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Veronica Gerrity

Inaugural National History Academy

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Editor’s Note: JB+A is proud to share this special piece with you, which showcases former JB+A Consultant and current colleague and friend, Bill Sellers. Bill is President of Journey Through Hallowed Ground, a nonprofit partnership that promotes and supports civic engagement through history education, economic development through heritage tourism and the preservation of cultural landscapes in a 180-mile corridor from Gettysburg, PA through Maryland and Harpers Ferry, WV to Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.

Bill Sellers feels there is a “crisis in historical and civic literacy.” A recent report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress concluded that only 18% of high school seniors showed proficiency in their knowledge of American history and 23% were proficient in civics. Of the seven subjects included in the Report, students scored lowest in their knowledge of U.S. history.

Bill is actively doing something to reverse these statistics — by providing future leaders with a “multidimensional, contextual understanding of history and its figures.” Bill developed the National History Academy, a five-week residential summer program for high school students to not just learn American history, but live it.

Bill Sellers describes the vision for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: walking in the footsteps of leaders who helped define and shape the American story including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., and where soldiers fought for the birth and survival of this nation. Students will experience traditional classroom learning, but more importantly, visit 42 sites within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

The region was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the 11 most endangered places in the United States in 2005, was declared by Congress as a National Heritage Area in 2008, and Route 15/20 was named a National Scenic Byway in 2009. The Journey includes 12 National Parks, nine presidential sites, 30 historic Main Street communities, dozens of Civil War battlefields, and over 100 sites related to the fight for Civil Rights.

The mission of the Academy is to “foster an understanding of key events, people and issues in the country’s history and to engage our nation’s future leaders in the rights and duties of American citizenship through place-based, experiential learning.”  Its motto, “Historia Est Magistra Vitae” is taken from Cicero’s De Oratore and means “history is the teacher of life.”

Highly motivated students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades may apply. The application process includes a short application and a short response to the question, “Tell us why you want to be a part of the National History Academy in two paragraphs.”

Applications will be reviewed by a committee and judged on maturity of response and understanding of the topic. One-hundred students will be accepted into the Academy. Successful applicants will then be invited to register for the Academy, which runs June 24 to July 28, 2018.  A limited amount of financial aid is available.

To learn more about the National History Academy, visit here.

To learn more about Journey Through Hallowed Ground, visit here.

Bill and the Academy are also featured in the May-June 2018 issue of Harvard Magazine, which is published by a separately incorporated nonprofit affiliate of Harvard University, Bill’s alma mater.

JB+A Client Success: Congratulations PKD Foundation: JYNARQUE™ Approved as First Treatment for Polycystic Kidney Disease

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JB+A is excited to share good news involving its client partner, PKD Foundation. PKD, a chronic, genetic disease, is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidneys and other organs and can lead to kidney failure. Previously, there had been no treatment specifically for PKD in the U.S., with the only option for survival a transplant or dialysis. Today, there is new hope.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval of JYNARQUE™ (tolvaptan) to be the first treatment in the U.S for adult patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), the most common form of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The PKD Foundation not only supported early studies that led to the development of JYNARQUE™ as a treatment, but also helped guide PKD patients to the JYNARQUE™ clinical trials.

Although not a cure, patients who are prescribed JYNARQUE™ for PKD will see a slower decline in their kidney function, leading to improved health and well-being. “Today is an historic day in providing hope to patients with polycystic kidney disease, and we are thrilled to be a part of this first milestone to treat patients with ADPKD,” said Andy Betts, CEO of the PKD Foundation. “For the past 35 years, our goal has been to support PKD patients from care to cure. It is gratifying to play a part in the discovery of this treatment and to see it come to fruition.”

Betts also recognizes all of the patients who graciously took the time and resources to participate in the clinical trials to bring JYNARQUE™ to the PKD community: “This treatment would not exist without these patients,” says Betts. “We hope that this is just the beginning of new treatments on the horizon for patients suffering from PKD. We will continue to stand beside PKD patients until there is a cure, supporting them with access to future studies, to new treatments, and to ensure the affordability of care.”

JB+A is proud of PKD Foundation for this milestone achievement, and for the unwavering care and support it provides to those living with PKD.

About PKD Foundation:
PKD Foundation has been dedicated since its founding in 1982 to supporting and improving the lives of patients affected by polycystic kidney disease. These efforts are accomplished through promoting research to find treatments and a cure, as well as providing education, advocacy and awareness on a national level. The Foundation provides direct services to local communities nationwide and is the largest private funder of PKD research.

PKD Foundation is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for PKD. Our mission: We give hope. We fund research, advocate for patients and build a community for all affected by polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

To learn more about PKD Foundation, visit here.

To learn more about JYNARQUE™, visit here.

Love your Volunteers. Really.

