Blog – Client News
What’s the Big Idea? By Tina Pearlman | November 21, 2011
Calling all lovers of language, of competition, of mysteries: this Spring #RVA turns into a three dimensional fund-raising puzzle.
This puzzle - named The Big Idea Challenge and benefiting the Community Idea Stations - pits teams of smart, provocative or just plain curious people against one another in five challenges: brain teasers, riddles and mysteries related to Arts and Culture, History and Heritage, Science and Discovery, Children’s Education, and News and Public Affairs.
During the Big Idea Challenge, teams will earn points for solving puzzles while fund-raising for the Community Idea Stations. The challenges won’t be easy, but you’ll get clues to help you solve the puzzles. You might find clues online–or discover them within the menu of a local restaurant, in the window of a favorite Carytown shop or even while watching or listening to your favorite shows.
The Big Idea Challenge will take place over five weeks, starting April 29 and concluding on June 2, 2012, when the top teams will vie for the Big Idea Challenge Cup.
It’s exactly the right time to consider sponsoring a clue AND recruiting your smartest and best-connected friends for your own Team DaVinci. Or Team Nancy Drew.
Teaching Nonprofits to Fundraise By Sarah Milston | November 14, 2011
I really enjoy speaking engagements and teaching. When Urmila Oberoi, Development Director at Virginia Poverty Law Center and a client of ours, asked that I give a presentation on Fundraising for Legal Aids across Virginia, I jumped at the chance. The Annual conference hosted by VPLC is offered free for legal aid attorneys and serves as their primary educational event for the year.
During introductions I learned that we had a moderately experienced fundraiser in the room but everyone else had only the very basic fundraising program in place. So I focused my talk on the basics – Asking, Thanking, Staffing, Evaluating.
I told the group that when setting up a development office it is important to focus not on events or grants but on individual fundraising. It is the most economical way to raise money. If you believe in your mission, just ask someone to fall in love with it too – they will want to give money.
At the end of the day, nonprofits must not let any opportunities to authentically and genuinely ask for money go by uncaptured. Even more important, they must say thank you, more than once and in more than one way. If nonprofits ask and thank – they are guaranteed to raise money.
Keep checking the Floricane newsletter for information on where you can hear a Floricane staffer speak next.
Going to trial By John Sarvay | November 7, 2011
We had our first hands-on strategic planning session with the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in the old Miller & Rhoads building (or the new Hilton Garden, depending on your historical orientation) this week. Sarah and I were a bit nervous – it’s not every day we get to go toe-to-toe with a group of lawyers!We started the morning with the 25 staff and board members by asking them to describe why the organization matters. Quick alignment emerged as the group addressed their collective passion for the justice system and the protection of the right to trial by jury, and spoke of a continued need for Virginia’s lawyers to feel connected to a broader community of practice.
We spent a lot of time talking about ways in which the association could engage a new generation of trial lawyers, and identifying a set of strategic drivers for their emerging plan that have the potential to elevate and transform the organization’s work across the Commonwealth.
Our team has a series of working sessions scheduled with the VTLA this winter, and hope to deliver a final strategic document to their board in February.
Four out of five dentists By John Sarvay | November 4, 2011
We’ve recently started strategic planning work with the Virginia Dental Association Foundation, which does amazing philanthropic work providing oral health care to lower-income people across Virginia.
As usual, we’ll start with some discovery – interviewing key staff, board and other stakeholders in an effort to gain a deeper perspective into the organization’s strategic opportunities. In early January, we’ll sit down with the full board and explore the best directions for the foundation to strengthen and grow its programming to reach even more Virginians in need of care. Our plan will be to deliver a final document to the VDAF board by early spring.
Reshaping culture, by the book By John Sarvay | November 3, 2011
We’re well into a multi-month organizational effort with the Library of Virginia, and I think it’s safe to say that we’re all learning as we go! Debra Saneda and I have been working side-by-side with the Library for more than a year now on a major organizational change, which included the development of a new vision for the state library and archive:
The Library of Virginia will inspire learning, ignite imagination, create possibilities, encourage understanding, and engage Virginia's past to empower its future.
During recent months, we’ve been working closely with 35 leaders and key “influencers” at all levels of the Library to increase the organization’s capacity to “live into” a very ambitious vision. In addition to using the Insights Discovery® self-awareness instrument to help the group better understand the organizational culture, we’ve worked through the very real impact leadership can have not only climate but also on organizational results. Debra has also been providing individual leadership coaching for a portion of the group.
As organizations like the Library continue to refocus their energies to embrace new technologies, changing demographics and creative ways of achieving their mission, it is increasingly important to ensure key individuals within the organization understand their ability to influence and lead. We’re excited to work with agencies like the Library as they retool for a new century of collecting, archiving, learning and inspiring.
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