Fundraising Data: 3 Secrets to Strong Reporting

By Mary Hackett, Vice President

Your fundraising reports should be purposeful and engage your audiences. The right reports can drive better fundraising results and deploy different audiences to act in different ways. Many of our clients come to us when they are at their wit’s end with their reporting. Here is what they say:

  • “I’m frustrated because my monthly fundraising reports take 5x longer than they should.”
  • “I want to produce the right reports, but my database doesn’t exactly export what we need so there’s a lot of manipulation in Excel.”
  • “I don’t have the right visuals that spur conversation or action.”
  • “I’ve been producing the same reports for years and hardly anyone looks at them anymore.”

Continue reading “Fundraising Data: 3 Secrets to Strong Reporting”

The Challenges Serving the Homelessness – From a Fundraising Point of View (The Giving Institute)

March 10 | Scottsdale, AZ | The Giving Institute Board Meeting

This panel included CEOs and CDOs of the region’s 3-5 leading homelessness serving organizations, funders, and government agencies. Participants reflected on the specific challenges and opportunities of serving the homeless from a fundraising point of view. We explored the complexity of today’s issues, including homelessness, housing insecurity, food insecurity, substance use disorder, domestic violence and trafficking, mental health, wealth inequality / distribution, racial and cultural inequality, social justice, COVID and more. We discussed how to build the case for support for a problem that cannot be solved by philanthropy alone, how to report impact when the long-term results are not known, and how to build the case for support for a problem that has no resolution (or at least one that has been achieved thus far).

Moderated by: Sharon Tiknis, Chief Client Experience Officer, Alford Group

Panelists:

  • Carla Vargas Jasa, President and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way
  • Jacki Taylor, President and CEO of Save the Family Foundation of Arizona
  • Dede Divine, CEO of Native American Connections
  • Amy Schwabenlender, CEO of the Human Services Campus

 

AFP Chicago Virtual Workshop: Building Resiliency, Recalibrating Mission, and Deepening Impact

Virtual Workshop | Online | January 21, 2022 | 12:00-1:15 p.m. CST

Building Resiliency, Recalibrating Mission, and Deepening Impact

As nonprofit organizations continue to adapt to the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, strategic planning, collaborative relationships with board members, and a strong path forward is essential. Our panel of esteemed CEOs described their leadership journeys, shared how they have navigated their organizations to solid ground during the pandemic, and reflected on what is ahead for our sector. Attendees came away from this program understanding leadership principles that leverage change to advance mission and empowered to contribute to an organizational culture that overcomes challenges and articulates a clear, bold vision for the future.

Moderator:

Brenda B. Asare, President & CEO, Alford Group

Panelists:

Greg Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Joffrey Ballet

Jamal Malone, Chief Executive Officer, Ada S. McKinley Community Services

Bela Moté, Chief Executive Officer, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning

The Philanthropic Paradox in Donor Communication: Change is the only constant, with ONE big exception

By JoAnn Yoshimoto (CFRE 2000-2021), Senior Consultant

Digital versus print communication

The explosion of online communications channels, expanding new technologies and a younger population is a reality to be reckoned with. Add to those trends the new and exciting fundraising results from online giving, and the projected $8.8 trillion transfer of wealth by 2027, and it’s easy to leap to the conclusion that the wave to catch and surf to the land of opportunity is digital. However, let’s look closely at compelling opportunities, documented results and stated donor preferences before we take the plunge.

Continue reading “The Philanthropic Paradox in Donor Communication: Change is the only constant, with ONE big exception”

5 trends to inform your 2022 fundraising campaign strategy

By Mariah Fosnight, CFRE, Consultant

Last year as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and racial and social inequities were exacerbated and brought into the national spotlight, we nonprofit warriors “pivoted” and navigated “uncharted waters” during “unprecedented” times, while kindly asking our colleagues to “please unmute yourself.”

Although I always jump at the chance to reference Friends – “PIVOT! PIVOT!” – I’m happy to say these overused words and phrases are mostly behind us, mostly. (Plus, there are less cringe-worthy and more productive ways to reference Friends. Read on and you’ll see.)

