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.


 Marc Misiurewicz


Empreinte Consulting, LLC

Welcome Pamela White to the Empreinte Consulting Team

Empreinte Consulting, LLC is pleased to welcome Pamela D. White to the team as a Fundraising Consultant.  Pamela has been a nonprofit fundraiser for almost three decades.  Starting in annual giving, her expertise crosses all areas of fundraising from event management, annual giving, major gifts and planned giving.  Her thoughtful approach to engage donors in a way that helps advance fundraising initiatives is impactful.

Pamela received her B.S. in Communications and English from St. John Fisher College.  Her career has allowed her to work at highly recognized organizations such at the University of Rochester, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Hillside Family of Agencies, McQuaid Jesuit and Daystar Kids.  In each organization, Pamela has enhanced the fundraising efforts and improved the processes by which philanthropic revenue is realized.

This knowledge and experience can be utilized to develop your fundraising strategy to include a three-part giving methodology while improving your relationship with donors. Whether you are looking to advance your fundraising to the next level, or you are initiating a campaign, Empreinte Consulting, LLC will help guide you through this journey.


Increase your employee morale through philanthropy and volunteerism

December 2, 2019/mmisiurewicz

There are several ways in which CEO’s and company executives look to increase their employee morale while retaining and attracting the best employees.  One strategy to accomplish this goal that is often not fully developed is charitable giving.  Companies spend a lot of time and money supporting nonprofit missions in their community while not having the intended results.  Yes, companies will make donations that benefit nonprofit organizations, but often there is little strategy behind their charitable efforts and the impact internally and externally is minimal.  We have all seen the Gala or golf tournament sponsorship where no employees attend the event, or the outright gift that was spent without the company knowing how it was used.  Philanthropy can be a powerful tool that can have numerous positive ramifications if coordinated appropriately.  One positive outcome is increasing employee morale.

A 2017 Deloitte survey* on volunteerism showed that 89% of respondents believed that companies who are charitable and sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment.  The philanthropic support provided does not directly impact the day to day work of each employee, yet employees respect companies that care for their community.  The charitable activities make employees feel good and increases the emotional attachment to their employer.  If the employer takes the additional step to include the employees in their charitable activities, this emotional attachment grows exponentially.

The motivation for these charitable activities can vary from altruism to marketing and visibility in the community to financial benefits through tax deductions.  Regardless of the intent, the impact on a nonprofit can be significant.  By developing a thoughtful charitable strategy, companies can maximize their impact and directly improve employee morale which leads to increased productivity and employee retention.  Knowing who to involve in the development of this charitable strategy and how to have the greatest impact can be challenging.  By partnering with the experts at Empreinte Consulting, LLC, we can guide you through this process and develop a plan that engages your employees while fulfilling your philanthropic mission.

At a time when it is increasingly difficult to attract and retain talented professionals, developing a clear and thoughtful charitable plan can provide your company and the organizations you support with multiple benefits.  Your employees will thank you.



Marc Misiurewicz


Empreinte Consulting, LLC


Empreinte Consulting, LLC is pleased to welcome Paul Spengler, Ph.D.

Empreinte Consulting, LLC is pleased to welcome Paul Spengler, Ph.D. to the team as a Consultant focused on grant writing and research. Bringing decades of grants experience, Paul offers a depth of insight and expertise in the development of winning grant applications. Paul has assisted numerous nonprofits to identify grant opportunities among local and national foundations as well as county, state and federal resources.

Dr. Spengler holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from Buffalo State College, a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware, and a Certificate in Grantsmanship from the Grantsmanship Center (Los Angeles).
He has worked successfully for many years with general units of state and local government, non-profit human service agencies, religious organizations, hospitals, colleges and universities to secure grants. His grant writing efforts to date have brought in more than $50 million in federal, state and local public grants as well as national, regional, and local private foundation grants

This knowledge and experience can be utilized to develop your grant strategy, preparing you to approach funders who share your mission, and helping you to create dynamic, competitive grant applications. Whether you are looking to advance your grant funding to the next level, or you are new to grants development, Empreinte Consulting, LLC will help guide you through this journey.


Welcome Jen Adams to the Empreinte Consulting Team

Empreinte Consulting, LLC is pleased to welcome Jen Adams to the team as a Consultant focused on grant writing and research.  Cultivated by fifteen years of grants experience, Jen offers a depth of insight and expertise in the development of winning grant applications. Jen has assisted numerous nonprofits to identify grant opportunities among local and national foundations as well as county, state and federal resources.

A graduate of nearby Roberts Wesleyan College, Jen received a B.A. in Communications with a Business minor. She entered the world of fundraising while working as Development Coordinator at the Heritage Group, a healthcare organization south of Buffalo serving 2.500 seniors in various levels of residential care. Moving back to Rochester in 2004, Jen continued to develop skills in grant writing as Project Manager at the Rochester-based Grants Office firm.

With an eye on long-term, strategic impact, Jen has guided multiple clients toward their fundraising goals by performing comprehensive grant research and creating a timeline for developing and submitting requests. Having served a wide variety of agencies and organizations locally, Jen has developed a strong knowledge of the Greater Rochester community and an awareness of its socioeconomic needs and risk factors. This knowledge and experience can be utilized to develop your grant strategy, preparing you to approach funders who share your mission, and helping you to create dynamic, competitive grant applications. Whether you are looking to advance your grant funding to the next level, or you are new to grants development, Empreinte Consulting, LLC will help guide you through this journey.



