Nonprofit news roundup, 06.20.14

Arts fundraising overhaul urged for Charlotte

To support its cultural sector, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County need a new fundraising model, a new report says.

Among other recommendations, the report from the Cultural Life Task Force calls for restructuring of the Arts & Science Council, or ASC; securing private investment of $4 million or more a year for 10 years for revenue-generating staff and technology resources for ASC’s cultural partners; and designing and launching a $125 million endowment campaign over the next 10 years by ASC, its cultural partners and the Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust.

Private-sector giving should be restructured to increase individual, corporate and foundation donations directly to cultural organizations, says the report from the 23-member task force.

ASC’s annual fund drive that in the past has raised money to support local cultural groups should be redesigned as a year-round campaign that focuses on fundraising and engagement, and ASC’s role should be shifted to connect donors directly to cultural organizations, the report says.

ASC also should support its cultural partners with administrative, fundraising and managerial resources, and help them focus on investing in revenue-generating departments and raising more money.

The report also calls for strengthening ASC’s partnership with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority to make the region a destination for cultural tourism; launching a major data collection and sharing initiative with ASC’s cultural partners; creating a regional “Cultural Coalition” to spearhead advocacy for the cultural sector; engaging local and state government to “restore the public/private partnerships that built and grew the local arts, science and history sector;” and increasing annual support from the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and nearby towns.

Forsyth United Way raises $17.35 million; names board and staff members

United Way of Forsyth County raised $17.35 million in its 2013 workplace campaign, exceeding its goal — and the goals and totals raised in 2011 and 2012 — by $25,000.

As part of a new strategy in recent years to diversify its funding, United Way in fiscal 2014 also secured grants and other gifts totaling $2.569 million, up from $2.412 million in fiscal 2013, $1.11 million in fiscal 2012, and $716,000 in fiscal 2011.

Most of that grant funding has been from state and national sources outside Forsyth County, both public and private.

United Way also has added six new members to its board of directors, including Guillermo Alvarez, president and owner of Spearhead Insights, Market Intelligence and Discover; Alvin Atkinson, executive director of The Community Safety Center at Winston-Salem State University; Mark Johnson, corporate counsel for Inmar; Jim Olson, a community volunteer; Hank Price, president and general manager at WXII 12; and Evan Raleigh, assistant to the city manager for the City of Winston-Salem.

Sallye Liner, chief clinical officer of Novant Health, chairs United Way’s board, while Brenda Diggs, a board member, also is chair of the board of directors for United Way of North Carolina.

Mary Cranfill, former executive director for procurement services at Wake Forest University, has joined Forsyth United Way as vice president for marketing and communications, while Ryland Tisdale, former sales executive at Ricoh USA, has joined United way as resource development director.

Triangle YMCA merging with Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA

YMCA of the Triangle and Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA are merging, effective July 1.

As a result of the merger, Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA will become a branch of the YMCA of the Triangle, its employees will become employees of YMCA of the Triangle, and a new YMCA branch in Chatham County will be chartered.

Since 2013, YMCA of the Triangle and Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA have operated under a management services agreement.

Under the agreement, YMCA of the Triangle has provided leadership to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA in fund development, staff development, volunteer development, as well as fiscal oversight.

Late last year, both YMCAs renewed the agreement for one year.

YMCA of the Triangle operates 13 facility branches in Wake, Durham and Lee Counties. It also operates three overnight camps — Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer in Pamlico County.

In 2013, YMCA of the Triangle invested over $7.5 million to serve 13,708 children, teens and adults in need, with its annual We Build People campaign providing over $5.7 million.

Triangle Race for the Cure raises $1 million

Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast raised over $1 million at its 18th annual Susan G. Komen Triangle Race for the Cure. The event, held June 14 at Meredith College in Raleigh, attracted over 10,500 participants.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds are used to support breast health services for uninsured and underinsured women and men in central and eastern North Carolina, and the remaining 25 percent are used to support breast cancer research.

Since its first race in 1997, the local Komen affiliate has raised nearly $15 million for local breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social programs.

Seattle most generous U.S. city for online giving

Seattle is the most generous U.S. city for online giving, according to a ranking by Blackbaud of cities with populations over 100,000, based on per-capita online giving in 2013.

Following Seattle among the 10 most generous cities in the ranking were Alexandria, Va.; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Cambridge, Mass.; Ann Arbor, Mich.;  Arlington, Va.; Cincinnati; Bellevue, Wash.; and San Francisco.

