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Cynthia Magallon Puljic

Nonprofits and fundraising in the Latino community

Part one of a two-part series An interview with Cynthia Magallon Puljic Philanthropy is philanthropy and fundraising is fundraising, right? We’re not so sure. Wanting to know more about philanthropy and fundraising within the Latino community we talked with Cynthia Magallon Puljic to learn her thoughts and observations. Magallon Puljic has deep experience in the nonprofit sector, having worked for the YMCA for over 32 years as a vice president. She has served on the board of Latino Memphis, as President of the University District Business Alliance, and as Commissioner for Memphis City Beautiful. Other leadership roles include membership on the Deans Leadership Council for the University of Tennessee College of Health Sciences; Shelby County Greenprint Committee; Memphis MPO Active Transportation Advisory Committee; and the Shelby County Health Department MAPP […]

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Where are we going? What are we doing? The importance of roles and responsibilities.

Where are we going? What are we doing?

The importance of roles and responsibilities. A great idea can be the first step in the process of creating something wonderful. Bringing the right people together adds power to the idea. Having roles and responsibilities to guide the work can turn possibility into reality. If you want your idea to grow, be deliberate about who you invite to join your team. Think about what you are trying to achieve and what it might take to get there. Consider who has the required skills, resources, creativity and connections. Make a list. Know why you are inviting people and what you want from them. Be prepared for ideas, suggestions and leadership you may not have anticipated. Write down the role and responsibilities you want each person to claim. Share your list with […]

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Technology and communication – keep it human!

Technology and communication – keep it human!

The more things change the more they stay the same. Yes, technology is transforming all aspects of our lives. Our relationships, work environments, and community engagement are not the way they once were. Smart phones, social media, video conferences, and webinars are just a few of the new methods. If you’re young enough to feel these are the norm, keep reading… we have some tried and true methods we want to share with you. If you are “old school” we know you evaluate communication with an emphasis on traditional signals of excellence, and an understanding that it’s a new day. Here’s our bottom line: communication is at the heart of all relationships. Technology can bring everyone into the virtual room, but what’s really important is what happens once we are […]

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Nonprofits for “them” or for all of us?

Nonprofits for “them” or for all of us?

Who benefits from the nonprofit sector? Is it the poor, the hungry, the sick, the disenfranchised? Yes. And it is the wealthy, healthy, and wise! Along with government agencies, healthcare providers, grocery shoppers, opera fans, and scientists. The impact of the nonprofit sector can be felt in all aspects of our individual and collective lives. We may not always see that impact, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Direct services, advocacy, education, research, and performing arts are but a few of the types of organizations with impact that rolls, ripples and roars across our country and beyond our borders. Think about it: scholarships for college and post-graduate study support the men and women who become teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and more. Gifts to a new cancer center support […]

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When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

The development committee of your board is like the fire department. They should always be ready to fundraise. They should be planning for the next campaign, cultivating new donors, and understanding the philanthropic landscape. When the time to actively fundraise arrives they “spring into action.” It is always the right time for a campaign if your organization has done its planning, built its capacity, has volunteer leadership in place, and understands the philanthropic landscape. That is a lot of work. No organization can do it all at once and simultaneously continue operations. This is ongoing work, it takes place step-by-step, day-by-day. It is part of who you are as a nonprofit, large or small. Yes, you need to focus on your mission, vision, people, and constituency. At the same time […]

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(from left to right) Dr. Elwood L. Robinson: Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; and Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College.

Corporate leaders offer more than money

“What can we do to help?” That was the question asked by a corporate representative at a conference we attended last week. The already lively discussion quickly blossomed and increased in focus. Here are the details. We were in Winston Salem participating in the State of Black North Carolina conference. We fell in love with the people, energy, and positive, forward thinking. We were surrounded by people – including high school students and senior citizens – all of who were asking questions, offering solutions, sharing history, and strategizing. We facilitated a panel discussion on HBCUs: Their Mission, Their Value, Their Future. The panelists were Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College; and […]

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Math of Fundraising

The math of fundraising

How do you reach a fundraising goal? There are many activities that together can guide you to your fundraising destination. One of these is knowing how many people you need to ask to give to your nonprofit, and at what level people need to give at. A simple solution is to raise $100,000 by asking 100,000 people to give one dollar, or 10,000 people to give $100. That could work, but that’s a lot of people to reach. Some organizations have that reach – but in most cases they also have a much higher fundraising goal!  You could raise $10,000 from ten people – that’s easier – but you would have to know ten people who can give $10,000. All these methods are feasible in the abstract. The question is […]

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How to win at fundraising

How to win at fundraising

Wonder why it’s easy for some nonprofits to raise money and not so much for others? Here’s what we have learned: sustained successful fundraising requires consistent attention, action, funding and leadership. It is proactive and donor-focused. The success of an organization’s fundraising depends upon the involvement of a cross-section of influencers and their ability and willingness to cultivate and solicit major donors. Success also depends on prerequisites that support the involvement of influencers and donors. Below we share a few of these prerequisites, otherwise known as “secrets to winning at fundraising.”  Think on these questions. Talk about them. Share these with your board, staff, volunteers, fellow community members. Consider putting them into an online survey and ask those you know to share their responses. Do we have full understanding and […]

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What will be your fundraising legacy?

What will be your fundraising legacy?

As you begin your board service, define what you want to achieve by the time you leave. Whether you are a new or established board member we suggest you take the time to define for yourself what you want to accomplish through your service. Time will pass; crises will arise; there will be leadership changes, budget shortfalls, unexpected windfalls, mergers, resignations and more. You and your fellow board members will have to respond and react. In order to assure you are more than responsive, we suggest you set a fundraising-related goal that you consistently advance so when your board term comes to a close you will leave a legacy. You set the goal. There are many to choose from. You could raise a specific amount of money; to build a […]

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Hiring your new leader

Hiring your new leader

Where does fundraising rank as a priority when searching for new leadership? It happens all the time. “I quit!” or “You’re fired!” are the extremes that can mark the beginning of a crucial organizational change process. When you find yourself in the midst of a leadership transition it will be critical that your search team pays close attention to each candidate’s experience with and knowledge of fundraising. Yes, we know there is a long list of qualities and experiences that will be valuable, even critical. But you have to ask about fundraising, and you have to ask the right questions. Unless you have consistent access to funds whenever you need them, the financial health of your organization will rest on your new leader’s ability to attract and sustain funding. Here […]

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