Category

Organizational + Personal Development

Little Things Make the Difference

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John Marshall
Senior Vice President

My wife and I were recently quite nicely entertained by the movie Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. It’s not for everyone, but we like action movies and there was plenty of it in this fast-paced film. During a lull in the movie Diaz asks Cruise what makes him so successful as a secret agent: “I pay close attention to the little things,” was his response. His answer made me think about “the little things” in my life and the impact they have had on me and those around me.

When relating to people, it seems I have always paid attention to the little things. Maybe it goes back to when I was a kid growing up in a Salvation Army Officer-parent home and observed my folks always going the extra mile to help people or undertake one of their many acts of kindness – neither of which were intended to elicit any type of response or reaction.

Or it might have been the Stephen Covey seminar I attended several years ago “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” I learned a lot during that week, but what has stayed with me the most is the lesson on the Emotional Bank Account. It teaches that if you keep a healthy balance of positive deposits in people’s emotional bank accounts, interpersonal relationships with those you work with, friends and family members can be a whole lot better.

Have you ever worked with or for someone who seems to always be pointing out the things you do wrong while ignoring your positive contributions? I have, and it’s not any fun. These are the individuals whose emotional bank accounts with people are always awash in red ink, and like a regular bank account, things will catch up with them eventually.

I have found paying attention to the little things is really effortless and the upside can be quite substantial. I like to send handwritten notes or cards to people with a simple note of congratulations or recognition for something accomplished….maybe even a thank you where none was expected. Donors love this attention (well, most of them do, anyway) and believe me, although they may not say anything, they do remember your thoughtfulness.

I also think it is very important to do the little things when dealing with your staff or co-workers. In the fundraising business we are usually under a lot of pressure to perform and don’t always take the time to offer a “Kudos” or well-deserved pat on the back. If you are a manager, praise of a direct report for a job well done, either one-on-one or in a staff meeting, can make all the difference in the world. When I was the head of a large team a few years ago, I always ended our monthly all-staff meeting agenda with a topic entitled “Share a Kudos.” I enjoyed sitting back and listening to staff expressing their appreciation for the efforts of others within our department. There is no doubt in my mind that this activity was partially responsible for creating an harmonious atmosphere for our team.

Let me close by suggesting you don’t forget your family when contemplating the little things, especially your children. In my opinion, contentment in one’s life is dependent upon an harmonious balance between work and home, so make certain you are paying attention to the little things at home just as much (if not more) than at work.

“The little things” – they’re easy to do and bear little to no financial cost. But engage in them consistently and the benefits can be priceless.

You Can Change Board Conversations Around Philanthropy By Using the Fundraising Fitness Test

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Boards + Leadership, Campaign Planning + Management, Capacity Building, Database Management, Donor Cultivation, Education, Fiscal Management, Fundraising, Insights, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Stewardship, Technology | No Comments

Erik Daubert, MBA, ACFRE

Chair of the Growth in Giving Initiative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, Faculty at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Originally posted on Nonprofit Connect

I have worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations who have used the Fundraising Fitness Test (FFT) and I am often asked, “How should I use the Fundraising Fitness Test with my board?” (Available for FREE at www.afpfep.org)

The answer is, “Effectively!”

At the Growth in Giving Initiative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, our goal is for fundraising to be more effective, and this is just as true with your board of directors as it is with your overall development program.

So, how can you be most effective at using information from the Fundraising Fitness Test with your board?

The first thing to decide is, “Which data points are right for our organization to share?”  While this answer is not always clear at the onset, you should begin by analyzing your test results.

Once you have run the Fundraising Fitness Test and reviewed your results, you should ask some key questions:

  • What opportunities stand out in our analysis as areas of opportunity?  Some examples of this may be findings related to new donor acquisition, specific donor group retention strategies, Pareto Principle analysis and comprehension, Gain/Loss indicators and more.  Having a good understanding of the information found in the report empowers you to have and lead strategic conversations about how to improve development performance going forward.
  • What does leadership think about how things are going, based on information appropriately shared from the FFT?  One of my favorite quotes in fundraising is, “The best idea is someone else’s!”  By this, I mean, when a board chair or a CEO thinks something such as, “We need more major donors” or “We need to broaden our base of support of donors”, I almost always say, “You are right!” Because these ideas are “theirs”, you don’t have to do the heavy lifting of convincing them to embark on these efforts…that part of the work is already done!  The FFT reveals all kinds of information in the results, and will, perhaps, spark important ideas for your Board on where to spend their energy!  For example, by seeing your organization’s major donor acquisition, upgrades, retention rates, and more, you can have strategic conversations about how to best make more, good results happen in your future fundraising efforts.  You can use your past performance as your “baseline” while also using information available at www.afpfep.org/reports to see what is happening in the broader nonprofit sector.  Nonprofit organizations can compare against themselves (By comparing against previous year’s past performance) and also against other nonprofits in their sector and  region of the country.
  • What is the best use of board member engagement and/or development committee engagement at this time?  If having board members do critical development work like solicitation, recognition, cultivation, stewardship or other activities is the goal, you can use results from the FFT to share why this is a good idea.  By leveraging key data points such as “We are behind the national average for Human Services organizations on repeat donor retention” you can help to shape and guide key conversations around development program improvement.

