Category Archives: Successes

Gifts and grants received

National Fundraising — The Power and Impact of Local Volunteers

From time to time we seek to share what we have learned from Mel’s 25 years with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and his work developing and producing the Lou Rawls UNCF Telethon. In this column we focus on the impact that local volunteers – and local campaigns – have on the fundraising of national organizations.

Back in the day the Lou Rawls UNCF Telethon was the largest African American fundraising special event held on a single day anywhere in the world. Over the years, the telethon raised over $500 million dollars. Lou Rawls was certainly the star of the show, but the real stars were the thousands of volunteers who raised money in communities across the country during the six-to-nine months leading up to the telethon.

Mel Shaw, Lou Rawls & Jim Alston

While people continuously called into the show to pledge their gifts, 60 – 70% of the money was raised in advance from local communities. These local UNCF campaigns were led by volunteers who were respected at the grass roots level – and at the highest levels – in the communities where they lived and worked. UNCF volunteers raised funds from churches, civic organizations, local businesses, families and individuals. All gifts were recognized publicly during the telethon. Local TV and radio stations invited leaders and every-day folk to make their gifts on air. Some local gifts were announced on the national show. The anticipation of being publicly recognized and acknowledged in front friends, neighbors and co-workers helped stimulate giving and ongoing involvement.

The one-day telethon was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning, preparation, training and follow up. The fundraising was non-stop – and there was never be enough staff. We learned how to depend on and trust volunteers in local communities. We focused our efforts on training and preparing these volunteers, and made it a high priority to recognize and acknowledge their work.

Finding the right volunteers was at the heart of all our local campaigns. Cities such as San Antonio, Albuquerque, Kansas City, Phoenix, Portland (OR), and Omaha operated volunteer-led campaigns without the day-to-day support of local staff. All were successful in creating a buzz for UNCF and the telethon. San Antonio in particular extended that buzz beyond the black community and engaged large numbers of Hispanic volunteers and donors. Cities with a UNCF office such as New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami had local and regional responsibilities. Staff were charged with managing the local production of the telethon as well as implementing the volunteer-led fundraising plan.

The number one thing that made a difference in the telethon’s success was the power and impact of qualified, committed and trained local volunteers – including those from Memphis. UNCF’s commitment to localized fundraising kept people giving, year-after-year.

© Copyright Mel and Pearl Shaw.
Mel and Pearl Shaw are the owners of Saad & Shaw. They help non-profit organizations and institutions rethink revenue sources. They are the authors of How to Solicit a Gift: Turning Prospects into Donors. Visit them at or call (901) 522-8727.

Meharry Medical College – Doing It Right!


Engaging your president and board is key to ensuring your institution’s fundraising success. Engaging faculty, staff and students is also important at colleges and universities. Engagement is a clear indicator of commitment, and commitment is a number-one prerequisite for fundraising success.

 We have long admired Robert S. Poole, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Meharry Medical College, for his success in leading a strong fundraising team. A seasoned advancement professional, Poole led Meharry through a historic $125 million campaign, and in 2010, the College reached a $100 million endowment milestone.

These successes are a result of strong philanthropic giving and prudent financial management. We recently turned to Poole for information about his strategies, and his insights to help impact fundraising at your college, university or non-profit.

A vital part of Meharry’s fundraising success has been the engagement of the College president, Wayne J. Riley. “As lead spokesman and vital leader/partner in every development discipline, the president is highly visible and engaged throughout the advancement program,” says Poole. “He’s involved in media (including op-ed features, video features, editorial board meetings, radio and TV interviews, health policy position statements, etc.), external affairs and government relations, donor prospect calls and campaign strategy, and alumni relations.”

Poole ensures the president is well prepared for these activities and has a clear vision of the College’s fundraising priorities. He discusses top prospects with the president and conducts briefing sessions before cultivation or solicitation visits. He also keeps him abreast of fundraising trends and best practices, as well as activities and progress at peer institutions. Poole says he works closely with the president to “develop and review new funding opportunities based on the College’s strategic plan and in conjunction with the deans and other campus executive leaders.”

 Board engagement is another key part of Meharry’s fundraising strategy. Poole updates the board’s advancement committee and chair about fundraising and marketing priorities and objectives. He gives prospect briefings to board members who participate in cultivation and solicitation calls. “We also involve board members in planning major fundraising initiatives, both as policy makers and potential donors,” says Poole.

