Love in the Time of COVID

We’re talking about staffing, so what’s love got to do with it?

By Wendy Hatch, CFRE, Vice President and JoAnn Yoshimoto, CFRE, Senior Consultant

In the time of COVID, in the midst of so much change and uncertainty, let’s imagine that you’re faced with staff turnover in the development department. What shall we do? What will tomorrow look like? How can we predict the best possible course of action? Continue reading “Love in the Time of COVID”

AFP Advancement Northwest Conference

AFP Advancement Northwest Annual Conference | Online | May 14 & 21st, 2021

Event Registration

Highlighted Session: Day 2, 12:30 p.m.PT – Assess the Culture of Equity in Your Organization

Our sector must lead the way in creating an equitable world of all people. And it starts from within your own organization. While diversity offers seats at the table to a broader range of people and ideas, and inclusion ensures that all voices are heard, equity applies a historic lens to assure that everyone is welcomed and receives what they need to thrive. Hear from a panel of organizational leaders who will share what they are doing to strengthen their organization’s culture of equity.

In this session you will learn:

  • What it means for your organization to have a culture of equity
  • How to create or strengthen your culture of equity
  • What specific steps you can take today to improve your organization’s culture of equity

Panelists Include:

  • Brenda Asare, President & CEO, The Alford Group
  • Niquole Esters, Senior Director of Development Conservation International
  • Maria Kolby Wolfe, President and CEO Washington Women’s Foundation

LeadingAge Connecticut Conference

LeadingAge Connecticut Conference | Fundraising During COVID | May 26 & 27, 2021

Registration information

Highlighted session: Day 1, 1:30 p.m.ET – Lessons from the Pandemic: Growing the culture of philanthropy in senior living communities

Amy Hines, Senior Vice President, offers her own experience as well as examples from the field to reflect on the needs of senior living communities that have surfaced during COVID and what it means to form a culture of philanthropy in these changing times.


Client Service Associate

Full time position | Seattle, WA Region | Currently virtual environment

Position Purpose

As an integral member of The Alford Group’s consulting team, the Client Service Associate (CSA) works across service lines to function as a primary analyst; contributor of actionable, data-driven recommendations; developer of engaging presentations; and key project manager on projects serving all segments of the social sector, including not-for-profits, foundations and impact-driven corporations. As such, the CSA is a valued member of every project team on which they serve.

As a full-service consulting firm, The Alford Group provides solutions to complex problems related to strategy, fundraising, corporate partnerships, giving, impact measurement, and organizational development. The Alford Group seeks talented professionals with fundraising or philanthropic experience, as well as those with transferable consulting, communications, marketing, and/or strategic planning experience, to join our dynamic team.


Research, Analysis and Presentation

In many instances the CSA serves as the primary analyst of the primary and secondary research that forms the basis for much of the firm’s client work. Depending on the scope of the project, the CSA can be expected to perform some or all of the following functions:

  • Apply a rigorous, analytical approach to client situations to identify solutions that are grounded in evidence and experience.
  • Gather and code primary qualitative research data. Conduct thematic and quantitative analyses to draw conclusions from data gathered.
  • Design, test and field constituent surveys. Analyze survey data. Design new ways to convey conclusions in creative visual ways and to supplement graphs, charts and tables.
  • Review materials and reports provided by clients as relates to their fundraising function, strategic plans, governance, etc. and identify weaknesses or inconsistencies with best practices and/or organizational goals.
  • Serve as a principal writer and proofreader of work product such as presentations, work plans, case statements, final reports and more.
  • Design and author high-impact reports and presentations using crisp language and engaging data visualizations.
  • Research trends, changes in best practices, products, tools, etc. to inform and improve clients’ work and/or firm methodologies and recommendations.
  • Conduct prospect research on individuals, foundations, corporations and other funder types as appropriate.

Project Management

Successful project management is critical to producing quality deliverables on time and on budget for our clients. Managing workflow to deadlines is part of every consultant role and especially important in the CSA role. In this capacity the CSA will:

  • Work closely with project leads, project team members and other colleagues to design, plan, coordinate and contribute to the completion of high-quality client work.
  • Maintain day-to-day workflow of project tasks and deliverables in accordance with timelines and competing priorities.
  • Prompt action from clients and colleagues on tasks and deliverables to ensure timely completion.
  • Proactively communicate progress, or lack thereof, against deadlines.
  • Thoughtfully work with colleagues and clients to track deadlines, resolve issues and address competing demands.
  • Prepare materials—such as agendas, Gantt charts, dashboards and status reports—to support internal team and client team members in advancing progress.
  • Coordinate meeting preparation and logistics for internal and external appointments.

Business Development and Marketing

The CSA will support the firm’s business development and marketing activities of the firm’s consulting staff. In this capacity the CSA may:

  • Represent The Alford Group at industry/social sector events and professional conferences and meetings.
  • Research and draft content for white papers, blog posts, social media posts, etc. on topics relevant to the social sector.
  • Create proposals and presentations for sales purposes.
  • Join discovery and business development meetings to capture and interpret needs of potential clients.
  • Maintain the firm’s CRM database and generate analysis and reports.

