Community Council Develops One-of-a-Kind Approach to Alleviating Poverty in North Texas

Community Council Develops One-of-a-Kind Approach to Alleviating Poverty in North Texas

Twenty-five percent of families with children in Dallas County live below the poverty line. Dallas has the third highest child poverty rate among large US cities. We often refer to levels of poverty like this as a cycle. As in, we work to “break the cycle of poverty.” There is, however, a second and often unseen cycle that threatens to silently undermine the success of those aspiring to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty. While North Texas nonprofits are subject to the ensnaring effects of this cycle, it is not a native challenge. It is a long-standing, national challenge.

National Year-end Giving Readiness Challenge

Ready, tech, go. Help grantees plan now – and raise more.

Nonprofits in the United States are now challenged by major political, demographic, technological, and social factors outside of their control. As a result, many of their programs face an uncertain future. These same nonprofits aren’t equipped with the right plan, tools, and know-how to maximize fundraising in this new environment, beginning with the year-end giving season, when $72 billion is gifted to organizations in the last 60 days of the year.

To help nonprofits make the most of the giving season, beginning with #GivingTuesday and continuing through December 31, Network for Good has created the National Year-End Giving Readiness Challenge, a nationwide initiative that will be staged in 100 cities across the country. During the week of September 17, we’ll be working in partnership with community foundations, nonprofits associations, and local consultants to stage no-cost, in-person trainings, knowing that what nonprofits do in the 45 days after Labor Day will determine their fundraising success in the 45 days before December 31.

Designed in partnership with Facebook and #GivingTuesday, the Challenge is designed for nonprofits that have already created an individual giving program within the last 12 months, and have raised at least $15,000 in annual gifts reaching 100 or more donors. The Challenge will provide participating nonprofits with the best-practice plan, tools, and templates to have their best possible campaign – that can also be replicated in the spring, should they choose.

We would like to work with you to stage one of these localized trainings in your community, inviting all of the nonprofits you serve to attend. Network for Good will handle creating the event in your community, and we'll send one of our trained, local fundraising consultants to conduct the workshop, while providing every participating organization the following:

1.     Fundraising Needs Assessment.  Through Network for Good’s unique, online Fundraising Needs Assessment, nonprofits will answer 15 short questions and from it, create a Comprehensive Findings Report, identifying areas the organization needs to immediately address to increase their individual giving program going into year-end. 

2.     Community Convening. In a 90-minute workshop that you host, we’ll help nonprofits calculate and forecast their own unique fundraising potential, build a campaign calendar, and create an impact-focused message to compel and inspire more giving to their mission. Network for Good will also host a live, virtual broadcast on Facebook for nonprofits unable to travel to your local convening site.

3.     Customizable 90-Day Fundraising Plan. The day after the Convening, nonprofits will be given a draft fundraising plan to help each develop a stage-appropriate, multi-channel fundraising strategy that integrates #GivingTuesday and year-end giving into one, seamless, 12-week campaign.  The plan will guide the planning and execution of a fundraising sprint that integrates direct mail, email, text messages, social media, and website to maximize year-end results.

4.     Help-Desk Appointment.  With their draft plan, nonprofits will be invited to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a Fundraising Solutions Consultant who will help each audit their existing giving experience, discuss ways to improve and sustain increased fundraising results, and discuss what software applications are needed to effectively launch and sustain their own right-sized campaign.

5.     Bi-Monthly Virtual Training.  Nonprofits completing a Help-Desk Appointment can be enrolled into a virtual training series designed to help each execute their year-end plans with the aid of all the tips and tricks from our resident fundraisers, all of whom have been executive directors, development directors, and board members – and understand their constraints and challenges better than anyone.

Webinar Registration for Interested Grantmakers

On Thursday, August 9th at 1 p.m. EST, you can join us to learn more about the Challenge and what Network for Good’s Impact Team will be doing to support bringing this opportunity to your community.