Poole’s team also strives to engage staff, faculty and students in fundraising initiatives. “We encourage them to share their perspectives on the institutional needs and opportunities they would like to see addressed through philanthropy,” he says. “We provide education on how the fundraising process works and, where appropriate, involve them in fundraising cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.”

Students provide testimonies for solicitation appeals, write letters of thanks to scholarship donors and participate in donor recognition events. Poole’s team draws upon faculty members’ expertise when crafting fundraising proposals and projects. Faculty members and deans are also effective partners in donor visits, reports Poole. In fundraising there is a role for everyone – especially the president and board.

Keep People at the Core of Fundraising

Amidst the practical challenges of a fundraising campaign, it can be easy to lose sight of an organization’s greatest assets: its people. People are at the core of Meharry’s fundraising success, reports Poole: “Donors, staff and leadership … deliver the most value,” he says. “The vision and support of leaders provide us with the rationale and tools to engage fundraising. The staff and volunteers enable us to launch our plans, and the donors offer their financial capacity, which ultimately helps us realize our potential.”

Poole says he looks for several important traits in staff, including strong critical thinking skills. Successful staff members have exceptional communication (and listening) skills and a genuine interest in other people and their interests. Staff are also expected to have an outstanding work ethic and the self-discipline to see tasks through to their completion. Poole says his team carefully follows a fundraising plan, which is “reviewed constantly and updated periodically as circumstance warrant.”

Keeping people motivated over long periods of time can be a challenge, Poole acknowledges. “Another significant challenge is recalibrating priorities in an effort to keep pace with the demand for greater service to constituents and other stakeholders, patients and the general public as an academic health science institution,” he says.

Meharry College’s mission keeps Poole motivated. He takes pride in “aligning donors’ giving priorities and inclinations with the College’s aspirations” and in helping donors imagine fulfilling outcomes they may not have considered previously. Above all, Poole is motivated by “witnessing the great impacts — sometimes life-changing — of philanthropy on campus.”

Poole cites several role models who have inspired his career as a development professional, including his first boss, Nathaniel Smith, at Fisk University as well as Arthur Frantzreb, Jerrold Panas, and Alice Green Burnett.”

When asked what advice he would give those pursuing a leadership position in fundraising, Poole shared the following: “They should be aware of the time and mind share demands — often you are mentally ‘on call’ 24/7. One should have a natural curiosity about people and a range of topics. Because of time demands, people in these positions should develop strong ties and support systems with family and friends to maintain perspective away from the job. Additionally, as advancement leaders they must be decisive but not judgmental, and rely on evidence and data as well as instincts in decision making. Good and honest communication and the ability to set and execute priorities are essential.”

Let’s Have Faith

Faith-based organizations across the country are making a difference in communities large and small. One such congregation is St. Andrew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Led by husband and wife team Rev. Kenneth Robinson, M.D. and Rev. Marilyn Robinson the church is committed to ministering to Memphis – Spirit, Soul and Body. Together the Reverends Robinson and the St. Andrew AME church have grown their ministries into what is known as The Enterprise. They believe churches have unique attributes that can drive positive social transformation — and they have set out to demonstrate that.

The Enterprise includes the church’s ministries, and The Works, an independent Community Development Corporation (CDC) associated with the church. The Enterprise is comprised of:

  1. The St. Andrew AME congregation founded in 1866
  2. The church’s many social ministries and Community Life Center
  3. An independent, but church-affiliated Community Development Corporation (CDC) called The WORKS
  4. The Ernestine Rivers Child Care Center
  5. The Circles of Success Learning Academy (COSLA) – a nationally recognized charter school
  6. The South Memphis Renaissance Collaborative – a community collaborative dedicated to long-term redevelopment.

These programs are examples of how the St. Andrew AME church and The Enterprise bring their overlapping and inter-connected missions to life. Take a look:

The mission of the church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional and environmental needs of all people. The congregation embraces holistic approaches to health and well-being, spiritual enrichment, personal empowerment and community service, using the theme “Ministering to Memphis – Spirit, Soul and Body.”

The mission of The Enterprise is to serve as the vehicle for St. Andrew AME Church to accomplish its mission of works in the world through a continuum of programs, services and affiliated organizations, as well as through focused collaborations and broad partnerships.

The work of The Enterprise is guided by the need for innovative new approaches to foster social transformation and the unique attributes churches bring to drive such innovations.

