Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Over the summer we have watched the stock market inch past its highest point, and the national job reports show steady growth. Our economy is definitely looking up. Yet, it seems the philanthropic sector is always the last to feel the positive effects.
But there can be no doubt-- the positive economic impact is reflected in everyone's bottom line. During the first half of 2016 we've seen greater investment in staff, creation of new positions and a resurgence of capital campaigns with many of our current and former clients.
Meanwhile, on the giving side, 17 new foundations have emerged in the West Coast region alone, with an anticipated 110+ traditional grant-making foundations nationwide by the end of the year - all with well-defined guidelines and plans to support health, education, social services and the arts. Of course at MW&A we have already begun canvassing many of these new Foundations to discover the viable opportunities that will be coming up in the New Year.
This outreach is invaluable, but as I preach to all our clients, it is all about relationships. Consider giving us a call about our
Foundation Relations and Grant Development
program specifically geared to identifying funders best suited to your organization, as well as maximizing your development efforts with each grant request.
The Best and the Brightest:
MW&A places six new leaders in the sector
"As development professionals we occasionally run across opportunities that so demand the very experience we possess, fit perfectly with where we are in our career and reflect our values and interests as fundraisers that we are compelled to pursue." Joel Wyatt, Vice President of Development Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.
Finding such a match is why for more than 20 years, nonprofit organizations,
diverse communities throughout the country, have looked to MW&A to assist with their executive hiring needs. Being more than a recruitment firm, MW&A's services in development assessment, foundation relations and grant development, offer a
approach to each search we undertake.
During the first half of 2016 MW&A had the pleasure to work with six very diverse organizations. More than providing a short list of qualified candidates, MW&A utilized our wide bank of resources and knowledge to provide additional services and support, case by case, to ensure that these individuals were well matched to these organizations in their knowledge, skills, personalities and shared goals.
MW&A's is pleased to announce our most recent professional placements:
After a national search, Orange County United Way found exactly who they were looking for in their own neighborhood. Jeff Swanson, is a seasoned fundraising professional with over twenty years experience at some of Southern California's most successful institutions. Recently, Jeff served as Vice President for Philanthropic Services at Orange County Community Foundation--one of the country's fastest growing community foundations, both in terms of assets and unique and responsive grant-making. Jeff joins OCUW already well immersed in the local philanthropic community and eager to develop diverse sources of revenue to advance OCUW's community initiatives.
Equality Texas works to eliminate public policy discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. With a goal of increasing the number of citizens protected from this discrimination, EQTX needed a dedicated position to increase financial resources.
With well over a decade of experience in development, most of Collin's career has been spent in Texas. Prior to joining Equality Texas, Collin held the position of Director of Development for both the Texas State Historical Association and the Long Center for Performing Arts. Believing that Texas is at a pivotal moment in history, Collin is eager to become a key advocate for all that Equality Texas wants to achieve.
In anticipation of an $18 million capital campaign for their Suicide Prevention Center, Didi Hirsch called out for a seasoned development professional experienced in fundraising, communications and events planning. Sighting Didi Hirsh's $41M budget, a stellar reputation for delivery of mental health services and a personal interest in public health issues,
Joel Wyatt answered the call all the way from Texas where he was serving as Director of Advancement for the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. Joel is now back in Los Angeles, where he previously enjoyed a 16-year development career, including work at the Trevor Project and AIDS Project LA. His background offered the perfect blend of experience in fundraising, communications and major gifts development for this new challenge.
Foundation and Grants Development positions in human services, especially with institutions with a long prestigious history such as Junior Blind of America, don't open often and naturally attract a number of applicants. Finding the right fit, however
, doesn't always come from inside the field. After ten years in the Performing Arts, most recently as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Director of Grants and Foundations, Sara is making the transition from the arts world to the human services arena. Her proven successes with grant writing, foundation cultivation and stewardship, will serve this organization well. She joins Junior Blind as they move toward their vision to be a nationally recognized leader in their field.
Largely responsible for putting the Orange County classical music scene on the map-- including stops from the world's leading orchestras, chamber ensembles and internationally renowned soloists-- the PSOC is embarking on an aggressive new funding effort. With an upcoming campaign, and a desire to expand their donor base, this nearly 60-year-old highly acclaimed organization sought to re
place a key development executive who was retiring after a long tenure of service. Ron Dufault, formerly with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art was well suited to fill these shoes. His prior experience as Capital Campaign Director and Major Gifts Officer, responsible for leading the Museum's $50 million capital campaign, will help smooth the transition to this new field in the arts.
