The Latest from TW&B: Blog

Don Souhrada and Randy Borman at the headquarters for the Cofan Park Guard program in Lago Agrio, Sucumbios Province.

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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Alumni Relations in the Age of Online Education (Part Two)

Think about it.  Pretend you are a college student, registered at any given institution, taking most of your courses online with the blessing of the school.  Soon, you begin to hear that there are some really interesting classes offered by other institutions that will give credit toward your degree.  Then you learn that there are a lot of these courses that you can take for much less money than the tuition your home campus is charging.  Then you realize that you can take all of your courses online, from a variety of schools, for a lot less than signing up to attend a traditional campus based institution, even if it offers online courses and accepts others.  Granted, the ultimate degree won’t be as recognizable, or as prestigious as the traditional system we have known in this country, but then again, perhaps that’s not what counts anymore. Continue reading

Alumni Relations in the Age of Online Education

As all of us are aware, we live in an age of rapidly changing communications systems, and this is causing an unending series of changes to our society – not merely our practices, but how we relate to one another.  Written letters have given way to e-mails, and e-mails are yielding to texting.  Shared land lines are disappearing in favor of cell phones, and smart phones now mean that many people no longer even answer a mobile call unless its necessity has first been justified in a text message. The social consequences of this include such things as a reduction in the depth and thoughtfulness of interpersonal communications in exchange for vastly increased frequency and breadth of contact.  The trend is most obvious among the Millennials, but it is not uncommon to see people of any age busily thumbing away throughout dinner in very nice restaurants, oblivious to their table partners.

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