The Reverends Robinson, St. Andrew AME congregation, and The Enterprise believe that the church can be a powerful catalyst, driver and fiscal agent for community transformation both in their South Memphis neighborhood and throughout the city of Memphis. They believe the model they are building can be replicated by other churches in Memphis and across the country. They believe – and are demonstrating – that a church (or other faith community) can uniquely resource social transformation. The human, spiritual, and financial resources that a church brings to the process of social transformation are unique.

At St. Andrew church tithes and gifts from church members have provided The Enterprise with funds for “seed funding” for new projects; “bridge funding” for projects that are growing and have not yet secured funds from other sources; and “gap funding” that helps programs weather the ups and downs that are part of non-profit finances. This is a unique form of funding that is not available to non-church-related organizations.

As a powerful collaboration The Enterprise provides a diverse array of needed services to church members and the larger Memphis community.

Below are the eight principles that guide the work of The Enterprise. The first two relate to social transformation. The remaining six principles focus on the unique attributes a church brings to drive such transformation.

The need for innovative new approaches to foster social transformation…

1.    Individuals and families need proactive, easy access to an integrated set of resources that meet the full range of their needs and development potential.

2.    The full range of resources and services must be imbedded within local neighborhoods for comprehensive community transformation that rebuilds physical infrastructure, helps change defeating attitudes and beliefs, and connects people to education, cultural and employment opportunities in the region.

…and the unique attributes churches bring to drive such innovations.

3.    A church of any size and any stage of development can leverage its members’ time, talent and treasure to serve as catalysts for community transformation.

4.    A church can be an appropriate organizational structure for bringing public and private funding and forging collaborative partnerships for non-religious social programs and community transformation.

5.    Community transformation and social ministry are essential to a living faith experience, and create a mutually-beneficial relationship between the faith congregation and the larger community.

6.    Faith-based values can permeate, enhance, and lend credibility to secular endeavors and programs.

7.    All social issues and aspects of human life can be addressed with the non-judgmental and unconditional “language of Christ.”

8.    All resources, programs and services put forth in the name of the Church must demonstrate the highest quality standards, and communicate a high level of worth/value.

Giving of time, talent and treasure by church members provides The Enterprise with seed money and gap funding as well as:

  1. $90,000 a year for the Community Life Center’s outreach programs.
  2. Thousands of hours of service provided by church members each year.
  3. Lower-than-market rent for the charter school. The school has a 25-year lease with the church that yields an annual savings of $50,000 over market-based rent.
  4. $30,000 a year to subsidize operating costs of the Ernestine Rivers Child Care Center.

Tithes and gifts from church members have allowed The Enterprise to grow its programming and services so that it now stewards nearly $5 million annually from diverse funding sources – church giving, earned income (tuition, fees) private grants, donations, and public funding.

The Reverends Robinson, the St. Andrew AME Congregation, associated independent organizations, community stakeholders, government and private funders are all working together to demonstrate and document that churches have unique attributes that can drive social transformation.

To learn more about churches and their role in social transformation contact Rev. Kenneth Robinson by email at RevKSRMD [at] gmail [dot] com or by phone at (901) 948-3441.

This article is based on conversations with Rev. Kenneth Robinson, M.D., and the St. Andrew Enterprise Business Plan: 2009 prepared by Consilience Group, LLC

Social Enterprise – Learn from an Expert!

There is currently a lot of buzz around social enterprise and earned revenue as ways for non-profit organizations to increase their financial resources. Some of these efforts are well-known, such as Good Will which generates 95 percent of its revenue from Good Will stores. Others are lesser known, such as SHOP, a social enterprise of A Miner Miracle in San Francisco, California.

SHOP is a clothing boutique that offers women and men designer fashions at greatly discounted prices. It opened its doors for business in 2003. The clothes are new, current, in season and sold at 50-80% below retail. The revenue from SHOP funds A Miner Miracle, a non-profit that provides professional clothing and image counseling to low-income to women and men seeking employment. Take a peek at their new video now showing on closed circuit television at select hotels in San Francisco. And take a look at how ABC TV covered SHOP in the evening news.

In order to learn more about what it has taken to grow this social enterprise we spoke with founder Kathy Miner.

Saad & Shaw – tell us a little about yourself, why you founded A Miner Miracle, and how SHOP came about?