So, how should you use your FFT with your board?

  • Determine which points you should highlight.  Share some points to celebrate (they are there!) and also points to work on and improve.
  • Share these findings with key leaders such as your CEO, Board Chair, Financial Development Committee Chair, or other key leader as appropriate to your organization.  Have conversations about what is working and what can be improved.  Talk strategically about what you might do to make the results better for next year.
  • Mutually decide which points should be shared with the overall board.  Be transparent both in the celebration of great work, and recognition of the work yet to be accomplished.
  • Remember that while the Fundraising Effectiveness Project has information on how other nonprofits are doing with regard to these metrics, the best comparison of all is against your own organization!  Look at how you did last year, two years ago and beyond, and look at what is working and what is not.  These findings can be used as a basis for well- informed conversations – about personnel, budget, strategy, tactics, focus and more – to create a better future for your nonprofit organization and your financial development efforts.

For more information about how to engage your board with data and the Fundraising Fitness Test, check out the tools and resources available at www.afpfep.org.  There you can find tutorials on how to run the Fundraising Fitness Test in addition to key resources and reports outlining findings by our senior research and data compilation teams.

We hope you will find these resources helpful and thank you for raising more funds to make the world a better place!

Written by Erik J. Daubert, MBA, ACFRE Chair, Growth in Giving Initiative/Fundraising Effectiveness Project Work Group.  Erik serves as Faculty at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in their various philanthropy programs, in addition to serving as an Affiliated Scholar with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.  He also works as the Director of Financial Development Education at the YMCA of the USA.  Erik may be reached via email at daubert.erik@gmail.com

The Growth in Giving Initiative’s work to date is often recognized by our work on the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) which includes tools like the Fundraising Fitness Test.  The FEP was launched in 2006 to help nonprofit organizations measure, compare, and maximize their annual growth in giving.  The FEP is focused on “effectiveness” (maximizing growth in giving) rather than “efficiency” (minimizing costs).   Check out FREE resources at www.afpfep.org

Nonprofit Staff Development: Not a Nicety, A Necessity

By | All Posts, Commentary, Insights, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Organizational + Personal Development, Stewardship, Strategic Planning, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteers | No Comments

Katie Lord
Vice President

Between technological advances, the rise of the “gig” economy and the transition to a majority millennial workforce, it should come as no surprise that change is happening across all sectors and it is happening faster than we are able to accommodate. This can be especially true when it comes to the nonprofit sector, where I consider our adaptability to change similar to turning the Titanic. While our industry may be a bit slower to adapt than most due to constraints of resources, the best and most sacred resources most of us have is our staff. Our staff has the ability to lead the charge for change within our organization.

We have all seen the classic business quote below of the fabled conversation between a nameless corporate CEO and the CFO:

CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

This is just as true for nonprofits, especially when it comes to development and volunteer management staff. Nonprofits are known to have one of the highest turnover rates in staff with an estimated 19% annually. According to The Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey by Nonprofit HR, 81% of nonprofits said that their nonprofit organization had no employee retention plan. That is astonishing, especially when you consider how much more cost effective it is to keep your high performing development staff than it is to replace them. How can you keep your top talent engaged and decrease your turnover rate? The answer is simple. Invest in your staff through personal and professional development.

Another finding of The Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey states, “Less than 1% of nonprofit funding has historically gone toward supporting nonprofit talent and only 0.03% ($450M) of the sector’s $1.5 trillion annual spending has been allocated to leadership development.” Let that sink in for a minute. The nonprofit sector accounts for 10% of the GDP and is the third largest employment sector behind retail and manufacturing, yet we don’t invest in our biggest asset of all, our workforce!

Investing in professional development for nonprofit staff is no longer a nicety. It is a necessity, especially when you factor in the traditionally lower salaries that sector employees make compared to their corporate counterparts.  According to a study by Execu-Search, 76% of millennial employees (who are the largest generation in the current workforce) think that professional development is one of the most important aspects of a company’s culture. Below are a few suggestion of how you can offer professional development to your high performing staff that won’t break the budget:

  • Choose a business or career development book and read as an office
  • Bring in a local speaker to talk with your employees about a relevant topic to your mission
  • Reimburse or pay for membership in a professional development association
  • Allow staff to take a webinar or attend a seminar once a quarter
  • Have staff select one conference every other year to attend (many provide financial assistance or scholarship opportunities)
  • Encourage your staff to volunteer to serve on boards (Believe me, it gives your staff member an invaluable perspective to be on the other side of the table) and allow flex time for your staff to do so
  • Hire a coach for first time managers or for those you see with leadership potential

It is important for us as a sector to not shy away from investing in our staff’s development. It is our staff who run our programs and who work tirelessly to fill the gaps in our society left by both the public and private sector.  By not providing employees with professional development, we risk continuing to be slow to adapt as a sector and thereby losing our most promising talent and future change makers to others who will allow them to grow.

