fund development

Did ya know?


Falling out of the habit of blogging is a bad thing. A “thing” I am going to put an end to because it’s easy to do and it’s in my control. So, lacking inspiration, I am going to post a few links to articles and interesting tidbits I’ve stumbled upon during my day as a Director of Fund Development…..

White House to Address Disparities for Women, Girls of Color, Philanthropy News Digest, November 13, 2014

Number of Homeless Children in America Surges to All Time High, A/P via Huffington Post, November 17, 2014

What if Everything You Ever Knew About Poverty was Wrong, Mother Jones, March/April 2014


What drives people to GIVE, to VOLUNTEER, to TAKE ACTION?


October 16, 2014 – Milwaukee Planners & Grantwriters Roundtable, Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee
9-11am at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion exploring the psychology behind giving and how savvy marketing initiatives can take your mission to the next VIRAL level.

Kevin Tissot, LPC
Pathways Counseling Center

LaShawndra Vernon, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
LIHF – Lifecourse Initiative Healthy Families

Scott Marshall, Hunger Task Force
Director of Development

Sign up today!

Turning Business Connections into Corporate Partnerships

The magic to corporate-nonprofit partnership is in the nexus of interests. How well does the nonprofit’s mission align with how the corporation sees itself and its role in the community? We’ll be getting down to the brass tacks of partnership development with an exciting and knowledgeable panel:

Debbie Knepke, Corporate and Events Manager
Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, Inc.

Pamila Brown, Community Investment Specialist – Corporate Affairs
Manpower Group

Meg McKenna, Director of Development
VISIT Milwaukee

Wednesday, July 30th, 9-11am – Register Here

100 Manpower Place

Parking available on the street and in Visitor Parking Lot. Visitor parking is located on the 1st level of the parking structure located at the northeast corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Cherry Street. Enter the structure off of Cherry Street.

Crisis Communication & You


Great dialogue, exchange of ideas and information at yesterday’s Planners and Grant Writers Roundtable session exploring the ins and outs of crisis communication!

Special thanks to United Way of Greater Milwaukee for graciously hosting; and we’re especially grateful to our panelists: Andi Elliott of Community Advocates, Georgia Pabst of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Anthony McHenry of Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and Anne Curley of Curley Communications.

Crisis Communication: How to Avoid “Hair on Fire” Reactions and Act like a Pro in the Face of Organizational Calamity


Milwaukee Planners & Grant Writers Roundtable will meet on Thursday, April 30th from 9-11am at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee to discuss Crisis Communication.  No organization is immune to bad things happening; only smart organizations know how to handle the unexpected. Learn from organizations that have gracefully survived hard times with their community standing intact; get concrete tips from those in the know:

  • Ann Curley, Owner – Curley Communications
  • Georgia Pabst, Reporter – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Andi Elliot, Interim CEO – Community Advocates
  • Anthony McHenry, Executive Director, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

Learn more and register online today!



About Milwaukee Planners & Grant Writers Roundtable:
This group of nonprofit planning and grant writing professionals is organized through the Non Profit Center of Milwaukee.  We share successes, challenges and keep current on events and technology that impact your work. Sessions are held quarterly.  

Annual giving strategies


Everything….and I mean everything starts with a plan.  Here’s some thoughts on creating an annual giving strategy for your organization.


Clear, measurable and documented goals and results

  • Master timeline of activity, with staff responsibility assigned
  • Annual work plan in place with specific dollar and donor-based outcomes
  • Reports allow for effective evaluation of progress, and staff are empowered to make program changes based on data
  • Formal final report based on the work plan is created, reviewed and discussed before plans are finalized for the coming year

The annual fund maintains healthy growth

  • Donor-retention rates are carefully monitored
  • New donors are acquired each year to compensate for natural donor attrition.

The annual fund has a strategic focus

  • Continually works to identify potential donors
  • Strong commitment to personal solicitation for high-level annual-fund support, and it involves asking people to consider an increase

The annual fund is a visible priority across the organization

  • Leaders and staff are able to articulate the case for annual-fund support easily
  • Annual fund is a visible priority in all fundraising outreach-campaign, annual reports, website, public remarks, events, board members

The annual fund has highly visible and engaged volunteer leadership

  • Annual fund has a core group of volunteers willing to invest time and energy
  • 100% leadership (Board) participation
  • Staff support volunteers with reporting tools, personalized training, marketing materials
  • Vehicle for volunteers to provide feedback on an annual basis about their experience

Annual fund gifts are stewarded well

  • Accurate, timely and personal acknowledgement for annual fund gifts is provided
  • Donor records are maintained rigorously
  • Use of annual-fund gifts is clearly articulated to donors in a compelling way