Kathy Miner: I have a long history in the clothing industry, especially off-price, high-end clothing. Like many people, there came a point in my life where I wanted to combine my skills and passion with doing good. In 1995 I founded A Miner Miracle as a way of helping people who needed to dress for work for but didn’t have the clothes or money to do so. Things went well, and in 2001 I was recognized by Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. Then came the 2002 recession and I had to seek out new funding sources. I couldn’t continue to rely on foundation grants. I started hosting special shopping events – these were clothing sales where people could buy beautiful clothes at drastically reduced prices. All the money went to A Miner Miracle. With my background in clothing I went on a buying trip to Los Angeles and found designer label clothing and some financial donations.  I hosted four special clothing events before I finally decided to open a permanent store. I was lucky enough to be given a great location as a donation. That meant I didn’t have to pay rent. I tried many different concepts over a four year period before things really started to click.

In my fourth year I realized that I was going to have to go to New York to buy high end quality clothing and brand names. With this change SHOP became a fundraising vehicle for our agency and our target customer became anyone who likes a discount of 50-80% below retail for brands such as Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors.

Saad & Shaw: A few questions about details. Is SHOP a part of A Miner Miracle or is it a separate 501c3 or is it a privately held business? And how does SHOP operate? What percentage of A Miner Miracle’s budget comes from SHOP revenue?

Kathy Miner: The name is “A Miner Miracle SHOP where giving is always fashionable.” We operate under one 501(C)3. SHOP operates like any retail store. I have a full staff who are hired with retail clothing experience. I also have an intern retail program to assist with some of the needs of processing and tagging the clothes. We train our interns in all areas of retail where we need help. At this point in time about 80% of the budget is supported by SHOP. Our goal is to have almost all the budget come from our store(s). In times like this, it has allowed us to continue serving over 600, men, women, young adults a year including those who have “aged out” of foster care and veterans who are homeless.

Saad & Shaw: What have been some of your biggest challenges and how have you overcome these?

Kathy Miner: The biggest challenge has been funding for SHOP. We started very slow with clothing events and then built up. We were only open three days a week in the beginning and built up to six days. That took four years and it was not easy by any means. Having a social enterprise support our agency means that really I am running two businesses at the same time. In our case it also meant doing it all with one small staff at the beginning. We have a line of credit and I also invested in the business. I don’t recommend doing that, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Saad & Shaw: What role does in-kind services and donated merchandize play in SHOP’s success?

Kathy Miner: I have one great label donating all their samples to us. However, the shipping from NY costs over $50,000 alone. I have made relationships with many of the big brand names and they sell to SHOP at really good prices. Remember I sell everything at 50-80% below retail so I have to keep my buying price very low to make a profit. Having donated products is always preferable but for my concept not something that I could depend on. You have no choice when you get donations and many times it is hundreds of the same garment in one color. If you want a high quality store you have to choose – and often times buy – high quality merchandise.

Saad & Shaw: It seems as though you depend upon a great number of people to provide SHOP with in-kind goods and services or greatly reduced prices. How do you keep these businesses and individuals engaged with SHOP?

Kathy Miner: I keep as many people as I can engaged in our non-profit and the success of the business. I have a fashion advisory board, a business sponsor partnership, and I make sure that everyone gets recognition for helping us. It has been harder in this economy because the clothing business has been hit so hard it and many vendors have closed. I send photos, news pieces, and videos to keep them connected. I make sure I visit when I am back east and take San Francisco chocolates, sour dough bread and California wines. I let them know how much I appreciate all they do for us and make my success their success. People want to give. I do not ask anyone to donate except once a year for our big SHOP for Charity event. This means they don’t hide when I call or come to town. It is a win-win situation for all of us.

Saad & Shaw: What guidance would you offer to other organizations who would like to build a social enterprise to support their organization or institution?

Kathy Miner: Do something you know very well and love. If you can find something that ties into your service that is good. Don’t train on the job. Pick a service or product that is needed to a large population. Have a good board and do your due diligence and market research before starting anything.  Get as much donated as possible but consider your social enterprise a business and not a non-profit. Social enterprise is not necessarily the answer to your money problems and could in fact take more resources than you receive. Go slow, test every idea first.

Visit SHOP (and purchase wonderful clothes at a great price and help change the lives of others!)

A Miner Miracle SHOP
441 Sutter St (between Powell and Stockton)
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 398-2155

A Miner Miracle/ SHOP

 Be sure to tell them Mel and Pearl sent you! And as always, remember to have a FUNdraising Good Time!