Characteristics of a successful CSA

  • Deadline-oriented, with the ability to anticipate client and team needs and mitigate potential roadblocks.
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking and active listening skills.
  • High attention to detail and proven proofreading abilities.
  • Ability to take initiative, simultaneously coordinate multiple projects and manage deadlines.
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team and independently with minimal supervision at times.
  • Ability to manage relationships with diverse people, including client staff and high-level volunteers
  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Brings a creative eye to the development of engaging presentation of client work, including data visualizations, reports, slide decks, etc.
  • Thoughtful of the relationship between style and substance of work product.
  • Adapts quickly and can work simultaneously for numerous project leads.
  • Open to and comfortable receiving and giving feedback.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required. Advanced degree preferred in business, non-profit management, public policy, organizational development or other relevant field of study.
  • At least four years of professional experience, with at least two years in the nonprofit sector, preferably with an emphasis on roles in frontline fundraising, communications/outreach and/or grant writing.
  • High technical proficiency: MS Office Suite including Word, Excel and PowerPoint required; InDesign, Adobe Suite or similar expertise is helpful
  • Knowledge of or readiness to learn donor management software, such as Raiser’s Edge and other customer relationship management, wealth screening and survey systems
  • Ability to work occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends as required by client and firm engagements
  • Some domestic travel may be required. A valid driver’s license is essential for local travel. The CSA must be able to travel independently, locally and nationally.

Position Details

The Alford Group

The Alford Group is an equity-forward, full-service consulting firm specializing in the not-for-profit sector. We empower organizations to reimagine what it means to make a difference. We help them aim higher, reach further and dream bigger. Our services include fundraising, strategic planning, governance, data analytics, interim staffing, corporate partnership strategy and more.


This is a salaried position with a range of $50,000 to $60,000 based on experience.

Confidential Data

Our team members have access to sensitive, confidential information and are trusted to maintain these files and documents properly.

Physical Demands

The position requires sitting and working on a computer for long periods of time as well as occasional lifting and carrying of presentation materials and supplies. Consultants must be able to interact seamlessly with clients through visual, aural, physical and written communications.

Work Environment

Inside average office environment. Average office noise levels. No personal protective equipment required. Currently, working in a virtual environment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Reports to:

Client Service Director

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume and two relevant writing samples (e.g. stewardship or impact report, donor communications, grant reports, business proposal, etc.) below.

Apply Now

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 10 MB, Max. files: 2.
      Maximum file size: 10 Mb
    • Drop files here or
      Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 10 MB, Max. files: 2.
        Maximum file size: 10 Mb
      • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

      Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.

      By Molly Hansen, Vice President

      As we ask ourselves: Now What? What do we do in this ever-evolving “new normal?” It’s time to take action. Here are the five actions to take today.

      As a consultant with The Alford Group and former development professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, when my colleagues and I see what is happening all around us, we regularly ask “How might we have the most positive impact with our clients? How can we improve our work so that our clients can better serve their participants, members, families, patients, students, children and youth?” Continue reading “Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.”


      Full time position | Greater Chicago Region | Currently virtual environment

      The Alford Group is an equity-forward national full-service consulting firm that serves nonprofit organizations and institutions in all sectors, including health and human services, education, arts, community foundations, associations  and the environment.  The firm is headquartered in Chicago with a strong market presence in Seattle, New York, Portland and Charleston, SC. It was founded over 40 years ago on the principle that our human differences make the nonprofit sector stronger. To make the world a better place for ALL people, The Alford Group brings insight, rigor, and innovation to strengthen the social sector and deepen its impact. Our dedicated and experienced professional team delivers customized strategies and guidance to empower organizations to make a difference and change the world.

      As a woman and minority-owned and led firm, The Alford Group strengthens the social sector through equity-centered services and practices and values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and access at our firm means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected, and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths.

      Job Description

      The Alford Group seeks to hire a resourceful and solutions-oriented Controller to directly assist management to achieve our financial and organizational goals. The Controller will be responsible for the creation and execution of reliable accounting and business practices and procedures. This position supervises the delivery of accurate financial analysis and timely reporting of the firm’s financials.  The Controller is responsible for the execution of most Human Resource functions for the firm and directs the work of an outside human resource service, and manages work with legal, accounting and bank advisors. The Controller is a member of and collaborates closely with the management team to make informed and analytic decisions which are key to achieving revenue growth for our firm and to support the missions of our clients. The individual will be based in the Chicago metropolitan region.