$51,000 awarded for arts marketing 

The Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority approved $51,000 in funding to support eight arts marketing campaigns. Campaigns that received funding include The Art of Seating Winston-Salem campaign by Old Salem Museums & Gardens and Reynolda House Museum of American Art; Bookmarks Festival of Books; Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair; RiverRun International Film Festival; Salute! The NC Wine Celebration; Winston-Salem Air Show; Winston-Salem Hispanic League – Fiesta 2014; and Winter Holiday Campaign by Old Salem Museums & Gardens and Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Summit School gets $25,000

Summit School in Winston-Salem received a gift of $25,000 from Tuncer Cebeci of Long Beach to establish an endowment fund in memory of his late wife, Sylvia Holt Cebeci, a Summit School alumna from the class of 1956.  The endowment will provide financial aid to a student whose family otherwise might not be able to afford a Summit education.

Duke Medicine gets $15 million

Duke Medicine has been awarded $15 million from The Marcus Foundation in Atlanta to support a research program that explores the use of umbilical cord blood cells to treat autism, stroke, cerebral palsy and related brain disorders.

The grant will fund the first two years of a planned five-year, $41 million project.

Teen Driving Solutions School gets $5,000

Teen Driving Solutions School in Raleigh received a $5,000 donation from a Triad family that wishes to remain anonymous.

Bond honored for role in Watauga County Community Foundation

Bettie Bond, a retired history professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, has received the Lewis R. Holding Philanthropic Leadership Award for 2014 from the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF).

Bond was honored for her role as a member of the board of advisors of the Watauga County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Make the most of your media coverage

When news media run stories about your nonprofit, share those stories with your constituents, and use those stories to begin to build relationships with reporters, editors and news producers.

Post copies of print or broadcast stories, or links to them, on your website. Write about the fact that you were in the news, along with links to the stories, in email messages or newsletters to clients, donors, members and other partners, and in your annual report.

By sharing that news coverage, you give your own readers an opportunity to learn more about your organization.

And by thanking the reporter, editor or news producer who worked on the story, you can begin to cultivate a stronger relationship.

Stay in touch. Keep those news people up to date on what your organization is doing by sending news releases. When your issue is in the news, even on a national or international level, offer to be a resource. And when you see a good story by the reporter — on any topic — send a quick note complimenting the reporter.

A story about your nonprofit does not need to be a one-time occurrence with limited impact. By sharing the story on your website and other marketing vehicles, and cultivating your relationship with reporters and other news representatives, you can help make sure that story yields continuing value for your organization.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

Company combines giving, volunteering

By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — As marketing manager for Tar Heel Basement Systems, Jackie Hoffman regularly received calls from organizations looking for monetary donations and sponsorships.

“It was hard to turn down any of them,” Hoffman says, “but being a small business, our pockets were only so deep.”

Over the last three years, for example, the company has donated over 30 crawl space encapsulation systems valued at over $100,000 in products and labor to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Caldwell, Avery and Watauga counties.

The steady flow of requests led to Hoffman’s idea to create “Pay It Forward,” a company program that combines financial support with employee volunteerism.

With 47 full-time employees, headquarters in Winston-Salem and an office in Boone, the company now gives each employee five paid hours a year to use to volunteer at any organization it supports through the program.

Launched a year ago, the effort has generated contributions of money, products and services totaling over $30,000, plus roughly 250 hours of employee involvement, Hoffman says.

About 25 percent of employees have volunteered through the program, and about half have made a donation.

Every month, for example, company employees volunteer to prepare a meal for families at Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.

The company held a school supply drive that filled two three-foot boxes with supplies for teachers in Forsyth County to use in their classrooms.

In February, it held a food drive among employees and in the community that collected over 200 food items and $101 in cash to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of North Carolina.

And it provide a $2,000 sponsorship for the annual golf tournament for the Watauga Humane Society.

“I wanted this initiative to be more than simply writing a check,” Hoffman says. “The goal is to improve the wellness of our employees through helping local nonprofits in our community.”

U.S. giving grows 4.4%; quicker rebound seen

Fueled by a surge in individual giving, charitable giving in the U.S. grew 4.4 percent to $335.17 billion in 2013, its highest level since the recession ended in 2009 and marking the fourth straight year of growth, a new report says.

The increase, which totaled 3 percent when adjusted for inflation, could signal an accelerated return to the peak U.S. philanthropy hit in 2007, when giving totaled $349.5 billion, adjusted for inflation, says Giving USA 2014.

