Friday, October 11, 2013

Mercersburg Academy Alum Donates $100 Million

In what was the second-largest gift ever given to an independent school in the U.S., Mercersburg Academy announced Thursday that it had received a gift of nearly $100 million from alumna Deborah J. Simon and her foundation.

The donation, which Simon said was made out of gratitude for her two years at the Mercersburg, Pa.-based institution, is the leading gift so far in the school's "Daring to Lead" $300 million capital campaign. When combined with recent campaign gifts that include support for a new student center, Simon and the Deborah Joy Simon Foundation have pledged nearly $107 million to Mercersburg Academy.

"We are thrilled beyond words for this transformational gift and the confidence that Deborah and her foundation have placed in us," said Douglas Hale, head of school. "Because of their vision and generosity, young men and women from all walks of life will have access to an extraordinary education that will allow them to realize their potential."

Simon, who is a member of the Mercersburg Academy Board of Regents, praised Hale for his "vision" for the school. "This is a place where faculty are encouraged to experiment with new ideas and technologies to engage students more fully in their education," she said.

According to a press release announcing the donation, Simon's gift will help Mercersburg Academy achieve its goal of ensuring its education is affordable for its students. Currently, 32 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, and 49 percent receive a combination of merit and need-based scholarships toward tuition. The Academy accepts students in grades 9-12.

Previous gifts to U.S. independent schools that equaled or surpassed Simon's gift include a $128 million donation to the Newtown, Pa.-based George School in 2007 and $100 million to the Hightstown, N.J.-based Peddie School in 1993. The previous high donation to the Mercersburg Academy came in 2000 by alumnus and former President of the Board of Regents H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, who donated $35 million.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Featured Nonprofit Job: Development Coordinator

Care 4 Needy Copts, located in Plainview, N.Y., is looking to hire a Development Coordinator. Think you have what it takes to succeed at this position? Read on for more details on this newest featured nonprofit job.

The chosen candidate for this position will be responsible for fulfilling three main goals for the organization: Expand the organizational financial resources by increasing and diversifying the donors’ base in the organization; provide technical support to the organizational fundraising strategy and fundraising plan; and, provide technical and administrative support to the current fund raising activities.

Other essential responsibilities include:

  • The Development Coordinator will be expected to contribute to the organization’s financial growth and ensure that all fundraising events and initiatives are in alignment with their mission and goals.
  • Develop and execute a fundraising plan to increase contributions from all sources, including foundations, individuals, and corporate gifts.
  • Plan special events, along with cultivation, marketing and recognition functions. These include the Annual Gala and other events.
  • Oversee production of all print and virtual public relations and marketing materials, including newsletters and updates, and annual reports.
  • Direct the maintenance and upgrades to the organizations website and public information communications.
  • Increase the donor’s base and direct the activities to diverse type of communities.
Qualified applicants will have three to five years of experience in fundraising and marketing for a nonprofit. A Bachelor's degree is required though an advanced degree is preferred.

You can learn more about what it takes to be a Development Coordinator by viewing the full job listing on the NPT Jobs Career Center.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Is Your Nonprofit Truly Philanthropic?

Most nonprofit managers, if asked, would answer "yes" if they were asked whether their organization truly embodied the culture of philanthropy. But does it really?

To fully answer this question, you must first clarify what makes up a philanthropic culture. During the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 50th International Conference on Fundraising, representatives of the Osborne Group, a management, consulting and training firm, defined a culture of philanthropy and stewardship as follows: Everyone within the organization, including recipients of services and their families, and the board of directors, understands, embraces, believes in and acts on the person’s roles and responsibilities in philanthropy and stewardship in a collaborative and donor-centric manner.

With this definition in mind, the speakers listed six ways to create a philanthropic culture at your nonprofit:
  • Organizational vision provides the urgency for change. A great organization and a successful fundraising operation begin with a clear and compelling mission and an aspirational and urgent vision undergirded with shared, stated values.
  • Change requires a vision as well. Imagining the organization or institution once it achieves the culture of philanthropy and stewardship paints a picture all constituencies can grasp.
  • Start with champions and modeling behavior. These champions serve as guiding lights.
  • Wow the team. It is hard to make others feel great about giving and participating if the proposed change agent feels beleaguered or under-appreciated.
  • You need a plan. A vision without a plan is just a pipedream.
  • Institutionalize the new changes. Document the new policies and procedures. Reward and celebrate success.