Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future

By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group

On the heels of Black History Month and at the beginning of Women’s History Month, it is not lost on me that we need to celebrate diversity now more than ever. And it is important that we do not relegate our recognition of the contribution of Blacks and women to just one month.

sankofa image
Sankofa means “go back and fetch it.” We must look back to the past so that we may understand how we became what we are, and move forward to a better future.

Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The symbol, based on the mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward with its head turned backwards, serves as a reminder that the past serves as a guide for planning the future. It is the wisdom of looking back to look forward.

Diversity has been a core value of The Alford Group for our 41-year history and we recently renewed our commitment to fostering and creating adaptive cultures that are more inclusive and equitable in our work as a firm, with our clients and in the entire social sector. We are elevating equity-centered philanthropy as intentional action toward changing the structures, roles, processes, representation and practices that perpetuate inequities in how organizations communicate, engage and build relationships to support philanthropic endeavors.

Continue reading “Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future”

Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success

By Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, The Alford Group and Immediate Past-Chair of the AFP U.S. Foundation for Philanthropy

As I have stood side-by-side this last year with some of the brightest and most creative fundraisers that I know, I have continued to be amazed and in awe of the strength and utter tenacity of the individuals who lead our sector. It is an understatement to say it was an unusually challenging year. Continue reading “Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success”

Be a SMARTIE: An Equity-Forward Approach to Goal Setting

By Michelle Bibbs, Associate Senior Consultant

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

The start of a new year usually inspires goal-setting. In the social impact sector, we all strive for more than to just get things done. We aim to drive impact, to change outcomes – sometimes to change entire systems that affect outcomes for people and communities.

The times we are in have made clear that in order to make an impact for more of us, the nonprofit sector – like the public and private sectors – have to center inclusion and equity as core values and lean on those values to guide our work.

If we are not taking an equity-centered approach in our work, then we are only creating impact for some of us, not all.

If you change nothing, nothing changes.  Uncertain times demand that we constantly explore new ways to make change in our workplaces and communities.  In the current “new normal” the question becomes how? Continue reading “Be a SMARTIE: An Equity-Forward Approach to Goal Setting”

The Alford Group Applauds MacKenzie Scott for Transformational Gifts

December 17, 2020

MacKenzie Scott, billionaire, author and philanthropist, announced this week she had given nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations in the last four months.

STATEMENT FROM BRENDA B. ASARE, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE ALFORD GROUP

With deep gratitude, The Alford Group applauds MacKenzie Scott for her transformational philanthropy to many Alford Group clients and other worthy organizations. We know these well-deserved gifts will be put to work to fuel their trailblazing work. Ms. Scott noted her full trust in these proven management teams who demonstrate high-potential for impact. Congratulations to our clients for being recognized for the work they do everyday to make their communities better, more equitable, and places where people reach their potential and realize possibilities. The Alford Group is proud to be your partner as you accelerate and amplify your impact as a result of these extraordinary gifts.

Full list of recipients 

Elevate 2021 Conference

February 24-26, 2021 | Virtual

Creating an Equity-Forward Board Culture

As our nation grapples with racial inequality, the need for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in governance structures has become even more apparent. This session will illustrate how nonprofit boards benefit from DEI, can integrate DEI within their structures and systems, and equip board leaders with the tools to build or strengthen an equity-forward culture. Despite where your organization is at on its DEI journey, you will gain insights on how to approach governance for a better tomorrow.

Presenters:

  • Brenda B. Asare, President & CEO, The Alford Group
  • Amy Hines, Senior Vice President, The Alford Group

 

Four Elements to Strengthen Your Planning

By Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant

Organizations have been in constant flux to respond to 2020. Your organization likely implemented crisis response plans quickly after the onset of COVID-19. These response plans may have transitioned into scenario plans to navigate the ongoing crises of this year and/or your organization made substantial pivots or even pauses to your organization’s strategic plans. As the non-profit sector continues to respond to the devastating realities of the pandemic and our country’s social and racial injustices, The Alford Group elevates four specific elements that will strengthen your implementation and positioning for success, if embedded into your planning processes – crisis, scenario or strategic.

#1 Be Analytical

Continue reading “Four Elements to Strengthen Your Planning”

Tomorrow’s New Normal: 4 elements of an action-forward approach to planning

MODERATORS:

  • Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group
  • Jamie Phillippe, CFRE, Vice President, The Alford Group

PANELISTS:

  • Felicia Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Darrin Goss, President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
  • Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director, LifeWire
  • Michele Stauff, Executive Director, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

Slide Deck: Planning Webinar Presentation_The Alford Group

How to Effectively Grow Revenue through Corporate Partnerships in the COVID Era

MODERATOR: Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group

SPEAKERS: Dan Kowitz, Founder & CEO, JSB Partnership Consultants; Strategy Partner, The Alford Group

Nancy Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Slide Deck: Corporate Partnerships Webinar_The Alford Group

Service One-Pager: TAG_OnePager_CorporatePartnerships

Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest

By Mariah Fosnight, Senior Client Service Associate, The Alford Group

Recently, The Alford Group and Columbia Bank co-hosted the presentation of the 2019 Giving USA data and hosted a panel of Pacific Northwest funders and philanthropists to discuss the findings and relate them to the current realities of giving in the region. The full recorded webinar, including 2019 data and panel discussion, may be found here.

Giving USA, published by the Giving USA Foundation, is part of the Giving Institute which is comprised of leading consulting firms including The Alford Group. Celebrating 65 years, this report is the longest running and most comprehensive and authoritative report on charitable giving in the United States.

Continue reading “Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest”

Certainty in Year-End Fundraising During Uncertain Times

By Molly Hansen, Vice President, The Alford Group

The end of the year is around the corner—the single biggest fundraising opportunity of the year! Just how much year-end philanthropic giving will be impacted this year by current events is impossible to know.

In the fundraising forums that I am part of, I often run across the phrase, “We’ve been here before.” I beg to differ! We have not been here before.

Continue reading “Certainty in Year-End Fundraising During Uncertain Times”

Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Northeast

MODERATOR:
Elizabeth Rowley, CFRE, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan

GIVING USA PRESENTATION:
Amy Hines, Senior Vice President, The Alford Group

EXPERT PANEL:
Sally Cross, President and CEO, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

Walter J. Dillingham, Jr., CFA, Managing Director, Wilmington Trust