The world is changing fast, and nonprofit leaders are facing strategic challenges to adapt, be proactive and build resilience. In addition to our comprehensive services, our consultants offer resources, updates, news and information about a variety of topics in philanthropy and the social sector. Enjoy!
Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP) is a community of philanthropic, corporate-giving and nonprofit women whose members are passionate about helping other women advance in society. Meet two of these women who are nothing short of powerhouses in the Chicago philanthropy scene and, among many roles, serve as Board Co-Chairs for CWIP. Clare and Lindsey sat down with Shay Upadhyay, Client Service Associate at Alford Group to share their insights about this important work.
In the face of unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19 and calls for racial justice, Community Foundations stand at a pivotal juncture. In this blog, Senior Consultant Lieve Hendren, CFRE, ACC, C-SHRM delves into seven strategic approaches Community Foundations can adopt to amplify their influence and steer their communities toward lasting positive change.
Vice President Greg Whitney describes what can be gained from embarking on a development assessment and the long-lasting impacts the process has on the health and success of your nonprofit organization.
Working with nonprofit consultants is about meeting a guide who will help your organization blast off to new heights. Let’s break down what this really means and how to make the most of the relationship.
Blog post by Cassie Bey, Photos by Thandi Cai (3-minute read)
The next generation of changemakers has arrived! Hear from this newcomer about her experience of The Giving Institute’s two-day gathering of sector leaders as she shares takeaways for other aspiring nonprofit professionals.
Interview by Madisyn Fairchild, Client Service Associate (4 minute read)
Jessica Paulsen from Distinctive Schools sits down with Client Service Associate Madisyn Fairchild to share the behind-the-scenes of how the organization communicated their new strategic plan with the community they serve.
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance collaborated with consultants at Alford Group to complete their campaign for the new Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden, providing a free, year-round, accessible adventure for Garfield Park and Chicago families.
Pictured above: Nature Educator Grace Urrutia engages visitors in arts-infused science education in Horticulture Hall at the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Who is Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance?
The Alliance is a nonprofit organization seeking to change lives through the power of nature by bringing educational programming, events and resources to visitors in partnership with the Chicago Park District.
The Alliance strengthens the community through the unique combination of free onsite gardens, exhibits and programming and other nature-based activities and resources that invite the engagement of all community members. The Alliance enhances the economic vitality of Chicago’s West Side and encourages the larger community to explore the fundamental connection between plants and human life.
What was the focus of the work between the Alliance and Alford Group?
In 2020, the Alliance invited Alford Group to serve as Campaign Counsel for the construction of a new children’s garden. Over two years, with eighteen months of comprehensive counsel, the team of consultants launched an assessment using Alford Analytics and a holistic review of all the materials related to the campaign.
Alford Group consultants engaged their Board and other key stakeholders through a SOAR analysis, a campaign committee, interviews, two focus groups and board coaching workshops.
What were the major changes made in the process?
In the process of raising nearly $4 million dollars to build the Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden, the Alliance, with the guidance of Alford Group created a compelling case for support, affirmed their campaign timeline and goal milestones, identified their top campaign prospects and strategy, engaged key stakeholders and built a campaign toolkit.
Jennifer credits the success of the campaign to the collaboration:
“Working with Alford Group was instrumental in the success of our campaign for the Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden. The Alford team brought no less than four (!) distinct areas of expertise that advanced our work: board training and engagement, database analytics, prospect identification and evaluation, and overall project management. It was like having a full-time addition (or two) to the staff as they embraced our work and goals seamlessly. The team also showcased their deep understanding of equity work, advancing our campaign with an inclusive approach to engagement.”
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Over the past several years, YWCA Metro Chicago has expanded its service footprint to embrace the needs of women and families in new geographies, doubled its budget size and welcomed a new President and CEO, Nicole Robinson. Given these changes, Alford Group was engaged to conduct a development assessment to identify ways to build on their strengths while ensuring sustained growth.
Group Interview by Anh Vo, Meg Schroeder and Thandi Cai (9 minute read)
Team members Anh Vo, Meg Schroeder and Thandi Cai share their experiences of navigating the intersectionality of their identities in the nonprofit space. They explore honest partnerships and equity-centered practices by discussing their personal experiences and envisioning what a truly inclusive work environment looks like.
Qgiv is an online fundraising platform empowering over 20,000 nonprofit fundraisers to raise money for their causes. Learn as one of their experts shares with us 6 tangible takeaways for nonprofits to increase donations and accelerate online fundraising.
With stress and burnout as the leading causes for nonprofit staff turnover, organizations are looking to AI to lighten their fundraising workloads. Are you wondering how to tap into this new resource, too? Senior Consultant Mariah Hickey shares 4 easy ways to use ChatGPT in your fundraising practice.