faces; others are excited, ready to roll up their sleeves and get started. Everyone realizes that the organization has need, but they also wonder how much of this gargantuan task is going to depend on them. Will they be required to ask for gifts? Will they have to ask their friends for money?

For a capital campaign to be successful, it will need the support of not only Board leadership but other leaders within the community as well. These campaigns need a volunteer group who is passionate about the organization, its mission and its values. In many cases, more depends upon who asks for money than the amount asked. The top-level leaders that will be telling the story and soliciting gifts must be able to identify with and be involved with the campaign for such an effort to succeed.

Like building blocks in a child’s playroom, where each block has to be placed carefully on top of the other in order to build the tower, building a strong Steering Committee requires that activities build one on another:

  • Active Board members. Board members and executive directors are the pillars of an organization. No matter how slick the print pieces and brochures look and no matter how long an organization has been operating, without an active Board and a strong leader who is qualified, volunteers will not follow.
  • Built with careful planning. Good Steering Committees are not started overnight. Identification of interested and supportive community volunteers begins during the Feasibility Study. They are cultivated and recruited for their campaign experiences, the organization’s specific needs, connections in the community and their support of your organization’s plans.
  • Community Assets. Nonprofit leaders and Board members must be highly visible in their community. Attracting and retaining strong committee members can be a simpler process when you see them on a regular basis at association meetings and community events.
  • Determined. Steering Committees must be able to withstand turbulence. Campaigns go through periods where gifts are slow to close and volunteers become apathetic. It requires a strong motivator, leader, cheerleader and occasionally, a good sense of humor to stay the course and complete the work of the committee.
  • Enjoy!  Be certain that your Steering Committee celebrates. Celebrate finalizing your Committee, your first major gift, the completion of the Inner Family phase and your final gift. Small goals, baby steps and building blocks finish the “tower”.

To further discuss how your organization can build a strong Steering Committee, contact me directly through Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. at  

Your Volunteer Database is an Important Tool

Sandi Grimm

By Sandi Grimm
Director of Operations 

If your constituent database is a spreadsheet or a Big Chief tablet – you need to pull yourself into the 21st Century and become more informed about the helpful databases and relationship management software available to nonprofit organizations.

Your organization has several important types of relationships – and partnerships with your volunteers are definitely one of them. Volunteers include your Board, committees or other individuals who are currently working in the office or on a project (or who have previously done so) to help your organization meet its mission.

There are many tracking systems available. What types of information do you want to store? What types of reports will you need to generate? Do you want volunteers to be able to provide their information (such as contact data, availability, preferences and interests) to your organization over the internet? Explore “volunteer database” or “constituent database” on your favorite search engine. Do some comparison shopping. Many systems have a free trial download available. Sample a few to understand what is out there and how they work. You need to choose a structure that those utilizing the program – whether paid staff or volunteers – can understand and operate.

Before you go shopping for a database, make sure you establish a budget: have a frame of reference for what you can afford to spend. Before you sign a contract, make sure your organization can pay the bill, both now and in the future. Be aware of the extras you might need to support the new database: new computers and printers; network upgrades; technical assistance to move your existing data to the new system; extra end-user training; help setting up the system and developing new reports and user manuals; and perhaps even new staff to manage the system. 

In addition to price, items on your research checklist should include the following:

  • Is this a cloud-based system, or software to install on a computer?
  • How safe is the data stored in the system? Is there backup storage and an archiving process?
  • Is a contract required?
  • Are there hidden fees, such as for installation and/or importing your existing data?
  • Is technical support provided as part of the service? Or does it cost extra every time you need help?
  • What type of training is available? Online tutorials? Or real human beings who can answer questions?
  • Are there maintenance fees?
  • How many users can access the program at the same time? Is there a charge per user or license?

If you are considering accepting a donation (whether of software or services), do so only if it fits your selection criteria. And remember that “free” software also has costs. Keep in mind that the right vendor will keep up with evolving technologies and provide good training and support. Reference checks will help you assess the vendor’s track record.

It’s great to be able to track every detail about everyone involved with your organization, but will your staff have time to use those extra features? With some systems, you may be able to start small and buy additional modules as needed.

If you are having problems getting accurate reports, are the challenges really caused by the database? Or are they caused by sloppy data entry, poor training or improper report-building? Remember, new software will not solve problems with undertrained staff, ineffective communication, broken business processes or poor management. Be aware of “people” problems masquerading as technology issues.

Bottom line: don’t buy a Mercedes if you only need (or can afford to maintain) a Chevy. Take the time to find the database that’s best for your organization.

To discuss how databases can help strengthen relationships with your organization, contact me directly through Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. at

News You Can Use

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News You Can Use
Issue 113/May 2012
Getting Your Board Onboard
Judy KellerJudy Keller
Senior Vice President
Editors note: Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. is a member of The Giving Institute (a member of the Nonprofit Research Collaborative) and a contributor to the annual Giving USA Report which is researched and written by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Many of the calls we receive from staff we work with have a common theme. Regardless of the organization’s size or mission, its senior staff, at some point in the conversation – generally fairly early – express frustration or at best, curiosity, about board engagement among their peer organizations.

A new study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative entitled, “Nonprofit Fundraising Study: Covering Charitable Receipts at US Nonprofit Organizations in 2011” published in April 2012 indicates most Boards now understand and accept an increased role in fundraising. Here are ten highlights from the report:

  1. Forty percent of all boards have between 11 and 20 members.
  2. Sixty percent require board members to make a financial contribution to the organization. The smallest organizations were least likely to make this requirement.
  3. Ninety percent of organizations that require a contribution report that they tell a prospective board member about that expectation at the time of recruitment.
  4. Only 35% set a minimum gift amount for board contributions
  5. The average annual board gift is just under $5,000 with education organizations reporting the highest at $12,520.
  6. Only 11% of responding organizations in the religion subsector reported a minimum gift amount, but their average gift is not lower than averages in most other subsectors.
  7. Sixty percent of organizations track the amount board members help raise.
  8. Board members are most likely to get involved by allowing use of their names (79%), asking friends or associates to attend events (78%), and making personal introductions (76%).
  9. Only 52% of board members will host events in their home or business.
  10. Board members are least likely to develop the fundraising plan, although 52% do, and rate prospective donors, although 42% do.

There is no longer an excuse for board members not to be engaged in fundraising in some capacity for your organization. It is now accepted best practice that strong organizations have board members who are actively engaged in supporting the organization. Serving as wise counsel is no longer sufficient.

For more information about board giving and how to energize your board around giving, go to or attend our workshop in Kansas City on June 8 to learn about engaging your board in capital campaigns. (See sidebar for details or click here to register.)

For Smaller Non-Profit CEO’s Considering Conducting a Capital Campaign

John F. Marshall
Senior Vice President

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with non-profits of all shapes and sizes, whether conducting board training, engaged in a development audit or offering ongoing advice on running a capital campaign. Whatever the project, what has been critically important in any project was the active involvement of the CEO.

This article is intended primarily for the CEO who has been entrusted with managing a smaller non-profit, one with a committed board but with no one staff person assigned to managing fundraising and development programs. In other words…the CEO who wears many hats!

Capital campaigns provide a wonderful opportunity to raise funds to either build new facilities or engage in renovations, and in further developing broader and stronger relationships within your community. Great outcomes can occur when the campaign is properly organized and executed, as well as being supported through the active participation of the board of directors… in every facet of the effort.

But make no mistake, for the smaller non-profit; it is up to the CEO to make certain that “everything gets done.” The following are several of what I believe are key responsibilities and duties of the CEO of a smaller organization within a capital campaign…from start to finish.