Total giving has grown 22 percent since 2009, or 12.3 percent adjusted for inflation, while the increase in giving by individuals between 2011 and 2013 represents 73 percent of the growth in total giving during that period, says the report from the Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Rising confidence and the sustained growth in overall giving could indicate that giving could rebound to its previous peak in a year or two, sooner than previously expected, the report says.

Sources of giving

Giving by individuals, foundations and bequest all grew, while giving by corporations fell slightly, the result of a slow rate of growth — 3.4 percent — in pre-tax corporate profits in 2013.

Giving by individuals grew 4.2 percent to $240.6 billion, or 2.7 percent adjusted for inflation, and represented 72 percent of total giving. Including giving by bequest and family foundations, giving by individuals represented 87 percent of total giving.

Giving by foundations grew 5.7 percent to $48.96 billion, or 4.2 percent adjusted for inflation, and represented 15 percent of all gifts.

Grantmaking by community foundations grew 10.5 percent, while grantmaking by operating and independent foundations grew 6.6 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Giving by foundations has increased for the last three years, adjusted for inflation, generally reflecting increases in assets and increased confidence among grantmakers in their financial recovery, the report says.

Giving by bequest grew 8.7 percent to $27.73 billion, or 7.2 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 8 percent of all gifts.

And giving by corporations fell 1.9 percent to $17.88 billion, or a decline of 3.2 percent adjusted for inflation, and represented 5 percent of all giving.

Corporate giving includes cash and in-kind contributions made through corporate giving programs, as well as grants and gifts made by corporate foundations.

Corporate foundation grantmaking totaled an estimated $5.7 billion, up 5 percent from 2012.

Over the past five years, the report says, giving by corporations has grown 19.4 percent, adjusted for inflation, compared to an increase of 12.3 percent for giving overall.

In 2012,  corporate giving grew 16.9 percent in current dollars, driven by a surge in corporate profits. That increase also helps explain the relative decline in corporate giving in 2013, the report says.

Also helping to drive the increase in overall giving in 2013 was significant growth in gifts of $80 million or more  from individuals, couples and estates, the report says.

Those gifts may signal growing confidence among wealthy donors in making larger gifts, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy says.

Focus of giving

While giving to education, human services, health, foundations, and the environment and animals have reached or exceeded all-time highs, in inflation-adjusted dollars, since the recession ended in mid-2009, the report says, giving to foundations fell 15.5 percent in 2013.

And giving to international affairs fell 6.7 percent, possibly a result in part of lower overall corporate support for charities in 2013.

Giving to religion was flat, slipping 0.2 percent to $105.53 billion, or a decline of 1.6 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, and accounting for the biggest share of all giving, or 31 percent.

Recent declines in religious giving are partly the result of a drop in the percentage of Americans who consider themselves religious and attend congregations, the report says.

Giving to education grew 8.9 percent to $52.07 billion, or 7.4 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 16 percent of all giving.

Giving to human services grew 2.2 percent to $41.51 billion, or 0.7 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 12 percent of all giving.

Giving to foundations fell 15.5 percent to $35.74 billion, or a decline of 16.7 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 11 percent of all giving.

Giving to health organizations grew 6 percent to $31.86 billion, or 4.5 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 10 percent of all giving.

Giving to public-society benefit organizations grew 8.5 percent to $23.89 billion, or 7 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 7 percent of all giving.

Giving to arts, culture and humanities grew 7.8 percent to $16.66 billion, or 6.3 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 5 percent of all giving.

Giving to international affairs fell 6.7 percent to $14.93 billion, or a decline of 8 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 4 percent of all giving.

Giving to environmental and animal organizations grew 7.5 percent to $9.72 billion, or 6 percent adjusted for inflation, and accounted for 3 percent of all giving.

And gifts made directly to individuals grew 1.4 percent to $3.7 billion, and accounted for 1 percent of all giving. Gifts to individuals consisted mainly of in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through patient assistance programs of the operating foundations of pharmaceutical companies.

Todd Cohen

University fundraising staff counts on metrics

By Todd Cohen

[Note: This report was written for Blackbaud.]

At the University of Virginia, fundraising officers are using data to help drive strategy and performance.

Two years ago, the fundraising operation team tracked the number of visits by development officers to prospective donors and found that the “mean and medium ask amount was falling below the major gift level for many major gift officers,” says Laura M. Phillips, the University’s director of prospect development.