Is Your Nonprofit in Shape? Don’t Miss Erik Daubert and The Fundraising Fitness Test in Kansas City

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Campaign Planning + Management, Capacity Building, Database Management, Donor Cultivation, Education, Events, Fiscal Management, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Prospect Research, Stewardship, Strategic Planning | No Comments

How can you put your data to work?

Utilize the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP).

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project has developed a tool kit for nonprofits to harness their fundraising data. One of the largest philanthropic research projects in the world, the FEP was established in 2006 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. Its aim was to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofits increase their fundraising results at a faster pace. FEP provides free tools like the Fundraising Fitness Test for tracking and evaluating an organization’s annual growth in giving. Explore the FEP and Fundraising Fitness Test here.

For those of you in the Greater Kansas City area, join us on Tuesday, September 11 for the 501(c) Success National Speaker Series with Erik Daubert, MBA, ACFRE, Chair of the Growth in Giving Initiative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. Erik will demonstrate how nonprofits can use the Fundraising Fitness Test to understand their own financial development data – and ultimately make better fundraising decisions. To reserve your spot now, register here.

Chief Advancement Officer Opportunity with JB+A Client PKD Foundation

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Organizational + Personal Development | 2 Comments

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disease (passed from an affected parent to their child) causing uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidney eventually leading to kidney failure. It affects all racial and ethnic groups equally.

JB+A Client PKD Foundation, based in Kansas City, Missouri, is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for PKD and to improve the lives of those it affects.  The Foundation does this through promoting research, education, advocacy, support and awareness on a national level, along with direct services to local communities across the country. PKD Foundation is the largest private funder of PKD research. Over the last 30 years, it has invested more than $42 million in basic and clinical research, nephrology fellowships and scientific meetings with a simple goal: to discover and deliver treatments and a cure for PKD.

Strengthening the Mission of PKD Foundation through Enhanced Fundraising

PKD Foundation has benefitted from a successful fundraising program, and provides individuals, foundations and corporations with the opportunity to support a number of programs and projects. It seeks financial support through annual giving, major gift giving, grants and planned giving and by staging a number of unique special events across the country. Fiscal Year 2018 (7/1/17 – 6/31/18) has been a banner year for fundraising, as it is projected that total giving to the Foundation will be above $9,500,000 – an increase of 53%, with an average gift of $278 (the highest average over the past ten years). Much of the increase over FY 2017 can be directly attributed to the significant growth experienced in the Major Gifts sector ($5,000 and above).

Although the PKD Foundation is pleased with the recent growth in financial support, it is aware that generations of families devastated by unending loss from PKD are looking more to the PKD Foundation for answers, treatment and eventually a cure. Therefore, the Foundation has made the commitment to launch a five-year $70,000,000 campaign, one which will alter the course of PKD through increasing the Foundation’s investment in research as well as providing the best resources for its patient community. The campaign will provide the Foundation with the resources to attack PKD on several fronts including: Propelling Research, Supporting Patients, Securing Future Research and Amplifying Voice.

Background

While PKD Foundation has a team of fully-committed staff who all share the vision of one day finding a cure for this devastating disease, key positions will be added to the Development Department to increase its fundraising capacity, in light of the $70,000,000 campaign.

This begins with recruiting and hiring an experienced Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) – a position that will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Board of Directors, while providing a high level of leadership and guidance to other members of the Development Department. The CAO will not only have an impact on the campaign, but on the success of the Development Department for many years to come.

Responsibilities

The CAO reports directly to and collaborates closely with the CEO of PKD Foundation. The following list of responsibilities does not restrict the work of this position, but rather, sets forth specific guidelines to be followed in a prompt and efficient manner.