It is CRITICAL that you:

  1. Become even more proficient at TIME MANAGEMENT, being able to BALANCE the demands on yourself and on your time;
  2. Become exceptionally good at DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS with community leaders, volunteers and campaign prospects;
  3. Develop relationships that genuinely express FRIENDSHIP, MUTUAL RESPECT, COOPERATION and a willingness to be AVAILABLE at any time;
  4. LEARN as much as possible about people: their NEEDS, INTERESTS and CONCERNS;
  5. Show a willingness to recognize and express your LIMITATIONS by asking for advice;
  6. Always be PREPARED when attending campaign meetings to ASK questions and RESPOND to questions and possible challenges;
  7. Create, manage and adhere to a CAMPAIGN CALENDAR, being careful to monitor progress and TAKE ACTION when lulls occur;
  8. Accept that NOTHING STOPS with your non-campaign programs and services despite the INCREASED DEMANDS on your time;
  9. Be prepared to address UNFORSEEN CHALLENGES in an effort to avoid negativity that could impact the campaign. FAILURE to address issues can also impact VOLUNTEER MORALE and the public’s perception of the campaign and your organization;
  10. Your staff will require even greater LEVELS OF ENCOURAGEMENT and SUPPORT. They need to know that their efforts are IMPORTANT to the success of the campaign;
  11. Be prepared to ATTEND ALL campaign meetings. Volunteers and staff NEED TO SEE that you are integrally involved with the campaign;
  12. Take every opportunity to PUBLICLY PROMOTE the campaign at public events, in front of civic clubs and through the media;
  13. Become even more CLOSELY ALIGNED with your board. MEET with them regularly, keep them fully INFORMED and PARTNER with them when making fundraising calls;
  14. And lastly, if using campaign COUNSEL, develop a close WORKING RELATIONSHIP to ensure
  • Adherence to the campaign calendar
  • Creation of the best strategies for asking for a gift
  • The timely handling of issues when they arise (and they will, trust me)

For the CEO, regardless of whatever size organization he or she leads, managing a capital campaign could become the most demanding period of their life… AND THE MOST SATISFYING!

Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. is prepared to assist you with whatever your fundraising and development needs may be. We would be delighted to receive your call and discuss ways in which we can partner with you and your organization in pursuing excellence. 800.222.9233;



News You Can Use

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News You Can Use Newsletter June 2014
Charitable Donations Grew Again in 2013
Fourth Straight Year of Gains
Contributions Reach $335.17 billion
from American Individuals, Estates, Foundations and Corporations
Editor’s Note:  If you live in the Greater Kansas City, Missouri area, please join Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., U. S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect this Thursday, June 19, at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center for a special presentation on Giving USA 2014 and findings from High Net Worth Studies commissioned by U.S. Trust. Registration and a light breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program begins at 7:55 a.m..)
As the economic factors associated with giving – the stock market, the GDP and personal income and consumption – improved in 2013, giving rose. Americans donated an estimated $335.17 billion to charitable causes in 2013, the fourth consecutive year of increases in giving, and this sustained increase in giving is good news, according to the Giving USA Foundation™ and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
The 4.4 percent increase (3.0 percent adjusted for inflation) in gifts from American individuals (both households and bequests from their estates), foundations and corporations is a positive sign that giving is climbing back up to pre-recession levels.  The School predicts that if giving continues to grow at the current inflation-adjusted rate, averaging the last two years (4.2 percent), it will take just about one more year or so for total giving to return to the peak level realized in 2007 ($349.50 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.)
These findings are contained in the 59th consecutive edition of Giving USA, the seminal annual report on charitable giving in America. 
Sources of Giving in 2013
“Americans continue to philanthropically support their communities and the charities they value. Collectively, we are the most generous people on the face of the earth. 2013 was a banner year for giving as reflected in this overall report. As we continue to feel good about our economic circumstances, Americans will continue to give generously of their resources. The impact this has on the nonprofit sector is tremendous. Government cannot do it all. Good times have returned,” said Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. and a Board member of the Giving Institute, which founded the Giving USA Foundation in 1985.
Key Takeaways from Giving USA 2014 about Donors:
  • 2013 saw increases in giving in three of the four sources:  individuals, foundations and bequests.    
  • The one area that saw decline was gifts by corporations, due to the lower level of corporate pre-tax profits seen in 2013 compared with 2012 (3.4 percent, compared with 18.5 percent).
  • The single largest contributor to increases in total charitable giving in 2013 was an increase of $9.69 billion in giving by individuals. This reflects, in part, increases in wealth, as measured by the S&P 500 (an increase of 29.6 percent in current dollars in 2013) and in personal consumption expenditures (an increase of 3.2 percent in current dollars in 2013.)
Giving by individuals rose to $240.60 billion in 2013, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2012 (in current dollars). Adjusted for inflation, giving by individuals rose 2.7 percent in 2013. Giving by individuals accounted for 72 percent of total giving. Household income and assets are linked with charitable giving, as is individuals’ sense of financial security. As economic factors linked with household income and assets rise, so do contributions from individuals.  Itemized giving by taxpayers amounted to $199.17 billion, and non-itemized giving amounted to $41.16 billion in 2013.
Giving by bequest increased an estimated 8.7 percent in current dollars between 2012 and 2013, to $27.73 billion (7.2 percent adjusted for inflation).  The total amount for giving by bequest in 2013 includes two parts: 1) an estimated amount for charitable bequests from estates with assets of $1 million and above and 2) an estimated amount from estates with assets below $1 million.  For 2013, estimated bequest giving from estates $1 million and above totaled $21.17 billion, while estimated bequest giving from estates withassets below $1 million totaled $6.56 billion.
Giving by foundations increased 5.7 percent (4.2 percent adjusted for inflation) to an estimated $48.96 billion in 2013, according to figures provided by the Foundation Center. Giving by all three types of foundations are included in the estimate: independent foundations increased 4.8 percent, giving by operating foundations increased 6.6 percent and giving by community foundations grew 10.5 percent. Giving USA estimates that, on average, giving by family foundations comprises 63 percent of giving by independent foundations each year.  This amount was $23.36 billion – 48 percent of total giving by all foundations – in 2013.
Giving by corporations declined 1.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, totaling $17.88 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving by corporations declined 3.2 percent in 2013. However, corporate foundation grant making grew 5 percent in 2013, to $5.73 billion. The 2013 estimate for giving by corporations includes $81 million in corporate contributions made to nonprofit organizations in support of disaster relief efforts. (Corporate giving includes cash and in-kind contributions made through corporate giving programs, as well as grants and gifts made by corporate foundations.)
“$335.17 billion in giving is a good sign that Americans are feeling generous and prosperous. Corporate giving is always reflective of pre-tax profits. However, we must continue to watch all the various sources that impact nonprofits, including government funding. Government funding continues to undergo significant changes and many organizations face limits on growth in program service fees. As Americans continue to have to make real decisions about allocating funds for their charitable giving, nonprofits must share even stronger and compelling cases for support for charitable giving with prospective donors,” Byrne added.  
Uses of Giving 
Key Takeaways from Giving USA 2014 about Recipients of Charitable Contributions:
  • Five charitable subsectors are faring better than others in terms of progress toward returning to or exceeding their all-time highs. The following five subsectors reached or surpassed their all-time high giving levels (in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars) since the end of the Great Recession:
  1. Education:  in 2013, $52.07 billion, up 8.5 percent from 2007
  2. Human Services:  in 2013, $41.51 billion, up 17.5 percent from 2007
  3. Health:  in 2013, $31.86 billion, up 12.2 percent from 2007
  4. Foundations: in 2012, $42.90 billion, up 1.3 percent from 2007
  5. Environment/animals:  in 2013, $9.72 billion, up 7.5 percent from 2007 
  • Most subsectors saw increases in 2013 compared with 2012, with three exceptions:
  1.  Giving to international affairs declined 6.7 percent from 2012, to $14.93 billion. The decline in giving to international affairs is attributed to three factors:  a decrease in overall contributions given by corporations, which affected corporate giving to international organizations; a slight shift in giving by foundations and corporations, in particular, from U.S.-based international organizations directly to overseas organizations and less robust support for disasters in 2013 compared to prior years.
  2. Giving to foundations declined 15.5 percent in 2013. The percentage change in giving to foundations from year to year tends to be volatile given the very large gifts that foundations receive.
  3. Giving to religion was flat in current dollars (-.2 percent) and declined by 1.6 percent, adjusted for inflation. Giving to religion has been impacted by declines in religious attendance and membership in recent years.
Giving to religion held flat (a -0.2 percent decline) between 2012 and 2013 (a 1.6 percent decline when adjusted for inflation,) with contributions totaling $105.53 billion.
Religious organizations (comprised of congregations and houses of worship, the organizing or national offices of denominations and faith groups, missionary societies, religious media and organizations formed for religious worship, fellowship or evangelism) continue to receive the largest share of total U.S. charitable giving (31 percent) in 2013. However, compared with most other charitable subsectors that have seen positive growth since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, giving to religion declined.  Between 2009 and 2013, giving to religion fell 2.4 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. This is compared with growth in overall giving of 12.3 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars over the same period.
Giving to education increased 8.9 percent between 2012 and 2013 (7.4 percent adjusted for inflation), to $52.07 billion. This estimate also includes two mega-gifts totaling $293 million that went to U.S.-based universities. The education subsector received the second-largest share of charitable dollars in 2013, at 16 percent of the total.
Giving to human services totaled $41.51 billion in 2013, a 2.2 percent increase from 2012 (a flat rate of change of .7 percent when adjusted for inflation) and comprising 12 percent of all donations received by charities in 2013.  This includes $164 million in contributions that went to support disaster relief efforts.
Giving to foundations declined by 15.5 percent in 2013 (a decline of 16.7 percent adjusted for inflation), to $35.74 billion. Estimated contributions to foundations can change dramatically from year to year, depending upon very large gifts received from the wealthiest donors in America. Giving to foundations amounted to 11 percent of total giving in 2013
Giving to health organizations increased an estimated 6 percent between 2012 and 2013 (4.5 percent adjusted for inflation), with $31.86 billion in total contributions, comprising 10 percent of all donations received in 2013. 
Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased 8.5 percent in 2013 (7 percent adjusted for inflation), to $23.89 billion. This category amounted to 7 percent of total giving in 2013. 
(A note on entities defined as “public-society benefit”: Organizations within this subsector include the following:  those related to voter education, civil rights and civil liberties; consumer rights and community and economic development; free-standing research institutions that focus on biological, physical and social sciences as well as public policy research; those that promote philanthropy and those that raise funds to distribute to nonprofits, such as United Ways, the Combined Federal Campaign and Jewish Federations of North America. Freestanding donor-advised funds (or national or commercial donor-advised funds) are also included in this subsector.)
Giving to arts, culture and humanities totaled an estimated $16.66 billion in 2013, a 7.8 percent increase from 2012 (6.3 percent adjusted for inflation) and amounted to 5 percent of total giving in 2013
Giving to international affairs was an estimated $14.93 billion in 2013, a 6.7 percent decrease from 2012 (8 percent when adjusted for inflation), comprising 4 percent of all donations in 2013. This includes $199 million in contributions that went to support disaster relief efforts.
Giving to environmental and animal organizations saw an estimated 7.5 percent increase between 2012 and 2013 (6 percent adjusted for inflation), to $9.72 billion, which accounted for 3 percent of total giving in 2013  Giving to this category includes donations of cash, securities and in-kind gifts such as equipment, land and other items of value.
Giving to individuals amounted to $3.70 billion, 1 percent of total charitable dollars in 2013.  
For more information about Giving USA FoundationTM visit
For more information about the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy visit
For more information about Giving USA reports and how to access the Giving USA 2014 reports, visit