Celebrate a New National Park

Sometimes a dream appears so big you wonder if it can come true. Here is our position: Believe that you can, and then bring together people who share your vision and are willing to contribute their talents, connections, time and money to make it happen. That’s how we got our newest national park and a tribute to Black history.

About five years ago we were asked to help create awareness and support for the idea of making Port Chicago – the Concord, CA area site where the largest U.S. home front disaster during World War II took place – a part of the national park system.

Our founder, Mel Shaw, had just brought together a group of local African American leaders and influencers to encourage Black families to visit Yosemite National Park — so we were the right people to ask. But would others come out to support Port Chicago as well? The only way to find out was to ask.

When we asked – and invited – people came out. They wanted to learn more about the explosion at Port Chicago and the young Black men who made history by standing up to the military, risking court martial, and who in the process helped integrate the armed forces.

The Port Chicago explosion at the naval magazine killed 320 men, 202 of whom were African-American. The explosion, work stoppage, and subsequent mutiny trial provide insights into the injustice of racial discrimination, the African-American experience in the U.S. military, and home front life during the Second World War. These events ultimately led to the desegregation of the armed services in the United States.

The people who came out that day five years ago launched the Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial a 501 c3 led by Rev. Diana McDaniel, a Unity minister from San Leandro. Fast forward to Fall 2009 and with the help of many friends, including Congressman George Miller (D-CA), our first African American president signed legislation that made Port Chicago a national park.

The legislation, signed as part of the FY2010 Defense Authorization Act elevates Port Chicago from an affiliated park site to a full unit of the National Park System. This allows the Park Service to create a national park visitor center and receive increased funding to hire park rangers to share the site’s story with the public.

This past Saturday the 66th commemoration of the explosion and dedication of our new national park was celebrated. Take a look at the event. For more information see And as always, continue to have a FUNdraising Good Time!

Cultivating Foundations

Patrick J. Heryford

Writing grants is a major source of revenue for many non-profits. However, writing the proposal is only one part of the process. We asked Patrick Heryford, the director of corporate and foundation relations for the YMCA of San Francisco to share his experience.

Saad & Shaw: You mentioned that there is so much more to grantsmanship than writing a proposal and sending it off to a funder. Would you share with our readers a little bit about what that “so much more” is?

Patrick Heryford: An accurate and well-written proposal is essential, however, building open and trusting relationships with funders is considerably more important. It is easier for a foundation to say “no” to an anonymous piece of paper than it is to a human being. By the time you submit a proposal, you should have already had conversations with foundation officers and you should have a good idea as to whether or not you will be funded. If you do not have existing relationships, attend industry events where you will have access to officers. In the Bay Area, Development Executives Roundtable ( frequently hosts “Meet the Grantmaker” type panels, and the San Francisco Business Times hosts an annual Corporate Philanthropy Summit.

Saad & Shaw: What do you consider the top five things an organization should include as part of their stewardship of grantmakers?

Patrick Heryford:
1. Do Good Work: If you do good work that has a positive impact in the community, funders will recognize this and it will make your fundraising efforts much easier. And remember that foundation officers talk to one another. An officer who is well-versed on your mission could very well become your advocate with other funders.
2. Research Funders: Be sure you are applying to the right funder for the right program and not wasting the officer’s time (or yours). My favorite online research tool is the Foundation Center’s Online Directory (
3. Meet Deadlines: Use whatever record-keeping system you need to ensure you meet application and reporting deadlines. For reports, if you can’t make a deadline, let the funder know well in advance. My experience has been that they will give you an extension provided you are up front with them.
4. Communicate: During the grant period, you must let the funder know of significant staffing or organizational changes, or any reallocations to the budget you presented with the proposal. Invite them to events connected with the funded program, and send them updates related to the program. If your proposal is declined, send a brief hand-written note to thank them for considering your request; it will help them remember you next time you apply.
5. Check In With Your Program Staff: Schedule regular meetings with the people who are running the program at your organization. Are they making progress toward the goals and objectives? Are they using the funds for the appropriate items? Better to keep tabs on this during the grant period than at the end when a report is due.

Saad & Shaw: Any last words of advice?

Patrick Heryford: Some may think that due to the struggling economy and foundations’ reduced assets, a nonprofit should scale back their stewardship. The opposite is true. Now is the time to ramp up your stewardship program. When was the last time you communicated with past funders? You need to stay on their minds so that when the economy turns around, they will know you and your organization’s mission.

Patrick Heryford can be reached at

© Mel and Pearl Shaw 2010.

