The Latest from TW&B: Blog

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The Day After Giving Tuesday

This year it is impossible to ignore – Giving Tuesday has become a real organizing and motivating force for non-profits and their donors to focus on the joys and impacts of giving. In Illinois, as in so many other states, organizations like the Donors Forum are putting their messaging muscle and fundraising tools to the service of their local non-profits.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation and other partners. This year there are programs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and one umbrella program for Latin America. With a couple more continents it will truly be a global event.

Last year Giving Tuesday raised over $19 million. This year Illinois’ goal alone is to raise $12 million. Over 13,000 organizations are planning to participate in the USA, including Feeding America, YMCA of the USA, Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as Dalai Lama Fellows, World Bicycle Relief and WaterAid.

Giving Tuesday picked up speed last year. If non-profits do the work of getting the word out and organizing a one-day campaign, this year’s event will be even more successful. Success will mean different things to different organizations – securing donations, testing out new messages, putting a toe or two in the water of crowdfunding or mobile giving, lifting the visibility of the organization’s mission or broadening its base of supporters and friends.

So what comes on Wednesday? Celebration, communications about the successes, the careful work of stewarding those donors who responded to the challenge to give, and keeping up the dialogue with those who participated via social media.

As is clear to the folks who came up with this brilliant idea, giving should not be limited to one day. And interacting with your donors and friends should likewise not be limited to one day. So while all of our clients and others are putting on the final touches for their one-day campaigns, we encourage you to make sure that the post-Tuesday campaign is just as thoughtful and complete – with a plan for future communications, campaigns and acknowledgements to these generous individuals, families and groups of friends who stepped up.

Giving Tuesday is a great idea for giving fundraising programs a boost. Our challenge is to turn that momentum into lasting donor engagement.

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How to Celebrate your Donors

Do you and your organizations CELEBRATE your donors?

I’m not referring to acknowledgment, recognition or stewardship, but actually celebrating their role in advancing the mission of your organization. Oftentimes nonprofit organizations get mired in the processes and procedures related to gift acknowledgement and recognition systems. Those are important elements of a successful development operation and should not be taken lightly. But by celebrating the gifts bestowed upon our organizations from our varied donor constituencies, we develop stronger, sometimes lifelong, relationships. Continue reading

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Going the Extra 3,000 Miles

For all of us who work at TW&B, spending time on a client’s turf is essential. On site visits, personal meetings, and any other form of direct interaction with the real-life places in which our clients operate is critical for us. This interaction is key for us to shape a case for support, discover fundraising challenges and opportunities, and to develop a plan to advance each organization’s mission. In the case of TW&B client, Cofan Survival Fund (CSF), the “turf” is 1 million acres of the Amazon tropical rainforest in Ecuador, for which the indigenous Cofan Tribe has legal management authority and in some cases, legal title.

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Service Spotlight: Executive Search

Talent acquisition for any organization is a monumental undertaking. In the non-profit sector it is especially challenging. That’s why organizations reach out to TW&B to assist them in finding accomplished professionals to meet their staffing needs. Given our experience both as chief development officers and consultants, we know how to recruit proven leadership.

Our goal in all of our searches is to identify  the best candidates matching both experience and personality to the needs of the organizations we serve.  Whether it is conducting a search for a chief executive officer or a chief development officer, TW&B’s extensive regional and national network of organizations, institutions, and professional affiliations, gives our clients access to top-notch candidates.

Our process includes interviews with key senior management and board leadership to determine the type of candidate being sought. We  prepare a position description to aid in our efforts to  seek  potential candidates from our network of nonprofit contacts. After conducting extensive screening and interviews, we present our clients with excellent candidates which meet their requirements.

To learn more about our Executive Search services, please contact Heidi Waltner-Pepper at hpepper@twbfundraising.com or call 312.222.0560.

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Good Strategic Planning Should Precede Your Campaign

Regardless of your institution’s reliance on strategic planning as a regular part of institutional governance and management, your case for support will be far stronger if it is based on a recent and thorough review of direction and priorities.

Additionally, many institutions have a difficult time getting their board members to focus on the need for a campaign, and their respective roles in making it a success. Often, this is because the board is put in a reactive position to the institutional objectives presented rather than having a sense of ownership, as their fundamental role requires. Continue reading

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The Role of Board Members in a Capital Campaign

Aside from their responsibilities for self-perpetuation, and the selection and oversight of administrative leadership, the two fundamental responsibilities of a not-for-profit governing board are to assure that their institution makes continued progress in the furtherance of its mission, and to guarantee the availability of the financial resources necessary to do so. Both of these latter charges come into sharp focus in relation to capital campaigns. Continue reading

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Service Spotlight: Fundraising Analytics

Incorporating analytics in the fundraising process is more than the latest trend. It is a critical component for organizations in their quest to raise more money.

Consider the 2012 presidential election. Using analytics, famed statistician Nate Silver predicted the outcome of every state correctly. Political campaigns are using analytics to get out the vote. Modern political campaigns know precisely on which doors to knock at the local level to get their likely voters to the polls. They marshal their limited resources efficiently in a short amount of time for maximum result. Continue reading

The Odd Couple: Capital Campaigns and Planned Giving

Historically, planned giving and fundraising campaigns have had a somewhat rocky relationship. There is sometimes a dismissive attitude towards planned giving (and, by extension, those making planned gifts) from the principal and major gifts departments of development. This attitude usually stems from the rather erroneous assumption that those prospects opting for planned gifts really are “getting off easy,” and that development shops that promote planned giving enable major gift prospects to take the easy way out. Continue reading

Client Testimonial: Hephzibah Children’s Association

We recently had the pleasure of working with Molly Philosophos and Liz Condon at Hephzibah Children’s Association. Hepzhibah Children’s Association provides group homes and foster care for children from abusive or neglectful homes. Hepzhibah also offers family services and award-winning daycare.

Clyde Watkins and Heidi Waltner-Pepper worked with Hephzibah to develop a major gift strategy for endowment growth. Here’s what Molly Philosophos had to say about working with us:

“Working with Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt on our Planned and Major Giving Program was a wonderful experience. Clyde Watkins and Heidi Waltner-Pepper brought an incredible wealth of knowledge to our project. They helped us strengthen Hephzibah’s existing Planned and Major Giving program, and developed a detailed road map for building an endowment fund. For a reasonable price, the team crystallized a strategy to help Hephzibah be successful. Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt made us feel like a top priority, which I suspect they do for all of their clients.  I would highly recommend them to anyone needing assistance regarding development.”

TW&B Service Spotlight: The Annual Giving Assessment

Is your organization on track to reach its annual fund goal this year?

If your organization is not meeting its annual fund goals, TW&B can help determine how to get your program on track by broadening your base of support and maximizing the total yield from current constituents.

The TW&B Annual Fund Assessment is a chance for your organization to take a step back from the day-to-day scramble to determine what limits your program from reaching it’s true potential. Chances are, the key to unlocking your program’s potential is hidden in your data and we’ll start by evaluating the qualitative data on your existing effort.

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