Continue reading “5 trends to inform your 2022 fundraising campaign strategy”

America’s Transfer of Wealth: Why you should act now

Webinar | December 8, 2021 

Recent research by LOCUS Impact Investing indicates that approximately $8.8 trillion dollars is projected to transfer from one generation to the next by 2027. With a growing precedent for giving back to the community, many individuals and families are making plans to leave assets to their chosen nonprofits. Are you one of them? Join this webinar to hear the latest statistics around this powerful transfer of wealth opportunity and learn what you can do to develop and/or enhance your organization’s planned giving program to ensure that your organization is well-positioned for success! You will hear from experts and leave with take-aways that you can put to use in your shop.

Moderator:

  • Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, Alford Group

Panel:

  • Robin Callahan, CFRE, CAP, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
  • Travis Green, Vice President, LOCUS Impact Investing
  • Janell Johnson, Philanthropic Advisor, Phila Engaged Giving

Slide Deck: Transfer of Wealth Webinar Presentation – Alford Group

Additional Resources:

Service Spotlight: Executive Coaching

By Maree G. Bullock, Vice President, and Lieve Hendren, CFRE, Consultant

Every person in the world who has competed at the highest level of athletics, music or a skilled trade has had a coach. They’ve also relied on the knowledge, skill and expertise of quality mentors to push, challenge and motivate them. In the nonprofit community, we all know it takes equally as much skill and training to be successful, whether you’re leading, managing or raising funds to move your organization closer to reaching its mission. Executive coaching helps leaders cultivate confidence in their own leadership and effectively grow their organizations to new heights.

Continue reading “Service Spotlight: Executive Coaching”

The Growing Power of DAFs: Here’s what you need to know

By Jamie Philippe, CFRE, Vice President

Donor-advised funds, or DAFs, have been at the top of mind for many people since the release of the Giving USA report for philanthropy for the year 2020 (check out our blog here for an overview) and especially now with Giving USA’s groundbreaking report on DAFs which was released on November 11, 2021. DAFs have also received extra attention this year due to the bills that have been introduced in the U.S. Senate that aim to place new restrictions on DAFs. However, for many, there is a real lack of clarity around the current status of DAFs, and they raise more questions than answers.

For development professionals who oversee fundraising for their organization, the question is how to engage DAF-holders. Given the stunning growth in DAFs over the past five years, there are no signs of their popularity slowing down, so let’s unpack and demystify this hot trend. What are the rules around DAFs? What are the benefits of a DAF? How can your organization gain access to them?

Continue reading “The Growing Power of DAFs: Here’s what you need to know”

Behind the Data: National Trends on Donor Advised Funds

Webinar | Online | November 10, 2021 | 2:45 p.m.CST

The Giving USA Foundation is pleased to announce the release of our DAF Research Report on November 10th.

To celebrate the release, we’re hosting a live special presentation highlighting strategies on humanizing this popular giving vehicle, featuring the experts behind the data:

  • Dr. Anna Pruitt, DAF Report Lead Researcher and Managing Editor of Giving USA’s Annual Report of Philanthropy at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Kristen Carlson Vogen, Senior Director of Philanthropic Services at The Chicago Community Trust
  • Brenda Asare, President and Chief Executive Officer at Alford Group

Join us in learning how to interpret, utilize and leverage this hot-off-the press report with your staff and clients.

Click here to register.

Vice President Maree G. Bullock Receives Prestigious Philanthropy Award

CHICAGO, August 12, 2021 – Alford Group is proud to announce that Vice President Maree G. Bullock has been selected to receive the prestigious 2021 Benjamin Franklin Award at AFP Chicago’s 45th Annual Philanthropy Awards.

The Benjamin Franklin Award from AFP Chicago recognizes someone especially dedicated to the philanthropic sector over a long career during which they have achieved great things and become a mentor for others in their field. Maree G. Bullock, currently a vice president at Alford Group, has been selected to receive this year’s award.

Alford Group is honored to have had Maree on our team for the last 32 years and counting. She has provided invaluable service to organizations across many facets of the social sector and set a shining example of true philanthropic spirit and passion in the work of our firm.