The NHRA is the largest and oldest motorsports entity in the country. The Museum is the steward of the history of the NHRA and is currently working to expand its programs and facilities. As the new Director of Development, Nick will oversee the fundraising planning and implementation to support this new direction. Since childhood, Nick has been passionate about motor sports.
For him working with the NHRA is a dream come true and is a perfect match of his skills and personal passion. (He even owns his own classic truck.) Nick brings more than 17 years experience in development and fundraising to his new position, most recently serving as Director of Alumni Relations for Chaffey College--a college with a long and rich history of collaboration with the NHRA and auto industry!
MW&A New Clients & New Projects
Executive Search: Senior Director of Philanthropy
Foundation Relations Outreach
Executive Search: Development Manager
Foundation Relations and Grants Development
MW&A obtained the following grants for clients between March- September 2016.
$75,000 The Annenberg Foundation
$25,000 Orange County Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund
$5,000 The Dhont Foundation
$7,500 The Allergan Foundation
$7,000 3M Gives
($5,000 cash grant and $2,000 in-kind product)
$20,000 The Green Foundation
The Allergan Foundation
American Friends of the Wallace Collection:
£25,000 Deutsche Bank Foundation
THE CHANGING FACE OF FOUNDATION GIVING: Bold New Moves in the Grant-Making Community
Major changes have been rocking the foundation scene lately in places where it is least expected. Several Foundations we have followed and worked with for decades, are altering their course in giving--and many in a dramatic fashion. Now is not the time to be complacent or make assumptions regarding their directives. The past no longer tells the story.
The west coast has experienced two prime examples. Weingart Foundation recently released their
2017 Program Plan
and it is bold in its support of immigrant communities, the most economically destitute families, and in pushing themselves and other foundations for full financial program support, giving the Southern California nonprofit sector the boost they need to move the needle on homelessness and poverty prevention. It is truly a jaw-dropping plan that offers a multitude of strategies. With this extremely streamlined focus, the affect can be profound.
James Irvine Foundation
, traditionally a strong supporter of the arts, has defined their future focus as "expanding economic and political opportunity for families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty." Though not completely unexpected, the announcement has still shaken up the visual and performing arts world, benefactor's of the Irvine Foundation's funding for decades. The challenge is now to seek out new sources of arts funding.
However, when one door closes, another opens. A case in point:
, historically placing most of their arts and culture funding in the New York region, has expanded investment nationally with two funds: the
Public Art Challenge
Arts Innovation and Management Fund
. The latter is investing in 250+ mid-size cultural programs in five cities throughout the country. Former MW&A clients in Los Angeles and Chicago have been the recipients of this capacity-building funding. (Chicago: Third Coast International Audio Festival and Chicago Sinfionetta. And in Los Angeles: The 24th
Street Theater, Beyond Baroque, The Craft and Folk Art Museum and LACE: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.) This large new source of arts funding is creating opportunities well outside Bloomberg Philanthropies' usual neighborhood.
Even the stalwart
, has rolled up it's sleeves under the informal, open-door-policy direction of Darren Walker. With a focus on eliminating inequality, supporting the once verboten "overhead", and tapping into more nimble and creative nonprofits, communities once considered off the radar are attracting the interest of Ford.
Changes are taking place throughout the country. Keeping abreast of the rapid transformations--from shifting priorities to new funding--can be time consuming and daunting for organizations already stretching staff to capacity. Health, human services, and arts organizations needing to embrace these new opportunities, can turn to MW&A to find new sources of funding.
Fortunate to have had both the Weingart and the James Irvine Foundations fund positions held early in her career, Michelle's familiarity with these organizations, as well as MW&A's ongoing assessment of the national philanthropic canvas is invaluable. MW&A is up-to-date on movement in the foundation sector across the nation. Now may be the perfect time to take advantage of new opportunities by turning to MW&A to introduce and advocate with Foundations for the greatest possible result.
Carol van Ahlers, MW&A's eNews Editor, has been with us since 2015. Her career has progressed from sports journalist, to communications officer for municipal governments and nonprofits, as well as owning her own public relations firm.