News You Can Use

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News You Can Use Newsletter July 2014
The Benefits of Planned Giving
John F. MarshallJohn F. Marshall
Senior Vice President 
I began my fundraising career way back in 1976 when I joined the development department in New York City, one of the largest Salvation Army departments in the country, if not the world. I was young and lacking any previous development experience, and was assigned to one of the lowest rungs on the department ladder.
Ours was a terrific team: led by a man, who at that time, was considered to be the dean of fundraising for the Army nationwide. I learned a lot and I look back on my time there as the experience that propelled me in my career over the past 38 years (has it really been that long?!).
I was like a sponge, soaking up information from those senior members of the staff who headed up various key components within our fully-integrated fundraising operation: direct mail, special events, major gifts, corporate and foundations…and planned giving. Of these components, it was planned giving that caused me the greatest confusion, primarily because I just didn’t “get it”. Why would anyone want to make a planned gift? The director of planned giving (his name was Russ) was, at first, very patient in explaining the workings of planned giving. But after asking the same or very similar questions repeatedly (I just could not grasp it), he gave me a book written by Robert F. Sharpe with the directive to “read this and then let’s talk some more.”
We talked many times, and four years later, I was named as Russ’s successor. Who would have thought that would happen! But I did read the Sharpe book and entered this new opportunity with a lot more knowledge than when I was the new “kid on the block” four years earlier. To this day, I consider my time as Director of Planned Giving with the Army as my most fulfilling professional experience.
Russ was helpful to me in many, many ways, most notably in helping me understand that planned giving can offer donors some extremely powerful benefits. I remember him saying that it didn’t matter what the donors’ intentions were – altruistic or tax-related – there were six benefits which applied to all:
  1. The donor can derive great SATISFACTION in knowing they are giving to a cause that is especially near and dear to them and that they are helping ensure it will be around for years to come.
  2. The donor can become very much in CONTROL in reducing the risk that their wishes might be hindered by circumstances beyond their control.
  3. The donor can experience tremendous PEACE OF MIND knowing that family and private matters are resolved confidentially.
  4. The donor can experience the CONVENIENCE of having placed their assets in the hands of professional managers, thus eliminating the worry of having to make ongoing financial decisions.
  5. The donor can enjoy the SECURITY of knowing that they have finalized their charitable choices during their lifetime as opposed to later….or possibly never at all (which happens all too often).
  6. The donor can greatly benefit from a number of FINANCIAL rewards, including receiving an enhanced level of income, lowering their current taxes and/or lowering the taxes their estate will be required to pay after they have passed. 
Interestingly, we know that only 10% of those individuals who are donors to a charitable organization have also included that charity within their estate plans. Just one in ten! I believe that is because (1) they have never been asked to make an estate gift or (2) they were simply either unclear or did not understand how beneficial planned giving could be.
Succeeding in raising planned gifts is not a quick process and in many cases takes months and even years to consummate with the donor. Getting started in a manner that is understandable is the key and that is why taking the time to introduce your donors to the above SIX BENEFITS OF PLANNED GIVING would seem to me to be the best place to start.
I encourage you to contact me directly if there are any questions you might have or if you would like to discuss ways in which Jeffrey Byrne + Associates can offer assistance in either creating or strengthening an existing planned giving program for your organization.
Please feel free to contact me at or at 816.914.3780.

Team Announcement
“We welcomed a new member to JB+A this summer, and I want to express how happy we are to have Don Schultz joining us. Don is Mayor of Overbrook, Kansas, and a former JB+A client who served on the Steering Committee for the City’s successful Capital Campaign for the Public Library. Don’s extensive background in marketing, sales and business development will be a great complement to our growing team.”
– Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO
Don SchultzDon Schultz
Director of Business Development
Don has been a Marketing, Sales and Business Development professional for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Jeffrey Byrne +Associates, he worked for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, developing business relationships and marketing plans with national companies.  He has also served as Vice President – General Manager of Doane Broadcasting, a national informational radio network, and as Vice President – Director of Marketing and Sales for QuinStar Broadcasting in Oklahoma. The National AgriMarketing Association, The National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the League of Kansas Municipalities have honored him for his achievements in Nonprofit Leadership.
Don volunteers and serves his community through City Government, Rotary Club and his Church.  Don is also a past Director for a nonprofit Family Camp. As Mayor of Overbrook, Kansas, Don led the City Library building project, including the fundraising campaign. Don was raised and educated in Northeast Kansas, and is a former United States Marine and a Vietnam Veteran. During his years of service, Don received three meritorious promotions in rank. Don is married and has two children and two grandchildren.
Don believes his work with JB+A will utilize both his professional and volunteer experience to help JB+A clients grow philanthropy in their communities. You can reach Don at 785.665.7653 or at

