The Gifford Newsletter

Winter 2022  |  The Strategy Issue

Sheena Solomon smiles at the camera while wearing a yellow sweater She is the Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation.

How I assess an organization:

Sheena Solomon, Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation

“We know that all nonprofits regardless of size have challenges, and that’s ok. Even an organization with major weak spots might still be the best at delivering their service to the community they serve.

“There are several important things that we always look for – no matter what the request is:

  • Who is reaching out to us? (There’s a big difference in a pitch coming from the Director versus an intern.)
  • Have they done their homework?
  • Can they articulate why they are the best organization for the job?
A headshot of Beth Broadway, President/CEO of InterFaith Works.

How I convince a funder:

Beth Broadway, Executive Director of InterFaith Works, Inc.

“Whether it’s an individual donor or a foundation, we have to assess the goodness of fit between what that funder wants for the world and for their dollars, and whether that fits with our mission. That’s the first advice I would give. The next part is easy, because then you aren’t begging – you are asking for an investment.

“We have the capacity to do certain things that you want done. You don’t have the capacity to do that all by yourself, but we have built that capacity in our nonprofit, and we can help you do what you want to do with your dollars. We are asking people to make an investment in our work and in their community.”

Jennifer Bonnett looks into the camera and smiles. She is the head of the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute based in Phoenix, AZ.

Stopping The Wobble: Building Organizational Stability

Jennifer Bonnett spent years as the Executive Director of an Arizona nonprofit before transitioning into fulltime consultant work in 2015. Based in Phoenix, she has helped organizations nationally to diagnose the “wobbly legs” within their operations with the goal of improving programming and boosting internal capacity. Bonnett is passionate about the idea that nonprofits must assess, identify, and repair these structural instabilities before they can grow their operation successfully. Or, in social media terms, she is campaigning to #StopTheWobble.

Getting Where You’re Going

By Heidi Holtz, MA, CLCC

Guest contributor Heidi Holtz speaks to the importance of self-assessment as part of the process of planning for the future. An accomplished nonprofit consultant and former Gifford Foundation employee, Heidi’s work is grounded in the Lifecycles Capacity Building model.

This approach looks at organizational growth opportunities through assessment and performance recommendations in five areas: programs, management, governance, financial health, and administrative systems.

More Strategic Inspiration!

Communications Planning Guide

Clear and comprehensive instructions for building and optimizing your media presence, courtesy of the John R. Oishei Foundation.

Developing Your Board

Key questions, methods, and ideas for strengthening your governing body, courtesy of the Council for Nonprofits.

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