New firm guides nonprofits and their donors

By:Velvet SpicerAugust 2, 2019

Funding is the bane of many nonprofits’ existence, resulting in the added challenge of maximizing their impact on the community. A new consulting firm strives to alleviate that problem.

Empreinte Consulting LLC was founded in October last year by Marc Misiurewicz, a 10-year veteran of development at University of Rochester and Rochester Regional Health. As president and founder, Misiurewicz said he and Executive Vice President and Partner Carrie Piraino Donnelly got into development because they wanted to help the community flourish. The duo worked together for years before Empreinte opened.

“We saw throughout our time in development a real need, specifically in the nonprofit community, but also in the philanthropic community, for guidance,” he explained. “There were a lot of organizations and individual donors who weren’t being guided in the philanthropic space, whether they were receiving gifts or making gifts, to move a mission forward.”

Empreinte’s goal is to partner with nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, family foundations and corporations to guide them through the philanthropic process and leverage the new company’s expertise—gleaned from their experience with two of the largest nonprofits in Rochester—to help them have the greatest impact locally.

“Through Marc’s and my experience, we’re pretty aware of what’s going on, whether it be a programmatic project or capital needs, so we’re really trying to align people in this community,” Donnelly said.

Clients include organizations such as Mary Cariola Children’s Center, Hillside Family of Agencies, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and others. Any 501(c)3 is a potential client, as are individual donors and corporations looking to give back.

“So many companies in this region are giving to nonprofits and to our community, but really have no direction or strategic thought behind that giving, so we saw a great opportunity to take our experience and support those entities in a way that would have the greatest impact in this community,” Misiurewicz explained.

Development experience is a growing need for philanthropists, Misiurewicz said.

“What struck us, since I started this in October, is the demand for services,” he said. “What we found is in the nonprofit sector there are challenges as far as recruiting and retaining top development talent. So the idea of outsourcing services relating to development for nonprofits is a very high need.”

So high, in fact, that Misiurewicz served as interim chief advancement officer for Hillside for several months during a leadership transition.

“What we’re finding is whether it’s training gifts officers, supporting operational infrastructure of the nonprofit, providing strategic advisory services for the CEOs in nonprofits, there really is a significant need,” he added. “And the fact that we’ve worked for the two largest nonprofits in the community, we really can help bring best practices, efficiencies and maximize the resources that these nonprofits have.”

Empreinte’s nonprofit consulting services run the gamut from strategic partnership with executive leadership to create a development strategy to functioning as interim chief development officers to training of development staff and more. Database support services are available, as is training and coaching of campaign volunteers and campaign feasibility studies.

On the giving side, for individuals and private or family foundations Empreinte will create a philanthropic vision, formulate a giving strategy and partner with a client’s financial advisor, estate attorney or CPA to develop a holistic approach to philanthropic decision-making.

“On the philanthropic side, this is really new to donors,” Misiurewicz said. “In cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, there are more philanthropic advisers. It’s new in Rochester. We’re still educating donors as to the value proposition, the impact we can have and how partnering with us can really create a higher level of efficiency in their giving.”

Empreinte is finding that philanthropic families are in need of coaching the next generation of givers, Donnelly said.

“They’re extremely philanthropic and it was embedded into their values, and what they’re finding is the second or third generation, there’s a real disconnect there,” she explained.

Businesses and corporate foundations are offered assistance in the creation of a philanthropic mission statement, as well as partnerships between Empreinte and their marketing, community relations or foundation director to vet philanthropic requests from nonprofits. Empreinte helps corporations create a philanthropic strategy and identifies ways in which the organization can provide non-monetary support to advance their mission.

With Misiurewicz and Donnelly at the helm, Empreinte also has three contract-based consultants advising clients. Both say the company has “significant” growth potential.

“Our three to five-year plan is to grow regionally and even nationally,” Misiurewicz said. “Right now, we’re leveraging relationships in this community that we’ve built to help the community we’ve lived in our entire lives.”

Donnelly said Empreinte’s leaders are sensitive to the fact that not-for-profits have shallow pockets and limited budgets. With just two full-time advisers—herself and Misiurewicz—the company is able to keep fees low, she said.

“We’re really mindful of that because we’ve lived it, we’ve had to raise the money before and build the organization, so we’re very community conscious and socially conscious to do the right thing,” she added.

Misiurewicz is half French and thus chose Empreinte—the French word for footprint—as the agency’s name because he connects with the French culture.

“And the word ‘footprint’ summarizes in my mind what philanthropy can do,” he explained. “It leaves a mark on this Earth, whether you’re a nonprofit supporting an important mission or an individual giving of yourself to support that mission, you leave a footprint, you leave a mark on this Earth.”


Empreinte Consulting is pleased to welcome Nicole Sayers

Empreinte Consulting, LLC is pleased to welcome Nicole Sayers to the team as a Client Advisor. Nicole brings more than 20 years of client focused sales, customer service and management experience to Empreinte having worked in Retail, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare environments.  In addition to her professional work, Nicole is a philanthropist and has supported important nonprofit organizations as a volunteer through serving as a Board Member of the Highland Hospital Foundation and CDS Monarch Foundation as well as volunteering with McQuaid Jesuit High School and St. Louis Catholic School.  She obtained her BA from SUNY Cortland with a dual major in Communications and Spanish.

In her role as a Client Advisor with Empreinte, she will build and manage client relationships in support of philanthropic consulting services provided to nonprofits, philanthropists and corporations.  In addition, Nicole will support our volunteer board training services as a peer trainer and coach.