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SWRK 799

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Iris Leon

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of SWRK 799

Founded in 1977
Funding federation: 6 member agencies
Community Women's Fund
Advocacy position added 1 1/2 years ago

"Our mission is to raise money and public awareness to fight for and achieve women’s equality, safety, self-sufficiency and reproductive freedom through women-centered funding, advocacy and education."

1.5 million budget
10 staff members
24 board members
Lucretia Mott Society for major donors (> $1,000)
small handful of larger donors Donor Motivations

Oprah likes to be involved in the process
Blake & Krystle particularly: more compelled by projects than general operating support (ex. challenge grant)

Concerned with organizational capacity
Not partial to nature of projects, but looking for sustainability
Neither want to be depended upon
Not motivated by public recognition Oprah & Stedman: The Repayers

Give by personal earned wealth
Oprah is a Board Member
Long time major donors
Donations have been going down over the years: $75-$50k
Arts patron normally, seem to be losing interest DONOR INTERVENTION

reconize opportunity
act fast
re-engaging donors
aligning insitutional needs with donor motivations Blake & Krystle: The Dynasts

Give through family wealth: trustees vs. owners
Long time major donors
Donations have been going down over the years: $45-$35k
Arts patrons normally, seem to be losing interest
Difficult at times, misinterpret information
Catalytic Incident:

"Women's Way doesn't want our money!" Women's Way realizes they need to intervene:

What do we really want funded?
How do we make this work for both parties? Women's Way's Goals:

leverage both gifts so that:
*secure multi-year commitment from each donor
*make sure it's more than they usually give
make sure it's for something we want and need WW puts together proposal for 2 positions:

ADVOCACY & Institutional Giving Manager WHY Advocacy and Institutional Giving?

*already viewed by the community as playing this role, though not formally - looked to as a resource

*advances their mission of being "A Powerful Voice for Women"

*feel strongly that they can and should be involved in changing the landscape for women and their families, not just grantmaking

*institutional giving role will contribute to capacity building/sustainability for advocacy and rest of org.

The Process: How did they do it?

* Meet with Oprah - give her a leadership role in the solicitation

"You can help make this happen."

* Oprah set up a meeting with Blake and Krystle in her home
* Oprah commits more readily, but Blake & Krystle also receptive
* Proposals are submitted to both donors, they go back and forth to get it right (make up for loss in general op)
- likened this process to a negotiation
- mostly email exchange at this point
* Establish reporting benchmarks
* Whole process from dinner to commitment takes just a few months The Commitment:

Oprah & Stedman:
* $75,000 for 3 years
* require yearly report

Blake & Krystle:
* $50,000 for 3 years
* require yearly report


Both donors are
satisfied with
mention in event
programs Future Commitments?

* In line with their focus on institutional capacity, they want the position to be sustainable

* WW feels they have a good chance of getting another commitment after the three years, but the question will be for what?
Key Lessons:

Understand your donors and what they want
Make it work for both parties
Maintaining major donor relationships can be as involved as securing new ones
Advantage in knowing donors well, including capacity
Full transcript