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Veronica Gerrity
Coordinator of Administration + Consulting

April 15th through the 21st was National Volunteer Week in the US, powered by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. This special time gave nonprofit organizations the opportunity to remember the great works accomplished by their volunteers.

Established in 1974 and growing steadily ever since, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially each year. The repeated success of this celebration proves honoring the impact of volunteers in our communities will inspire others to serve. JB+A has come up with 10 creative ways to say thank you to your volunteers year-round and show these unpaid, yet highly productive workers for your organization how valuable they and their contributions really are:

  1. Shout it Out – give a public shout out to your rockstar volunteers on your website, Facebook, Twitter or newsletter. Highlight specific volunteers and shine a light on their hard work and the impact they have on your organization.
  2. Let Them be Creative – Do your volunteers wear an organizational t-shirt? Hold a contest to let your volunteers design it. This helps volunteers feel creative and empowered – and really increases wardrobe options for your long-time volunteers.
  3. Share a Gift of Love – Ask those served by your nonprofit to craft personal gifts (letters, art work, poems, pictures from past events) to give to treasured volunteers.
  4. Volunteer Hall of Fame – Have an empty wall in the office? Create a Volunteer Hall of Fame and post pictures of each volunteer. Highlight a new “inductee” each month or quarter.
  5. Have Them Say It – Invite volunteers to share personal stories about why they volunteer and special experiences with your organization, then feature those stories in your newsletter, on your website and social media and on the Hall of Fame wall.
  6. Flexibility is King – Have a volunteer who is always reliable? Show your appreciation by giving them first dibs on working desirable projects or offer more flexibility in their volunteer schedule.
  7. Meet and Eat – Treat your volunteers to a meal with the people who appreciate their time the most – your clients and their families, staff and Board members. Yum.
  8. Remember the Person – Keep records of volunteers’ birthdays and send them a card. Did you hear about a major accomplishment or life event (graduation, new job, wedding or birth etc.) with a volunteer? Send them a quick note and let them know your organization is proud to be a part of their lives.
  9. Make Them Laugh – Have extra candy lying around? Create “punny” thank-you messages and add some candy to surprise your volunteers when they walk in. Sometimes the silliest way to say thank you is the one that will stick.
  10. Show Them the Love – Create an online photo album showing the work your volunteers have contributed over the last year. The visual impact of seeing their accomplishments is a great way to reinforce your organization’s appreciation.

Lastly, remembering to simply say “thank you” and remembering to say it often is sometimes all anyone needs to hear to reaffirm their commitment and love for your organization. Taking the time to be sincere and making each occasion to recognize volunteers meaningful will allow your organization to achieve more and be better.

Cast from the vision of 1,000 points of light shared by founder President George H. W. Bush in his 1989 inaugural address, Points of Light helps mobilize people to take action on the causes they care about through innovative programs, events and campaigns.

Women as Leaders

By | Boards + Leadership, News You Can Use | No Comments

Veronica Gerrity
Coordinator of Administration + Consulting

With the fervor of International Women’s Day sweeping social media and news outlets last week, examples such as #pressforprogress and McDonald’s flipping their famous arches to make a “W” seemed everywhere. At JB+A, we wanted to explore the landscape of the nonprofit sector and look at how women are making an impact.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, DonorPerfect – a fundraising growth platform – shared their Nonprofit Leadership Workbook for Women. You can get it here. Notable was the statistic that although 73% of all nonprofit employees are women, women make up only 45% of nonprofit CEOs. This number has even more disparity when the organizational budget is factored in.  As an organization’s budget increases, the likelihood of a female leader decreases drastically. Despite this statistic and trend, the nonprofit sector is striving for gender parity.

Now let’s talk about Boards. A recent BoardSource survey Leading With Intent:2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, showed women make up 43% of nonprofit Board members compared to the 12% seen at public companies. Once again, nonprofits have far more diversity than the private sector when it comes to gender, but these numbers still do not accurately reflect our population and we can only wonder what our sector would be like with more inclusion at all levels.

Locally, organizations such as Women’s Foundation, Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City and Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, are all striving to make changes in our community through focusing on women philanthropists, volunteers and leaders. These organizations are tackling the need to train women and involve women in all aspects of the nonprofit world.
What else can we do? The White House Project: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership had these suggestions to keep progress moving forward.

  • Develop the pipeline. With a majority female labor force, the nonprofit sector has a pipeline in place. The challenge is to develop appropriate mentoring and staff development opportunities to position mid-level managers for the top positions in the organization.
  • Teach women improved negotiation skills to help them improve their prospects for promotion to top leadership positions and to reduce the salary gap.
  • Recruit, train and retain people of color across all levels of the nonprofit organization. Several studies suggest that the overall lack of racial and ethnic diversity in organizations can make the organizational culture alienating for persons of color.
  • Widen the search criteria for top leadership positions and look within the organization as well as outside.
  • Increase the diversity of boards.

