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Roundtable Roundup: Board Self-Assessment

The broader purpose of a board self-assessment is to create and maintain a healthy board by assessing members’ perceptions and status of their servitude. More specifically, the assessment should ensure non-profit compliance, evaluate best practices, identify where things need to be  realigned, and to help reduce conflict by clarifying role of the board versus staff.

While this annual activity is the responsibility of the Governance Committee, the chief executive of the organization may have to prompt the activity and offer tools for the board to utilize. There are many resources available but do what works best for your board. Questions can include issues such as best practices and bylaw adherence, but they may also include questions specific to your organization’s value, mission, or programs.

Some key components of any board self-assessment should include:

  • Identity and direction: Is there a strategic plan and is it being followed and routinely reviewed?
  • Resourcing the board by ensuring the right people are in place.
  • Providing oversight by evaluating the chief executive with an annual review as well as evaluating general board operations such as setting meeting agendas that encourage discussion as well as addressing strategic direction.

BoardSource offers a full checklist of board roles and responsibilities that dive into this further.

So, what now? Download a self-assessment resource and ensure you are gathering data that will be most useful. The Executive Committee should determine where there are gaps and develop a plan to address the issues. Review or create a committee structure that allows for a funnel on and off the board as you make some transitions and movements. Listed below are some self-assessment resources for you to utilize:

If you would like to discuss board development in more detail, please reach out to us at info@kennariconsulting.com !

Michigan Nonprofit Association – Compensation and Benefit Report Summary and Analysis

Michigan Nonprofit Association – Compensation and Benefit Report Summary and Analysis

The Michigan Nonprofit Association is a statewide membership organization committed to supporting nonprofits through resources, advocacy and training. The 2019 Compensation and Benefits report surveyed 311 organizations of all sizes across the state in order to help organizations meet the needs of their employees while still serving their communities.

Compensation Trends

Overall, compensation in Michigan nonprofits has increased over the last few years with the average pay raise for 2018 3%, up from 2.77% in 2016. This trend is true for most individual positions as well. The average CEO salary increased 30% from the 2010 report.

Salaries do vary on a number of factors: region, organization type, budget size, etc. In general, nonprofits in West Michigan pay slightly less than the state leading region: the Southeast. Furthermore, in West Michigan, salary ranges within individual positions are, on average, about $30,000.

Benefits Trends

In general, the number of organizations offering some sort of health coverage to employees has increased significantly over time with 57% organizations offering coverage in 2010 to 76% offering coverage in 2018.

When it comes to paid time off, the majority of organizations offer vacation, sick and personal days as a group of paid time off, to be used at the employee’s discretion. However, only 23% of organization limit the use of PTO days to that fiscal year, offering no carryover.

Paid maternity and paternity leave as also skyrocketed in the last few years. Today, 30% of nonprofits offer 11-16 weeks of maternity leave, tripling the data from 2017. Even more dramatically, the number of organizations offering paid paternity leave for the duration of 11-16 weeks has increased from 5% in 2016 to 25% today.

Kennari Analysis

In order to recruit and maintain top talent in your field, offering competitive compensation and benefits is vital to your organization’s success. The data supports a higher value being placed on the importance of comprehensive compensation packages, aside from just salary increases.

Working in the nonprofit space does not mean that you must compensate your employees poorly and by comparing yourself to other organizations, you can ensure that your organization is staying competitive in its field.

For more information about the Michigan Nonprofit Association and to purchase the complete MNA Compensation and Benefit report, please visit www.mnaonline.org.

Written by Elyse Bax, Kennari Intern

 

 

Roundtable Round Up: Thanking Your Donors

Plan your thank you like you plan your ask.

As fundraising professionals, we all know that donors need a thank you when they make a gift.  But what we don’t always spend enough time on is how to make that thank you special to the donor.  At Kennari Consulting, we believe that your stewardship plan should be as carefully thought out as your solicitation strategy.  Whether the donor gave $25 at your event, or made a three-year six figure gift, some careful planning can reinforce to the donor why they made the gift in the first place.  And, it can ensure that they will continue their giving in future.  Here are some basic ideas to consider as you craft your stewardship plan:

The Thank You Letter

All gifts should receive a thank you letter within 48 hours of making their gift.  This means that if you are sending a large mailing or having a large event with an influx of gifts, you should be planning to block the time necessary to get your thank you letters out within 48 hours. The letter should include:

  • Recognition of the impact of the gift on what they gave to – connect it to the part of the mission within your appeal that inspired them to make the gift.
  • A signature from an appropriate person (CEO, Board Chair, Director, personal relationship)
  • Recognition information (if applicable)
  • IRS Language
  • Information about what they could do next for your organization (ie: Visit us online, watch a video testimonial, sign up for eNews, take a tour, volunteer, etc.)