Now, the fundraising operation team sets goals for the number of proposals to prospects that each development officer will make and close.

“Once we started reporting these metrics, officers became a little more self-aware of what they were doing and asking for,” Phillips says. “We saw our mean and median ask amounts go up into the major gift level more consistently.”

The difference was the kind of metrics the University was tracking, and how it was using the data, she says.

Development analysis

The prospect development office is responsible for mining data from the University’s database of 350,000 individuals, ranking and scoring prospects, and writing prospecting and development officer performance reports.

University analysts also work on developing prospect scoring techniques, as well as more complex statistical analyses to help distill the prospect pool down to the mostly likely giving candidates.

Analysts also produce tools that identify prospects through searches of the University’s contact reports using key words or phrases, such as “historic preservation,” “arts,” or “politics.”

Particularly for fundraising units at the University that may not be part of a particular school, those searches can yield prospects for special fundraising initiatives.

Phillips’ team then builds reporting tools for development officers, such as a matrix that rates the giving capacity and propensity of prospects, including prospects for major gifts, those of $100,000 or more, and for principal gifts, those of $5 million or more.

The prospect development team also helps frontline fundraisers develop a portfolio of prospects or find prospects for specific initiatives.

“We help them think more broadly, inside our database and externally with other resources, about how we might creatively identify prospects for initiatives that might not seem obvious since the initiative doesn’t belong to a school with an alumni base or other obvious constituency,” Phillips says.

Performance metrics

At the beginning of every fiscal year, chief development officers throughout the University give Phillips’ team the goals for the development officers they manage, based on five metrics:

• The number of visits each development officer will make to prospects.

• The number of proposals each development officer will solicit.

• The total dollar amount of those proposals.

• The number of proposals each development officer will close.

• The dollar amount associated with those closed proposals.

Each month, Phillips’ team gives the chief development officers reports on progress, including charts and other illustrations that show every single proposal solicited during the fiscal year.

As a result, she says, the University is able to ask for larger donations.

“When we only measured visits, we weren’t seeing that translate into money,” she says. “Now that we have proposal goals, we have seen more evidence of actual solicitation activity, and at a more appropriate level.”

Lessons for nonprofits

While the University of Virginia is a large institution, smaller nonprofits can apply some of the same strategies for using data to help drive fundraising strategy and performance, Phillips says.

“Start small and simple, because these things build over time,” she says. “If you’re a really small organization, hire one researcher to do prospect ratings that can help you understand your prospect pool.”

If a single researcher proves effective, a nonprofit should consider focusing on a good portfolio and prospect management, she says. Based on those results, a nonprofit with these tools or resources might then consider hiring a consultant to analyze data from its prospect pool.

The essential questions for higher education fundraising, she says, are whether development officers are talking to people and prospects with the capacity and propensity to give, and whether those donors are likely to give to an institution.

“Finding the answer to these questions is not always simple,” Phillips says. “Once you get that information, you need to find a way to harness the data in reports that mean something to you. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Nonprofits should also remember that data is only half of the picture, she says.

Equally important is “the direct interpersonal information that’s gathered by development officers in the field,” she says. “It is critical to document relevant facts that will help you understand and tell the story of your organization’s relationship with its donors and prospects.”

That approach, she says, “is essential for analysts, researchers, and development officers

working in your organization now, as well as those who will work in your organization in the future.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 06.13.14

High Point United Way giving $4.1 million

United Way of Greater High Point is giving over $4.1 million to nonprofits in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Proceeds from United Way’s 2013 fundraising campaign, which raised $4.86 million, a record-high that exceeded its $4.75 goal, will fund 73 health and human service programs at 28 local partner agencies during the fiscal year.

United Way also will award eight venture grants totaling over $43,000 for innovative programs to six agencies not traditionally funded through United Way, and two partner agencies will receive grants for computer upgrades to better serve clients.

Of the total awarded:

* Just over $3 million will go to United Way’s 28 partner agencies.

* $221,892 raised in the campaign from local companies that run national campaigns was pledged and will be paid directly to charities through a private third-party vendor hired by these companies to handle payments for their United Way campaigns.

* $551,776 was designated by United Way donors for organizations outside High Point, mainly to other United Ways in Greensboro and in Davidson, Randolph, and Forsyth counties.

* $15,450 will be allocated to continue to provide 2-1-1 information and referral service in the greater High Point region.

