Category Archives: Nonprofit Service Center

The Executive Director Leader Circle a Service of the Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center

Working in the world of nonprofit often means that Executive Directors are pulled in different directions and need to utilize many skills and talents. They are required to accomplish great things with limited funding and personnel.  Additionally, many nonprofit Executive Directors work in environments that are often isolated and stressful, straddling the space between staff, board members, donors, and the constituents they serve.  They need a support group that can provide honest assessments and ideas regarding challenges, opportunities, and frustrations.  They also need a group that can speak to unique topics of current interest that require special expertise that may be expensive and difficult to find.  In support of its goal to equip nonprofits for success through consulting, education, networking, and resources, the Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center provides this service to Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations.

In 2006, the Nonprofit Service Center launched a series of Leader Circles designed to benefit nonprofit professionals in the Panhandle. The Executive Director Leader Circle provides a confidential environment where nonprofit leaders can freely learn and interact with their peers.

Circle members meet mont

hly to discuss management and communications issues, board relations, fundraising, marketing, and other topics. Each meeting offers a roundtable discussion or a featured guest speaker. A vast variety of community leaders, professionals such as attorneys and accountants, business and nonprofit consultants, and business leaders and owners have shared their considerable knowledge with the circle. Annually, local attendees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals international conference are invited to address the group to share highlights from their favorite session, key takeaways, and identified trends. An experienced facilitator helps participants use the Leader Circle to identify and meet their specific needs. Participation is encouraged and each meeting is open to everything from sharing best practices to asking specific advice.

Networking time is provided before and after each meeting allowing the members to make contacts, form collaborations, and exc

hange ideas. Additionally, every month a different member is asked to provide a brief profile of their agency and the important work that they do.

The Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center’s goal is to provide an interactive topical experience for participants, address the hot-button issues they are facing, and collectively take advantage of and share their knowledge and experience. In a recent survey, 100% of Executive Director Leader Circle participants indicated that each month they learn something that helps them in their work at their organization.

Below are testimonials from ED Leader Circle members:

“The Executive Director Leaders Circle is a very useful tool for nonprofit executives. Boards should be aware of the value of the meetings and strongly persuade EDs to attend. The Amarillo Area Foundation does a great job in offering this resource to the community.”

“I am so happy to be involved in the group. Being the only staff person, it’s easy to feel isolated, but when I can come and network and learn with other directors I realize I have a larger support system.”

“I have been an executive director for 19 years and still learn so much during the Leader Circles from my peers. It is wonderful to find out that big or small, all of our organizations have some of the same problems.  It also brings me up to date on many of the issues facing nonprofit organizations today.”

“The Leader Circle is a meeting I look forward to attending each time. We are able to determine topics as a group that address current needs and issues. In addition to the excellent information presented, we are also able to share best practices, ideas, and peer-to-peer support.”

“It’s a lot like a unique club that meets once a month. I find it really supportive to meet other people who have similar problems and experiences and see how they handle these issues.  It also helps to understand how their boards deal with different situations.  Fundraising is always a topic and it’s great to hear how my colleagues are doing in raising funds to support their missions.”

If you feel joining the circle would positively enhance your role as a nonprofit leader or for more information please contact Roxann Ball at 806.376.4521 or roxann@aaf-hf.org,

Or you can register HERE

Bryan Clontz on Creative Charitable Planning

2016_newsletter_q3_creativeImagine being able to increase the size of the gifts from your donors each year. Yet, the net cost of their donations were 40-60% less than what they were giving to you. Essentially, your programs and operations are secure from increased donations and your donors keep more money in their pockets. Sound too good to be true?

It’s actually not, and surprisingly the ability to maximize charitable gifts in such a monumental way is a tactic of the past. Non-cash assets have been incentivized by the government since 1969 but very few people understand what they are or how they work.

To better explain the concept for the benefit of Amarillo Area nonprofits and all the constituents they organizations serve, the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Amarillo Area Estate Planning Council teamed up to bring in charitable expert Bryan Clontz to help decode this mystery.

Clontz, President of Charitable Solutions, LLC spent the morning with nonprofit professionals. He taught them what non-cash assets were and how to ask for and incorporate non-cash assets (ideally appreciated stock) into their planned giving models. Clontz then opened the afternoon with a session for financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys. By informing the people who advise large donors in our area, we are increasing awareness related to the benefits associated with giving non-cash assets which maximize contributions to our area and the impact those contributions have.

Clontz closed the day with a special presentation to the AAF Board of Directors teaching members their role as key stakeholders and empowering them to act as extensions of the Foundation when asking for non-cash assets and even consider giving non-cash assets of their own.

Thanks to Clontz we all have plenty of information to take back to our organizations and communities. Now working together more informed and smarter, empowered to even further improve quality for Texas Panhandle residents.

Bryan Clontz speaking to nonprofit professionals on October 6, 2016.