Special Follow-Up

There are some instances where an extra step can be some personal follow up, like a phone call or a visit.  Here are some ideas for this touchpoint:

  • For first time donors, place a thank you call and talk with them about why they gave
  • For event sponsors, send the program from the event or visit them and bring them the giveaway from the evening if they couldn’t attend
  • For someone who just made the largest gift they have given, have the CEO or other leader call them and thank them personally
  • Engage your program staff in thanking the donors, either with a handwritten note or thank you call
  • Send pictures, constituent thank yous or videos
  • Use handwritten notes for donors at a certain level
  • Invite capital donors to take a hard-hat tour of the space or see project plans
  • Engage the volunteer who helped you get this gift in the thank you process
  • Thank your monthly donors separately, instead of just sending everyone the same tax receipt each month
  • Do a donor survey to understand better how they want to interact with you

Opportunities to See their Dollars at Work

Many organizations make great connections with their donors by inviting them to activities to see their dollars at work.  This is one of the most impactful acknowledgements you can make.  While you may not be able to engage all donors in these activities, you can identify certain activities for certain levels of donors. Some ideas could be:

  • Inviting small groups of people to interact with a program officer or visiting artist to your organization.
  • Inviting donors to a “graduation” ceremony for your constituents
  • Engaging donors to view student led activities or presentations
  • Inviting donors to volunteer with your organization

As you navigate which components will make up your organization’s stewardship plan, remember, the goal is to make sure the donor feels valued and important.  They want to feel special and they want to know they’ve made a difference.  The best way to do this is to take the time to plan all of the ways you are going to say thank you, and also take the time to understand why the donor wants to be a part of your organization.  And remember, the average first-time donor renews just 25% of the time.  You can impact this number by being intentional about your stewardship.  If you do a great job thanking, you will stand out, and donor will remember you and feel special.  On the flip side, if you do a poor job thanking, you will stand out, but NOT the way you want to. Take the time to plan, and your donors might just thank YOU.

 

Roundtable Roundup: Storytelling

What’s your story? Or rather – what’s your organization’s story? Are you utilizing storytelling in your fundraising? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to help donors get closer to your organization and the people or causes you serve.

Here are a few simple strategies to consider to get started:

  1. What are the stories that could show – instead of telling – the impact of your organization in the community? Consider selecting stories that are relatable, timely, and that demonstrate how donor support is helping your organization fulfill your mission. Remember, stories help demystify the work you do.
  2. Consider another angle. Do you always focus on one aspect of your programming or one type of client success story? Stories can highlight lesser known elements of what you do which may appeal to new or broader audiences. The same is true in the medium you choose. A longer narrative in a direct mail appeal or newsletter may appeal more to some groups, while short videos or visual infographic may appeal to others. Our guests from Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation shared this video, connecting its viewers to the foundation’s mission of supporting schools and their students.
  3. Make storytelling a key part of your communications strategy and annual plan. Plan ahead to identify the types of stories you want to tell over the year and where you will tell them. Our guest, Kate Klemp from Cherry Health Foundation discussed how to plan out and gather stories – and you can see from their stories that it’s a routine part of their annual fund strategy!

Gathering stories in any nonprofit can be challenging. Try some of these tricks:

  1. Building relationships with the key storytellers of your organization will make an incredible difference.
  2. Offer an incentive for those who share a story.
  3. Have clear parameters of what type of story you are looking for.
  4. When taking a tour of your organization, ask program staff to share the story of what compels them to do their job.
  5. Incorporate mission moments into staff meetings; share these mission moments in board meetings to help engage your board.

While stories are important, leveraging your case for support is just as important. If you’re not using your case, it’s time to dust that off and put it to use! Think of your case as a pantry – you can pull what you need from it when you need it. It’s a good starting place when thinking about how to talk about your organization and the need you address, as well as a powerful training tool to help ensure your board and other stakeholders can do the same. Think event scripting, video talking points, training the board on their 30-second elevator pitch.

If you don’t have a case for support, or if you’re struggling to incorporate more meaningful stories into your annual communications, we’re here to help! Reach out via our contact form – we’d love to help you leverage your unique story for greater success.

