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AFP eWire Printable Version: July 14, 2009

AFP Award Nominations Due July 15  

Nomination forms for AFP’s 2009-2010 awards programs are available on the AFP website at (click on National Philanthropy Day and AFP Awards) and arevdue to the AFP International Headquarters on July 15.

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New Report Measures Nonprofit Brands  

The YMCA of the United States has the country’s top nonprofit brand—estimated at $6.4 billion—according to the Cone Nonprofit Brand 100.

Cone, a strategy and communications agency, in collaboration with Intangible Business, a brand valuation consulting firm, developed the new brand valuation based on five years of consolidated financial data and a nationally representative consumer perception survey, among several other metrics.

In particular, the study examined both brand image (through the survey) and brand-revenue synergy, identifying connections and missed opportunities between organization’s brands and their current revenue and revenue potential. The study found that several leading nonprofits may not be sufficiently leveraging their brand to further increase their revenue.

“The goal of a brand valuation is to determine the amount of money a brand contributes to a nonprofit’s revenue,” explains William Grobel, international business valuation director for nonprofits, Intangible Business. “This critical synergy between an organization’s financial performance and its brand plays a significant role in generating additional funds to put toward mission services.”

Top Ten Brands

The top ten nonprofits brands in the U.S. are: 

Power Brand 100 Rank


Brand Value
$ Million


Brand Image


YMCA of the USA





The Salvation Army





United Way of America





American Red Cross





Goodwill Industries International





Catholic Charities USA





Habitat for Humanity International





American Cancer Society





The Arc of the United States





Boys & Girls Clubs of America




According to the study, the two surprise findings on the list are Catholic Charities USA and The Arc of the United States, which despite being multibillion-dollar organizations, have significantly lower brand image rankings than their peers in the Top 10.

Sector Findings

In addition to brand valuation, the study also identified several trends related to specific nonprofit subsectors and their branding and public awareness, including:

  • A majority of the environmental/animal-related nonprofits ranked in the bottom half of the list and had similarly low brand rankings; however, environmental organizations also have the highest growth spikes in revenue of all nonprofits studied;
  • The largest nonprofit sector is international needs, which accounts for 30 percent of the 100 organizations ranked; however, consumers consider this sector to be the least familiar and least relevant;
  • The health and education/youth sectors are the most familiar and most relevant to consumers, yet many disease-specific nonprofits clustered indistinctly toward the center of the ranking; and,
  • Health nonprofits are also the most likely to generate revenue from special events earning more than $1.8 billion from events alone.

“The report drives home the value of an effective brand and how critical it is—both in terms of awareness and revenue—that a nonprofit continually develop and refine its brand,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “In the current economic environment where giving is flat or declining for most organizations, an appealing and powerful brand can be the difference between success and failure at a fundraising campaign.”

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Many Donors Not Overwhelmed by Charity Communications  

Most donors don’t feel as if they are receiving too many communications from charities according to a new survey released recently at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention in London.

The survey, conducted by TW Cat, a UK-based direct marketing firm, interviewed 150 people about charity communication and how it affected their perceptions and giving.

Just 17 percent of respondents said that they were overwhelmed by the amount of charity communications they received. In contrast, 72 percent said the level of communications was “just enough,” while 11 percent said charities communicated with them “too rarely” and wanted to hear more from the organizations they supported.

“The perception we hear from the general media is that people receive too many charitable communications,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “The study helps show that this perception is not always correct, although we need to be careful about differentiating between tried and true donors and the general public. Donors who are excited about a particular cause may feel they don’t receive enough information, while others may feel quite different about a communications from the same organizations.”

The survey also found that, on average, a charity had to send eight communications to a donor to receive at least two gifts. Eight out of ten donors gave at the same level for the duration of their support, and retention rates dropped drastically—86 percent to 59 percent—from the second to third year of a supporter’s relationship with a charity.

While the economy did not have a dramatic impact on most donors and their giving, 61 percent of interviewees said they were less likely to give to a new charity because of the current economy.

What is your sense of charity communications to donors? In the current economy, are you sending out more communications to existing and lapsed donors?  Send your thoughts to

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Parliament Passes Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act  

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, which may force many charities to change their governance structure and documents, received Royal Assent on June 23, 2009.

Bill C-4 repeals the Canada Corporations Act and replaces it with a modern corporate governance regime for corporations covered by its provisions, which include:

  • introducing a new process for the federal incorporation of not-for-profit, or no share capital, corporations; and
  • providing for the continuance of share corporations that were created by Special Acts of Parliament and that are currently subject to Part IV of the Canada Corporations Act into the Canada Business Corporations Act. Information for these corporations is available in a separate notice.

According to Corporations Canada, most of the bill will not be in effect until it is proclaimed into force by an Order-in-Council because the regulations, including the service fees, must first be approved. It will take a considerable amount time to complete the process to approve new service fees under the User Fees Act and to complete the regulatory approval process.

Corporations Canada will make more information available as these steps are completed.

AFP submitted comments to the Minister of Industry in 2005 regarding the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. AFP appreciated the concept of the bill but had the following concerns:

  • For soliciting nonprofit corporations (corporations that solicit donations from the public), audits were mandatory for those nonprofit corporations earning more than $250,000 gross revenue. AFP urged the Ministry to set that threshold higher (at $1,000,000).
  • Soliciting corporations were required to have three or more directors (a seemingly arbitrary number that creates an imposition on smaller organizations).
  • The legislation referenced potential user fees that nonprofit corporations would have to pay. AFP argued that any fees essentially act as a tax on nonprofit corporations and that the lack of clarity concerning the potential size of the fees was troubling.

