Successfully Navigate the Transition into a VP or Chief Development Officer Role

by Richard Tollefson

When a long-time major gift officer, annual fund manager or advancement services director steps into their first chief development officer or vice president role, the transition can be rocky, the learning curve enormous and the expectations overwhelming. “The skills you mastered moving up the ranks are not always the ones that are relevant as you move into a first-time CDO or … [More]

Fundraising vs. Finance: Change the Dynamics to Build Organizational Strength

by Richard Tollefson

Friction between a nonprofit’s fundraising and finance teams is not uncommon, but it can lead to division within the organization and confusion in the boardroom. Conflict typically stems from differences in performance measurement, reporting standards and business terminology. Left unresolved, goals can become compromised, performance questioned and reputations damaged. … [More]

Fundraising for Our Most Complex Social Issues 

by Richard Tollefson

Inspiring donors and raising philanthropic support for society’s most complex issues — those where tangible outcomes and positive impact may not be realized for years — is a challenge facing nonprofits worldwide. Homelessness is one case in point.  We spoke with four experts who shared stories of how they turned challenges into effective fundraising opportunities.  Human … [More]

Transform Mundane Financial Statements into Compelling Stories 

by Richard Tollefson 

Many nonprofit organizations are missing an opportunity to creatively tell their financial story in a way that attracts and inspires donors. While staying compliant with GAAP and IRS rules is important, nonprofits can use 990 returns, financial statements and annual reports to tell a compelling story about their mission and the impact their organization has on the … [More]

The Benefits of Workplace Mentorship

by Bertha Tapia

Labor shortages continue to weigh down our local and national economy. Right now, millions of U.S. companies have more job openings than workers to fill them. Workers in the younger generation are being more selective when it comes to finding a job. They are looking for companies with great employee culture, diversity and growth opportunities. A great and cost-effective way to … [More]

Fueled by Economic Recovery, Giving Reaches a New High

by Richard Tollefson

Strong increases in individual, foundation and corporate giving highlight the overall philanthropic picture in 2021. The largest-ever one-year increase in corporate giving was driven by an upswing in the Gross Domestic Product and growth in stock and financial markets. Overall giving in the U.S. increased 4% in 2021 to a new high of $484.85 billion. But, while the stock … [More]

Strategic Strength in Collective Impact

by Melissa L. Boydston, Ed.D.

The Phoenix metropolitan area continues to lead lists of the fastest-growing cities across the country, and with that growth comes wide-ranging issues that add to the complexities of addressing social challenges and issues throughout our community. It has become increasingly clear that companies, nonprofits and other community-minded organizations that want to create a … [More]

Cultivating the Generosity of Seasonal Residents

by Richard Tollefson

As people become more mobile, so does their attitude toward giving. The notion that seasonal residents with homes in multiple communities are an unlikely source of philanthropic support is just false. Plain and simple.  The Power of Personal Connections Howard Katz, a retired Goldman Sachs executive who lives in Manhattan, the Hamptons and Scottsdale, never intended to get … [More]


by Taylor Fareri

Social media is an indispensable tool for many businesses and organizations, including nonprofits. Whether a company is using Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter or LinkedIn, the platforms offer a free way to connect with their target audience. Every post is a new chance to reach a potential donor or volunteer.  Social media challenges and viral fundraising techniques can … [More]

Ignite Constituent Engagement

by Nancy Treser Osgood

Have those wildly creative virtual events and engaging digital messages reached their saturation point with donors, alumni or other constituents? As people tire of online interactions and hunger for more personal contacts and exchanges, how can educational institutions and nonprofit organizations keep their supporters involved and engaged?  These successful alumni programs … [More]

Big Bold Ideas Create Transformational Change for Nonprofits, Communities and Fundraising

by Richard Tollefson

Nonprofits that put forward a big and bold vision attract aspirational donors looking to change the world. Whether in one’s own backyard or around the globe, a carefully executed process of visionary planning and ambitious priority and goal setting cannot be bound by the constraints of current convention nor perceived restrictions.  The process must set the stage for … [More]

Reinventing the Way We Work

by Tanya Muñiz and Laura Kaiser

The ongoing pandemic has created a wave of change of epic proportions that has led to the great employment “reset” that the country, and the world, is now experiencing. Workers across various business sectors and age and ethnic groups are rethinking where and when they want to work, or if they want to stay in the workforce at all. Many employees are experiencing a radical … [More]

The Future of Philanthropy 

by Richard Tollefson

A new era of philanthropy, nonprofit governance and social change is upon us. Why, how and where the next generation of philanthropists give and engage is drastically changing in America and reshaping how nonprofits do business. To optimize the potential and impact of next-gen leaders, nonprofits must understand that leadership is more than money — although the wealth of this … [More]

An Equitable Economy in a Post-Pandemic World

by Carla Vargas Jasa and Chris Camacho 

What does an equitable economy look like in a post-pandemic world? The nonprofit sector, in partnership with businesses and many other sectors of the modern economy, is digging deep to determine how to answer this complex question.  An inclusive and equitable economy is possible only if representation allows all groups to be the drivers of the conversation. This is critical … [More]

Prepare for a Stronger Future with the Arizona Endowment Building Institute

by Kristen Mihaljevic

Nonprofit organizations provide essential services to our communities, stepping in to ensure people are housed, clothed, fed and feel safe. Yet, many nonprofits are surviving on limited resources. They must focus on running their operations, managing volunteers and communicating with donors, all while continuing to serve their clients. While many organizations are … [More]

Internal and External Stakeholders at the Core of Successful CSR Strategies 

by Carla Vargas Jasa

As the global pandemic continues, many companies are rethinking how they do business in a world that expects more than yesterday’s “doing well by doing good” Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns. In every community, the local economic, health and social impacts are in flux and no matter the corporation’s size or location; a company is a part of that … [More]

Record Giving Reaches $471 Billion. What Does It Mean for 2021? 

by Richard Tollefson

While a strong year-end stock market and record giving in response to COVID-19 and racial justice efforts drove growth in contributions, a tumultuous year created an uneven picture.  Total estimated charitable giving in the United States rose 5.1% from 2019 to 2020 (3.8%, adjusted for inflation), to $471.44 billion in contributions. This increase reflects flat or positive … [More]

Affordable Homes within Reach

by Lisa Urias

As our state confronts the third most severe affordable housing shortage in the nation, it’s clear that the status quo won’t cut it for average Arizonans. Compounded with rising rental rates, soaring overall demand and a high percentage of households at risk of eviction, the number of people experiencing homelessness has risen steadily in recent years. As a community-centric … [More]

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