 

Intern Spotlight

Meet Jared Schmatz! Jared is a Junior at Cornerstone University and is studying Business Management. He is looking forward to applying what he learned at Kennari to other student organizations he is involved with at Cornerstone.

5 Lessons I Learned From My Summer Internship at Kennari Consulting

Before starting my internship at Kennari Consulting, I didn’t have a lot of experience with fundraising. However, after my summer of working in the world of philanthropy, I have gained valuable knowledge and insight in this space. Here are 5 lessons I learned from working at Kennari Consulting:

1. Building relationships is vital. The most important lesson I learned from my internship is that fundraising cannot be done effectively without relationship building. In many of the meetings I shadowed, our consultants would go through prospect lists with our clients. They would help our clients create plans for cultivating the donors through various activities such as a building tour, lunch with a board member, or a house party. Our consultants helped our clients think about the relationships between board members, staff members, and donors, in order to create unique cultivation plans for each donor prospect. This is the most important lesson because it has challenged me to improve my relationship building skills. During this school year, I plan to focus much more on networking and building relationships with my fellow Cornerstone students and members of the nonprofit industry in West Michigan.

2. Data and research matter. Before starting my internship, I had no idea how important data and research were to fundraising. During the summer, I had two projects that focused heavily on data and research. I assisted our consultants by conducting donor research and preparing reports for our staff members. This information would help our clients and consultants make decisions about cultivation activities and potential gift capacity. Additionally, I prepared a summary of the Giving USA 2019 report, which is published by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. This report is trusted by nonprofit professionals across the country because it helps them make fundraising decisions. Overall, working with data this summer has been a great experience and I know it will serve me well in the future.

3. Fundraising is complex. I never realized how complex fundraising could be until I learned about this process at Kennari Consulting. For example, the campaign process includes work with pre-feasibility processes, feasibility studies, campaign implementation, and campaign completion. Another example is with grants and foundations – when you apply for a grant, many foundations want to see that your program has taken steps to develop a strong program model for developing goals and tracking data. Overall, this internship has given me a peek into the complex world of philanthropy.

4. Always have a plan. Another lesson that I learned is that having a plan for every step of fundraising is a tremendous asset. Whether it is applying for grants, launching a campaign, or planning an event, having a plan for your fundraising activities can help you stay organized and on task.

5. The nonprofit industry in West Michigan is growing. Lastly, this experience has shown me just how large the nonprofit industry is in West Michigan. I have been able to sit in on countless meetings with our clients and make connections with nonprofit leaders in our community. I have met with employees at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Cherry Health, ArtPrize, and many more. Overall, this experience has given me a passion to continue working in West Michigan because the philanthropy industry is strong and growing.

The Kennari Consulting internship experience has given me a ton of insight into this industry and has helped to prepare me for some projects I am working on currently. I am the president of a student organization at Cornerstone University called Enactus. We are a social entrepreneurship organization and I am currently working on a fundraising plan for this organization. I am using the principles that I learned from Kennari to help me lead this organization better. I am also in the process of starting a project in Guatemala that will focus on special needs education. I will most likely be leading a campaign to raise around $750,000 to build this school and I am looking forward to using my experience with Kennari to help me with this project.

I am incredibly thankful to Kennari Consulting for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow in this industry. I am also thankful to the entire staff for being so welcoming and friendly throughout the entire summer. Thank you for allowing me to participate in this internship and make a meaningful impact on my community; I know I picked the right organization to intern with this summer.

Jared was an outstanding addition to our office this semester! His eager attitude, sense of humor, and work ethic were appreciated every day. We are excited to see what Jared accomplishes at Cornerstone and beyond!

To learn more about Kennari Consulting’s internship program, please email Kim Kvorka at kim@kennariconsulting.com.

Roundtable Round Up: Best Practices for Successful Year-End Appeals

It is still true that the month of December makes up the majority of your annual giving. In fact, according to the 2018 Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report and Charity Navigator, December and November combined bring in 25% of your annual gifts! Until we see a few more years of data trends, spending a good deal of time on your year-end appeal is key.

This means starting now – in August. Finding and crafting the story, pulling the mailing list, and then the piece that can be the most timely, the one you want to say “forget it” to because it seems hard, finding your major donors.

Focus on finding the ultimate story first. What are your donors looking for?