  • Maintain a working knowledge of PKD Foundation policies and procedures specifically related to his/her area of responsibility
  • Cooperate with and assist the CEO in advancing the mission of PKD Foundation through the coordination of all development activities
  • Identify and coordinate appropriate opportunities to utilize the strengths of the CEO in his participation in the cultivation and solicitation of high-end donors and prospects
  • Prepare a Strategic Development Plan and department budget prior to the beginning of each fiscal year showing goals, action steps and outcome measures for each fundraising discipline and individual for the ensuing year
  • Establish realistic, inspiring and challenging development goals and objectives with staff and present same to the CEO to review and reach agreement on proposed development goals and objectives; provide regular updates on results
  • Study and recommend changes and new policies to the CEO, related to all aspects of development functions
  • Encourage, train and support staff reporting to him/her and monitor accountabilities for results and outcomes of all development initiatives
  • Effectively and efficiently administer the affairs of the department, especially to the creation and monitoring of the budget to ensure compliance with PKD Foundation standards, policies and expectations
  • Provide oversight of Directors of Leadership Giving to ensure best practices in the strategic identification, cultivation and solicitation of donors and prospects
  • Work closely with Planned Giving staff in overseeing all aspects of the Planned Giving program to ensure the appropriate promotion of the various Planned Giving vehicles to current and prospective donors
  • Remain personally active in the pursuit of major and planned gifts, maintaining a portfolio of high-end donors and prospects
  • Collaborate with the Database Administrator to ensure all information is current and relevant
  • Oversee the development of all Direct Mail appeals, closely evaluating the productivity and efficiency of mail service vendors to ensure generation of an acceptable return on investment
  • Work closely with the Director of Marketing and Communications to ensure all PKD Foundation promotional materials are current and appropriate for use in advancing fundraising initiatives of all types
  • Direct the oversight and development of all aspects of capital campaigns to include assessing needs, strategic planning and participation of volunteers and appropriate staff
  • Work closely with the Walk for PKD staff to enhance current walks and special events and to identify opportunities for greater activity in areas currently not being served
  • Develop educational materials and training for volunteers to ensure best practices and outcomes; assist volunteers in their role as ambassadors within their communities
  • Oversee the pursuit of an appropriate level of identification and solicitation of foundation grantors and engage PKD Foundation scientific staff in such activities as appropriate
  • Serve as a member of the PKD Foundation executive management team and maintain an effective liaison with PKD Foundation personnel to promote clear understanding of development programs and responsibilities
  • Attend and participate in educational initiatives in the interest of advancing the well-being of the PKD Foundation

The CAO will likely devote 80% of his/her time to overseeing Leadership Giving (major gifts) and Planned Giving. He/she will work closely with the Directors of Leadership Giving and also work closely with the CEO in utilizing his time connecting with PKD Foundation prospects with the highest level of giving capacity. The CAO will also be expected to handle his/her own portfolio of Leadership level prospects and manage the other division of the Development Department.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) from an accredited college or university in fundraising, communications or related field
  • A minimum of 15 years of fundraising experience and 7 to 10 years of increasingly responsible leadership experience within a fully-integrated development program
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and strong interpersonal skills

Application Instructions

Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references. Please send materials to: PKDFoundationExecSearch@FundraisingJBA.com.

PKD Foundation works to maintain the best possible environment for its employees, and strives to provide a collaborative, creative environment where each person feels encouraged to contribute to its processes, decisions, planning and culture. PKD Foundation offers highly competitive compensation in addition to an extensive benefits package including:

  • Paid time off – 20 days
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits
  • 403(b) 9.5% of salary, no match required
  • Generous HSA Contributions

To learn more about this exciting opportunity, contact JB+A President and CEO Jeffrey D. Byrne at 816-237-1999 or at PKDFoundationExecSearch@FundraisingJBA.com.

Check out the recent success of PKD Foundation with the 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 PKD.

Giving USA 2018: Americans gave $410.02 Billion to Charity in 2017

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Events, Fundraising, Giving USA, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, The Giving Institute | One Comment

Giving USA 2018: Americans gave $410.02 billion to charity in 2017, crossing the $400 billion mark for the first time
Stock market, economic conditions helped drive solid growth in contributions across the board

Powered by a booming stock market and a strong economy, charitable giving by American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations to U.S. charities surged to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017, according to Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017, released today.

Giving exceeded $400 billion in a single year for the first time, increasing 5.2 percent (3.0 percent adjusted for inflation) over the revised total of $389.64 contributed in 2016.

Giving USA, the longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America, is published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. It is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

Giving from all four sources and giving to all but one of the major types of recipient organizations grew in 2017, driven by economic conditions. While policy developments may have played some role in charitable giving in 2017, most of the effects of the tax policy changes adopted in late December 2017 likely will affect giving in 2018 and beyond.

“Americans continue to give, and they continue to give generously,” says Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. “Even during a time of intensely different perspectives and ideology – especially on the political front – people are giving more as they have more resources available and they are giving to a wide-range of causes.”

The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock market, as evidenced by 19.4 percent growth in the S&P 500. Investment returns funded multiple very large gifts, most of which were given by individuals to their foundations, including two gifts of $1 billion or more.

In addition to the S&P 500, other economic factors, such as personal income and personal consumption, are associated with households’ long-term financial stability and have historically been correlated with giving by individuals. These factors also experienced strong growth in 2017.

