Client Spotlight: LifeWire

Groundbreaking ceremony for construction and renovations to begin May 2022

LifeWire is a Washington-based nonprofit that provides compassionate services, safe housing and hope to domestic violence (DV) survivors, children and families in need. LifeWire is the largest DV housing provider in King County, providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive home or become homeless. They are recognized nationally as a leader in providing innovative, survivor-driven, trauma-informed care. Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. Continue reading “Client Spotlight: LifeWire”

Effective Storytelling: 4 Tips to Best Engage Your Audience

By Mariah Fosnight, CFRE, Consultant and Doug Wallack, Client Service Associate

For over 40 years, Alford Group has tested the effectiveness of written material with a variety of stakeholders (donors, volunteers, partners, community leaders, foundation and corporate funders, etc.) for nonprofit organizations ranging in size, sector, lifecycle stage and geography.

Over that time, we have identified aspects of effective storytelling that remain universally true. Below are four tips to keep in mind while crafting your prose.

Continue reading “Effective Storytelling: 4 Tips to Best Engage Your Audience”

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”

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”

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”

Alford Group Applauds MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for Donating $2.74 Billion in Transformational Gifts

June 17, 2021

MacKenzie Scott, author and philanthropist and Dan Jewett, educator and philanthropist announced this week another round of grants to 286 organizations across the country, totaling $2.74 billion. Scott granted 384 organizations funds totaling $4.2 billion in late 2020.

STATEMENT FROM BRENDA B. ASARE, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE ALFORD GROUP

Alford Group applauds MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for their transformational contribution to the nonprofit sector. At an important time in our nation’s history as we take on social injustice, work to dismantle systemic inequities and create a world where ALL people can thrive, MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett are leading the way with their generosity.

We are proud of our clients and other worth organizations who are receiving these gifts and empowering change in communities across the country. Congratulations on being recognized for the deep impact being made every single day and the strategic pathway forward as you activate and strengthen a more just world for ALL people. Alford Group is proud to be your partner today and into the future.

It is not lost on me that Scott’s and Jewett’s announcement comes on the same day as the release of the Giving USA 2021 Annual Report on Philanthropy. The new report announced an all-time high of giving for the year 2020 at $471.44 billion, with 88% coming from individuals. The power of giving by individuals has fueled the nonprofit sector for generations and Alford Group is excited for our collective future together.

Full list of recipients

 

Giving USA 2021 Overview

Video overview (5 minutes) by Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, Alford Group

Summary by Araceli Duran, Client Service Associate, Alford Group

On Tuesday, June 15, Giving USA released The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the year 2020. It was a much-anticipated report given the upheaval of daily life everyone has experienced in the past year and a desire to see how that upheaval has impacted the philanthropic space. Here is a brief overview following the release of this year’s report. Continue reading “Giving USA 2021 Overview”

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 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.”

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

By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, 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 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: The 3 Cornerstones to Success

By Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, 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: The 3 Cornerstones to Success”