“When people empathize with a story, they have 47% higher oxytocin levels and oxytocin leads to greater giving. In fact, when we see vivid imagery in a narrative, our brain processes it as if it is a visual and motor experience – almost as though it happened to you.”

What story was significant to YOU this year? Is there a story that can be told from a fresh or different perspective? Your reader wants to be the hero of this story – make sure you recognize the significance of their support!

While having that great story is important, so is segmenting your donors and making sure your year-end appeal stands out. Two key segments are major donors and those who could be major donors.

When it comes to asking your major donors for a year-end gift, be sure it is their time to make a gift. This means reviewing each major donor (whether it’s the top 30 game changers or the top 100) and determining if it’s the right time to ask and, if it is, what to ask for. For those that could be major donors: again, review the list, determine the appropriate ask, and include the appropriate response device.

Some organizations may have multiple segments while others have two or three. Same rules still apply. In fact, we surveyed our clients and found some overwhelming trends. One, a well-defined mailing list optimizes results. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) send it to everyone in your database. An organization may have 3,000 memorial donors they mail to each year but only 20 of those ever made another gift. It’s okay to say goodbye to the remaining donors in this segment. Doesn’t that feel great!

Bottom line: check your past year’s data before assuming everyone needs a letter.

I love this case study from a Kennari client:

An organization with one staff member sent their first year-end appeal in 2018 to 159 people (of 400 in database). They had a 31% response rate, with an average gift of $218. They spent $230 to send it.

The other trend that stood out in our client survey was that tried and true still works! A traditional one-page letter with a compelling story that included an ask that let the reader know what would be accomplished with their gift had the most success. Personal handwritten notes from board members and other volunteers also made a significant difference.

Create your calendar of to-dos for your year-end, find your story, run that mailing list, and get started. You will be glad you got a head start when you did.

We would love to help your organization with your year-end communication strategies and crafting your message!

Giving USA 2019 – Summary and Analysis

Giving USA is the longest running annual philanthropy report published by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. This report is trusted by nonprofits across the country and helps them make decisions about fundraising for their organizations. It provides important statistical information about the economy, charitable dollars and trends in the nonprofit industry.

Where did the generosity come from?

First, total charitable giving reached $427.71 billion in 2018, a 0.7 percent increase in current dollars and a 1.7 percent decrease in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2018. Secondly, it is very important to understand where the fundraising dollars are coming from. Giving by individuals declined in 2018, comprising less than 70 percent of overall giving for the first time in at least 50 years. Giving by foundations grew by 7.3% and gave 18% of the total dollars. Giving by corporations grew 5.4% and held 5% of the total giving dollars. Lastly, giving by bequest did not change and held 9% of the giving dollars.

Where are all the charitable dollars going?

  • Religion – 29% of total giving and $124.52 billion
  • Education – 14% of total giving and $58.72 billion
  • Human Services – 12% of total giving and $51.54 billion
  • Foundations – 12% of total giving and $50.29 billion
  • Health – 10% of total giving and $40.78 billion
  • Public-Society Benefit – 7% of total giving and $31.21 billion
  • Arts, Culture and Humanities – 5% of total giving and $19.49 billion
  • International Affairs- 5% of total giving and $22.88 billion
  • Environment/Animals – 3% of total giving and $12.70 billion


Next Steps

The Giving USA 2019 report is a great guide for your organization as to what the fundraising trends are. It can help you prioritize your fundraising activities and explore new opportunities. Overall, this statistical information points to the fact that developing authentic relationships with donors and diversifying your fundraising streams are now more important than ever. Three areas where your organization could apply this data in a practical manner:

  1. Explore new ways to engage your existing donors
    a. Let them be a part of the action – identify new ways to share the story
    b. Utilize volunteers in their cultivation and engagement
    c. Implement/continue mission-centric fundraising events
    d. Donors who list an organization in their estate plans are more likely to also give a gift to the organization while living.
    (p.127)
  2. Find new and younger donors – These next generations (Millennials and Gen Z) have a greater sense of urgency in their giving; they are using their resources to make a difference at earlier stages of life than their predecessors.  (p.85)
    a. Talk to the children of your major gift donors (if appropriate)
    b. Hire a fundraising employee focused on younger people
    c. Brainstorm ways to engage with younger donors – volunteer opportunities are an important element
  3. Pursue foundation giving
    a. Continue relationship building with local foundations – deepen the relationship with more than one representative where possible
    b. Identify new foundation prospects and utilize volunteers to initiate the conversation
    c. Foundations are increasingly open to making general operating support grants – identify ways to move restricted grant support to general operating support. Have conversations with funders about moving toward this model.
    d. Be transparent about your finances.  Make sure your funders understand the true cost of your work.  (p.103)

To purchase Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, visit this link.