The Numbers for 2017 Charitable Giving by Source
All four sources of giving – individuals (70 percent of the total), foundations (16 percent), bequests (9 percent) and corporations (5 percent) increased their 2017 donations over 2016, according to the report.

  • Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $286.65 billion, rising 5.2 percent in 2017 (3.0 percent, adjusted for inflation). The single largest contributor to the increase in total charitable giving in 2017 was an increase of $14.47 billion in giving by individuals.
  • Giving by foundations increased 6.0 percent, to an estimated $66.90 billion in 2017 (3.8 percent, adjusted for inflation). Grantmaking by community foundations rose 11.0 percent from 2016. Grantmaking by operating foundations and independent foundations also increased, at 6.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Giving by foundations has seen strong growth for the past seven years; its five-year annualized average growth rate of 7.6 percent far exceeds the 4.3 percent annualized average growth rate for total giving. Data on foundation giving are provided by the Foundation Center.
  • Giving by bequest totaled an estimated $35.70 billion in 2017, increasing 2.3 percent from 2016 (0.2 percent, adjusted for inflation). Gifts from bequests tend to fluctuate year to year, largely due to very large gifts being made in some years and not in others.
  • Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 8.0 percent in 2017, totaling $20.77 billion (5.7 percent, adjusted for inflation). Corporate giving includes cash and in-kind contributions made through corporate giving programs, as well as grants and gifts made by corporate foundations. Corporate foundation grantmaking is estimated to have totaled $6.09 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.5 percent (in current dollars) from 2016. Corporate giving was boosted by $405 million in contributions for relief related to natural and manmade disasters.

The Numbers for 2017 Gifts to Charitable Organizations
Giving USA’s research also examines what happens within nine different recipient categories of charities. In 2017, giving to eight of the nine major types of recipient organizations significantly increased in 2017. Giving to foundations experienced the largest gain of any subsector (an increase of 15.5 percent), far outpacing the growth in total giving. Arts/culture/humanities was the second-fastest growing subsector.  Giving to international affairs decreased following six consecutive years of growth.

  • Giving to religion increased 2.9 percent (0.7 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, with an estimated $127.37 billion in contributions.
  • Giving to education is estimated to have increased 6.2 percent (4.0 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $58.90 billion.
  • Giving to human services increased by an estimated 5.1 percent (2.9 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2017, totaling $50.06 billion.
  • Giving to foundations is estimated to have increased by 15.5 percent (13.1 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2017, to $45.89 billion. This growth was driven by extraordinarily large gifts by major philanthropists, such as Michael and Susan Dell and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, to their foundations.
  • Giving to health is estimated to have increased by 7.3 percent (5.1 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $38.27 billion.
  • Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased an estimated 7.8 percent (5.5 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $29.59 billion.
  • Giving to arts, culture, and humanities is estimated to have increased 8.7 percent (6.5 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $19.51 billion.
  • Giving to international affairs is estimated to be $22.97 billion in 2017, a decline of 4.4 percent (6.4 percent adjusted for inflation) from 2016, but still reached its third-highest level ever recorded.
  • Giving to environmental and animal organizations is estimated to have increased 7.2 percent (5.0 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $11.83 billion.

In addition, giving to individuals, which is less than 2 percent of total giving, is estimated to have declined 20.7 percent (22.4 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2017, to $7.87 billion, primarily as a result of an unusually high increase in 2016. The bulk of these donations are in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through the patient assistance programs of pharmaceutical companies’ operating foundations.

“At $410 billion, giving in the US has reached 41 percent of a trillion dollars,” says Byrne. “There is a heightened interest in the overall economic environment and other factors that contributed to the growth of giving in 2017. This is a very positive sign for the overall outlook of philanthropy. I am optimistic we will reach $1 trillion in charitable giving in the next couple of years.”

Explore Giving USA products and resources, including free highlights of each annual report at its online store at www.givingusa.org for more information. And be sure to check out Jeffrey Byrne’s advice on how nonprofits can use Giving USA to improve fundraising.

Giving USA: Interesting Reading or Fundraising Guide?

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Commentary, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, The Giving Institute | 2 Comments

Jeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

We’re approaching that most wonderful time of the year: Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 is on the horizon. We’re ready to welcome Dr. Patrick Rooney back to Kansas City as he gives us that coveted first look at giving data for 2017 and provides critical observations and interpretations about the state of philanthropy in the U.S. This will be our 13th year of presenting the report with Dr. Rooney in Kansas City, and I am proud of our partnership and friendship with this nationally-recognized (and fun!) expert on philanthropy.

It’s no secret I’m a fundraising “nerd,” and so many questions come to mind as I eagerly anticipate the release of our most trusted and comprehensive annual giving report: Will charitable giving rise for the fourth straight year? How did rage giving and tax reform affect philanthropy? Will the other recipient sectors continue to close the gap on or even surpass giving to religion? How did the economy impact giving?

