How Nonprofits & Philanthropists Can Adapt During COVID-19

This is a unique time in our history as we are all adapting to a new way of living with COVID-19 in our communities.  Nonprofit organizations are living in a world of uncertainty as they must cancel events and limit their interactions with donors. Philanthropic revenue is such a critical part of every nonprofit’s operational budget and there is no question that this virus will put a financial strain on several nonprofits. During this temporary shift in activity, the organizations that plan and strategize will prove to be the most effective moving forward. Ask yourself, will you be prepared to fundraise effectively once this is behind us?

It is easy to panic during these uncertain times and question what steps to take as an organization. However, this may present the perfect opportunity to assess your operations, develop a thoughtful strategic plan and create a clear message of need that will resonate with your donors. Looking inward during this time will allow you to engage your donors in a meaningful way in the future. Nonprofits that are organized, well run and impactful when using philanthropic dollars will continue to be the most appealing to donors and have the greatest impact on our community.

When we council our philanthropic clients, the first thing that we assess is the organizational efficiency of the nonprofits they are looking to support. What is your cost to raise a dollar? How well are you able to clearly articulate the need for philanthropic support and the impact it will have on your mission? Are your nonprofit leaders strategic, thoughtful and mission driven? These are critical questions that will determine whether a donor makes a gift to your nonprofit or chooses another organization. This is especially true for major and principal gift donors.

As an altruistic philanthropist looking to help a mission that is important to you and your family, how do you decide where to allocate your limited budget? This is a critically important question that may not always be easy to answer without proper guidance.

The consultants at Empreinte Consulting bring more than 100 years of collective fundraising experience and are positioned to partner with you during this difficult time. Whether you are a nonprofit looking to develop your strategy and determine how to engage donors, or the philanthropist and corporate leader looking to impact your community, we are here to help. Taking the time now to develop a plan will make all the difference in the world and ensure the greatest impact on our community.

#helpingthosewhohelpothers

 Marc Misiurewicz

President

Empreinte Consulting, LLC

The value of a Philanthropic Advisor

As an altruistic philanthropist, you look to have the greatest impact possible on the missions you care about most. Giving of yourself is one of the most important and intimate things you will do in life. When making the decision to give of yourself to advance important missions, you often consult your lawyer, accountant, and/or investment advisor. For many of you—especially those of you with complex business needs—each advisor plays an important role on your professional “team”. They help ensure that you are making the best decision based on your personal situation. However, there is one additional subject matter expert that would help you tremendously…

A Philanthropic Advisor has skills that complement those of the other professionals who provide you advice on legal, tax, and financial matters. We have worked in nonprofit organizations and understand the power of philanthropy in a way that many will never know. If you are already giving to charity or considering a gift at some point in the future, connecting with a Philanthropic Advisor at Empreinte Consulting, LLC can help you create a thoughtful and personal giving plan to make a meaningful difference on the causes you care about most. When making a decision this important, why wouldn’t you want an expert guide in the process?

Here are six reasons to team up with a Philanthropic Advisor from Empreinte:

1. We know the options. Charitable giving can be a complex field. There are so many ways in which you can have an impact. Which way is the best for you? The Philanthropic Advisors at Empreinte Consulting are well-versed in the various giving vehicles and strategies that you may want to consider. Should you establish a family foundation or a Donor Advised Fund (or both)? A Charitable Remainder Trust or a Charitable Lead Trust? Our Philanthropic Advisors can help you evaluate these options and make smart, informed decisions.

2. We know the causes. In contrast to many financial service firms that offer Donor Advised Funds, Empreinte Consulting is staffed with experts who can provide you with information about the issues and organizations you are interested in supporting. Our experience working for nonprofits large and small provides us with a perspective that can be extremely valuable in your decision making. We will help you develop a philanthropic mission statement and guidelines for your philanthropic decisions. Whether you are passionate about education, healthcare or environmental conservation, our Philanthropic Advisors can help you vet nonprofits and make thoughtful choices about your giving to ensure the greatest impact.

3. We know the community. Our Philanthropic Advisors are connected to the local nonprofit sector. Through one-on-one meetings, donor events, and site visits to nonprofits, we can help you connect with local organizations that are doing innovative work, as well as like-minded donors and community leaders that align with your values. In addition to forging useful social connections, you may also discover opportunities to join more structured networks, such as funder collaboratives that team up to address specific community needs.