Insights from Giving USA 2014
Patrick Rooney Returns to Kansas City with Insights from Giving USA 2014 and Other Research
Editor’s Note: 
We are pleased to feature Trudi Galblum as a guest contributor to this month’s issue of News You Can Use. Trudi founded Galblum Communications, which specializes in writing for nonprofit organizations and also creates organization, corporate and family histories for publication in book or other formats.
Before starting her firm, Trudi was employed by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, first as a research analyst in Baltimore, Maryland, headquarters supervising demonstration grants and contracts, and subsequently in Kansas City as project officer for a quality of care peer review organization.
Trudi holds a Master of Policy Sciences degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a B.A. degree in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a Nonprofit Fund Raising Certificate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Bloch School of Business and Public Administration and graduated from the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School of Jewish Studies. She has extensive nonprofit board experience.
JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne first met Trudi when he joined the Board of Nonprofit Connect (then known as the Greater Kansas City Council on Philanthropy) in 1992. Jeffrey and the firm have worked on projects with Trudi for more than 20 years.
Trudi GalblumTrudi Galblum
Galblum Communications
If anyone needed convincing that there are strong connections between trends in the economy and philanthropy, Dr. Patrick Rooney’s June 19 presentation to 160 eager listeners should erase any doubt. The program was second in the four-part 501(c) Success National Speaker Series, co-sponsored by Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, U.S Trust and Nonprofit Connect.
“It’s been a slow, steady recovery from the Great Recession to $335.17 billion total giving in 2013, not quite back to where we were in 2007, but close,” said Dr. Rooney, associate dean for academic affairs and research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Dr. Rooney was back in Kansas City for the seventh consecutive year to share the latest findings from Giving USA 20141, along with the Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy2 and research on million dollar gifts3.
“During recessions, giving is flat or goes down,” said Dr. Rooney. During the Great Recession, total giving went down more than 15% in inflation-adjusted dollars. Conversely, when the stock market thrives, giving goes up with it, and there is remarkable correlation between giving and behavior of the S&P 500 over the last 30 years.
Who gives to whom?
Giving by individuals in 2013 continued to outpace all other donor types. Indeed, Dr. Rooney noted that – if you combine the 7% of foundation giving that comes from family foundations and the 8% from bequests with the 72% that comes directly from individuals – total giving from individuals actually accounts for 87% of total giving.
In 2013, education (up 8.9%) and public society benefit (up 8.5%) subsectors experienced the greatest increases. Arts, culture and humanities (up 7.8%), environment (up 7.5%) and health (up 6.0%) also did well. Giving to international affairs dropped 6.7%, which Dr. Rooney believes may reflect fewer natural disasters. He interprets the 3.2% drop in corporate giving in inflation-adjusted dollars as a “give back” from 2012, when it increased 9.9% over 2011.
The big winner in 2013 was education, which realized the strongest growth, and has also realized the strongest growth in contributions since the end of the Great Recession in 2009.  Higher education is also a top recipient of million-dollar gifts, which Dr. Rooney discussed at a luncheon hosted by U.S. Trust.
From 2000 to 2013, the majority of million-dollar-plus donors gave only one million-dollar gift. Of those, 47.6% of the total number of gifts and 32.7% of total dollars went to higher education.
Dr. Rooney jokes often that philanthropy is “all skewed up,” and the high net worth study of households with annual incomes of at least $200,000 and/or net worth of more than $1 million (excluding the value of their primary residence) helps make his point.
“Every year,” he said, “the majority of households give something, but a disproportionately large share of total individual giving comes from high net worth individuals.”  High-net-worth donors contribute, on average, an estimated 50% of total charitable dollars annually.  The top 1% gives 37% of total individual giving. The top 0.1% gives 18% and the most generous among them are entrepreneurs. “Those who create wealth,” Dr. Rooney said, “give almost twice as much as those who inherit it.”
What do the data foretell?
Dr. Rooney reserved his most pessimistic outlook for the religion subsector. For 20 years, since 1974, giving to religion was over 50% of the total. Now, it’s about a third. “There is a secular decline in religious giving,” he attributes, in part, to “the tyranny of the immediate.”
“Most churches,” he said “don’t have someone whose full-time job is to raise money. Fundraisers add immediate costs with delayed, diffuse and uncertain benefits. You have to make a leap of faith to invest in a fundraiser.”
At a special session for senior leaders, Dr. Rooney also voiced concerns about the future of healthcare philanthropy. In previous research, he discovered that philanthropy grew slowest in subsectors for which government funding was growing most rapidly. Based on those findings, Dr. Rooney expects the Affordable Care Act to have a negative impact on fundraising for healthcare.
He’s also concerned about legislative proposals – at federal and state levels – that pose threats to fundraising. Asked by the White House to study the probable impact of a 28% cap on charitable deductions, Dr. Rooney said that the most typical response he heard from donors was, “I think that’s unfair.” He described a School of Philanthropy donor who paid a generous five-year pledge in full late last December. “The pledge wasn’t motivated or altered by tax policy, but the payment definitely was,” he said.
What matters to donors?
A key finding of the high net worth study, said Dr. Rooney, was that most individuals say they give primarily because they care about the organization, with more than 60% of the largest gifts in 2011 going for general operating support. “The buzz word is impact,” he said. “How do we show impact? I love data, but some things that happen in the sector that aren’t easy to measure.”
Still, another big motivator for high net worth individual giving is organizational efficiency. Dr. Rooney believes focusing on efficiency alone is “excessively simplistic,” but nevertheless, as fundraisers, we have an ethical imperative to keep overhead within reason and we also need to be aware of its significance to donors.
And what about those Gen Xers and Millennials? Dr. Rooney’s research now includes four generations within families. From this, he reports that each subsequent generation is giving less to religion. In secular giving, they give lower dollar amounts than their parents, but the same share of income as their parents. “That’s encouraging,” he said, “but one of the challenges of engaging them is that, in spite of giving relatively small amounts, they want high touch and lots of attention.”
Asked about the much-discussed transfer of wealth, Dr. Rooney anticipates that it will be an important phenomenon. At the same time, he encourages fundraisers to pay attention now to donors’ children. “Kids have their own ideas and passions,” he said. “If we wait until they actually get the money, it’s probably too late.”
Why care about advocacy?
“People might say that the tax code has nothing to do with their philanthropy,” said Dr. Rooney. “That’s not right. When there are changes in tax rates, there are changes in behavior.”
We should care about advocacy because of proposals like President Obama’s to cap the charitable deduction at 28% for high-income taxpayers, as well as other proposals to establish a hard-dollar aggregate cap or minimum threshold for claiming itemized deductions. We should care because of proposals like House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) to require Donor Advised Funds to pay out all of their assets over five years.
The sector’s need to respond to such proposals was underscored by Jeffrey Byrne, President and CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., who issued this call to action to those assembled in Kansas City and relevant to nonprofits across the nation:
“We should not be afraid to confront and educate the people we hire in Washington, D.C. We have four congressmen and two senators on each side of the state line, in addition to our representatives in Jefferson City and Topeka [in Missouri and Kansas]. As nonprofit organizations, it does not endanger our charters. We have the right and duty to do education.”
At Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, we encourage you to use the insights shared by Dr. Rooney at this event and the reports upon which his presentation was based to better understand donors and the contexts in which they make decisions about their charitable gifts. In nearly a decade, there’s been no better time than now to raise much needed funds for our organizations.
1 Giving USA 2014, the longest running annual report on charitable giving in the United States, is made possible by The Giving InstituteÔ and published by The Giving USA FoundationÔ.
2 The High Net Worth Philanthropy Study, conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy bi-annually since 2006, is the first scientifically-rigorous approach to studying this population.
3 Research on million dollar gifts originated by Arthur C. Frantzreb in 1963 with the Million Dollar List.  Ongoing research has been compiled by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy since 2000 and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In introducing Dr. Rooney, Jeffrey Byrne, President and CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., encouraged organizations to use the information presented, as well as the detailed reports available at, in three ways:
  1. To educate board members so they can become better partners in your efforts to raise money.
  2. To develop your fundraising strategy.
  3. To enhance your case for support.

News You Can Use

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News You Can Use
Issue 110/February 2012

Campaigns Are Going Over Goal… Really!

Judy KellerBy Judy Keller, CFRE
Senior Vice President   

If you pay attention only to some of the doom and gloom still present in the media about fundraising’s incredibly slow recovery, you may find it hard to believe, but campaigns today are not only succeeding, they going over goal in the face of a shaky economy.

Recently, I was in the fortunate position of counseling a client in how to go over the top as they easily surpassed their million-dollar capital campaign goal. This campaign succeeded in nine months – well ahead of our original 12-month timeline for four reasons: Good planning, a solid case for support, a great Steering Committee, and a reasonable goal.

As the yes’s poured in, the volunteers got excited. It became clear that we would exceed our goal three months before we actually hit it. However, those same volunteers had many questions about how to do that in a highly visible project, in a small town where everyone wanted to know how we were doing?

Our Steering Committee felt strongly that we needed to be transparent in everything we did.  We agreed that we must be honest with donors and the general public about the campaign’s progress. Still, a few volunteers did not want to announce that we’d made our goal for fear that the gifts would stop coming in once the community knew we’d raised the money we needed.

The campaign had been exclusively for capital improvements for the local library – the first renovation in nearly 40 years – and there was discussion about raising the goal and asking for additional gifts to build a much-needed endowment. Still, others worried about campaign costs and wondered how to work those expenses into the goal without disclosing too much information? 

