Nonprofits 'Declare Independence' from Foundation, Grant Funding

Network for Good Helps Nonprofits Defy Political, Legislative Gravity with a ‘Jumpstart’

WASHINGTON DC – This summer, nonprofit organizations in almost half the states in the country, spanning more than sixty cities in the US, find themselves on a trajectory to reduce their dependence on foundation support to sustain their programs.  They have embraced a revenue generation model designed by Network for Good (NFG) that concentrates on individual donors and technology to diversify and expand general operating revenue.

In 2012, NFG began a pilot project to work with community foundations, through what is now called the Jumpstart Program.  The pilot provided grantees with the technology, tools, and one-on-one, virtual coaching to help participating nonprofits move fundraising from an ad hoc, administrative function to a central leadership priority.  As a result, participating nonprofits increased fundraising revenues, on average, by almost 30% in a 12-month period.  Now, NFG has invested significant resources to dramatically expand the program to bring it to all fifty states by December 31, 2018, as well as Puerto Rico, a US Territory still reeling from Hurricane Maria.

On the heels of the 2016 election and now, legislation, that has many nonprofit leaders concerned about how best to nurture more philanthropy, nationally, NFG conducted research among a sample of 10,000 nonprofits with annual operating budgets under $5 million.  The research explored the relationship, dependencies, and not-so-accurate perceptions between nonprofit fundraisers and the foundations that fund them.  NFG then took this data and overlaid it with the findings and recommendations contained in the 2013 report, “Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising” to fortify the program’s scope, utility, and universal milestones designed to benefit participating nonprofits.

Jumpstart was created as a Collective Impact Model for foundations, nationwide.  To date, more than fifty community and private foundations leverage shared data, objectives, learnings – and funding – to help their grantees, locally.  Corporate foundations and public funding entities are now getting behind Jumpstart.  Part of the Model also requires NFG’s co-investment with foundations to fund grantee enrollment into the program.  Grantees are selected based upon a Fundraising Assessment that NFG conducts at no cost to the foundation, rating the fundraising capacity and potential of each of the nonprofits in the communities they serve.  That Assessment is then presented to a foundation’s staff, grants committee, and board of directors.

Jumpstart is led by the program’s co-founders Brian Lauterbach, CFRE, and Nate Nasralla, CFRE, at NFG, who, along with a remote team based in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington DC, comprise NFG’s Impact Division, a new, “special opps group” charged with coordinating existing local, state, and regional resources designed to help nonprofits build fundraising capacity, nationally.