||AIM ABOVE THE MARK CAMPAIGN
Founded in 1975, Nonprofit Connect is the primary provider of training and resources in fundraising, marketing and communications, governance, finance and administration, volunteer management and public policy for nonprofit organizations. Its website at www.npconnect.org annually receives five million page views by 180,000 unique visitors.
The Aim Above the Mark Campaign, the first-ever public fundraising campaign conducted by Nonprofit Connect, will fund transition costs for critical strategies regarding membership development and services, facilities, capacity building and educational programming needed to ensure Nonprofit Connect's ability to reach more of our community's nonprofit organizations with the programming they need in an environment they deserve. The new programs and services being developed using the funds raised by the campaign have been designed to be self-sustaining.
The $750,000 Aim Above the Mark campaign, is a singular, one-time initiative to fund Nonprofit Connect’s new business model, which has two primary objectives:
- Reach more of the 3,400 nonprofit organizations in Greater Kansas City with the educational programs and resources they need in a world of new economic realities.
- Establish a business office and dedicated training facility for Nonprofit Connect and hire staff to generate the earned income (from membership and fees) that will enable Nonprofit Connect to be self-sustaining.
Nonprofit Connect is a membership organization that links the nonprofit community to education, resources and networking so organizations can more effectively achieve their missions. It is, in essence, the crossroads of the metro area’s nonprofit sector, uniquely connecting all key stakeholders, including nonprofit staff, board members, volunteers, funders, nonprofit job seekers, students and businesses serving the sector.
Donors to the Aim Above the Mark campaign support more than just Nonprofit Connect. They understand that:
- Nonprofits are critical to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our community.
- Nonprofits need strong staff and volunteer leadership, which requires access to training, resources and networking.
- Nonprofit Connect is meeting these needs for 15% of the 3,400 nonprofits in our community but – with your help – has the potential to benefit hundreds more.
- Aim Above the Mark is different than most campaigns. Once funded, the programs, services and infrastructure will become self-sustaining through membership and fees.
Nonprofit Connect’s Aim Above the Mark campaign has four basic components:
#1 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Programs that build leadership, governance and managerial capacity create stronger, more agile nonprofits and benefit staff and volunteers at all levels. The campaign, thus, includes plans to expand the range and quality of educational programs and services available in Greater Kansas City for board members, board chairs, entry-level staff and, most critically, executive directors. In 2009, Nonprofit Connect partnered with the United Way Human Services Leadership Council and the GKC Community Foundation to identify executive director/CEO needs. This resulted in Nonprofit Connect offering the following new tactical training programs: Board Service 101 and 201, Board Chair Boot Camp and the Volunteer Management Institute (formerly a program of the Volunteer Center of Johnson County). Completion of the campaign will allow Nonprofit Connect also to implement certification programs for Executive Directors and Special Event Managers/Event Chairs.
#2 NEW MEMBERSHIP STRUCTURE
For many years, nonprofits asked for organizational memberships that would provide benefits to their entire organization for one set fee. Until last fall, Nonprofit Connect offered individual memberships only. Gifts in the earliest phase of the campaign allowed Nonprofit Connect to purchase a new database to revamp its membership structure. The new structure includes four membership options: Nonprofit, Individual, Business and Business Premium. Nonprofit and Business members gain significant cost savings since more than 100 training opportunities a year are free with their organizational membership. Additional resources, such as ResourceLink and a grants newsletter, are free to Nonprofit and Business members. From a sustainability standpoint, organizational memberships provide Nonprofit Connect a wider net margin than the income generated by individual memberships and program registration fees. It is also much easier and more efficient to renew one organization than to track and renew individuals who are constantly turning over.
#3 NEW SPACE
For nearly 10 years, Nonprofit Connect resided in space owned by UMKC at 47th and Troost, provided at very low cost. This included a small training room and ample free parking. In September 2010, UMKC notified Nonprofit Connect, effective immediately, that parking – necessary for people to attend training and meetings – would no longer be available. Since then, staff have worked primarily from their homes, while developing a cooperative venture with KCPT for joint use of KCPT’s facility, including its 50-person capacity Community Room. Nonprofit Connect concurrently launched the Aim Above the Mark campaign, with a key goal of the campaign to remodel 3,000 square feet of space (not including the Community Room) at KCPT, establishing a permanent business office and training facility. This collaboration gains increased visibility and room for growth for Nonprofit Connect, enabling it to achieve greater efficiencies and excellence in nonprofit training. KCPT gains budget relief as a result of income provided through this new lease arrangement. The community gains a centrally located facility dedicated to meeting the needs of the organizations they care about and depend upon.
#4 NEW ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY
Nonprofit Connect’s two full-time staff (Executive Director and Education and Membership Services Manager), part-time Communications Consultant and a school-year only college intern are stretched beyond capacity, stifling organizational growth and compromising Nonprofit Connect’s long-term sustainability. To address these personnel challenges, Nonprofit Connect will hire three additional full-time positions over the next three years. These positions include a Member Services Manager to increase earned revenue from membership fees, an Events Manager to maximize fundraising results, and an Office Coordinator to cost-effectively manage administrative tasks.
We hope you'll support Nonprofit Connect and "Aim Above the Mark" by making a gift today.