      Finance and Accounting

      • Manage all financial aspects of the firm and provide regular analysis and financial forecasting reports to the Executive team.
      • Manage the accounting and project management software system (BQE CORE) and assist others in firm-wide integration and utilization.
      • Advise on long-term business and financial planning.
      • Supervise the Finance and Business Operations Manager and oversee all daily accounting operations, including accounts payable, invoicing and cash flow.
      • Maintain the general ledger, conduct account reconciliations, perform monthly and year-end closing procedures, and prepare monthly and annual financial statements.
      • Administer and review payroll, and compute allocation of division and wage categories for financial reporting and analysis.
      • Manage banking relationships and recommend strategies to enhance cash positions.
      • Oversee contractor services for contract billing and year-end tax filings.
      • Coordinate monthly time and billing deadlines and procedures for compilation of timely project management information for staff and for accurate revenue reporting.
      • Work with management team in compiling annual budgets and finalizing budget reporting.
      • Submit year-end financials and information to outside accounting firm for annual compilation and corporate tax returns.
      • File miscellaneous state taxes and licenses.

      Human Resources

      • Serve as administrator and liaison with Insperity HR and PEO Services to oversee  human resource functions including:
        • Create employment and contractor letters of agreement.
        • Coordinate all payroll and benefit information.
        • Manage all aspects of employee health insurance coverage, including cost analysis and implementation of benefit changes.
      • Implement wage and employment status changes for payroll and personnel records.
      • Establish wage structure for consultant compensation.
      • Calculate and distribute annual employee compensation reports.
      • Maintain employee resource tools, including policy handbooks, paid time off schedules, and explanation of benefits.
      • Manage the 401k plan, serving as liaison with third party administrator and investment advisor. Ensure accurate and timely submissions of payroll contributions, withdrawals, and loans.  Compile year-end census and information for 5500 filing.


      • Collaborate with the firm’s Technology Contractor regarding the firm’s technology needs.
      • Ensure that employees have the proper technology resources, including hardware, software and training.

      Position Specifications

      • Full time, exempt salaried position
      • Reports to Chief Business Enterprise Officer
      • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or a degree in Business Administration with related accounting work experience.

      Required attributes  

      • Ten or more years of progressive and relevant work experience, preferably with a professional consulting or project management firm, including several years in supervisory capacity.
      • Ability to provide analytical oversight, direction and forecasting of finances and budget.
      • Professional rapport and collaboration with all staff and outside professional advisors to support the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
      • Ability to organize a large quantity of detail daily to coordinate information into meaningful strategic thinking for ongoing growth and decision making.
      • Strong financial and project management skills to meet monthly and annual accounting deadlines with systematic organization.
      • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with accounting software packages. Experience with BQE CORE desirable.
      • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
      • Ability to work and think independently, evaluating and offering fresh thinking and breakthrough ideas where appropriate; ability to be flexible in priority of task fulfillment and delegation.
      • Demonstrate creativity in developing graphs and financial reports from accounting software modules.
      • Ability to exemplify Alford Group values – Equity, Creativity, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, Joyfulness, Leadership and Respect.

       Desired attributes

      • CPA license is preferred, but not required.
      • Experience with Client Relationship Management (CRM) software.
      • Experience in implementing time and billing project management software.
      • Flexible to work occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends as required by firm engagements and accounting deadlines.

      To apply:  Please submit a cover letter and resume using the form below.

      Apply Here

      • Drop files here or
        Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 10 MB, Max. files: 5.
          Maximum file size: 10 Mb
        • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

        Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future

        By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group

        On the heels of Black History Month and at the beginning of Women’s History Month, it is not lost on me that we need to celebrate diversity now more than ever. And it is important that we do not relegate our recognition of the contribution of Blacks and women to just one month.

        sankofa image
        Sankofa means “go back and fetch it.” We must look back to the past so that we may understand how we became what we are, and move forward to a better future.

        Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The symbol, based on the mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward with its head turned backwards, serves as a reminder that the past serves as a guide for planning the future. It is the wisdom of looking back to look forward.

        Diversity has been a core value of The Alford Group for our 41-year history and we recently renewed our commitment to fostering and creating adaptive cultures that are more inclusive and equitable in our work as a firm, with our clients and in the entire social sector. We are elevating equity-centered philanthropy as intentional action toward changing the structures, roles, processes, representation and practices that perpetuate inequities in how organizations communicate, engage and build relationships to support philanthropic endeavors.

        Continue reading “Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future”

        Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success

        By Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, The Alford Group and Immediate Past-Chair of the AFP U.S. Foundation for Philanthropy

        As I have stood side-by-side this last year with some of the brightest and most creative fundraisers that I know, I have continued to be amazed and in awe of the strength and utter tenacity of the individuals who lead our sector. It is an understatement to say it was an unusually challenging year. Continue reading “Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success”

        Giving USA Foundation Webinar: The Donor Advised Fund Research Landscape

        Thursday, February 4, 2021 | 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET | Online

        As donor-advised funds continue to grow in prominence, advisors, donors, and policy makers will be faced with myriad choices. In this webinar, you’ll learn how researchers are collecting, interpreting, and sharing data to ensure that decisions are based on facts, not fear.
        • Host: Brenda Asare, The Alford Group
        • Presenter: Dr. Una Osili, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
        • Panelists: Laura MacDonald, CFRE, Benefactor Group (Facilitator); Kristin Carlson Vogen, Chicago Community Trust; Nico Karagosian, Ohio University; Amy Pirozzolo, Fidelity Charitable
        • Resource: Dr. Anna Pruitt, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy