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Balancing Demands of the Moment with a Focus on the Future

Balancing Demands of the Moment with a Focus on the Future

January 2020 was full of anticipation for MMS Advancement Associates and our clients. Together, we were busy developing fundraising strategies for operational support, major gifts, and capital campaigns. But the year didn’t progress as planned once COVID arrived. By the end of March, the nonprofit sector was racing to respond to the shifting needs of clients and communities. The initial reaction of many of our clients was, “We can’t ask for money in this environment.” The temptation was to put fundraising, especially major gift and capital campaigns, on hold.

The advice we gave at the time was, “Don’t make assumptions about your donors. Reach out to them. Continue to build relationships. Ask them how they are, how they are managing in these times. Share what is going on in your organization.”

“And keep focus on your plan.” When the pandemic hit, organizations were in various stages of campaign preparation, planning, and implementation. Time frames didn’t proceed as they might have in a typical year, but most of our clients successfully balanced short-term needs with long-term strategies and made significant progress by year’s end.

Some were beneficiaries of particularly large, unexpected gifts in 2020. Some of these contributions were made to help the organization face pandemic-related challenges. Others were for capital campaigns and were the result of the active relationship building and communications that kept the organization’s stories in view.

As we launch 2021, our advice to focus on relationships, engagement, and telling your amazing stories has not changed. Two significant transformations of 2020 are expanding our conversations.

  • How will you use the digital transformation to your advantage in 2021? At every step of the fundraising cycle, donors, volunteers, and friends have become comfortable with using online tools and engaging through virtual experiences. We all long to return to in-person relationship building, but for those who are not able to join us in person, we now have new ways to engage.
  • How will you respond in the months ahead to the heightened awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in nonprofit organizations? As you work to build relationships and engage new friends, how will you be certain that you are truly welcoming and valuing of the contributions of people from all backgrounds?

The key to success, especially in times like these, is to balance the need to react to the challenges of the moment with a focus on long-term strategies. As we emerge from the pandemic, renew your focus on mission and vision. Let donors and community know where you are headed and how they can help you get there. 

Marcella Schick, MA, ACFRE, CAP

 

 

What’s My Pole? On Institutional Racism in Our Fundraising Practice

What’s My Pole? On Institutional Racism in Our Fundraising Practice

What does it mean to question “best practices” and dismantle institutional racism in our organizations and our fundraising?  Shawn Mack, Development Officer and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator at Valley Youth House, and I will address three fundraising “best practices” during an online conversation sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) on Wednesday,… Continue Reading

Inspiring Generosity: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Inspiring Generosity: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Philanthropy means literally “love for humankind.” When we invite others to give and volunteer, we are giving them the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves and to make a difference in the world. How can we nurture a culture within our organizations that inspires generosity and transforms the lives of those we… Continue Reading

Marci Schick to present at the 2019 Capital Conference

Marci Schick to present at the 2019 Capital Conference

Marcella Moyer Schick, ACFRE, and Rev. Aaron J. Anderson, MA, M.Ed., CEO/Head of School, Logos Academy and Otto Monroy, CFRE and MBA Candidate, Vice President of Advancement, Logos Academy, will present a session at the 2019 Capital Conference on October 1, 2019. They will speak on “First Things First: Positioning for a Successful Capital Campaign.”… Continue Reading

Marci Schick to present at the 2018 Capital Conference

Marci Schick to present at the 2018 Capital Conference

Marcella Moyer Schick, ACFRE, and Joan Mummert and Terri Altland of the York County History Center, will present a session at the 2018 Capital Conference on September 26, 2018. They will speak on Adapting Tried and True Strategies to your Unique Capital Campaign. There are seven key ingredients of a successful capital campaign: 1) Visibility… Continue Reading

Marci Schick to present at LV Philanthropy Institute May 16

Schick to present @ Philanthropy Institute

Marcella Moyer Schick, ACFRE, and Susan Nenstiel of the Lower Macungie Library, will present a session at the Lehigh Valley Philanthropy Institute on May 16, 2018. They will speak on Adapting Tried and True Strategies to your Unique Capital Campaign.   There are seven key ingredients of a successful capital campaign: 1) Visibility and a strong reputation;… Continue Reading

Standards for Excellence Resources are Coming to the Lehigh Valley!

Standards for Excellence Resources are Coming to the Lehigh Valley!

Want to learn ways to improve your organization’s operational effectiveness and governance practices? Join MMS Advancement Associates President Marcella Schick and other trainers for the upcoming 2-day Standards for Excellence Implementation Workshop. Tuesday, March 27 & Tuesday, April 17 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Pinebrook Family Answers, Allentown, PA As a trained and approved… Continue Reading

Engaging Stakeholders for a Successful Capital Campaign

Planning to attend the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in New Orleans? MMS Advancement Associates, in partnership with United Church Homes and Services, will present a session on Engaging Stakeholders for a Successful Capital Campaign. Join us Wednesday November 1st at 8 am.  Learn how UCHS engaged key stakeholders to set the stage for major… Continue Reading

Marci Schick to present at LV Philanthropy Institute May 17

Marci Schick to present at LV Philanthropy Institute May 17

Marcella Moyer Schick, ACFRE, will present a session at the Lehigh Valley Philanthropy Institute entitled Donors in the Middle, Gems Hidden in Plain Sight. We would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. Join the conversation @https://lnkd.in/dqF_zxV Marci’s premise is that organizations seldom have a cultivation strategy aimed at mid-level donors, those in the mid-range of… Continue Reading

Fundraising Leadership:  Congrats Ann Marie!

Fundraising Leadership: Congrats Ann Marie!

This morning, it was my honor to present an award for Excellence in Fundraising Management to our good friend and fundraising colleague Ann Marie Surovy. This recognition came as part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Eastern PA Chapter National Philanthropy Day celebration. During the event, several people talked about change. There’s no denying that… Continue Reading

Choose MMS Advancement Associates LLC

At MMS Advancement Associates LLC, we have devoted our careers to the advancement of nonprofit organizations because we believe they can make a difference in the world. Our work is driven by a commitment to professional ethics, excellence and partnership. Contact us today to learn how together we can strengthen your organization to advance your mission and transform lives.

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