eNews     |     Nonprofit Quarterly     |    Spring  2017
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

How can the nonprofit sector's fundraising efforts thrive in a strong economy, but also in a time of unprecedented uncertainty? 

In my 30-year career as a fundraiser, I cannot recall a time when the nonprofit world has been faced with so many opportunities and so many challenges. On the plus side, donor engagement with both individuals and foundations is at an all-time high: from small one-time donations to multi-year major gift commitments. The arts, healthcare, education, environment, civil liberties and social services are seeing a resurgence of giving across all levels.

But this renaissance of donor connectivity is borne out of deep concern and resistance. While a government shutdown was recently averted saving--and increasing--allocations for programs and agencies under threat, the federal budget in September could potentially wreak havoc across all nonprofit disciplines: abolishing federal funding for public broadcasting, arts and environmental programs, drastic cuts in community based healthcare and housing, and rethinking of public school support and after-school programs. And, of course, the ongoing threat of limiting charitable deductions for middle and upper income donors.

This is a time of contradictions: when organizations must walk a fine line of fiscal prudence while seizing the moment; when investment in development efforts must be laser focused and well thought-out, yet nimble and adaptable. It's fundraising in the age of anxiety.  

This is the time to have a development plan: What strategies are working, and what has become a habit with little ROI? Is every single staff person and board member integrating fund development opportunities into program, outreach, and your communication with clients/members/consumers? How do you get the attention of those large funders you know would be intrigued by your mission? 

This is truly a time ripe with questions.  Let MW&A help you find solutions that will guide you through these turbulent days by maximizing opportunities and preparing for the challenges that may come your way. We are here to help.

Warmest regards,
MW&A New Clients & New Projects
With Foundation giving at an all-time high and projected to increase through 2018, MW&A is working with several new clients to expand their outreach to institutional funders. Along with stewardship to new foundations, in many cases we are also assisting with the development of proposals and crafting more effective language to reflect the client's core work and emphasizing the intersect with each Foundation's interest.
Meet our new clients:

    Foundation Relations Outreach & Grants    Development

The G4 Alliance is a coalition of more than 80 organizations working in over 160 countries dedicated to making access to safe, affordable and timely surgical, obstetric, trauma and anesthesia care a global health priority. This membership based NGO works to advance awareness, political will and resources to achieve this end.

The G4 Alliance is working with MW&A to expand their Foundation support with foundations featuring a strong international health coverage and patient safety component and a focus on low and middle income countries.  

Foundation Outreach & Grants Development  

First Star is a national non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that improves the lives of foster
youth through innovative college preparatory academies at 11 universities throughout the country.

First Star is at a critical stage where investment in the  organizational infrastructure and planning will bolster the growth of the program at current campuses and planned expansions. MW&A has been able to provide them with outreach to 14 new funders and the proposal development phase is well under way. 

Foundation Outreach

Boy Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) is an academic scholarship and boarding home program for children living in challenging circumstances. With a Boys home located in Santa Ana and a Girls home located in Fullerton, the organization specializes in serving children from below the poverty line who are academically capable and motivated to finish high school and go on to college, but need a stable home environment to pursue their education.

Currently with an excellent team of grant writers, BHGH wanted to expand beyond their core funders and knew that MW&A was a great resource to diversify those funds and establish new Foundation relationships. 

Foundation Relations Outreach and Grants Development

Orange County United Way's 10-year FACE 2024 initiative is focused on meeting four specific goals in the Count
  • Cut the high school dropout rate in half
  • Reduce the percentage of financially unstable families by 25 percent
  • Increase the number of healthy children by one third
  • Cut the percentage of homeless children by half
As a long time client of MW&A, United Way has utilized our services to recruit executive level development staff.  But knowing of our roots in Foundation outreach, MW&A has been identifying regional and national funders with a history of funding successful United Way initiatives as well as guidelines that support one or all of the focus areas.   


Foundation Relations and Grants Development
The Plasticos Foundation is a humanitarian organization dedicated to improving lives through reconstructive
plastic surgery. By performing surgeries free of charge for underserved individuals with traumatic injuries, disfigurement as a result of cancer or congenital deformities, the volunteer medical teams alleviate physical and emotional suffering, and in some cases prevent death. 

After almost two decades of  missions in Mexico, Cuba, Armenia, Cambodia and Brazil, Plasticos will be changing lives in Southern California.  Reshaping Lives is a program designed to provide free surgeries to uninsured patients in Orange County. MW&A is assisting Plasticos with the development and targeted proposals to launch this program.   
Over $675,000 in
for Our Clients! 
MW&A clients in Los Angeles and Orange counties, the Bay Area, Chicago and NYC are seeing increased Foundation gifts.

Here's a look at what's been achieved from December 2016 - May 2017. 

MW&A obtained the following grants for clients through  Foundation outreach and grant proposal development

Fresh Produce & Floral Council

Weingart Foundation

Elizabeth Morse Foundation

DARTS (Decorative Arts Society) 

Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Fund

Ueberroth Family Fdt.  

William Gillespie Fdt.  
MW&A assisted clients in obtaining the following grants through  Foundation outreach, introduction and stewardship.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation

The Hearst Foundations 


The Select Equity Group Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Fdt.

And two separate $7,500 grants from The Leo Buscaglia Foundation

MW&A assisted clients in obtaining over $37,000 in  sponsorship for programs and events through
corporate outreach, introduction, sponsorship package development and stewardship.

Union Bank
Ruttan and Tucker
Deutsch Bank
Kaiser Permanente
Pimco JetBlue
Finding the Best Fundraising Staff in
a Tight Job Market      
MW&A conducted our first executive search in 1999 for the Sundance Institute. Charged with hiring the first Director of Grants & Corporate Sponsorship, to this day, it remains the most brutal search we have ever led. In 1999 the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent and the recruiting business was tough. Now as the rate dips to 4.5 percent, even lower in the nonprofit sector, we expect 2017 to be challenging.
The need for strong fundraisers is out there. In 2013 The Evelyn and Walter Hass, Jr. Foundation conducted a survey on the challenges facing nonprofit fundraising. A key finding: "high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in development positions throughout the sector." And four years on, it has only gotten worse. 

So what is going on?  There is-- and will continue to be-- an exodus of the first generation of professional fundraisers who have or will retire soon. While there is interest in the nonprofit sector among recent college grads, mid-career development professionals are becoming more elusive.
Advertising alone will not yield the needed results to fill these vacancies. Without the help of a good recruiter, one with deep roots in the national fundraising community, finding the right person will be close to impossible. People are simply not looking in the traditional ways.
Now is the time to turn to MW&A to not only find the right person with the right skills, but to also guide your organization through the process to insure once the match is made, they will have the support and resources to do the job they have been hired to do. Read more about our process and recent successful placements