News: Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne Partners with Network for Good to Offer Jumpstart Program for Nonprofits

January 29, 2021 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is pleased to announce a partnership with Network for Good to offer Jumpstart, a 12-month fundraising capacity building program. The participating organizations will receive personal coaching, professional services, software and an evidence-based framework in this immersive, year-long program. Typically, after one year of committed fundraising while implementing fundraising skills learned in the Program in real time, participants see an average increase of more than 20% more money, while building their organizational capacity.

“Nonprofits’ financial sustainability cannot be achieved in one year, nor through a single grant,” explained Christine Meek, Vice President of Nonprofit Excellence at the Community Foundation. “To create the lasting impact our donors, boards and volunteers envision, we must ensure our local nonprofit organizations are financially-resilient, with the capacity to deliver services and sustain impact, year after year.”

Having been with the Community Foundation since 2003, Meek is aware of the many challenges nonprofit organizations face to align boards, funders, staff and volunteers to reach annual fundraising goals – especially with limited time and budgets.

“As grant makers, we hold the responsibility to help build and support a healthy nonprofit ecosystem,” she said. “Financial sustainability is an important factor in ensuring a healthy nonprofit ecosystem to provide meaningful, impactful services to the community.”

In late-2020, the Community Foundation connected with Network for Good and was introduced to the company’s Jumpstart Fundraising Capacity Building Program. More than 100 local nonprofits were invited to learn about JumpStart and offered the opportunity to complete an assessment to identify each organization’s most common challenges, core needs and opportunities for growth.

Of the 80 organizations who attended the informational session, 18 completed the assessment, all of whom were then selected to participate in the program. The 18 organizations participating are:

Amani Family Services
Bach Collegium Fort Wayne, Inc.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc.
Community Transportation Network
Early Childhood Alliance
Headwaters Counseling
Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry
Heartland Sings
International House
Joshua’s Hand
Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana
McMillen Health
Power House Youth Center
Project READS
Science Central
The Literacy Alliance Inc
WeFAM, Inc.

With the Network for Good partnership, the Community Foundation will inject more than $111,000 worth of targeted, technical fundraising assistance to local grantees with an investment of $87,400 from the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Fund which is dedicated to providing high-quality organizational effectiveness services to local nonprofits.

Each time Network for Good co-funds a launching of the Jumpstart Program in partnership with a funder, it is anticipated grantees will increase total revenue from individual donors, directly multiplying the impact of each dollar invested. Network for Good is accomplishing this goal by working with grantees over a yearlong technical assistance process through a series of monthly fundraising objectives called “milestones.” These ‘milestones’ guide each grantee’s use of fundraising software while being supported by a Personal Fundraising Coach (PFC) matched to work with the grantee based upon the unique needs expressed in their assessment. The software contains leading fundraising, donor management and content development tools, that together with the coaching, nonprofit leaders and their teams are able to integrate into their core nonprofit operations – for fundraising that is consistent and engages year-round.

Network for Good’s JumpStart Fundraising Capacity Building program uses a high-impact combination of tools during a 12-month period: a Personal Fundraising Coach (PFC) plus state-of-the art fundraising and donor management technology, that simultaneously, increase nonprofit leaders’ abilities to fundraise while increasing revenue, in real time.

Fundraising is long known to be the toughest element in successfully leading a nonprofit, especially for the long term. Fundraising is made even more difficult by what’s typically a very fragmented approach, with too-expensive technology that does not include all of the necessary tools in one simple, easy-to-use platform.

Maria S. Azuri, Network for Good’s Senior Director of Impact & Sustainability, says, “We understand that nonprofit leaders’ greatest persistent worry is fundraising and that they typically haven’t had access to fundraising capacity building that is iterative and includes the essential elements needed: coaching and technology. Having partners like Christine and The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, who understand that funding fundraising capacity building is a key part of the equation for nonprofit success and long-term sustainability brings a tremendous value and impact to Fort Wayne’s nonprofit ecosystem and the families and individuals supported by their important missions.”

JumpStart’s uses a data-driven, two-pronged iterative approach where an expert PFC helps each nonprofit create a custom quarterly- and annual fundraising strategy and execute it, month by month. Along with a simple-to-use technology platform, ongoing fundraising activities help build a multi-faceted fundraising foundation, consistently grow it and begin synergizing and automating what is typically a very disjointed, overwhelming approach. The impact is clear and measurable- typically for every $1 a funder invests into a grantee’s participation, the nonprofit gains $3-$5 new unrestricted funds.

“Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne’s commitment to strengthening nonprofit infrastructure by supporting fundraising capacity building that combines coaching and technology is sector-leading and providing support where nonprofits need it most,” says Azuri.

For nearly 100 years, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has been a public charitable foundation serving Allen County since 1922. The Community Foundation had assets of approximately $183 million at December 31, 2020 and awarded more than $7.9 million in charitable grants and scholarships in that year. The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne does three things: help people make their charitable giving more impactful, connect funding to nonprofits through effective grantmaking, and provide leadership to address community needs to improve quality of life. Every day we connect people and resources to build a more vibrant community.