In the end, the Steering Committee determined that we must remain honest and grateful for the gifts we had received and that an extended campaign for a different purpose would be unfair to the community.

We raised the original goal of $1 million and the additional expenses, reporting the net amount raised and completely reimbursing the client for the initial investment it had made in conducting the Community Readiness Assessment and the campaign, itself. Even taking the expenses into consideration, we were more than 10% over goal when we had a community-wide celebration and announced our final total.

To celebrate our success, the client is hosting a highly visible special event with a nationally-known headliner. All the expenses for the event have been covered in sponsorships and our goal is to fill the 2,000-seat auditorium at the local fine arts center. It will be especially rewarding if we fill the hall, since the largest audience the library has attracted for a similar event in the past was 200. All proceeds from the evening will support the library’s next goal: the program endowment fund.

After a successful capital campaign and a grand event to celebrate it, the Board of Directors is inspired to reach for its endowment goal. It is incredibly gratifying to see volunteers and staff with new-found confidence in the organization and its ability to raise major gifts. 

With good planning, a solid case for support, a great Steering Committee, and a reasonable goal our campaign went Over the Top and yours can, too.

Jeffrey Byrne & Associates is committed to helping our nonprofit partners develop strategies to assist in successful capital, endowment and major gifts campaigns in even those most challenging of economic climates. We know that campaign readiness depends more on organizational readiness, strategy and meeting the six Criteria for Success than any external environmental factor. Simply put, the right case, with the right leadership and commitment, at the right time, will succeed. Contact us for more information on how you can build a strategy to go Over the Top: 1-800-222-9233,

When You Have the Chance, Make Each Throw Count

Jennifer Furla

By Jennifer Furla
Executive Vice President 

Make each throw count. That was the tribute and the message my friend wanted to impart. That day at the memorial service, the nave of the church was packed with friends, family, former law partners, and classmates of the couple’s three incredible children. An extraordinary person, one said, who believed in an ordinary life well lived.

School had just let out for the holidays and I found myself thinking that this gathering should not have been for such an occasion. He’d only moved to our town five or six brief years ago and look how many he’d touched. As I read the memorial leaflet, I realized that although my husband and I had very much enjoyed the company of the gentleman who’d so suddenly left this earth, I had not an inkling of the depth of this man.

My friend continued: They had together coached baseball for their sons’ grade school teams for five years. My friend had not known that this modest, yet extraordinary person had played in the minor leagues before an injury led him to attend law school. He learned over those five years that there was much more to this man.

For five seasons, each practice, each of 15 games a season, the advice was always the same: Make each throw count. What he now understood, my friend said, was that this advice was much more a life lesson than simple, direct advice before a little league baseball game. To all of us sitting in the nave, to the boys who were part of this man’s little league team, the advice resonated and was clear: Each time you throw, each time you’re up at bat, each time life gives you an opportunity … Make it count.

I wonder: How often is it that you were up at bat, had the ball, had the opportunity, and wished that you’d made it count?

There’s a lesson here for me and I will share it with you. Now that this modest, yet extraordinary gentleman is gone, I wish I had known him in a much more intimate way. I did not know of his youth, his schooling, his passion for history and baseball. I knew of the love he showed for his wife of six years and her three children. I’d seen it first-hand and for that I admired him greatly. I had sensed his professional stature, but this modest man never boasted about his successes as a trial lawyer. He never impressed with his scholarly intellect. Instead, he was much more interested in the person he was with, to learn about them. It was said that he often observed that it was important to truly see another person, because most likely that person, like you, is trying their best and trying to do the right thing.

Now that he is gone, I wish I’d taken in each aspect of this extraordinary individual. I wish I’d made it count.

To you, I declare: In this profession we are so incredibly privileged to become acquainted with modest, humble, yet extraordinary people who believe in an ordinary life well lived. They are the donors, volunteers, and others who are passionate about changing lives through the good works they support.

When you have the chance to sit down with them, to truly get to know them, their interests, their history, their passions: Seize the opportunity. Make it count.


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News You Can Use
Issue 120/December 2012


A Year-End Note


Jeffrey photo

by Jeffrey D. Byrne
President & CEO 

As Nonprofit Executives and Development Professionals you are called on to juggle multiple issues all the time within your nonprofit organizations. Additionally, you have to keep abreast of what happens around your local communities, regionally and around the globe. Just think about a few issues these past few weeks . . .

President Obama is re-elected and immediately Congress and the President begin talks around the “fiscal cliff”. Negotiations between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama continue this week as the nation watches, wondering if taxes will go up January 1, 2013 for all Americans, and severe budget cuts through the sequester, slashing government spending and possibly sending the American economy into a tail-spin and another recession.

Last Friday, a 20-year old young man enters an elementary school and kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults with high-powered guns in Newtown, Connecticut, setting off once again a national mourning around senseless gun violence and a national debate around gun rights.

These are issues that Americans discuss around the dinner table, at the coffee shop and in shopping malls. They frustrate us and many times we can’t do anything about them.

Now, here are a few items that impact your organization and can make a difference in what you do now and into 2013.

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Over the 3-day period beginning on Black Friday Americans spent nearly $56 Billion on consumer goods, a 6% increase over 2011. Consumer confidence is back! A new date is on the holiday calendar this year and its inauguration was Tuesday, November 27 – now known as #GivingTuesday. Conceived early this year at the 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday’s idea was to get 100 organizations to identify the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a day to recognize the value of giving – not just money, but of time and talent through social media and other forms of publicity. More than 2,000 organizations took part. And last week, online donations were 42% over the same period last year.

According to research from Giving USA the year after a Presidential Election historically philanthropic giving goes up. In 2011, giving was up in real dollars 4.0% to $298.42 billion in contributions from individuals, bequests, corporations and foundations. The DOW closed at 13,235.39 yesterday and if President Obama and Congressional Leaders can resolve fiscal issues before the year-end, the markets historically rally. In June 2013 we’ll know how Americans felt about charitable giving in 2013, but if consumer spending during the long Holiday shopping is any indicator we might be pleasingly surprised.

As you end the year, it is our hope at Jeffrey Byrne & Associates that you will be blessed with safety and peace and that those you touch throughout the year will have comfort and joy.

Happy Holidays!

 Jeffrey signature

Jeffrey Byrne & Associates Inc. Achieves Giving Institute Re-Qualification 

We are very pleased to report that The Giving Institute has announced that Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. has successfully achieved membership re-qualification. JB&A was one of several firms that successfully met the rigorous requalification requirements. “We are proud of the results that reflect your company’s ethical practice in the philanthropy field and are pleased to work alongside other like-minded professionals, like you, who advance the causes of the non-profits we serve so successfully” stated Wendy McGrady, Membership Co-chair for the Giving Institute.

The Giving Institute was founded in 1935 to promote the need for professional and ethical standards of practice and to influence the creation of laws governing philanthropy. It has been involved in many milestones of philanthropy – developing the widely accepted Standards of Professional Conduct; helping to fund the start-up of the United Way; working with the New York State Legislature to develop and enact the Charity Registration Act, the basis for a nationwide model; creating the Giving USA Foundation™; and initiating GIVING USA, an annual publication that is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America.

Giving Institute membership currently consists of fundraising consulting and service companies that assist not-for-profit organizations. Members are professionally and geographically diverse, annually raising billions of dollars for and providing invaluable types of counsel and services to philanthropic institutions. To become a member of Giving Institute, a firm must meet certain ethical standards as well as undergo an extensive client review process. In addition, once it has become a member of Giving Institute, a member firm must be re-qualified every five years to maintain its membership in good standing.

“I am delighted and deeply grateful to the Giving Institute for granting our firm membership re-qualification. Being awarded continuing membership is not only an accomplishment, but a real honor as well. We look forward to upholding the principles of the Giving Institute by providing our clients with the highest levels of integrity and passion” stated President & CEO Jeffrey Byrne.

If you would like to know more about The Giving Institute, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with information.

Rooney Named Associate Dean of Indiana University School of Philanthropy

National expert will oversee all academic and 

research programs for world’s first school dedicated to philanthropy

Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., has been named the associate dean of the Indiana University School of Philanthropy.

Rooney has been the executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, the precursor to the School of Philanthropy, since 2008. As associate dean for academic affairs and research, he will direct all of the new School’s academic, degree and research programs and activities. His appointment is effective January 1, 2013.