New Enhancements to the Jumpstart Program

Before you register for the GRANTMAKER TOWN HALL on Thursday, May 31 at 1:00 p.m. EST, to follow, you can read more about the enhancements we've made to the Jumpstart Program, all of which have been designed to not just enhance the grantee experience, but ensure each can expand and diversify revenue.


We're now more tightly integrating the component parts that comprise the Jumpstart offering:

1) Virtual Coaching & Direct Fundraising Services

Coaches have now gone through a new, special training process and will be certified by Network for Good to not only be a more effective Coach, but also help align monthly fundraising activities with nonprofits’ new software to ensure each can achieve monthly milestones to increase revenue as well as fundraising capacity.

2) Live-streaming Community Convenings & Resource Showcase

Lead by Network for Good’s Fundraiser-in-Residence, nonprofits, and their Coach will be invited to a monthly, live-streaming Community Convening designed to rollout, train, and provide real-time examples of fundraising successes and failures around a topical growth area of fundraising.  Further, every convening is designed to align the individualized work of each Coach and nonprofits to ensure a consistent experience from which NFG can further enable your success.

3) Facilitating Board & Staff Alignment

Any experienced practitioner would probably agree: If you ask staff and board members “Who is chiefly responsible for fundraising?” you’ll get very different answers.  Beginning this summer, nonprofits will invite board member participation in the Community Convenings and coaching sessions, so we can help bring visibility to the dependencies that staff, executives, and volunteers all have on each other to raise money through a healthy culture of philanthropy. 

4) Adopting Your New Fundraising Operating System

The feedback we consistently heard over the last few months is that nonprofits need more help to better leverage the bundled software they now have. For this reason, the Community Convenings will address how to implement the fundraising activities nonprofits and their Coaches decide are necessary, through the NFG software, like:

    - Data hygiene, segmentation & goal monitoring

    - Email, direct mail, text design & delivery

    - Automation of engagement, appeals & retention contact

    - Equipping board, staff, & volunteers to directly fundraise


We've established ten milestones that will drive the work of you, your Coach, and your NFG software to help you expand and diversify revenue:

Fundraising Readiness | June - July

While summer is a time for vacation and getting recharged, it also is a perfect time to plan and prepare. As such, we’ve created the following milestones to achieve by July 30, so that you are ready to engage your donors and prospects.

1.     Setup & configure an online giving page on your website

2.     Load and segment all data into your donor management software

Equip Board Fundraise & Acquire Donors | August - September

The primary reason board members don’t directly fundraise is because they don’t know how – and aren’t equipped to. We’ve created milestones to help you engage your board (yes, over the summer) achieve the following by September 30.

3.     Secure 10 new individual donors through a peer-to-peer campaign

4.     Identify & qualify 15 new major gift prospects to begin to cultivate

Year-end Fundraising Sprint | October - December

In the last 40 days of the calendar year, more than $70 billion is given to nonprofit organizations. Between #GivingTuesday and December 31, we will help you:

5.     Secure 25 new gifts from new donors from your prospect segment

6.     Compel 20% of your current donors to increase their gift over last year

Relationships & Retention | January - March

While the new year means new priorities, beginning relationships with the donors and prospects you’ve secured and/or identified after the holiday is critical.  We’ve created milestones for you to achieve the following by March 30:

7.     Enroll 100% of new & lapsed donors into a monthly email retention campaign

8.     Secure 3 major gifts from the segment of 15 prospects previously identified

Acquisition & Second Ask | April - June

If you’ve thanked and engaged your year-end donors in a way that communicates not only your gratitude but the programmatic impact their gift has made, they are 72% more likely to make a second gift within 6 months of their last. We’ve created milestones for you to achieve the following by June 30.

9.     25% of current donors make a second gift to your spring campaign

10.  10% of special event donors make a gift to your spring campaign



ON THURSDAY MAY 31 @ 1:00 PM EST, we'll preview the modifications we've made to the Jumpstart Program before the official rollout to our shared grantees, please join us for a special virtual town hall for Jumpstart Grantmakers, followed by live Q&A.