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Foundations Plan to Shrink Grants  

The number and size of foundation grants will likely decrease this year, and grants for upstart organizations will be hard to come by, according to a study by the Foundation Center.

The report Foundations Address the Impact of the Economic Crisis states that close to two-thirds of foundations expect to reduce the number and/or the size of grants they award in 2009.

Organizations in need of capital support will also be particularly hard hit, with over one-third of foundation respondents (37 percent) reporting that they will reduce the amount of capital support they provide.

In addition, the new survey reports that over half of respondents are reacting to the economic crisis by engaging in more non-grantmaking activities. Fully two-thirds of these funders plan to seek out more collaborations and partnerships in 2009.

Establishing a grants budget following a year when overall foundation assets dropped an estimated 21.9 percent posed unique challenges for grantmakers, notes the report. Yet based on responses to the latest survey, the Foundation Center estimates that giving in 2009 will decline by a far lower percentage—from the high single digits to the low double digits—than did assets in the prior year.

Other key findings from the new advisory include:

  • Foundations will draw upon various resources to fund their 2009 giving — close to two out of five respondents expect to draw at least in part on their endowments to fund grants.
  • About 14 percent of respondents either have made or plan to make exceptional grants or launch special initiatives in response to the economic crisis, largely by reallocating existing grants budgets.
  • Nearly one-third of respondents made operational changes as a result of the 2000-02 economic downturn that they believe better prepared them to face the current downturn, such as changes in investment strategies or reducing operating expenses.

About the Survey

In January 2009, the Foundation Center mailed its annual "Foundation Giving Forecast Survey" to approximately 5,000 large and mid-size U.S. independent, corporate, and community foundations. The survey included questions on foundations' giving and assets in 2008, the outlook for giving in 2009 and 2010, and how foundations are responding to the economic downturn. A total of 1,243 foundations provided usable responses.

The report can be downloaded at no charge from the Gain Knowledge area of the Center's web site, www.foundationcenter.org.

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Leadership Gap Widens as Baby Boomers Retire  

Roughly a third of U.S. nonprofit organizations are looking to fill senior manager positions as of January, creating a steeper deficit in sector leadership than originally predicted.

A newly released Bridgespan Group survey of U.S. nonprofit executive directors (found at www.bridgespan.org) shows that a leadership deficit forecast in 2006 may have widened last year. Meanwhile, in 2009, despite tightening budgets, nonprofits already foresee a need to fill 24,000 vacant or new roles in areas like finance and fundraising amid increasing management complexity and baby boomer retirements. 

The study also shows that bridging the leadership gap will call for recruiting beyond the sector.  Seventy-three percent of the survey’s 433 respondents affirmed they value private sector skills. Yet, despite a tide of corporate layoffs in the managerial ranks, 60 percent also believe they will face a scarcity of qualified candidates.

Key findings of the survey:

  • Top barriers to finding suitable leaders included compensation and difficulty finding executives with specialized skills, as well as competition for the same in-sector talent pool and lack of resources to find or cultivate new leaders.
  • Projected vacancies are largely the result of retirement, since much of the existing leadership is comprised of boomers.Vacancies also stem from new roles being created due to an increase in organizational complexity based on growth in prior years.The need is especially acute in human services and arts organizations.
  • The most important attributes recruiters are seeking not only include relevant experience but also “cultural fit” or shared passion for the mission (68% on average cite fit as a very important asset. That number climbs to 82 percent in the education field).
  • Job boards surpassed external networking for first place as a way to reach candidates, with 49 percent of organizations using job boards versus 44 percent using external networking to identify their candidates.

American Express commissioned Bridgespan to conduct the survey in order to determine the nature and dimensions of the evolving nonprofit leadership deficit, the training and development needs within the sector, and to look at how managerial skills from the business sector can boost leadership capacity among nonprofits. Respondents reported that actual senior job openings in 2008 were running at 77,000, or 43 percent above a leadership gap forecast in Bridgespan’s 2006 study “The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit.”

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Facebook Yields Scant Returns with Donation Program  

Aside from a few standouts, the Causes application on the social networking website Facebook has shown little success for charities as a fundraising tool, as many of the organizations using it have received no donations through the site.

An April 22 article in The Washington Post points to the fact that for the 179,000 total Causes profiles created on Facebook, the median gift is just $25 and “only a tiny fraction have brought in even $1,000.” Fewer than 50 groups have raised $10,000 and just two have raised $100,000 or more, the Post reports.

The article says that Causes “has been largely ineffective in its first two years, trailing direct mail, fundraising events and other more traditional methods of soliciting contributions.”

It goes on to say that despite the high hopes of nonprofits that they could replicate the online fundraising success of Barack Obama in his campaign for the presidency, nonprofits have found online fundraising to be less fruitful due to the greater level of outreach needed to gain visibility.

But not everyone agrees that Facebook’s Causes application is a failure. Some point to the non-monetary benefits of the application as well as the newness of fundraising on social networking websites.

Building a Following Just as Valuable

A widely followed social networking expert Allison Fine notes in a blog article that Facebook has value beyond the amount of dollars per donor raised.