“With the transformation of the Center on Philanthropy into the world’s first School of Philanthropy and the maturation and recognition of this field of study, our associate dean must be exceptionally well qualified to guide the School in its most central roles,” said Gene Tempel, founding dean of the School.

“Patrick is a highly respected national leader in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, and he has sterling academic credentials and world-class expertise in philanthropy research,” Tempel said. “He is the perfect person to lead the academic and research aspects of our work, which are the heart of the School of Philanthropy.”

Rooney will oversee the School’s bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in Philanthropic Studies, as well as recruitment and services for its students. A professor of Philanthropic Studies and Economics and a member of Indiana University’s interdisciplinary Philanthropic Studies Faculty since 1998, Rooney will be responsible for developing and expanding the faculty, including recruiting several new faculty members who will teach and conduct research in the School.

As associate dean, Rooney will ensure that the School of Philanthropy’s foundation in the humanities and social sciences remains central to its academic and research programs. He will work with faculty and staff of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and in Bloomington, and other university colleagues who focus on understanding and teaching about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

“Patrick Rooney is one of the nation’s foremost leaders of philanthropic studies, and a great partner of ours from the Center on Philanthropy with the Giving Institute. It has been my pleasure to work with Patrick over the last seven years in expanding thinking around philanthropy,” remarks Jeffrey Byrne. “And I want to congratulate Patrick on his appointment with America’s premier institute of philanthropic education and research.”

About the School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy by educating and empowering students, professionals and philanthropists to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world. Learn more by clicking here. 


News You Can Use – Archive List Page

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Click on any of the links below to read past issues of News You Can Use Newsletters, published monthly by the professionals at JB+A. Articles prior to November 2011 can be found on our Resources page.

April 2015: A PESTy Assessment Tool For Your Organization / Patrick Rooney, Ph.D., Presenter of GUSA Annual Report.

March 2015: Are You on the Menu or Are You at the Table? / A Generational Gap in Giving: What is a Fundraiser to Do?

February 2015: Stewardship and Estate Planning / Consultants Provide Structure and Accountability to Your Campaign 

January 2015: Great Opportunities for Nonprofits to Engage Young Volunteers / Analyze Your Fundraising Success with a Development Calendar 

December 2014: A Note from Jeffrey – Looking Toward the Continued Rise of Philanthropy in 2015

November 2014: Board Engagement: What’s the Norm? / 2014 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

October 2014: Strengthen Year-End Giving by Preserving the IRA Rollover / Strategic Planning:  The Pathway for Fundraising Success

September 2014: Donor Retention: Keeping Ice Bucket Challenge Donors from Evaporating / Board Succession Planning

August 2014: CEO Personal Behaviors Can Kill a Board / Increasing Office Efficiency

July 2014The Benefits of Planned Giving / Insights from Giving USA 2014

June 2014: Special GUSA 2014 Issue  (6/17/2014)

May 2014: Affordable Care Act / Volunteers Give Back  (5/16/2014)

April 2014: Got Research?  (4/22/2014)

March 2014: Is “Overhead” a Valid Way to Evaluate Your Nonprofit? / Including and Counting Planned Gifts in a Capital Campaign  (3/19/2014)

February 2014: Preserve Volunteer Goodwill / Including and Donor Relationshps:  The Second Year is Critical  (2/18/2014)

January 2014: How to Guarantee Success in the Selection of Campaign Volunteers  (1/15/2014)

December 2013: Perspectives on Philanthropy in 2013  (12/17/2013)

November 2013: #GivingTuesday  (11/14/2013)

October 2013: “I’ll need to check with my financial advisor about that.”  (10/22/2013)

September 2013: Simple Tools… Fundraising Success!  (9/20/2013)

August 2013: Strengthen Fundraising Efforts the Futures Program: Incorporate Planned Giving for a Solid Fundraising Strategy   (8/22/2013)

July 2013: A Must-Have Guide to Successful Grant Seeking  (7/18/2013)

June 2013: Special GUSA 2013 Issue  (6/18/2013)

May 2013: Building Blocks to a Successful Campaign Steering Committee | Your Volunteer Database is an Important Tool   (5/15/2013)

April 2013: Recent IRS Changes Increase Transparency | Death, Taxes…and Tax Reform   (4/18/2013)

March 2013: Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation Board Meeting, Spring 2013 | Financial Anxiety in Senior Living Industry: An Incentive to Fundraise   (3/14/2013)

February 2013: Board Cultivation is More Than Just New Board Members | Free Google AdWords for Nonprofits  (2/14/2013)

January 2013: Insights for Strategic and Tax Changes for 2013 | Planned Giving: Time to get started?  (1/15/2013)

December 2012: A Year-End Note | Jeffrey Byrne & Associates Inc. Achieves Giving Institute Re-Qualification   (12/18/2012)

November 2012: Clear Expectations: For the Board and for Organizational Leadership | Why #GivingTuesday? Why not!   (11/15/2012)

October 2012: Planning for Not-For-Profits | While You Are Waiting for Change…  (10/16/2012)

September 2012: Diversify Your Portfolio… of Donors | New School of Philanthropy at Indiana University  (9/18/2012)

August 2012: A Framework for Fundraising Success | It’s Planning Time  (8/15/2012)

July 2012: “Beware” Hiring and Unethical Consulting Firm Can Cost You Your Reputation and Results  (7/19/2012)

June 2012: Giving USA: The Numbers for 2011  (6/15/2012)

May 2012: Getting Your Board Onboard | For Smaller Non-Profit CEO’s Considering a Capital Campaign  (5/16/2012)

April 2012: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? | Hospitals Optimistic About Fundraising in 2012  (4/17/2012)

March 2012: 26 Questions You Should Ask | So, You Want to Be a Career Fundraiser?  (2/15/2012)

February 2012: Campaigns Are Going Over Goal… Really! | When You Have the Chance, Make Each Throw Count  (2/14/2012)

January 2012: The Powerball Winner: Sharing in Good Fortune | Clean Off the Shelf and Start Planning for Your Senior Living Community  (1/12/2012)

December 2011: Thinking Ahead: What to Consider for 2012  (12/15/2011)

November 2011: Volunteers: Love’em… Or, Well, Love’em | The “Who” Over the “What” In Healthcare Fundraising, Involving Leadership is Key  (11/15/2011)

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News You Can Use
Issue 141/September 2014

Donor Retention: Keeping Ice Bucket Challenge Donors from Evaporating

Rhonda McClungRhonda McClung
Vice President 

The wildly successful Ice Bucket Challenge in support of the ALS Association brought in $100 million in 30 days, an amount that continues to grow as the challenge spreads globally. In addition to the dollars though, it brought in more than 3 million new donors in that same time frame. Many people who knew little to nothing about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the progressive neurodegenerative disease, dumped ice water on their heads and followed up with a gift. 

Opinions about the merits of a single-disease organization raising that much money so quickly are in no short supply, but there is another challenge the ALS Association faces: how to turn a one-time virtual event (most people won’t dump ice water on their head twice) into long-term awareness and advocacy. Turning just one percent of these first-time donors into volunteers would net 30,000 new advocates for the cause. 

Most nonprofits will never face the challenge of integrating 3 million new donors into their communications and volunteer strategies, but even those with significantly smaller numbers of new donors should have a plan for moving donors from one-time investment to long-term involvement. This issue is different than retaining annual fund donors from one year to the next. It’s a question of creating opportunities for new donors to learn about and actively participate in the organization’s mission. 

For the ALS Association, the obvious question is: How do you turn 3 million new donors – or even a small percentage of them – into long-term advocates for the cause? But every organization should ask itself how to turn every first-time donor, especially those who came to their cause with little knowledge of its work, into a well-informed advocate. Here are some points to keep in mind when working to cultivating first time donors into repeat donors, loyal advocates for your organization. 
  • Pay attention to what brought the donor to the organization. Social media played a critical role in the spread of the Ice Bucket Challenge so social media should be the means of reminding people what they supported. The Ice Bucket Challenge will cool off, but this very visual campaign has an opportunity to continue using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep people aware of the cause and the impact of their gifts.

  • Respond to donors in the way that they originally reached out to the organization. Online givers provide email addresses. Send thank you letters, newsletters and other information about participating in the organization by email. For gifts that came in the mail, respond with information and opportunities through the mail. Let people operate within their own comfort zones.