Unfortunately, the recently passed bill retains those problematic provisions. 

Once the bill and proposed regulations come into force, every not-for-profit corporation currently governed by Part II of the Canada Corporations Act will have three years to formally make the transition to the new Act. After that time, any corporation that has not made the transition will be dissolved. Further information on how to make the transition will be made available once the bill comes into force.

Copies of the bill are available from the Parliament of Canada website at A background paper on the provisions of the bill affecting corporations without share capital is also available on the Corporations Canada's website ( or from Corporations Canada directly at 1-866-333-5556.

AFP is in the process of analyzing the bill and will provide more information to members in the near future.

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AFP Calls for Fundraising Information Papers  

If you’re interested in writing and want to help your colleagues and give back to the profession, consider developing a short information paper for AFP’s Fundraising Resource Center.

AFP’s new Information Paper Project is designed to leverage the knowledge and experience of countless members who are willing to share with colleagues. Writing an information paper is a great way to provide your unique skills and perspective in a short document (between 750 and 2000 words) that won’t take too much time away from your professional and personal responsibilities.

Papers should typically be short, practical, “how-to” pieces that can assist fundraisers in performing their daily jobs. However, any type of document, including toolkits, polices and samples, is welcomed as long as it is of high quality and falls within the guidelines for length, format and topic.

In exchange for submitting a paper to AFP members at no charge, AFP will provide brief visibility for the author or organization at the beginning of the paper and at the end, including a website link and short boilerplate information.

“There is a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience residing within our members, and in these challenging times, it behooves both the association and the profession to access that for the benefit of all charities and our communities,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “It’s also a great way to get involved in writing and giving back to your profession, and it doesn’t require a lot of time.”

Maehara stressed that AFP is looking to hear unique member voices and perspectives—what’s working and what’s not, in a member’s own words. “There’s any number of great training manuals and books about fundraising in the AFP Bookstore,” she continued. “We’re looking for papers that chronicle how organizations have overcome challenges and obstacles and reached higher levels of success. They can address very specific situations or tackle broader responsibilities.”

How to Submit/Guidelines

A submission form, which can be found attached in the electronic version of this eWire story, must accompany each paper.  The form and the draft information paper or article should be emailed to the contact below.

Papers and articles should be between 750 and 2,000 words. In addition, the following basic guidelines should apply:

  • All papers and articles must be in MS Word.
  • Please format all articles according to the following guidelines:
  • Include your name, title, company name, address, email and telephone number at the top of the cover page.
  • Please do not use page numbers, headers or any “design” elements, etc.
  • Articles and papers should be single-spaced.

For a list of suggested topics (though other topics can be covered as well), and for more information about style and content of the papers, please follow the links in the electronic version of this eWire story.

Papers will be reviewed by AFP staff and will also undergo a peer review.  While AFP is looking forward to receiving all quality work, there is no absolute guarantee that any paper, toolkit, sample or policy will be approved.  Applicants will be notified within 4-6 weeks if their paper will be included in the AFP Resource Center. 


Kathy Compton
Chief Marketing Officer
Association of Fundraising Professionals
4300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22203
Direct: 703-519-8457
United States and Canada: 800-666-3863
Mexico: 001-866-837-1948
Fax: 703-684-0540

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Nominations Being Accepted Now for AFP Board of Directors

AFP is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to serve on its 2010 Board of Directors as a district director or as an at-large director. Forms are due on or before July 31, 2009. To nominate someone for AFP’s Board of Directors, go to the AFP homepage,, and click on the item in the to-do list regarding board nominations. Or see the electronic version of this story in eWire.

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Nominations Open for Foundation for Philanthropy Board

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy is now accepting nominations for chair-elect (due July 10) and for officers and directors (due July 24). For more information and for a nomination form please visit the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy website at

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Don't Miss Two Upcoming Great Webconferences to Improve Your Fundraising!

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

A Blueprint for Fundraising Success in Any Economy – Presented by Kent Dove

July 23 | 1–2:30 pm ET
Veteran fundraiser Kent Dove will describe and detail a comprehensive, integrated development model that has allowed numerous nonprofits to create programs that have grown exponentially and been able to sustain that growth over time. Learn how to apply techniques to build solid relationships with donors that provide annual, special major, planned and capital gifts over time and permit nonprofits to maximize their private giving potential. Register now for A Blueprint for Fundraising Success in Any Economy: Creating a Sustainable, Comprehensive Development Model presented Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Creating a Successful Fundraising Culture: Twelve Tools for Motivating Your Board

August 12 | 1–2:30 pm ET
Why are so many volunteers and staff members reluctant to participate in approaching prospects and donors? How can board chairs, development committee members, nonprofit CEOs and professional fundraising staff lead their board teams to own -- and even enjoy -- the essential and ultimately rewarding work of major gifts fundraising? In this practical train-the-trainer session, Carole V. Rylander, CFRE, will address the needs of nonprofit leaders who want to increase volunteer and staff participation in approaching and engaging prospects and donors. Register now for Creating a Successful Fundraising Culture: Twelve Tools for Motivating Your Board on Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. E.T.

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