As an equity-forward firm working to intentionally model diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, we admire and are inspired by Maree’s dedication to bettering the lives of ALL people.

“We are so proud to see Maree receive this award,” said Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO of Alford Group. “Maree has mentored, coached and served as a trusted advisor to so many in the sector – senior and new professions alike. She brings out the best in those she advises and raises their sights on possibilities their organizations can realize.”

Through her work over the past three decades, Maree has provided consulting services in fundraising, strategic planning, organizational and board development, interim staffing and executive coaching. Maree’s passion for this work has resulted in deepened impact across all sectors.

Prior to her work at Alford Group, Maree served as Executive Director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation for 29 years. Maree has also served on many nonprofit boards including The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, Forefront, The Council on Foundations, The John R. Houlsby Foundation, Children’s Home + Aid of Illinois, National Runaway Safeline and Sacred Heart Schools of Chicago. The depth of Maree’s philanthropy is significant and her generosity has benefited numerous organizations.

“I’m grateful every day I get to work with organizations that are making a real difference in the communities they serve,” Bullock said. “I want to thank AFP Chicago for recognizing me, without failing to acknowledge that my work is already incredibly rewarding. It’s allowed me to experience transformative partnerships with wonderful organizations and contribute to their missions in an intimate way. That, to me, is one of the greatest joys of working in philanthropy.”

In addition to her many accomplishments, Maree has volunteered at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Community Schools, and is an avid international traveler.

“Maree truly represents of the best of our field – determined, innovative and passionate about bettering people’s lives through the nonprofit sector,” said Asare. “We are excited to continue to work with and learn from Maree and look forward to all her future accomplishments.”

We at Alford Group congratulate Maree on being selected for this prestigious award and thank her for her continuing commitment to equity in the philanthropic sector.

Read Maree G. Bullock’s Bio.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Update: AFP IDEA Women’s Impact Initiative

Alford Group is proud to sponsor the AFP IDEA Women’s Impact Initiative. Since its founding in 2018, the Initiative has conducted groundbreaking research on women’s issues in fundraising, created educational materials for charitable organizations and started a mentorship program that has guided and helped numerous women find their voice in the philanthropic profession.

So far this year, mentees in the mentorship program have each had an individual executive coaching session and have met with their mentors to develop both long- and short-term goals over the course of the program. Mentees have also been invited to attend virtual conferences, such as AFP ICON Virtual and a variety of educational sessions with complimentary registration. Since March of 2021, these educational sessions have focused on topics related to women’s issues in the philanthropic sector, encouraging women to build fulfilling and impactful careers. These session topics have included:

  • Finding Your Inner Mentor
  • Making Work-Life Balance Work for You
  • Women’s Guide to Personal Finance
  • Women of Color in Development and Fundraising
  • Imposter Syndrome

Upcoming sessions will include Mental Health and Resilience and a two-part workshop on Inclusive Leadership. Additionally, mentees have been encouraged to branch out and participate in other facets of AFP, creating upcoming content that centers their experience with the goal of helping others find their way.

From a mentee in the program:

“First of all, I think the level of interaction, programming reminders is just right! It did not feel over-curated or sterile, but authentic and warm. The sessions and webinars that I have participated in have been high quality and helpful. I love the focus on the some of the soft skills. I really appreciate the match-up with my mentor and for her time! I did not doubt that my mentor and I would get on great but at first was not sure what we might have in common – me from California and she from Ohio, she with the Girl Scouts and me with AARP Foundation! But the first time we met, little concerns were cast aside. I always look forward to our sessions – I appreciate that my mentor shares about her real life experiences and patiently listens to mine, and I really enjoy our shop talk! I feel very fortunate.”

For more information and news on the Women’s Impact Initiative, go to their website or take a look at the hashtag #WIILead on Twitter and Facebook.

For more content from AFP women leading the way, check out these blog posts:

From Charu Uppal, M.A., M.B.A., CFRE, mentee in the 2020 WII program: Equity in Development: Be Radically Intentional to Change the Lived Experiences of Diverse Fundraisers

 

 

From Danisha Bhaloo-Shivji, CFRE, member of AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative committee: Fundraising as a Choice and Not an Accident