Take a page from the pros….

Hillary Clinton - International Fundraiser

How do you make the “case” for your organization, institution or project? Do you seek to raise funds from people you personally know? Do you call on others who can extend their influence on your behalf? Do you rely on how you will use the funds raised as way to motivate giving? Or do you promote the impact those funds will make?

 Secretary of state Hillary Clinton helped raise $54 million in just nine months for the United States national pavilion at the 2010 world’s fair in Shanghai China. She was legally prohibited from personally solicit gifts and no public money could be used for the project. While attending is not currently in our plans, we want to share with you what we have learned about how she worked her miracles.

  1.  She engaged two experienced fundraisers with whom she has strong relationships: Elizabeth Bagley and Jose Villarreal
  2. She kicked off the project with a conference call with ten of the nation’s top CEOs. According to the New York Times Chevron, PepsiCo and General Electric each pledged $5million. 
  3. PepsiCo’s CEO made calls to other CEOs
  4. Bagley and Villarreal reached out to companies with operations in China
  5. The initial pitch was patriotism “How can the US be one of only two countries without a presence at the world’s fair in Shanghai?”
  6. The second pitch was “commercial diplomacy.” In other words, helping to fund the US pavilion will help open doors for future business.
  7. While Mrs. Clinton did not solicit gifts, she did meet with sponsors when she visited the actual site.

 While those with the connections of Hillary or Bill Clinton are few and far between, we want to call your attention to the process she used. Here it is for the rest of us:

  1. Engage people you know who are committed to your personal and professional success and who have relationships and connections with other people who can help you achieve your fundraising goal
  2. Solicit the biggest gifts first. Identify those you believe can give the largest gifts and talk with them first. Learn how they respond to your project. Address their questions or objections. Ask for their financial support and their involvement with your fundraising effort.
  3. Ask your early donors to ask others to make a comparable gift to your campaign
  4. Identify who will benefit when you reach your fundraising goal. For example, if you want to build a new youth center, consider asking businesses in the immediate area to make a gift. When the youth center is completed more young people and families will be frequenting the area bringing with them the potential for increased sales.
  5. Review how you position your fundraising campaign. Do people respond more to “raising funds for scholarships” or to “funding our future leaders?”
  6. Embrace your funders and donors. Give them the red carpet treatment at all times. Their financial support helps you meet your goals.

 And remember to keep having a FUNdraising Good Time!

© 2010 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Timing is everything. Or is it?

Allen Temple reaches $1 million mark

Allen Temple Baptist Church of Oakland, CA launched its $5million capital campaign in October 2008. If you can recall that was the month of the American economic meltdown. Newscasters were crying the sky is falling….

But the church had been preparing for almost a year to launch their campaign to pay off the mortgage on their family life center building, renovate their training center, and build an endowment for social justice programming. They kept with their schedule not knowing that the remainder of 2008 and all of 2009 would prove to be very difficult times for fundraising in general.

But this volunteer-led campaign raised $1million in gifts and pledges during the first year of the campaign. They are 33% towards their goal of raising $3million from within the church family. They seek to raise an additional $2million from community stakeholders, foundation and corporations. And work on that has begun…

How did they do it? Here’s what campaign chairs Willis White and Connie Walker attribute their success to:

  1. At the core of our work is the belief that through God, all things are possible.
  2. This is something we believe is important to the life of the church and our community.
  3. We spent time securing buy-in from the church’s leadership. And we got it. We talked, we listened to objections, we made adjustments. The full congregation was behind the campaign before we launched. And our church leaders volunteered to provide campaign leadership as well.
  4. We put in place a system to ensure that funds given to the campaign by church members will be used to accelerate payments on the mortgage for our Family Life Center.
  5. We know our church culture and we designed a campaign that works with our church culture.
  6. We hired professional fundraising counsel to guide us, train us, and help us prepare.
  7. The pastor supports the campaign, the church trustees support the campaign, our deacons, ministers and other leaders support the campaign.
  8. We looked at how we had approached fundraising in prior campaigns and learned from our past experiences. We knew what we wanted from counsel and how we wanted counsel to work with us.
  9. We committed to treating every church member as an equal and committed to ensuring we talked personally with each member regardless of what size gift we thought they could give to the campaign.
  10. We engaged in a transparent process and regularly reported campaign results to the full congregation.