“Causes enables a lot of people to ‘support a cause.’ In old thinking that meant only one thing: give us money,” Fine writes. “But in connected thinking, it means that each one of us can be more than an ATM for our causes.  Causes on Facebook enables us to tell our own world—distinct from the world—about the issues, campaigns and organizations that they are passionate about. We can bring our networks of friends, our ingenuity, our passion, our time, our expertise to support causes.  It enables lots and lots of people to learn about causes and to share them with their friends easily, quickly and inexpensively.

“Using dollars raised as a critical measure of success has allowed others to hammer Causes without much cause,” she continues. “Remember that the overwhelming number of Facebook users are still under 25 years old. This is very young for donors, and it is unreasonable to expect them to give the number and size gifts of their parents and grandparents.”

“The bottom line here is that Causes isn’t just about raising money, it’s also about raising friends and awareness, and in the long run turning loose social ties into stronger ones for a cause may be more important than one-time donations of $10 and $20 dollars right now,” Fine writes.

Allison Fine’s blog, A. Fine Blog (http://afine2.wordpress.com/) covers topics of social media and social change.

What do you think about the value of Causes or other social networking tools? Has your organization had success with a particular technique? Is it worth the effort at this point or are you building for the future? Let us know your thoughts at ewire@afpnet.org. Please write “Facebook” in the email subject line.

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Ohio Fundraiser Frisch Named 2009 CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional  

Kenneth C. Frisch, ACFRE, director of development for Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg, is the recipient of the 2009 Community Counselling Service (CCS) Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional presented by AFP.

The award is presented to the fundraiser who has practiced his or her profession in an exemplary manner for at least 15 years. He or she must have demonstrated effective, creative and stimulating leadership and practiced and promoted ethical fundraising. Frisch receive the honor on March 30, 2009 at AFP’s 46th International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans.

“I am truly humbled by the honor,” said Frisch.  “I would not have had any success without the support and guidance of colleagues, the enthusiastic commitment of volunteers and the generosity of numerous philanthropists, so I will be accepting this award on behalf of each of them.” 

Frisch did not start his career in fundraising, but was a teacher at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio. However, the school had no money for the arts, so he began raising funds for the school and the community, including founding a community theatre. Finding a life calling, he gained fundraising experience through a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts and positions at the Ohio University School of Theater and the Southeastern Ohio Voluntary Education Cooperative. 

However, it was during his time at Ohio University and Bowling Green State University (22 years) that he blossomed into a premier fundraiser, leading million-dollar campaigns, overseeing the creation and expansion of development programs and managing hundreds of volunteers.

Hospice of Northwest Ohio hired Frisch in 2003 to raise the final $6.4 million of a $9 million capital campaign.  Upon doing so successfully, he was hired to create the organization’s first comprehensive fundraising plan, including the introduction of employee giving programs and a planned giving initiative, as well as increasing board member involvement in development activities.  He now raises $2 million annually to support hospice patient and family care, education and community outreach.

"All of us at CCS are honored to recognize Mr. Frisch for his outstanding work in the field," said Robert Kissane, president of CCS. "Ken is not just an outstanding fundraiser, but a true professional who is dedicated to advancing philanthropy and fundraising through his service to the field and to his colleagues. The organizations that have worked with him are lucky indeed, and we salute him for his great work."

Frisch is just one of just 84 fundraisers in the world to have earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential, and served on the committee that recently revised the ACFRE written exam. He is also just one of 125 fundraisers in the world to be certified as a Master Teacher through AFP’s Faculty Training Academy. He routinely serves as a speaker and trainer at numerous fundraising and philanthropy conferences across North America and is actively involved with many charities as a volunteer and donor.

“Ken is an outstanding example of someone who not only works in philanthropy, but lives philanthropy,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “It is not just a job for him, but a calling. Of course he is exemplary at raising funds, but even more importantly, he guides and inspires others and gives back to his profession. AFP is proud to honor Ken and his extraordinary dedication to ethical and effective fundraising.”

Check out the photo gallery from conference by visiting the AFP homepage, www.afpnet.org.

The 47th International Conference on Fundraising will be held in Baltimore, Md., and will feature celebrations of AFP’s 50th Anniversary! More information to come soon.

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AFP Awards Materials Now Available—Nominations Due July 15  

Nomination forms for AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy and other honors are now available on the AFP website and are due on July 15. The nomination booklet can be downloaded from the electronic version of this eWire article or can be found at www.afpnet.org under National Philanthropy Day and AFP Awards.

The only exception is the Campbell & Company Awards for Excellence in Fundraising, nominations for which are due on Sept. 15.

Nominators should be aware that several changes have been made to the criteria and nomination process for the Awards for Philanthropy. Supporting materials for most awards are no longer accepted, and nominations MUST address the criteria in the indicated format. These changes were made because of the increasing number of entries and to ensure fairness and consistency as judges reviewed the nominations.