4. We are highly skilled goal-setters. Many philanthropists say that writing checks is easy. Does that sound like you? What is harder, they say, is crafting a giving plan that reflects their dreams for achieving positive change in the community. Our Philanthropic Advisors are experienced at helping people articulate their personal values and how those values influence their philanthropic goals. We can help you create a values statement for your giving, set a budget, and choose strategies that are both impactful and personally satisfying.

5. We help families give together. “Giving back” often means more than one donation, one day spent volunteering, or one decision to open a charitable fund. For many people, it’s a journey with many phases that they travel with relatives and loved ones. Empreinte Consulting is highly skilled at facilitating the conversations, which at times may be difficult, that help families come together to reflect, learn, and make decisions as collective philanthropists. This process also helps develop a philanthropic succession plan that ensures your legacy lives on.

6. We help maintain philanthropy as a priority. Between jobs, kids, volunteer obligations, and more, many people find that organizing their charitable contributions is an arduous task. We give you back your time and sanity. Our Philanthropic Advisors can help, making it easy for you to focus on the things you care about most while knowing your philanthropic plan is executed.

Philanthropy is one of the most important investment tools that we have at our disposal. Not only does it transform your life, but it forever changes the lives of others. Don’t feel as though you need to go on this journey alone. Empreinte Consulting is positioned well to guide you through the philanthropic process and provide our expertise to ensure you are fulfilling all your goals. Your investment in us will provide one of the most rewarding returns of your life. We would be honored to speak with you further to discuss ways in which we can partner to enhance our communities.

#helpingthosewhohelpothers

 

Empreinte Consulting, LLC​
585-233-6341
​marc@empreinteconsulting.com

How to Fundraise Effectively

How Can I Fundraise Effectively?

Fundraising is often the foundation for many low- and non-profit organizations. It can be the difference between an entity thriving and folding.  When done inefficiently, fundraising can be an utter waste of time and resources, but when done correctly, it can make all the difference. Here are five steps that you can take to make your fundraising a success. 

1. Set clear expectations. One of the major issues businesses have when it comes to raising money is that not everyone is on the same page regarding expectations. In addition to knowing how much money you wish to raise (the amount you want after expenses are accounted for), it is important that you set up a well researched, thought out strategy in order to achieve your goals. These should be highly focused and take into consideration the organization’s long-term goals. 

2. Budget. In order to keep a good hold on how much your organization is spending, every event necessitates a full budget, itemized by various expenses to be capable of holding the event. This includes things such as space rental, utilities, hired workers, food, and invitations. Your budget should also exist with your fundraising goal in mind. This is so that you end up raising more money than what is necessary to pay for the event. It is also good practice to budget for emergencies or other unforeseen issues. 

3. Clearly define how the funds are to be used. No one wants to donate money when they don’t know where it is going, what it is to be used for, and how that use will help to propel the organization forward in light of its goals. Communicating an internal rate of return (IRR), which demonstrates how a donor’s money is moving the organization towards a sustainable lifespan, is effective for larger donors, who don’t wish to be approached again later on. 

4. Define your target audience. Any plan is inefficient and often ineffective if it does not include a well-defined target audience. It is important to identify which group(s) of people you wish to attend. Your target audience could be anyone and everyone or a specific group of people (e.g. young professionals).

5. Assign the right tasks to the right people. There are several important roles that your team will undertake in order to make the event a success. These include:

  • Askers – These are individuals who understand the skill and timing associated with asking for donations.
  • Connectors – These are the individuals who are well-connected and can help to make valuable introductions.
  • Engagers – These are the relationship builders, who have the ability to communicate well and nurture relationships.
  • Stewards – These are the individuals who interact with, nurture, grow, and promote donor relationships.

It is most important to pair individuals with the positions that play most to their strengths and avoid their weaknesses. 

While fundraising can be time-consuming and at times frustrating, when done correctly it can help to achieve goals and relieve financial pressures that may often arise. To learn how to most efficiently and effectively fundraise, it is a good idea to consider a consultant for your team. These individuals have the knowledge and experience necessary to make a huge impact on your organization, so that your organization can continue to make a huge impact on others.