But here’s the most important question about Giving USA to consider:  How can nonprofits use the report to improve their fundraising?

Don’t treat Giving USA the way some organizations treat their strategic plan and simply place the report on a shelf as you go about your daily routine. Read the report.  Understand the report.  Share the report.  Refer back to the report.  Make changes to fundraising strategies based on the report.  At JB+A, everyone carries a copy of Giving USA (perhaps my good habits ARE rubbing off on others)and we make notes, discuss the trends, identify nonprofit sector needs, successes and failures, evaluate our clients’ fundraising progress and brainstorm new strategies and tactics to improve fundraising.  Remember that great American Express ad campaign, “Don’t leave home without it”?  The same goes for Giving USA.

Here five ways Nonprofits can use Giving USA to improve their fundraising:

  1. Understand the correlations between giving and economic factors
    The stock market, personal wealth, personal income, GDP, corporate pre-tax profits and unemployment rates impact giving by all four sources (individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations). Trends are closely monitored by people “inside” and “outside” the philanthropy sector. Be aware of changes in these indicators, anticipate how changes will impact donors and adjust fundraising strategies accordingly.
  1. Confirm or dispel myths about giving
    Economic and political scenarios, complex societal issues, diverse giving platforms, wealth and capacity are just some of the drivers behind philanthropy. Understand the context of these drivers, help manage expectations about giving and set realistic and achievable goals for your fundraising plans.
  1. Educate Board members, volunteers, donors and staff about the broad context of philanthropic giving
    Help stakeholders better understand your organization’s funding patterns and potential. This isn’t so much about “keeping up with the Joneses of fundraising” but rather, what can we learn from their success and what can (or can’t) we emulate?
  1. Be nimble in your fundraising and stewardship
    Nonprofit fundraising must evolve as philanthropy evolves.  We are seeing an increase in the popularity of non-traditional giving vehicles (such as donor-advised funds and non-cash assets) and donors want more evidence of the impact of their gifts. What do your donors expect? Listen to your donors and prospective donors – and tailor your strategies to match their needs and expectations.
  1. Recognize the “individual giving effect”
    An estimated 87% of total giving in 2016 came from individuals, bequests and family foundations. There are human beings involved in every gift, and unfortunately sometimes, we forget this. Focus on developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with not simply the “concept of donor” but on an individual basis…with Bill and Marcia, with Joe and Liz, with Emma, with Peter and with Shane.

One last thought: Americans give an average of more than $1 billion a day to help others. So, you can also use the report to remind yourself (and others): nonprofits are doing very important work.  Good job.

Be sure to register now for the 501 (c) Success National Speaker Series Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 with Dr. Patrick Rooney.  Details are below.

Friday, June 15, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast | 7:50 a.m. – Program
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Salvation Army Advisory Boards: In the Vanguard of the “Army Behind the Army”

By | All Posts, Boards + Leadership, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Volunteers | No Comments

John Marshall
Senior Vice President

For the past 42 years, I have had the opportunity to work with a great number of Boards throughout the nonprofit sector: higher education, healthcare, culture and the arts, human services, etc. I have had many extraordinary experiences with a wide range of Boards” many functioning beautifully, some so-so and occasionally, well, some not so good.

If there is one organization I feel deserves special mention for its “best practices” in partnering with Boards, it would be The Salvation Army (also known as “the Army.”) Its Boards are well-organized, efficient, productive and consist of committed members who are wonderful supporters of one of our country’s most respected organizations. The Army refers to these Boards as Advisory Boards.

The Army is very careful to ensure its Boards are well organized and its members provided with the tools they will need to be successful as Army ambassadors within their respective communities.

One real advantage the Army has is its Organizational Manual for Advisory Organizations. It covers the full gamut of what is necessary to organize and run a successful Advisory Board. The Army urges its several hundred Boards throughout the United States to adhere to the policies and procedures laid forth within the Manual, thus promoting a consistency throughout the Advisory Board sector of the organization.

In addition, every four years, the Army organizes a three-day conference in which it brings together Advisory Board members from throughout the Army’s four territories for a time of further training and education, reflection, sharing and fellowship. Conferences involve fundraising professionals of great prominence as presenters and attract national celebrities such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (a significant supporter of the Army – do you recall Thanksgiving Day’s NFL game at AT&T Stadium?) and former First Lady Laura Bush. In addition, the Army’s National Commander attends, offering words of encouragement.  Much is gained from these national gatherings and it is the Army’s hope that attendees will return to their respective communities renewed, inspired and motivated to assist the Army in its efforts of “Doing the Most Good.”

Army Advisory Boards are successful for a wide array of reasons. However, I believe that what is most responsible for their success is their committee organization and the unflinching willingness of members to carry out their responsibilities.