Bryan Clontz speaking to nonprofit professionals at the Foundation on October 6, 2016.

If you missed the event and are interested in learning more about what Bryan had to say, check out this brief video posted by our friends at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation:

To further your knowledge on the realm of non-cash donations you can also check out Bryan’s website: http://charitablesolutionsllc.com/

In honor of Charlotte’s Retirement

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Charlotte Rhodes, ACFRE

With much regret but the warmest of wishes we announced Charlotte’s decision to retire a few weeks ago. Given the breadth of the work Charlotte has done for the Foundation and the enormous void that will be present in her absence, we would like to take this time to highlight Charlotte’s greatest accomplishments as Vice President of Resource Development and Sustainability.

In her 11-year tenure at the Foundation, Charlotte cultivated an annual average of $10 million per year, and over $100 million total. She established countless programs and committees, the most notable of which being the Foundation’s External Relations Committee which focuses on the engagement of the Foundation with local and area leaders; the Women’s Philanthropy Program, a donor driven fund designed to meet the needs of children and women in the Texas Panhandle; a Professional Advisor Council, a group of lawyers, accountants and other professionals who provide recommendations and review the Foundation’s fundraising and legal strategies; and the Texas Convening Conferences for Postsecondary Education which gather key educators and legislators from across the state to discuss issues faced by high school and collegiate students across the state.

Charlotte has also lead or donated her expertise to make many programs and initiatives successful. Most notably she led the $5 million ACE Scholarship Expansion Campaign and oversaw the development of a $3.5 million grant from the Belinda and Melinda Gates Foundation to begin the No Limits No Excuses program. She also expanded the Nonprofit Service Center’s consulting program and fundraising classes and facilitated the development of the Citadelle Art Foundation and its conversion as a supporting organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

In addition to raising over $100 million for the Foundation, Charlotte has raised over $1 billion in her 40-year career as a fundraiser. An assortment of her most notable campaigns being the Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center Capital Campaign, Baylor College of Medicine $500 million Capital Campaign, National Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Amarillo Globe News Center for the Performing Arts, Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra, Charles Goodnight Historical Home, Hereford Sports Plex, and most recently the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Education Center.

Charlotte is truly a big city fundraiser with West Texas roots. In 1999, Big Spring Texas High School awarded her with the Outstanding Alumni Award. She received the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award for Houston, Texas in 2002 before she even received the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award for Amarillo, Texas in 2005 and Amarillo Junior League Outstanding Sustaining Member. Charlotte was honored by the Amarillo Soroptimists as a “Woman Making and Difference” and by the Business and Professional Women as “Texas Women to Watch.” She currently serves as the Committee Chairman for the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Coalition and was co-chairman for the 2016 Texas Women for the Arts State Meeting.

In addition to her impressive contributions to healthcare, the arts, education and public affairs Charlotte is a published writer and has served as a regional and national consultant for over 50 institutions, organizations, and corporations. We adore Charlotte and know she is equally adored by our community. Please help us in the coming months by celebrating her and thanking her for her service to our community.

We will miss you Charlotte!

Toolbox for Fundraisers

tookbox_graphic As the number of nonprofit organizations increases each year, the ability to create and nurture relationships with donors is critical.  Fundraising can be a daunting task if you are not sure where to start or how to stay on track.

For more than 20 years, local fundraising professionals have shared their expertise through a course originally titled “The Art of Fundraising”.  The course is updated each year to include current trends and information and is now known as “Toolbox for Fundraisers”.

The 2016 Toolbox for Fundraisers course will provide detailed materials and instruction from fundraising professionals with more than 88 years of combined fundraising experience:

Charlotte Rhodes, ACFRE     Patricia A. Ward, CFRE     Katharyn Wiegand, CFRE

Presented  the Amarillo Area Foundation’s Nonprofit Service Center, Toolbox for Fundraisers course topics include:

*                Essential Tools to be an Effective Fundraiser

*                Establishing a Development Office

*                Creating a Case for Support

*                Constructing a Development Plan

*                Marketing Your Organization

*                Making the Ask

*                Stewarding Donors

*                Preparing for Your CFRE Certification

Upon successful completion of the course, each participant will have developed a case for support and a development plan for the organization of his/her choice.

The course is presented in weekly sessions from 9:00 AM to noon on Wednesdays from September 7, 2016 through November 16, 2016.  Sessions are held at the Amarillo Area Foundation – 801 S. Fillmore, 7th floor.

Participants who successfully complete the 33 hour course will receive 3.30 continuing education credits (CEUs) through Amarillo College.  This course also meets the requirements for those seeking credit hours for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.

The course fee is $250 for members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and $295 for all others.

To reserve a spot for the fall 2016 course, contact Roxann Ball by phone (806.376.4521) or e-mail (roxann@aaf-hf.org) by September 2, 2016.toolbox_topics