At TW&B, we’re excited to announce the newest member of our firm.
Anne Smith joins us as Vice President of our firm, bringing with her nearly two decades of experience in fundraising, campaign management, board development and institutional advancement. She has a strong background with association foundations, human service organizations, education and arts organizations. Learn more about her experience here.
Getting to know Anne Smith
1. What drew you to work in the nonprofit sector?
I fell into this work but stayed because I realized how much I was fueled by transformation. It’s one thing to wake up and think, “It’s time to make a profit so we can sell more stuff.” It’s another to wake up and think, “It’s time to fund a program so we can improve a person’s life.”
In order to be a successful nonprofit you must test your problem-solving ideas to ensure they are sustainable and effective while being led by sound governance, smart staff and persistence to achieve results. It’s the most challenging and rewarding place to be.
2. Which accomplishments are you most proud of in your career?
As a development professional, we are often expected to grow the contributed revenue, often requiring that an organization tries things they’ve never done before. I have been given the privilege to lead new strategies and giving programs that have successfully diversified funding sources and increased overall contributed revenue significantly.
3. What was the most useful piece of advice you’ve received as a fundraiser?
“There is nothing more powerful or effective than a face to face conversation.”
This has proved to be true when it comes to fundraising and relationships in general. It’s so simple but takes a concerted effort to adhere to on a consistent basis in development. We are often spinning many plates (direct mail, events, grant writing, board meetings…), but the plate that will pay off the most is this one.
4. What excites you most about being a consultant?
It’s exciting to channel my own hands-on development experience – the successes as well as the failures – into helping development and leadership staff and boards successfully grow their funding through best practices.
Every nonprofit has its own set of challenges, goals, resources and mission. I enjoy working across this rich and diverse nonprofit community and I love knowing that I’ve made a difference.
5. How is the perspective you bring to organizations unique?
My major gift experience across several nonprofit sectors has helped me understand the challenges and opportunities within different nonprofit environments. Having hands-on experience in an array of development roles has provided a keen insight into how processes intersect, complimenting or competing, to fulfill the organization’s funding needs. How can we best utilize the resources, available to get the greatest return? How much is the Board being utilized? What is standing in the way of growth?
6. What are some of the biggest concerns you see nonprofits dealing with today, and what emerging trends could become increasingly important in philanthropy?
Government budget decisions appear to point toward less funding for states in areas that directly affect the nonprofit sector. This decrease in support is encouraging a continued push for funding diversification – pointing toward an increased investment in relationships by employing more stewardship and impact reporting.
Donors have become increasingly investment-minded when making charitable decisions and want to see how your program will solve the problem or transform lives. Because of this, it’s now expected that a case for support is adaptable for multiple segments and includes infographics, metrics, and stories that show results that balance between head and heart. It’s now more important than ever that the Board member is an actively vocal spokesperson for the mission as well as a fundraiser. These are just a few trends that appear to be shining brighter during a challenging time for nonprofits.