What I like most about Army Advisory Boards is their clarity in purpose, outlined in a member Job Description which ensures new Board members know exactly what the expectations are for joining an Army Board. Seldom if ever will you hear a Board member say “Well, I didn’t know I was expected to do that.”

Most Army Advisory Boards have all or most of the following committees:

Executive: consists of the Board officers and in most cases the chairs of the various committees. This ensures communication on the various activities is at the highest level.

Nominating: In my estimation, this is the most important committee on an Army Advisory Board. It is responsible for identifying prospective Board members, interviewing them in advance (during which full information such as Army literature, the job description, etc. is shared), making appropriate recommendations regarding new members, ensuring the slate of Board officers is advanced for approval per policy and holding annual evaluations of Board members including the review of meeting attendance, support of Army public functions, committee participation and financial support.

Finance: works closely with Army leadership to review all aspects of financial records and to provide professional expertise when needed.

Public Relations: works with Army staff in ensuring Army messaging is appropriately targeted and that the public has a clear understanding the Army is far more than just “bell ringing and thrift stores.”

Property: partners with Army leadership in reviewing all Army properties and make helpful suggestions on the best ways to address any issues.

Development: works closely with the Army’s development staff in identifying prospective new donors, setting up appointments with prospects, participating on visits and assisting Army staff in the planning, preparation and execution of fundraising special events.

The Army is also very good in encouraging non-Advisory Board members to serve on committees such as Public Relations, Development and Property. This is particularly attractive to the community member who cannot commit to full Board membership but wishes to assist in an area of his/her real interest and expertise.

Lastly, what always makes quite a difference in how successful a Board will be is when the organization’s executive takes an active interest in the work of the Board. In the Army’s case, the local commanding officer is always expected to attend not only regular Board meetings, but also committee meetings when his/her presence is requested. In my work with the Army over these many years, I have also found that the Army’s very best Boards are due in part to the commanding officer taking a personal interest in their Advisory Board members.

Remember: personal, little things can truly make a difference.

The following is a Job Description your organization may wish to utilize for Board members:

  • Become fully informed about the programs and services of the organization and be committed to its mission
  • Be as personally generous a financial contributor as possible and lead the organization to others who have the capacity to be financially supportive
  • Serve as an ambassador for the organization within the community, utilizing your connections to access community resources and volunteers and enhance the image of the organization
  • Identify those within the community who have influence and affluence and be a leader in recruiting them to the Board
  • Attend Board meetings on a consistent basis and actively participate
  • Actively serve on at least one Board committee
  • Be willing to use your professional expertise as well as those you are professionally associated with for the betterment of the organization
  • Be willing to perform a self-assessment of your performance as a Board member and make improvements where necessary

Director of Development Opportunities with JB+A Client Covenant Retirement Communities

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JB+A Client Covenant Retirement Communities is a faith-based organization providing retirement housing and senior care. From the establishment of its first community – Covenant Home of Chicago in 1886 – to becoming the fifth-largest not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) sponsor in the LeadingAge Ziegler Top 150, its goal has been to provide outstanding care and services to senior adults. View application instructions here.

Strengthening the Mission of Covenant Retirement Communities through Enhanced Fundraising

Covenant Retirement Communities is taking steps to ensure it is prepared to meet the needs of a growing senior population.  It is currently developing a plan to grow its resources to support a significantly larger Benevolent Care endowment fund, programs and special capital projects. A historic fundraising effort seeking contributions from a variety of donors will help provide the reassurance current and future residents need to live in an environment of grace and peace.

Covenant Retirement Communities is searching for qualified fundraising professionals to serve as Directors of Development in three of its communities:

Background

The Director of Development (DOD) creates and manages a comprehensive fundraising program on the campus, securing philanthropic support through annual gifts, major gifts and legacy gifts with an aggressive focus on supporting benevolent care program needs. The DOD is responsible for the planning, administration and implementation of development goals, objectives and initiatives of the community.

Responsibilities

This position respectfully interacts with and maintains positive relationships, with residents, resident family members, visitors and employees, practicing honesty and integrity in all aspects of job performance. The Director of Development is entrusted with the following responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute an annual campus fundraising plan (including specific metrics for funds raised and other goals to be achieved).
  • Secure financial support from a portfolio of residents, families, and other individuals as well as vendors, churches and other organizations.
  • Develop, maintain, and track ongoing relationships with major donors.
  • Create and execute the strategy for growing a sustained base of annual fund individual donors (residents, families and other individuals).
  • Monitor and evaluate all fundraising activities to ensure that the fundraising goals are being achieved (including: total dollars raised, total dollars solicited, number of asks made, and number of gifts received).
  • Develop and manage timelines for various fundraising activities to ensure strategic plans and critical fundraising processes are carried out in a timely manner.
  • Develop and manage the donor recognition program including events, the donor recognition wall and donor lists.
  • Oversee the campus fundraising database coordinator to make sure gift entry and acknowledgment is done on a timely basis and ensure that donor/prospect profile information is current and accurate.
  • Perform other related responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • 5-7 years of relationship-building fundraising experience with an emphasis on personal solicitation of annual, major and planned gifts.
  • Demonstrated comfort and experience with identifying, cultivating, closing, and stewarding significant gifts ($20,000+).
  • Demonstrated experience collaborating with site leadership in developing fundraising strategies and plans/metrics to meet fundraising goals.
  • Strong relationship management.
  • A commitment to the mission and values of Covenant Retirement Communities as a faith-based organization.