  • National organizations with local chapters should provide the chapters with contact information of local donors so that they can keep these new donors aware of what’s going on in their area. Organizations with smaller geographic reaches should continually remind donors about the impact on their community, friends and neighbors.

  • Be vigilant in addressing misinformation about the organization. The ALS Association is currently fighting off a fake news article alleging that it spends only a small percentage of its funding on its mission. In a virtual world where information is passed quickly but not always tracked for truth, every nonprofit needs to know what is being said about it and reach out to correct bad information.

Few nonprofits will hit the viral campaign jackpot like the ALS Association. But every nonprofit needs to develop a plan that answers the question: How do we turn a first-time donor into a long-term advocate?    

If you’d like to further discuss ways to improve your donor retention, please feel free to contact me at 816.237.1999 or at

Team Announcement 

Judy Keller

“I am pleased to share that Judy Keller, previously Senior Vice President, will be undertaking an expanded leadership role with Jeffrey Byrne + Associates. Judy brings more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and development and her extensive background serving within nonprofits, on various Boards and as a fundraising consultant will strengthen and enhance our fundraising team. We are happy she has expanded her role with JB+A in this capacity.”
– Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO
Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. (JB+A) is pleased to announce the promotion of Judy Keller, formerly Senior Vice President, to Executive Vice President of the fundraising consulting firm, based in Kansas City, Missouri and Edwards, Colorado.  Judy joined JB+A in 2006 as Vice President after a distinguished career serving as Executive Director of the American Lung Association of Kansas for 11 years. Judy has held various leadership positions, including President of the nationwide Congress of Lung Association Staff, President of the Kansas Asthma Coalition and Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition and has served as a member of the American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society Boards of Directors.
Judy has served scores of clients in the Midwest and throughout the nation during her past eight years in fundraising consulting for JB+A, ranging from strategic planning, annual campaigns, major gifts, fundraising feasibility studies for capital campaigns, planned giving and endowment advising and management of small, medium and large capital campaigns.  Judy’s most recent client successes include capital campaigns for Lawrence Public Library (KS), Willa Cather Foundation (NE/national), Assistance League of Kansas City (MO) and Citizens Climate Lobby (national).  She has conducted development audits for health and social service organizations nationwide.
Judy’s new responsibilities include a transition into the management team of the firm: overseeing and executing marketing and sales efforts, conducting strategic planning for JB+A and client engagements and providing leadership to the firm’s operations and entire staff.
Founded in 2000 in Kansas City, Missouri, Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. is a nationally-recognized fundraising and financial development firm that specializes in building organizational capacity and conducting major gift, capital and endowment campaigns solely for nonprofit organizations. Led by founder and President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne, its team of consultants has successfully guided more than 300 nonprofit organizations through campaigns raising more than $1,000,000,000.

Take a few moments to complete our brief survey, and receive a copy of  JB+A’s 
“Insights to Giving USA 2014:  What Do the Statistics Really Tell Us?

Take the Survey


Board Succession Planning

Mary Ellen Clark

Mary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President

Succeed: (suh k seed), “defined as 1) to thrive, prosper, grow; 2) to accomplish what is attempted or intended”. These are terms every Board leader hopes will be associated with his or her work with an organization. In order to assure that important projects will move forward and that the mission of the organization will be met, the important activity of Succession Planning must be implemented and considered a key element of planning. 

Succession planning has been a serious part of organizations for the past decade. It allows for the organization to plan for the sudden change in personnel due to, for instance, staff members moving when the opportunity of a lifetime comes along, transferring or experiencing family changes... and you’re left with a large hole in your plan. We now see the strongest and most effective Boards doing the same:  planning ahead for change. 

Board Composition
The most forward-thinking boards consider skills and experience, not just titles. There are Board positions that must be filled by a sponsoring organization representative as stated in governance by-laws.  These individuals and their talents should be considered in the complete make up of the Board. While Boardroom diversity progresses slowly in some organizations, striving for balance is key. 

Director of Development
The trend in nonprofits of term limits for Board members (two or three years) may seem like a short period for a Director to make a real impact. New Board members can make a more immediate impact by participating in a detailed orientation program and a Board mentorship program. By teaming an experienced Board member with a new Board member, the result can be powerful. Organizations should also plan for ongoing Board education, either from an internal source or professional expert. 

Term Limits
The trend in corporate director term limits over the past few years has changed, opting for longer terms to capitalize on experience and Board training. (Businessweek, May 2013) Board service by these corporate leaders to other organizations is also being limited, having an effect on securing strong volunteers for our nonprofit boards. 

Lack of Board planning can lead to repeating the same programs year after year because they are a pet project of certain Board leadership or may result in ineffective fiscal oversight because “we’ve always done it this way”. If your Board has not considered term limits, Board composition evaluations, routine education programs and succession planning, imagine the even greater success you could find if they did. 

If your Board is looking for a “Board composition matrix” to review and use to evaluate future Board members, contact our office at 816.237.1999 or email me at 


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News You Can Use
Issue 137/May 2014

How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Your Organization’s Fundraising? 

Mary Ellen Clark

By Mary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President

While many businesses and individuals have been looking at the effect of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and personal futures, the nonprofit industry – and specifically many hospital foundations – have been taking a somewhat passive approach to these outcomes. However, highly effective foundations have prepared for the increased needs of their hospitals and community. They continue to tell their stories, clearly communicate their needs, provide adequate staffing and listen to donors.

The Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), our nation’s leading source for benchmarking, research and reporting of fundraising in our hospitals, recently conducted a study into these effects: The Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Healthcare Philanthropy. Here is an Executive Summary of this study reported just months ago:

  • At the end of January and early February 2014, AHP surveyed its U.S. membership to determine how healthcare development fared in 2013 based on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law in 2010.

  • A little more than half (53%) of the respondents reported no effect while one-third (33%) reported a somewhat negative effect when asked about the overall effect healthcare reform and the ACA had on their development office, fundraising activities and results during 2013.

  • A majority (71.3%) of AHP members report that they did not change their overall giving forecast for the next 2-3 years because of the ACA.

  • 12.9% of respondents report that they made increases to their giving forecast for the next 2-3 years. The most frequently cited (mode) forecast increase was 6-10%.

  • 15.8% of respondents report that they decreased their giving forecast for the next 2-3 years. The most frequently cited forecast reduction was 0-5%.

  • A majority (57.7%) of AHP members report that they have not made changes to their development organization’s operating budget.

  • Nearly one third (30.3%) of respondents report that they increased their operating budget. The most frequently cited budget increase was 0-10%.

  • The majority of respondents (65.4%) had not experienced a merger or acquisition in the past three years.

  • Two-fifths (38.9%) of AHP members plan to increase staff size within the next three years.

Source: The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, February 2014.

While some believe that it is too early to tell if the ACA will impact philanthropy, most foundations report that they are experiencing a great deal of change and uncertainty. More donors want to discuss this topic and many foundations are experiencing more pressure from the hospital to raise more money.

Healthcare organizations are more reliant upon philanthropy today than ever before – facing budget pressure and working with limited resources. Fundraising helps bridge the gap. Successful organizations, those who are planning effectively for the future of healthcare and healthcare fundraising, are those in which the leadership at all levels plays an active role in fundraising. Support and participation from each leadership constituency – boards, staff, advocates and collaborative partners – is essential to healthcare fundraising success.

Our healthcare consulting allows organizations to focus on the changing climate while supporting critical programs. To further discuss how your organization can achieve fundraising success, contact me directly at


Volunteers Give Back


Rhonda McClung
Vice President


Involvement leads to investment. It’s an old fundraising adage that studies have proven true. People who volunteer are more likely to donate money than people who do not volunteer. Often overlooked as an important strategy, quality volunteer programs play an significant role in a nonprofit’s overall development program.


Volunteers are often seen as those people who prefer to give their time rather than their money, or give of their time because they have no money. But a 2009 study conducted for Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund (Volunteerism and Charitable Giving in 2009: Click here to view the study) found that on average, people donate 10 times more money if they have volunteered within the last year, with two-thirds of those people giving to the organizations where they give time.


Volunteer services are sometimes organizationally structured as parallel, but not connected, to development efforts. Volunteering is important to the organization’s operations, but not a component in the resource development plans. Rethink that strategy. Engaging volunteers in giving and engaging donors in volunteering can positively impact the entire organization.


