Archive for July, 2010

How Can The Gardner Report Help To Answer Your Questions?

Paul and I want to use the Gardner Report to answer questions and help NPOs prosper. That is why we use the positioning line—Growing Philanthropy. Feel free to send us an email. We welcome questions on philanthropy or NPO operations. If we do not have the immediate answer, G&A has a network of experts who will help. Send your questions that we can help answer privately or include in an upcoming Gardner Report. Thank you!


Paul and I are consistently asked: How do I help my board members get comfortable with fundraising and overcome fundraising fright?

Consider an eight step process that G&A finds has worked for our clients:
1. Create a culture in which fundraising is a “team sport.” Create situations in which the board members and development staff work together on cultivating prospects. Once your board is comfortable with collaboration and cultivation, the “ask” is a natural next step.

2. Ask each member to make a sustaining contribution to your NPO. Once each has given, it is easier to ask others to join them in supporting your mission.

3. Develop a strategic plan with a budget and calendar that includes short, long-term goals and monthly/quarterly performance benchmarks.

4. Prepare a job description and list of expectations of your board members.

5. Recruit, orient and support board members who are passionate about your mission.

6. Provide monthly updates and training to your board and staff members to keep them engaged.

7. Evaluate progress monthly and make course corrections as required.

8. Celebrate your successes!


Establish an annual board appeal with a board participation goal in four sequential steps:

1. Recruit a solicitation team from the board.

2. Have this team evaluate the past giving and potential giving of each board member.

3. Calculate a board appeal goal based on the research into giving and potential and gain board approval of the goal.

4. Initiate personal contact (face to face followed by a personal letter) from the board chair to each board member thanking them for their service and support and exploring how they want to help achieve or exceed the appeal goal.

Gardner & Associates has added a new client, Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation. KBAF provides financial support to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission for programs that cannot be funded by state appropriations. G&A is assisting KABF to create a plan and funding to increase its support for litter prevention and beautification programs.

G&A recently completed a three-month-contract with Partners for Better Housing (PFBH) in Fayetteville to assist them with strategic planning and preparation for grant submissions. Walt is using PFBH as his project in his Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation “Moving the Needle” program. That program works to train a cadre of Arkansas NPO leaders to work with the federal budget to support local initiatives.
G&A consults with excellent clients including the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, West Texas A&M University and Northeastern State University.