Written by Kennari Intern, Jared Schmatz

Training Table Hosts to Maximize Event Potential

Table hosted events continue to prove they can be a meaningful piece of an annual development plan. They can be a powerful tool in bringing donors closer to your mission. A table hosted event is pretty much just how it sounds – several engaged volunteers or donors each host a table of guests (usually 7-9) at an event. It is a fundraiser, but there is no cost to attend. The intent is that those attending will be compelled to support the organization at the event. It can be a particularly effective tool in acquiring new donors.

However, just putting hosts in the room without training them is an event pitfall. The “training” can be informal and called something else (think “kickoff,” “handoff,” etc.), but it needs a few key elements to inspire your hosts. You want to share the vision, walk hosts through the tools, and help them brainstorm who they should bring!

If an organization does a host training for their event that incorporates the above, and you look at the event data by table – you could likely tell which hosts attended the training and which did not. This recently held true for a client who recognized a trend after analyzing data from their event – the tables with trained hosts had significantly higher revenue and attendance success. Even for an organization well versed in this style of event, it is still beneficial to gather hosts into a room to coach them on how to be the most effective hosts they can be for you.

Sheldon House, a clubhouse model program under the umbrella of Cherry Health, utilized Kennari’s approach to training their hosts. This was the third year of their event, but the first time they did a host kick-off.  It was held right at Sheldon House with a meal prepared by some  of their members. Very cool! Tara VanDyke, Club House Director, said that adding the host kick-off events were one of the key factors of their event’s growth and success. “The [kick-off] events gave us a chance to talk about why table hosts are connected and supportive to our program, in turn building a shared level of engagement and perhaps some increased awareness/support. It also prepared table hosts better than we had in the past and helped them think more broadly and strategically about who they could invite to their table.”

Want to know what their success looked like? In 2018, they had $1,600 in donations and 68 attendees. This year, over $13,000 was raised with 125 attendees in the room. Way to go Sheldon House!

For those of you who have tried to get hosts to a training but were not successful, here are some ways to keep it fresh and unique:

  • Hold it in someone’s home. Especially someone who has been a stellar table host in the past. Choose a home that has some panache.
  • Host it at a local brewery. Another Kennari client recently did just that for their kick-off host happy hour. Each host received one drink ticket on the house.
  • Encourage returning hosts to attend so they can share their experience on what worked for them.
  • Have a client share a testimonial.
  • Have a hands-on or interactive component to your mission at the beginning of the training. Maybe share a brief video.
  • For sure you should build in time for hosts to share what they love about your mission. You will be surprised to hear some of their answers, and it helps rekindle their love for your organization.

At your next event, watch your hosts closely. Did your “trained” hosts respond to the directions during the ask? Did they wait to pass out their pledge cards? Which hosts did not? You may find your own answers about your event’s success by looking at your data. Take the time to do a deep dive after the event and then make plans for next year right away! Need help creating a unique host kick-off celebration? We’d be happy to talk with you about it – just fill out our contact form.

Roundtable Round Up: Professional Development for You and Your Staff

Professional Development is a key part of success for organizations and their individual staff.  The primary reason employees leave organizations for other jobs is NOT because of pay.  Though compensation is important – and should be competitive – there are many other factors in job satisfaction.  One of those key factors is learning and growing professionally; professional development opportunities.  There are lots of local resources development professionals can take advantage of for in person training.  For example, AFP and IUPUI have multiple in person options and conferences.  It’s also important to subscribe to blogs and other experts to hear different views and perspective.  However, make sure to use critical thinking when participating in a training – How will this work for me?  What do I agree with?  What do I disagree with and why?  Remember that Kennari Consulting is working to help organizations build a model of philanthropy that focuses on building long-term relationships with individual donors.  Not every blog or expert in the field is working within that type of model so you must use that filter when learning new tips and tricks.

Suzanne Callahan from Davenport University’s Corporate Learning division walked round table attendees through a “speed” version of a course they offer: “Situational Leadership.”  She reminded us that we are all leaders – whether in a direct manager/employee relationship – or in an employee/volunteer/donor relationship.  It is important to focus on the task and what type of leadership is required for that specific task, not the person in general.  The 3 skills to develop to effectively use situational leadership are: Goal Setting, Diagnosing, Matching.

