Frank Eagan, CFRE - Dir of Corporate Relations, Indiana Historical Society
We all know that the majority of donations come from individuals, so why bother with corporations? According to recent Giving USA statistics, in 2011, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $217.79 billion corporate giving in 2011 totaled $14.55 billion, representing just 5 percent of total giving. Perhaps pursuing corporate funding is more work than it is worth? My own experience as the Corporate Relations Director for the Indiana Historical Society tells me something different.
Different types of non-profit missions show varying percentages of corporate support. Art and cultural institutions receive 6 to 12 percent of their annual funding from corporations, on average. The Children's Museum is a nationally recognized leader, receiving 31 percent of its annual funding from corporate gifts and sponsorships in 2012, according to Jenny Burch, associate vice president of development. While this is a rare example, it is important to look at what steps help create strong corporate giving programs.
Through trial and error I have found that the first step in developing a corporate partnership is to find corporations that offer products and/or services that might have a thematic connection to the fundable opportunity. At the Indiana Historical Society, for example, Kroger became a first time presenting sponsor for our planned 1944 Indiana grocery store interactive visitor experience. Kroger was a logical prospect since they are a grocery store with a large presence in our community plus a long history in Indiana. Getting them involved during the early development stage of this exhibit paid off since they also provided vintage labels from products sold in that era, making the space more authentic to our visitors. In-kind donations have continued from Kroger that offset costs for several of our public programs and they have continued to sponsor some of our education programs. We have also benefited from Kroger associates becoming IHS volunteers.
In summary, development professionals create valuable long-term relationships with companies by connecting the missions of the two organizations and involving the business in the creative process. Not every corporate gift or sponsorship can have these results, but corporate fundraising can be well worth the trouble and bring far more than a onetime check and logo if the proper steps are taken.
Through May, Charitable Advisors has already supported five board search committees this year in seeking new Executive Directors or CEOs. Leadership transition is a critical time for any nonprofit organization, but especially for founders and long-term leaders. Whether you are 10 months or 10 years from retirement, you are probably thinking about the next phase of your life. Most nonprofit executives have worked many years for modest pay and even those who have made a good living wonder how their combination of savings, social security, and pension/retirement income will translate to life after full-time paid work.
In this free two-hour workshop, we will use an informal case study format to create interaction among leaders in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who are thinking about the next steps in three important areas:
- Ideas for the next phase of work/life – what has research shown that nonprofit leaders are doing after they “retire”.
- Preparing yourself financially – how do you determine where you are now and what it will take to reach your income and lifestyle goals?
- Preparing your organization – few nonprofits groom internal successors but you can increase the likelihood that your organization’s impact will continue in the future.
WHEN? – Thursday, June 6, 2013 from 8:30am-10:30am
WHO? - In order to create the most productive dynamics for group discussion, attendance is limited to the first 15 current Executive Directors and CEOs of central Indiana nonprofits to register. There is no charge. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
WHERE? - Fishers Office Suites, 11650 N Lantern Road, Fishers 46038. That is one block west of the McDonald's/Target at Exit 205 at I-69 and 116th Street
John Wheeler, MBA,CPA,CFP/FPS with Castle Wealth Advisors. John’s father retired in 2011 after a 16 year career as the Executive Director/CEO of Abilities First, a mid-sized nonprofit in southwest Ohio. John has worked with executives of large organizations, owners of businesses, and executives of non-profit organizations. John grew up with a foot in the nonprofit sector and has experience with the challenges that executives of nonprofit organizations face both personally and professionally.
Bryan Orander is President of Charitable Advisors and Publisher of the Not-for-Profit News. Charitable Advisors supports successful Leadership Transitions through a variety of services including: organizational assessment and preparation, search committee startup, and search support. www.CharitableAdvisors.com.
(Note: Many of us are always looking for another angle or analogy in thinking about the important role that the nonprofit board plays. Here is a take from Canadian governance that might be of interest. Note that the "loyal opposition" should not be considered the same as devil's advocate which seems a common role for some "helpful" board members. - Bryan)
When it comes to governance, boards of directors tread a very fine line. Those who seek to lead the organization run the risk of usurping the role of the CEO. Those who follow the CEO's lead run the risk of abdicating their responsibility and joining the ranks of management. In fact, the true value of governance lies neither in leadership nor in followership, but in the unique role of "loyal opposition."
For many years, boards of directors of Canadian corporations and public institutions were criticized as being "parsley on the fish" (decorative but not useful) or an old boys' club, where protection of fellow members and mutual back-scratching ranked ahead of any other obligation. Largely ignored by organizational theorists until ten or fifteen years ago, boards are now intuitively understood to be important, but their function is still not fully conceptualized. This lack of clarity is problematic for individual directors striving to exercise due diligence and fiduciary responsibility and for regulators and quasi-regulators seeking to establish guidance on good practice.
Last Chance - Don't Miss the Board Chair Summit – This Thurs, May 9, 7:30 a.m.- noon. The fourth annual Central Indiana Board Chair Summit, hosted by Lacy Leadership Association will again take place at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Rd. This year's Summit will focus on "Leading Change". Change happens whether we like it or not – here’s a great opportunity for board chairs and ED/CEOs to grasp some tips and tools for addressing change in your organization. Participants will be completing a short “change readiness” assessment that they can take back to replicate with their full board. The Summit begins with a half hour for networking from 7:30 - 8 a.m. and then wraps up before noon. Cost is $140 for executive director/board chair pairs or $79 for an individual registration. Everyone with an interest is welcome. Register here.