AFP Awards for Philanthropy

AFP offers a number of different awards for exemplary work in philanthropy and fundraising. These include AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy, which include the following categories:

  • Paschal Murray Award for Outstanding Philanthropist
  • Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation
  • (CCS) Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional
  • Changing Our World/Simms Awards for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 5-17 and Ages 18-23
  • Award for Outstanding Foundation
  • Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

Nominations for the Awards for Philanthropy are due on July 15 and must be submitted electronically. No supporting documentation is allowed, only the answers to the questions and criteria that are found on the nomination form.

Other Honors

AFP also offers other awards for outstanding fundraising achievements, service to AFP and chapter efforts in diversity:

  • The Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP recognizes an AFP member who demonstrates outstanding leadership and service to the association and/or its related entities, such as the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy.
  • The Charles R. Stephens Excellence in Diversity Chapter Award recognizes the year's most outstanding demonstration by an AFP chapter of leadership, creativity, and initiative in building diversity in membership or programming. One award is presented in each chapter size category.
  • The Campbell & Company Awards for Excellence in Fundraising are presented to nonprofit organizations' development departments or fundraising programs that have developed an innovative initiative, program or project design, or technique that has increased their donor base, increased the amount of funds raised, and improved their fundraising return on investment. One award will be given in each of two categories based on organizational size. Unlike the other honors, nominations for the Campbell & Company Awards for Excellence in Fundraising are due Sept. 15, and supporting materials are allowed. More information can be found on the nomination form.

More information about these awards and the Awards for Philanthropy can be found on the AFP website, www.afpnet.org, under National Philanthropy Day and AFP Awards.

Research Prize and Chapter Ten Star Award

The AFP Awards Committee oversees all of these awards programs except for the Skystone Ryan Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy and the AFP Chapter Ten Star Award.

More information about the Skystone Ryan Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy can be found at www.afpnet.org under Research and Statistics.

For information on the Chapter Ten Star Award, members should log into the "Member Gateway" section of the AFP website.

Questions about the AFP awards program can be directed to NaTanya Lott at nlott@afpnet.org.

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AFP, The Globe and Mail Create 'A Time to Give'  

AFP is continuing its partnership with Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail through a special June 27 philanthropy supplement titled “A Time to Give.”

Members are encouraged to advertize in this premier report because it will be a tremendous opportunity to reach a wide cross-section of donors and constituents. Special advertizing discounts are available. The deadline for reserving space is May 20.

This special national report will investigate how charities are addressing the current global economic crisis and why charitable contributions are needed now more than ever. Other topics will include the best ways donors can support a charity in the current climate, ethics and public trust, innovative programs and services being offered and planned giving, bequest and endowments.

The Globe and Mail reaches 1.3 million daily readers and is a favorite publication of Canadian senior executives, read by 71 percent of all executives and 76 percent of presidents, CEOs and chairpersons.

“In these economically challenging times, this type of national supplement focusing on philanthropy is more important than ever,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Charities can’t afford to pull back on their marketing and advertizing efforts, and we believe our partnership with The Globe and Mail is an extraordinary value and opportunity for members to show all of Canada how they’re helping to improve the world. I encourage members to participate in this special report.”

The supplement will include a limited number of one-eighth, quarter-, half- and full-page advertizing positions. The Globe and Mail will also reprint additional copies of the report and provide an online PDF version of the supplement. The special section also will appear online at www.globeandmail.com for seven days and thereafter will be archived for 90 days.

The attached sell sheet has additional information about the supplement. Interested members can contact Richard Deacon, “A Time to Give” project manager, at (604) 631-6636 or rdeacon@globeandmail.com.

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Seats Still Available for Boston College Spring Seminar! Early Bird Registration Extended to May 11

Wealth and Giving in the Current Economic Crisis: Strategies for Fundraising and Financial Professionals—June 9 and 10 in Boston, Mass.
Hear from experts at the noted investment firm Barclays Wealth in London, learn how to how to deal with and succeed in the challenging present economic climate and explore groundbreaking research and strategies to assure critical funding for your organization. Check out the amazing lineup of presenters and register today! (Go to www.afpnet.org and click on Education and Career Development. Then click on Executive Institutes.)

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DON'T MISS TWO GREAT WEBCONFERENCES TO BETTER YOUR FUNDRAISING

(To register go to www.afpnet.org and click on Education and Career Development—AFP Web/Audioconferences)

Special Ethics Program - Presented by Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE

In good times and bad, with stellar ethics, you will always have solid footing. AFP's president and CEO Paulette Maehara will explore how organizations can take a holistic look at ethics, identify how organizations can use ethics to reach out to the public to generate support and discuss current pressing ethical issues such as donor control and percentage-based compensation. Don’t miss Weaving Ethics Into Your Organization's Fundraising on Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m. EDT.

Giving Circles – Presented by Angela Eikenberry and Jessica Bearman

Giving circles are emerging in popularity among groups of donors across the United States and elsewhere as community-based funding vehicles. This presentation will provide information on the giving circle landscape, based on several studies of giving circles, with special attention given to their impact on donor-members and nonprofit funding recipients. Register today for Giving Circles and Fundraising in the New Philanthropy Environment presented on Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m. EDT.

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