By following these suggestions, our sector can continue to lead the way in gender equality and continue to profit from a steady pipeline of invested, qualified and motivated women.

JB+A’s Katie Lord is Named to Centurions Leadership Program!

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JB+A Vice President Katie Lord has been accepted as a member of the Centurions Leadership Program’s Spring Class of 2020. Katie’s proven career success and strong commitment to greater Kansas City will help her make important contributions as a Centurion.

A program of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the mission of Centurions is to prepare a representative cross-section of the community’s emerging leaders for their role in shaping the future of greater Kansas City. As a Centurion, Katie will spend two years exploring the opportunities and issues of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Since 1976, Centurions Leadership Program has earned its reputation as an unequaled training ground for future Kansas City leaders. Today, the two-year program has more than 80 active Centurions who join more than 1,200 alumni. The program is close-knit group of women and men from diverse backgrounds who are expanding their personal and professional networks within the group and throughout the community they serve.

“I’m delighted for Katie and this honor, but I’m especially proud of her commitment – personally and professionally — to strengthening our community,” says JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne.

Grateful for the opportunity and support of the Centurion Program, Katie shares, “I am humbled to participate in this unique Kansas City leadership program as I strive to better serve both my profession in the nonprofit sector and our great community.”

Congratulations, Katie!

Questions about Donor-Advised Funds? Get them Answered Here: The Giving Institute Webcast on Donor-Advised Funds

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, Grants, News You Can Use, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Until this Giving USA Special Report, there has been little aggregate information available about the granting side of the donor-advised fund equation. How much do donor-advised funds give to nonprofits annually? Which types of nonprofits do donor-advised funds support, and which types receive the most and the least from donor-advised fund grants? How have these trends changed over time?

Register now for “The Data on Donor-Advised Funds: New Insights You Need to Know,” The Giving Institute’s complimentary webcast exploring donor-advised funds – one of today’s hottest topics with donors, nonprofits and public policy experts.

Thursday, March 1
1:00-2:30pm Central

Register Here 

Expert panelists will discuss the latest Giving USA Special Report on donor-advised funds (DAFs), taking a rigorous, new and in-depth look at where DAF money goes. The webcast will address these pressing questions and offer guidance on how to incorporate this giving vehicle into your fundraising plans.

Panelists include:

  • Mike Geary, Attorney at Law, LLC, at Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C.
  • Pam Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable
  • Una Osili, Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Dave Scullin, CEO of the Communities Foundation of Texas

The Giving Institute webcasts always include time for questions from the audience, so don’t miss out on your chance to have your most burning questions about DAFs answered!

 

Fundraising Trends in 2018

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

 

Veronica Gerrity
Coordinator of Administration and Consulting

Don’t let your organization miss out on fundraising opportunities in our ever-evolving field. This month we are looking at five small-scale strategies that can be achieved through embracing technology.

  1. AmazonSmile – Make sure your organization is registered to accept gifts from your Amazon-friendly supporters. This program allows a portion of all Amazon purchases to be donated to the user’s preferred nonprofit organization, thanks to the AmazonSmile Foundation. Inform your donors of this easy way to support your organization while buying the things they need. You can register your organization here. While you are there, don’t forget to make a Wish List for your organization. Having a Wish List allows those who want to help get the best possible products for your organization’s needs. Donors can add your preselected items of need to their cart and they will be delivered to your door with no extra hassle to your donor. Advertise your Wish List and AmazonSmile profile on your website and remind donors around Black Friday and other holidays when they will be buying more things online.
  2. Crowdfunding and Giving Days – Crowdfunding projects are becoming more successful because they combine a specific fundraising goal with an urgent deadline. Campaigns in this manner have elements of fun and social sharing that create a mix with the potential to raise serious money. Social circle fundraising is becoming more common as donors who are beginning their giving are deciding where their money goes. Your organization can capitalize on social circle funding by meeting a new donor base. Don’t have a specific project to crowdfund at this time? Host a giving day for your organization and get a flood of new volunteers and first-time donors. Make sure to capture these new donors and send personalized thanks following the day of giving to reinforce your organization’s connection with them. Small and mid-sized nonprofits can have bigger impacts with less monetary commitment with these campaigns – all you need is a little social media “know-how.” Be sure to check out JB+A’s post on crowdfunding.
  3. Facebook Live and YouTube – According to Cisco, by 2019, video content will be responsible for 85% of all U.S. internet traffic. Videos allow nonprofits to have stronger connections with their donors by showing the personal side of your organization. Videos are easy to digest by the viewer and can be shared in your donors’ networks through their social platforms. Showcase your organization and what makes you different and separate from others in your community. Try hosting a YouTube or Facebook Live video to reach your donors as a thank you or progress report. Make sure to showcase your organization’s impact and unique personality. Check out additional tips for using Facebook Live.
  4. Digital Transactions – Here is another way Facebook and YouTube can help your organization fundraise. Digital payments on Social Networks, Facebook Fundraising Tools, Periscope Coins and YouTube Donation Cards are all new ways to make it easier for donors to connect and donate to your organization. With an increasingly large donor base who primarily donates via technology, now is the time to consider accepting these newer methods of payment.
  5. Let your Organization Speak – Be “in the moment” with your donors using communication via Twitter. Twitter can allow organizations to be more transparent with donors by communicating what your organization is doing day-to-day. Having your CEO or President send a message or sharing a client testimonial can help your donors feel informed and like they have an “in” to your community. Add up-to-date progress on campaigns and events to make donors feel more included and involved. Have a gala or special event occurring? Send live in-the-moment updates as your event takes place.