  1. Goal Setting – Getting alignment from all involved on what needs to be done, including specifying deadlines and metrics.
  2. Diagnosing – Collaboratively assessing an individual’s competence and commitment on a specific goal or task
  3. Matching – Using a variety of leadership styles to provide individuals with what they need for that specific task

A little more info about diagnosing….

  • Competence – The person has the knowledge/skills to complete the task
  • Commitment – The person has the motivation/confidence to complete the task

People are generally in one of the four following categories when it comes to different tasks.  And, it’s important that we move between them all depending on the task.  Being new or seasoned in a position doesn’t necessarily mean that we are in a certain category.  As you provide leadership to people, you need to identify and recognize which development level they are in and then provide the appropriate leadership for that specific level.

  • D1: Low competence/High Commitment
  • D2: Low to some Competence/Low Commitment
  • D3: Moderate to High Competence/Variable Commitment
  • D4: High Competence/High Commitment

The Situation Leadership approach is to identify the development level, and then adjust leadership in the following ways, based on the level the person is in.

  • Leaders role in D1: Directing
  • Leaders role in D2: Coaching
  • Leaders role in D3: Supporting
  • Leaders role in D4: Delegating

Tanya Horan from Davenport University also shared that there are resources available through Michigan Works to get funding for job training.  A list will be published in August of what trainings will meet the criteria for the funding.

The overall takeaway from the day is simple.  Though it can be difficult for non-profits to dedicate time and resources to professional development, they really can’t afford not to.  There are lots of resources out there – it’s time to make a plan and commit to implementing it over the next year!

Special thanks to Suzanne Callahan and Tanya Horan for joining us to enrich and inform our professional careers. Learn more about Davenport’s Professional Development programs and learn how you may receive funding for these on their website.

Roundtable Round Up: Your Community Foundation at Work

Your local community foundation is a tremendous resource for your organization. Specifically, in our last Roundtable, we had the privilege of hearing from Shaun Shira and Jonse Young who work at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most popular questions about community foundations and donor advised funds.

Why are Community Foundations Important?

Community foundations bring together financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits and they play a key role in identifying and solving community problems.

What does the Grand Rapids Community Foundation do?

Primarily, they provide grants for nonprofits in Kent County. Also, community foundations teach and promote philanthropy, act as an intermediary organization between nonprofit and donor, and increase the accountability and operating standards of nonprofits.

What is a Donor Advised Fund?

A donor-advised fund is a charitable investment account, for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations a donor cares about.

Why would a donor consider a donor advised fund?

First of all, they would consider a donor advised fund because as soon as the donation is made there is immediate eligibility for a tax deduction. Some other benefits are simplified record keeping, the ability to name the fund, having legacy planning and strategy, and it directly supports what the donors care about.

Why the Grand Rapids Community Foundation?

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is almost 100 years old and was Michigan’s first community foundation. They have awarded over $200 Million in grants and they are a trusted steward of the community’s resources.

What types of funds does the foundation have?

The foundation has a primary fund called Fund for Community Good. They also have field of interest funds, nonprofit funds, scholarship funds, and donor advised funds.

What areas of interest does GRCF fund?

Grand Rapids Community Foundation funds organizations with a focus on education, health, neighborhoods, engagement, prosperity or the environment.

How would someone set up a Donor Advised Fund at GRCF?

First of all, they would meet with Community Foundation Staff to discuss the goals, the funding of the donor-advised fund, the investment pool options, and determine the ultimate purpose of the fund. Then they would create a fund agreement and begin an orientation period.

How does a Donor Advised Fund work at the GRCF?

Individuals, families or businesses recommend grants to the nonprofits they care about most. If desired, donors can design a family grantmaking plan that includes the next generation.

What is the difference between an Endowed Fund and a Non-Endowed Fund?

An endowed fund is a perpetual fund from which grants are given annually and a non-endowed fund is one in which grants are given throughout the year.

How does my nonprofit get access to these Donor Advised Funds?

Donor advised funds can be a great source of funding for your organization. First of all, you should ask your donors if they have a donor advised fund. You could also look at the list of donor advised funds on the community foundation annual report and connect with the community foundation philanthropic services team. Lastly, you could consider adding a donor advised fund option on your fundraising cards, letters, etc.

Learn more about the Grand Rapids Community Foundation on their website!