Communicate the Transformative Impact with Social Return on Investment

by Richard Tollefson and Michal Tyra

For nonprofits, communicating impact and value is crucial. While most businesses answer to a select group of owners, investors and shareholders, nonprofits must justify their existence and performance to a wide range of stakeholders. Donors, program partners, volunteers, board members, legislators, clients and local leaders all want constant assurances that their time, money and influence… [More]

The New Tax Law 

by Richard Tollefson and Michal Tyra

The recent overhaul to our nation’s tax code has many of our clients expressing confusion and concern about how these changes will affect their fundraising efforts. Using the analysis provided in a recent whitepaper by Robert Sharpe of The Sharpe Group, and The Phoenix Philanthropy Group’s own perspective, we hope to combat misinformation and provide… [More]

Engaging a Fundraising Consultant – the Why and the How

by Richard Tollefson and Michal Tyra

As nonprofit board members and professionals, it can be hard to ask for help. Emotion, pride and passion can be difficult and often cloud the more practical pursuit of enhanced business performance. Additionally, in a sector that often prides itself on making do with less, the idea of “scaling” programmatic and fundraising performance — and… [More]

Philanthropy on the Rise – for a Third Consecutive Year!

by Richard Tollefson and Michael Tyra

As this year’s “Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy” notes, 2016 was certainly an unusual year for giving in the United States. Between a tumultuous and all-encompassing election and increasing societal tension, it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see an off-year for philanthropy. Instead, we saw the opposite! Total giving increased for the third… [More]

Avoiding the Operational Black Hole 

by Richard Tollefson 

“There is not enough time in the day to get my job done.” It’s a complaint echoed by a majority of fundraising leaders. For many who have risen through the ranks as chief development officers — or even CEOs — it often boils down to an excess of time spent on operations. Unused to managing… [More]

Cultivating Mobile Philanthropists

by Richard Tollefson 

Don Budinger, chairman and founding director of The Rodel Foundation of Arizona, supports Arizona’s public K-12 schools through a variety of programs. His philanthropic endeavors extend nationally to the communities where his business, Rodel Inc. — now part of Dow — grew its manufacturing facilities and, more broadly, to national public education issues. Budinger is… [More]

Life After a Campaign

by Richard Tollefson 

Life after a successful campaign is filled with rewards and benefits. New buildings, improved facilities, innovative programming, expanded services, research and scholarships, and working capital infuse nonprofits with a sense of momentum. Campaigns also bring enhanced visibility, strengthened reputation and increased community impact that makes future fundraising less challenging. What’s more, leadership and staff —… [More]

Quiet Does Not Mean Silent

by Richard Tollefson 

Today’s comprehensive fundraising campaigns often include a quiet phase before going public. But what does quiet really mean to executives who sit on nonprofit boards? “The quiet phase is really about growing your circle of influence every quarter and progressively amplifying what you are doing to achieve your strategic plan,” says Lori Bachand, Sacramento State’s… [More]

The Art and Science of Fundraising Campaigns

by Richard Tollefson 

Successful fundraising campaigns don’t happen without planning. In the early stages, they draw heavily upon discipline, rigor, organizational tools and processes — the science of good campaigns. Art also plays a crucial role — the art of adaptation and fluidity. No one knows that more than San Diego State University’s Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president… [More]

Transforming the Nonprofit

by Richard Tollefson 

When Darlene Newsom, CEO of Phoenix-based UMOM, the largest shelter for homeless families in Arizona, tackled a $25 million campaign in 2006, she — along with her board — aimed to reach more families and expand services through the creation of a new facility. What she didn’t expect were the myriad additional benefits a successful… [More]