These trends will never replace more traditional methods of fundraising but as competition for donor attention and investment in your organization becomes more difficult, having multiple and varied ways to reach donors and allow them to interact with your organization is becoming more important. The above listed trends have many benefits – including the fact that they require minimal front-end cost and can have an added impact to your already scheduled development plans.

501 (c) Success National Speaker Series 2018

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Mark Your Calendars

JB+A is a proud sponsor of the 501(c)Success National Speaker Series, a program of Nonprofit Connect. Committed to ensuring you have access to solid, informative and thought-provoking discussions on topics that affect your daily work in the nonprofit sector, this Speaker Series brings the brightest national thought leaders to Kansas City, to discuss progressive topics that are relevant and timely in our industry.

You won’t want to miss the fantastic presenters lined up for 2018:

Anne Wallestad – April 26

Anne Wallestad serves as president and CEO of BoardSource, a globally-recognized nonprofit focused on strengthening nonprofit leadership at the highest level — the Board of directors.

Reserve your spot and register now.

Dr. Patrick Rooney – June 15 – Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017

Dr. Rooney is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research and Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and annually presents Giving USA, the longest-running and most comprehensive evaluation of philanthropic trends in the United States, here in Kansas City.

Erik Daubert – September 11

Erik is regarded as a leader in the areas of financial development and nonprofit management. In addition to a broad based career in nonprofits, he has also served as a consultant and founding partner in multiple nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

All 2018 programs will be held at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.  Stay tuned for more updates and information about our presenters.

#GivingTuesday: Behold…Billboards!

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The largest provider of outdoor advertising in Kansas City is again collaborating with JB+A to support #GivingTuesday. Since the inception of #GivingTuesday in 2012, Lamar has generously provided pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City area to promote this global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. This year, Lamar is donating eight boards over a two-week period, for an estimated 2,786,382 viewing impressions!

Dave Halpin, Sales Manager for Lamar in Kansas City, shared his thoughts on the importance of #GivingTuesday: “As the largest provider for outdoor advertising in Kansas City, Lamar embraces this opportunity to support #GivingTuesday for the fifth consecutive year.  We are committed to doing anything we can to make this community stronger while demonstrating the giving spirit embraced by all of our employees.”

Thank you, Lamar Advertising, for this continued partnership in support of #GivingTuesday!

 #GivingTuesday 2017 is a week away!  (Nov. 28) Every year since its inception, the #GivingTuesday movement has had increasing success.  Last year, 98 countries participated through 2.4 million social media impressions and 1.64 million gifts to raise $177 million online.  What will 2017 bring?

Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #GivingTuesday. And no matter who you are – individual, family, nonprofit, business – JB+A wants YOU to join the movement:  spread the word, support a cause, make a gift, share your story.

Check out the JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide here.

JB+A Own Katie Lord is One of KC’s “Most Wanted”

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Each year, a group of charitable, passionate, hard-working professionals are chosen to be honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City as “KC’s Most Wanted.” These honorees are movers and shakers who are making a big difference in their professions and in their community – -and JB+A’s very own Vice President Katie Lord is on the list for 2017!

“I’m delighted for Katie and this honor, but I’m especially proud of her commitment – personally and professionally — to strengthening our community,” says JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne.  Katie will be recognized with her fellow honorees at the annual Most Wanted Auction on December 2, at Arvest Bank Theater at the Midland. Each honoree will create a unique, one-of-a-kind live auction package, gather silent auction items and raise funds to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and its mission of creating and supporting life-changing friendships for children.  “Having just had my first child, I understand aspiring to be a role model and friend not only in her life but in the lives of other children. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City allows adults and children to create these special, life-changing relationships,” says Katie. “I’m incredibly honored to be named one of KC’s Most Wanted Honorees.”

From all of us at JB+A, congratulations Katie!

For more information about KC’s Most Wanted, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and to leave Katie a note of support, visit here.