Insights + News + Updates

Giving in America Exhibition at National Museum of American History

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Creating a culture for investment.

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

  1. Providing donors with options.

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

  1. Continuing to tell our stories.

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

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. 

#GivingTuesday: Is your organization ready to roll?

By | Donor Cultivation, Events, Fundraising, Social Media | No Comments

giving_tuesday_logostacked-2016Now entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is officially a global charitable movement. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following the consumer frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving back.

It’s a simple idea with an enormous impact. Fueled by the power of social media, #GivingTuesday brings individuals and organizations together online where missions can be shared and donors cultivated. Last year, 700,000 people donated over $116 million in one day through one medium – social media. It’s an innovative and creative way to kick off the charitable season and raise awareness for your organizations’ mission.

If your organization is participating in #GivingTuesday this year, then you have already started pushing this on social media and your followers are ready to go on November 29. You may have a specific project that has #GivingTuesday appeal, or you just want to raise general funds.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of this annual day of giving:

  1. Set Goals – Do you want to raise awareness?  Attract volunteers?  Raise dollars for a specific program?  Clearly defining your goals will help you map out tactics and plan your messages.
  1. Plan your Tactics/Messages – Write your tweets and posts in advance and work them into a timeline.
  1. Assign Roles & Responsibilities – depending on the complexity of your campaign, make sure your staff is in place to execute your plan and clearly defined roles and responsibilities are in place.

If you are just starting out with #GivingTuesday, be sure to read our #GivingTuesday Guide which includes great tips for building a plan from scratch. If you’re new to #GivingTuesday, set your calendar for November 29 and take this opportunity to observe how other organizations utilize this innovative fundraising opportunity. We’re sure you will come away inspired and ready to go for 2017.

“Interim CEO”: Frequently an Integral Element to a Successful Transition

By | All Posts, Boards + Leadership, Capacity Building, Commentary, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Strategic Planning | No Comments

susan_cropped-267x300Susan Spaulding, Founder & Lead Consultant, Recalibrate Strategies

Editor’s Note:  We are pleased to introduce Susan Spaulding as a guest contributor. Susan is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Recalibrate Strategies, helping companies grow their business.  Susan applies proven marketing systems to recalibrate businesses and their brands by collaboratively creating a success blueprint and facilitating a process that harnesses insights, generates new ideas and provides a strategic roadmap.  Susan has more than 30 years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur and marketing expert with exceptional leadership and facilitation skills.

Optimally, a CEO departure announcement includes naming the new CEO. This is often the case when the current CEO gives the board ample notice of retirement plans, or if the current CEO is being promoted or re-assigned within the parent company. And, if the CEO departure is the result of an ongoing performance issue, the board should be prepared to announce the new CEO immediately.

However, in practice naming an interim CEO is frequent. Reasons are varied (1), and include:

  1. A succession plan is lacking or not up-to-date. The board isn’t prepared to name a successor CEO.
  2. The CEO needs to step away from his/her role for a period of time – often for a personal or family health issue – but expects to resume the CEO position.
  3. The board believes it’s in the best interest of the company to appoint an interim CEO. Perhaps the desired CEO is not available immediately, or the board decides to deviate from the succession plan for whatever reason.

Roles of Interim CEOs
While interim CEO roles can be as varied as reasons for needing interim CEOs, below are primary roles interim CEOs fill.

  1. Keep the company on course and on strategy until a permanent CEO is selected.
  2. Execute a company turn around – usually following CEO and/or company performance issues. The interim CEO is more likely to be selected from outside the company, and have turnaround experience.
  3. “Trying out” a potential permanent replacement can indicate the board is leaning toward selecting this individual as CEO, but need to see how the individual handles the position temporarily.

What’s critical for any interim CEO appointment is clarity between the individual and the board on responsibilities and primary objectives. It’s critical for the interim CEO to have ready access to board members. Consistent support from the board is critical for the interim CEO, for company employees and for external shareholders/stakeholders watching closely to assess company leadership and overall stability.

Importance of Acting Swiftly
In general, an interim CEO is needed due to a former CEO’s sudden departure. However, in some cases the need for a new CEO – interim or otherwise – was clear much earlier than the decision was made.

Sometimes when a CEO becomes ill, they and the board choose to believe – sometimes with diagnoses and inability to carry out responsibilities indicating otherwise – the CEO’s illness will not prevent him/her from maintaining a reasonable productivity level. The fear of negative impact, internally and externally, from announcing this “weakness” sometimes prevents timely disclosure of reality.

Example (2, 4): Apple’s Steve Jobs both refused to accept appropriate cancer treatment and board recommendations to disclose his illness. Rather, he elected (allowed by the board) to keep his illness secret. He later took a leave of absence. Tim Cook took on the role of interim CEO three times (2004, 2009 and 2011) before actually being named CEO.

Similarly, given performance issues, the board should be particularly well prepared to name a new CEO.

Often the reluctance to disclose the situation, and move forward with a new CEO is based more on emotional responses than on objective assessment of what is best for the company.

Looking Forward
Several sudden CEO departures have been in the news within the past year. Each situation varies. However, what appears consistent is a board ill-prepared for the CEO’s sudden departure. Given the acknowledged importance of succession planning, it’s concerning to witness multiple situations where succession plans are not simply implemented.

Per The Conference Board (3), boards spend an average of two hours annually discussing succession planning. Clearly the topic deserves more attention.

Recalibrating Actions:

  1. What is the status of your company’s succession plan? Is it up-to-date? Does it include contingency plans? Does it encompass roles below that of the CEO? Does it include replacement plans for those who step up to fill an open role?
  2. Ensure there is a written agreement in place between the board and the CEO that addresses unexpected situations like a personal or family illness. Then, if such a situation arises, it is the board’s responsibility to follow through on the agreement.
  3. Succession planning – certainly inclusive of, but not limited to the CEO – is a primary responsibility of the board, and should be treated as such. This will require considerable time on the board’s part to understand the status, skill sets, experience, gaps, and aspirations of leaders lower than the CEO – in some cases multiple levels below.
  4. Ensure you are having discussions with your board frequently to provide status updates on various leaders, new hires, etc. As well, discuss openly how and when announcements of changes will be handled by the board to maintain the greatest company stability and lessen negative external impact.

You can reach Susan Spaulding and Recalibrate Strategies at www.recalibratestrategies.com.

Sources:

  1. Saporito, Dr. Thomas J., Succeeding as an Interim CEO: How boards and temporary chiefs can work together., Chief Executive, March 11, 2016
  2. Stevens, Laurie, M.D., Rolfe, Steven, S., M.D., A Healthy Approach to CEO Illness: How should companies cope with a leader’s health crisis?, Chief Executive, March 4, 2016
  3. Semadeni, Matthew, Mooney, Christine H., and Kesner, Idalene F., Interim CEO: Reasonable Choice or Failed Selection?, The Conference Board, June 2014
  4. Friedman, Lex, Apple Turns to Tim Cook to Replace Steve Jobs, Macworld, August 24, 2011

Introducing JB+A’s Newest Team Member

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

-Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO

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

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

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

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