Application Instructions

For consideration, candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references. Please send materials to: CRCExecSearch@FundraisingJBA.com and put the name of the community in which you are interested in the subject line.

About Covenant Retirement Communities

A ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Covenant Retirement Communities is headquartered in suburban Chicago and operates 12 Continuing Care Retirement Communities across the U.S. Each community offers a comfortably independent and active lifestyle, creating joy and peace of mind for residents and their families by providing a better way of life.

Covenant Retirement Communities’ 12 CCRC communities are:

  • Covenant Shores (Mercer Island, WA)
  • Covenant Village of Colorado (Westminster, CO)
  • Covenant Village of Cromwell (Cromwell, CT)
  • Covenant Village of Florida (Plantation, FL)
  • Covenant Village of Golden Valley (Golden Valley, MN)
  • Covenant Village of the Great Lakes (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Covenant Village of Northbrook (Northbrook, Ill)
  • Covenant Village of Turlock (Turlock, CA)
  • The Holmstad (Batavia, Ill)
  • Mount Miguel Covenant Village (Spring Valley, CA)
  • The Samarkand (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • Windsor Park (Carol Stream, Ill)

Covenant Retirement Communities believes it is a great place to work. Covenant Retirement Communities believes its employees are inspired to serve. Covenant Retirement Communities believes in making a difference in other’s lives. Covenant Retirement Communities has approximately 3,200 employees serving more than 5,000 residents in its nationwide family of continuing care retirement communities and home health. Construction and development continue on several of its campuses, ensuring ever more exciting opportunities for employees to serve residents.

For full time employees, CRC offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance; employer paid group term life and disability, Paid Time Off (PTO) and six paid holidays; a 403(b) with a 3% employer match and other various voluntary benefits such as Life, AD&D; tuition assistance and scholarships; employee assistance program; legal services, home/auto insurance, discount purchasing program; pet insurance and fitness center use at most facilities.

Covenant Retirement Communities is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, protected veteran status, protected genetic information, or any other characteristics protected by local laws, regulations, or ordinances.

Join JB+A and Nonprofit Connect for Anne Wallestad and 501(c)Success on April 26

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Anne Wallestad
President and CEO BoardSource

Recognizing the critical partnership between boards and executives, and the impact of that partnership on overall organizational success, BoardSource helps nonprofit leaders invest in their leadership partnership by providing research, thought leadership and practical supports that help transform board structures, dynamics and perspectives.

Check out Anne’s thoughts on the power of boards in “Don’t Just Sit on a Board: Stand for Your Mission” from Huffington Post.

Anne was appointed to her position in 2013, after having served on BoardSource’s leadership team for nearly five years. She has overseen a period of remarkable growth and change, helping BoardSource expand its leadership voice and build a scalable model of program delivery that has resulted in a more than 200 percent growth in the number of leaders served. She has played an instrumental role in the launch of several new leadership initiatives including the Stand for Your Mission campaign, which challenges board leaders to play a stronger role in advocacy and public policy.

With 20 years of executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, Anne has worked closely with boards of directors and volunteers in a number of national and local organizations and has cultivated deep expertise in fundraising strategy and leveraging the board’s fundraising role. She has served on a number of advisory committees and panels, including the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations Panel on the Nonprofit Sector and Independent Sector’s 2014 Ethics & Accountability Advisory Committee. Under her leadership, BoardSource has been recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Drucker Prize for innovation and named a Best Nonprofit to Work For in 2016 and 2017. Anne herself has been honored as one of The Nonprofit Times’ “Power & Influence Top 50.”

Anne graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Drake University, with degrees in both sociology and English. She is also a graduate of Stanford University Graduate School of Business’ Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

Be sure to register for the first 501(c) Success Series program of 2018 featuring Anne Wallestad, President & CEO of BoardSource, a globally recognized organization focused on strengthening nonprofit board and executive leadership.

Thursday, April 26, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM
7:30 AM – Continental breakfast served
7:55 AM – Program starts

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Fees/Admission
$25 – Nonprofit Connect members
$50 – Nonmembers
(A light breakfast will be served.)