* $247,715 was set aside to cover “uncollectible” pledges due to job loss or change, a standard practice among United Ways.

* Roughly $47,000 will be spent on United Way’s BackPack Feeding Program, which provides nutritious foods to over 350 kids at risk of hunger over the weekends during the school year. Donors designated those dollars for the program, which in 2013 distributed food through partnerships with Carl Chavis YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, Kirkman Park Elementary School, Oakview Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School, Westend Ministry and Community Outreach of Archdale/Trinity, or COAT.

United Way of Greater High Point says it is the only major United Way in North Carolina, and one of only a few United Ways in the U.S., with a campaign that is raising record-high amounts.

Apparo raises $800,000 at Digital Ball

Apparo raised $800,000 at its 8th annual Digital Ball for its work in supporting nonprofits through business and technology solutions. The event, held on April 26 and sponsored by Microsoft, attracted nearly 600 guests, including 30 chief information officers from Charlotte’s corporate information-technology community.

Hospitality House of Charlotte serves 50,000th guest

After nearly 30 years, Hospitality House of Charlotte has served its 50,000th guest. Hospital House works to provide affordable lodging for families and patients who are in medical crisis, including families with a loved one being treated for cancer, waiting for an organ transplant, or facing other serious illnesses.

WakeMed Cary Hospital gets $276,000 grant

WakeMed Cary Hospital has been awarded a $275,819 grant from The Duke Endowment to launch a hospital elder care program, an evidence-based program to provide specialized geriatric care to elderly patients.

The program goals are to ensure that older patients remain as independent as possible during their hospitalization and after their discharge from the hospital.

Winston-Salem Foundation awards $628,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 19 community grants totaling $628,070 to organizations serving Forsyth County residents in the areas of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environment, health, human services, and public interest.

Community School of the Arts gets $50,000

Community School of the Arts in Charlotte has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Reemprise Fund at Foundation for the Carolinas to support a large-scale project to identify its alumni.

Founded in 1969, the School has tens of thousands of alumni but lost its alumni records over the years.

Habitat Durham holds blitz; to benefit from speaker series

Habitat for Humanity of Durham kicked of its Home Builders Blitz on June 7 to build three homes in a week.

Habitat also will receive all proceeds from the Summer Symposia at Croasdale Village hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University.

The Habitat Home Builders Blitz 2014 is a national partnership in which professional builders build, renovate and repair over 250 homes across the U.S.
Supporting the Durham blitz are the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties, along with sponsors donating their time and know-how.

Methodist Home for Children raised $20,000 in Greenville

Methodist Home for Children raised over $20,000 on May 29 — or enough to complete care for 20 children a year — at its first fundraiser in Greenville to support the agency’s work with vulnerable children and families.

The Methodist Home has served Pitt and surrounding counties for over 100 years, and last year served over 100 children and families in Pitt County.

Teach for America gets $50,000 from Duke Energy Foundation

Teach For America has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to help support science, technology, engineering and math education, or STEM, in local schools.

Bauer promoted at Easter Seals UCP

Nicole Bauer, a mental health program manager for Easter Seals UCP North Carolina and Virginia, has been promoted to community director  for the North Carolina coastal plain area.

She will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s programs and services that support individuals and families managing disabilities and mental health challenges in a 17-county region, including Goldsboro, Clinton, Wilson and Rocky Mount.

Lowder named apartment association executive of year

Jon Lowder, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association in Greensboro, was named the 2014 Association Executive of the Year by the National Apartment Association.

Members of the Piedmont Triad group own and manage over 320 apartment communities with over 52,000 housing units throughout the region, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point.

National Christian Foundation chapter gives $1.1 million

The Raleigh chapter of the National Christian Foundation  disbursed nearly $1.1 million in grants to local and national charities in May 2014.

College students to build barn for Benevolence Farm

Benevolence Farm, which is preparing to offer services through a farm-based residential program in southern Graham to women getting out of prison, has been selected as the beneficiary of a pole barn designed and built to its needs by a group of 18 undergraduate and graduate students participating in a summer design/build studio with the Department of Architecture at college of Design at North Carolina State University.

The completed project is estimated to cost $85,000 to $100,000.  Benevolence Cost is working to raise funds and in-kind support for the building materials.

Junior Achievement gets $20,000

Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina received a $20,000 grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation to support financial literacy and programs in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, in Guilford County for the 2014-15 academic year.