Coming together to make our community the best it can be

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Suzanne and John

Suzanne Brault Pagel, Resource Development Director at United Way and John Franklin, CEO at United Way of Northern New Jersey pose for an "usie" at the New Strategies four-day forum.

Contributor: Suzanne Brault Pagel, Resource Development Director at United Way Fox Cities

Thanks to Thrivent Financial, I have the opportunity to participate in a unique advanced management education program conducted by Georgetown University. New Strategies is a leadership program exclusively designed to help nonprofit executives generate added financial support through increased revenue generation.

The four-day forum covered topics including: social media funding, earned income, corporate support, predictive analytics, cause marketing, government funding, gifts in-kind, database management, sponsorships, direct mail, impact investing and deferred giving.

The hands-on forum was directed by nationally recognized leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropy fields. Georgetown faculty and MBA teams add additional depth. My involvement did not end at the conclusion of the forum; for one year I will have continued online instruction, information, and support.

A full analysis of each participating organization was done before the forum to get a picture of our programming priorities and revenue activities. The curriculum was crafted to take into account the specific challenges facing each of the nonprofits.

My class of 29 participants came from a diverse range of nonprofits providing a network to share insights, challenges, and best practices for sustainability and mission success in the nonprofit field. The Fox Cities was well represented as Thrivent Financial's sponsorship included the Financial Information & Services Center, Inc., Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities, COTS, Inc., and Homeless Connections. 

This experience was a wonderful way to recognize United Way's strengths and an opportunity to explore new ideas to sustain financial growth and support of our mission to improve lives for everyone in our community. I was repeatedly struck by how fortunate we are to be in a community demonstrating collaborative action; working together is really hard work. The Fox Cities benefits greatly from strong leadership and a desire to make our community the best it can be.