Volunteer Coordinators and Development Officers should work side-by-side in developing strategies. Volunteer Coordinators can identify the volunteers that have the greatest interest in the organization. Development Officers can point out those donors who are the best candidates, based on their availability or specific skills and expertise needed by the organization. Working together brings greater value to both positions. 


Ask Donors to Volunteer


Of course, there are people who donate, without any interest in spending time with the nonprofit.  Once invited, these donors may not choose to volunteer; but an explanation about how their time is important too may give them a sense that they are part of something bigger. It is not just about the money.  It is about the impact that the money makes on people. 


Volunteer Coordinators can reach out to donors by:


 Including details about volunteer opportunities and contact information in selected mailings to donors.  


  • Asking current volunteers to review lists of donors to identify those they know, then reaching out to the donors with the help of  those same volunteers. People are often hesitant to dedicate time to an organization unless they know other people already involved.


  • Personalizing the ask for time:  call the donor and ask about specific tasks that suit their interests and availability. With input from a Development Officer, look for opportunities to discuss that tell the donor you know who they are and that they are important to the organization as a whole. 


Treat Volunteers as Prospective Donors 


Volunteers are the most likely to understand the needs of the organization with firsthand experience in what it takes to make the place work at its highest capacity. To increase volunteer giving, Development Officers can:


  • Include volunteers in annual requests. Customize the ask to reference their volunteer time and the organization’s understanding and appreciation of the contribution that they already make. 


  • Include volunteers in email blasts and newsletter mailings currently sent to donors.  Featuring programs that the volunteers are already aware of can reinforce the importance of their work while underscoring the need for funds to make the work possible. 


  • Ask volunteers who also give to become ambassadors for the organization, letting others know the successes, needs and challenges the nonprofit faces.  A Development Officer can take a volunteer on a call to tell firsthand the stories of the organization’s impact and the importance of giving.


  • Consider planned giving requests for those who say they are giving their time now because their funds are limited.  Planned giving is the perfect vehicle for volunteers who feel like they do not have the cash to spare for a gift but want to have a significant impact on the organization. 


Whether volunteers or donors, these are people who have already indicated support of your mission.  Volunteer Coordinators and Development Officers working together can significantly increase the impact these supporters make on the organization. 

To discuss how your organization can bring greater value to both volunteers and donors, contact me directly at

News You Can Use – August 2014

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News You Can Use
Issue 140/August 2014

CEO Personal Behaviors Can Kill a Board

judy_Keller_web_pic_2012Judy Keller
Senior Vice President

CEOs and Executive Directors often express concern that their Boards are not fully engaged.  Even the most active, professional Boards often have one or two members who may be fully supportive of the organization, but do not demonstrate that commitment. We are often asked: How can I keep my Board engaged?  And even more common:  How can I get the Board to fundraise?

Over the next few months we will explore various strategies for Board engagement, but let’s begin with the basics:  personal behaviors of the executive leadership.  This may seem trivial but it is the CEO/ED who sets the tone, style, pace, commitment and productivity of the entire organization, including the Board.

Common problems in personal behaviors of the CEO/ED:

  • Talks too much. He/she should not lecture or pontificate. It insults the intelligence of the Board and it’s dull.  A strong CEO will keep his/her comments to a minimum, allowing for maximum discussion and engagement.  Facilitate, don’t pontificate.
  • States the obvious. Briefing packets, written summary reports and allowing staff to speak will minimize the CEO’s need for time at the podium during the meeting. 
  • Insecurity. Some CEOs feel they must exert their power by dominating the meeting when actually, just the opposite is true.  A confident CEO will plan well and delegate.
  • Thinking out loud. Once a CEO is comfortable with a Board, he/she may bring issues that are not fully researched or conceived, relying on informal exchange as a way to draw a Board into a topic. The problem with this is it wastes Board members’ valuable time and leaves them concerned about the pace and professionalism of their executive staff.

How to overcome these common problems:

  • Think/act like a reporter: Before entering the meeting, think through the main points you would like to convey on each agenda item. Focus on the core issues and be sure there is time for interaction among Board members on the most important topics. Ask yourself:  What do we need to achieve and why?  Who can help achieve it? When, where and how?
  • Stay focused:  A rambling CEO will never fully engage a professional or busy volunteer.  For example, never explain an issue with “he said, she said,” when it is possible to get to the point more directly. To convey information in a he said-she said manner only relays information but the personal relaying of it is not adding value. This is especially poor form for a CEO who is hired to make decisions and execute strategic plans. It is incumbent upon the CEO to add value at every step. 

By sticking with the five W’s of journalism (Who, What, When, Where and Why), and planning your talking points around them, you will stay focused and engage the Board.  

This is the first in a series of articles about fully engaging the Board within the organization.  The author welcomes your feedback and discussion at

Increasing Office Efficiency
Sandi Grimm
Director of Administration
While a nonprofit’s main objective is their mission, not how its office functions, a poorly run office is a drain on resources and personnel. Open communication between coworkers is essential. Most nonprofits have a small office staff, so an “It’s not in my job description” attitude is a detriment to all concerned, including those served by the organization. 
While I was the marketing director at a multi-state school-based mentoring organization, one of our partners was the Southeast Kansas Education Center at Greenbush. One of their mottos, which I’ve tried to adopt into my everyday and business life is, “Find a way to say yes.”
Start your journey to increased office productivity by identifying existing problems, and then correcting them. 

Consider these tips for increasing productivity in a small office:

  • Create an action plan list to manage daily, weekly and monthly goals. Setting unrealistic goals is a big impediment to productivity. Break large tasks into manageable chunks, eliminating the “I’ll never get that done!” syndrome. Plus, it’s satisfying to mark something off a list!
  • Have regular “production” meetings.  Employees and managers need to meet consistently, to keep everyone apprised of each other’s activities,  to make sure that tasks are being accomplished, but that staff members are not duplicating the same activities.
  • Go digital when possible.  Digital is also more portable.  When possible, eliminate paper-based information to reduce clutter and the need to touch the paper again…and again…and again. Convert paper to electronic files by scanning paper documents and creating files for easy access – whether in the office, on the road or sitting in the airport.
  • Maintain a filing system.   When keeping documentation is a must, do maintain a management system, and label properly.  An appropriate filing system is still necessary at most offices. Use a file naming system as an office best practice. Rely upon standard file names, and spell out names. In two years, an organization will not likely inform new employees that PSMR stands for the Pueblo Service Media Report.
  • Maintain control over shared documents.  Don’t allow multiple versions of the same document to circulate. Clearly rename (electronically) the most recently-saved version of an edited document (by date and/or last employee to edit).
  • Be prepared.  This motto is not just for Boy Scouts. Prepare for meetings with a check list and utilize the tried and true project management approach to having an agenda. Preparation prior to any meeting–large or small–makes attendees more productive.  Even with a shared agenda, each individual may have sub topics they want to make sure are covered during the meeting.
  • Identify a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tool.  Avoid leaving revenues and productivity on the table. CRM tools needn’t cost money or bear large subscription fees. Some are free. CRM puts the customer/client first, and that’s good for productivity.
  • Prioritize tasks and develop a system.  Empower your office to work proactively, not just respond and react.

Firm President + CEO Continues Service to Philanthropy


Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., has been recently re-elected to Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Giving Institute. 
Established in 1935, The Giving Institute (formerly known as the American Association of Fundraising Counsel) educates and engages member firms in the ethical delivery of counsel and related services to nonprofits through research, advocacy and best practices. Serving nonprofits of every size and purpose, The Giving Institute member firms embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. The Institute requires its member firms to undergo rigorous review of their consulting methods and practices (including broad surveys of client satisfaction) and to exhibit the highest standards in fundraising consulting and ethical practices. Jeffrey Byrne + Associates is the only Kansas City firm to be accepted to the Giving Institute.

The Giving Institute is also committed to promoting philanthropy.  In 1955, it first published Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy and later incorporated the Giving USA Foundation to carry out and expand its public service goals.  Today, Giving USA is the most influential publication reporting on the sources and uses of longitudinal giving data for the past 60 years in the United States. Jeffrey has also been elected to serve on the Giving USA Foundation Board.

This term marks the 10th year that Jeffrey has served on The Giving Institute Board and his 6th year on the Executive Committee. Jeffrey Byrne + Associates has been a member of the Giving Institute for 10 years. 

For more information about Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., visit

For more information about The Giving Institute, visit

For more information about Giving USA FoundationTM visit