Join us in congratulating Allen Temple Baptist church and encouraging them as they move forward in 2010. Their campaign illustrates that when people believe in the importance of a specific campaign they are willing to give and get involved. It’s about more than timing.

$200,000 for Destiny Arts Center from Bank of America


Destiny Arts Center Received $200,000 from BofA

Destiny accepts $200,000 check from Bank of America

We love our work. And we love the organizations we work with. They are up to good. We worked with Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, CA throughout 2009 as they prepared for their Raise the Roof Campaign. Last month Destiny was recognized for their good works with a $200,000 grant from Bank of America. Here is the press release. Join us in congratulating Destiny Arts Center.

Bank of America Charitable Foundation Invests More Than $3.6 Million in California Nonprofits to Strengthen Communities  

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing more than $3.6 million in unrestricted funding to 18 nonprofits across California to help strengthen communities through the bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI). Since introducing the program in 2004, Bank of America has invested $22.5 million throughout the state to help nonprofits increase their long-term viability and most recently to help sustain them during this challenging economic environment.

Each organization, named “2009 Neighborhood Builders®,” will receive $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding and participate in Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program® with other nonprofit leaders from 45 communities across the country and London.

“Nonprofits and community leaders are instrumental in providing critical neighborhood services and Bank of America is proud to support their work through the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative and other lending, investing and community development programs that align with our overall corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Janet Lamkin, California President at Bank of America.  “Not only does this program recognize some of the truly stand-out organizations and leaders in California, but it also offers valuable unrestricted financial support and professional development opportunities – critical to the long-term success of our communities.”

In the East Bay $200,000 awards will be given to Destiny Arts Center and the Urban Strategies Council.

Oakland’s Destiny Arts Center is helping to end isolation, prejudice, and violence in the lives of young people by using martial arts, dance, theater, and leadership training as tools for motivating youth.

The Urban Strategies Council eliminates poverty by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities with increased employment and economic opportunities.

About the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative annually recognizes organizations, individuals and students who have shown a commitment to improving their communities. In its sixth year, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has committed more than $110 million globally to the NEI program since its inception.

By the end of 2009, more than 800 leaders from the nonprofit awardees will have participated in the Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program®, which builds a network of community leaders across the country to share learning and insight in areas including strategic communications, financial management, succession planning, and long-term development. Through NEI, Bank of America has also encouraged community leadership at the grassroots level by recognizing more than 1,200 high school students and 1,200 community leaders over the last six years.

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America this year embarked on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy called “neighborhood excellence” under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Bank associate volunteers contributed more than 900,000 hours in 2008 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit

Cause marketing – everyone wins


Subaru cause marketing a win-win-win

Cause marketing is one way for businesses and non-profit organizations to partner with each other to create value, generate revenue and increase visibility.

Here’s a real life example.

In November we leased a Subaru Legacy. We love it! Great car. Great lease price. Meets all our needs and those of our new dog. In our search for a new vehicle Mel spent months test driving cars and negotiating lease prices. We found the Legacy by chance. We drove by a Subaru dealership on our way to the movies and saw a Legacy out front with a sign that said $199/month.

Well that’s a great price. And Mel said it’s top rated by Car & Driver magazine. We were sold. But we got more than we bargained for. The dealer told us that with our lease Subaru would give $250 to a non-profit of our choosing.

It turns out that Subaru was running a cause marketing campaign. They had selected five non-profits that are aligned with the values of their customers. A niche marketer, Subaru knows that its customers have active lifestyles, are technologically sophisticated, and champion environmental issues and education. In fact, Subaru is the official vehicle of more than 20 non-profit outdoor and professional organizations. Subaru knows who buys their cars and they created a marketing campaign that addressed the desire of Subaru owners to help worthy causes.

The five charities selected were Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity International, Meals on Wheels Association of America, National Wildlife Federation and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Subaru gave $4,686,750 to these organizations. Checks were presented on February 12th at the Chicago Auto Show. Subaru gave away over $4.5 million and yet it was in the black financially while Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and even Toyota and Honda finished in the red.

As another example of how well this program was run we received a letter from Meals on Wheels Association of America thanking us for designating their organization when we bought our car. In their letter they clearly communicated how important local Meals on Wheels programs are to individual seniors and how the Meals on Wheels Association of America is important to local Meals on Wheel programs.

We leased a car. Subaru increased its revenue. Seniors across America are receiving meals delivered to their doors. Cause marketing at its best.

Copyright 2009 – Mel and Pearl Shaw