Posts Tagged ‘afp suncoast’

Changing the Culture at Goodwill Industries-Suncoast

October 26, 2013

Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is headlong into a new journey – one that many in the fundraising industry call “building a culture of philanthropy”. It started when Jim Williams, Vice President for Fund Development attended a national Goodwill conference. That’s where Goodwill employees from around the country go for education and to share best practices. Jim heard about a practical idea to raise more money – and he is using it to change the culture too.

It’s quite simple really. Rounding-up. When you shop at a Goodwill Industries-Suncoast thrift store, the cashier will ask you if you want to round-up your purchase as a gift. If you say “yes”, the cashier thanks you for your gift. If you say “no thank you” the cashier thanks you for supporting Goodwill by shopping at the thrift store. The small change from rounding-up has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Goodwill. No joke.

But how does that change the culture? When Jim explained it to me he told me that first he had to convince the Vice President of Retail, who was reluctant. Maybe customers would be uncomfortable being asked. Maybe the stores would be uncomfortable asking. Jim described how customers were already giving by buying and would be thanked no matter what – diffusing any awkwardness. He also agreed to do training at each store. The VP was willing to test it out in one store first. It was a smash hit – both in dollars and morale!

Now Jim and Melody Marrs, Goodwill Fund Development Manager, are launching the round-up initiative at all of the Goodwill Industries-Suncoast stores. They show up in the early hours of the morning to train staff about all of the programs operating under the Goodwill mission. Get a question right and win a small prize. Store members all receive a special Goodwill t-shirt and distribute Goodwill static-cling decals. And when a customer rounds-up on a purchase, the receipt prints out the gift amount.

The response?

  • Store employees are excited about the lives enriched through Goodwill – including the part they play.
  • Store employees are sharing the Goodwill mission and confident answering questions from customers.
  • Customers are asking how they can purchase a t-shirt.
  • Non-store Goodwill employees are asking about shirts and want to sport the decal on their cars.
  • The stores have been competing to see which one will have the highest gift income on launch day!

Like many organizations that have strong earned-revenue, Goodwill has to get creative to foster a strong culture of philanthropy and connect its earned-revenue services with its fundraising programs. The round-up initiative is a simple but powerful way to bring Goodwill Industries-Suncoast’s retail operations into closer collaboration with its philanthropic operations.

Thank you AFP Suncoast member Jim Williams for sharing your inspiring story!

Connect with Goodwill:  Facebook and Twitter
About the Author, Jen Filla

Jen Filla is a roving reporter on the AFP Suncoast Communications Committee. She is also president of Aspire Research Group LLC where she works with organizations worried about finding their next big donor, concerned about what size gift to ask for, or frustrated that they aren’t meeting their major gift goals.

Welcome AFP Suncoast Chapter Administrator, Chandra Tracy

February 4, 2013

Your AFP Suncoast Chapter is pleased to announce the selection of Chandra Tracy as Chapter Administrator.

Chandra Tracy

Chandra Tracy

Chandra’s scope of services will include day-to-day operations, membership services, bookkeeping and accounting, compliance, and meeting management.

The selection of new management services is a result of Eleanor Hubbard’s announcement in December of her retirement as part-time administrator after nearly two decades. Eleanor’s steadfast support has played a valuable role in the growth of our Chapter. We would again like to take this opportunity to express our immense appreciation to Eleanor for her many years of service.

Please join us is welcoming Chandra and bidding a fond farewell to Eleanor at our February meeting.

Chandra brings a decade of association management experience having managed the Major League Baseball Alumni Association, and serves both the Suncoast Estate Planning Council and the Tiger Bay Club. She also comes with knowledge of not-for-profits having been a development associate early in her career.

Thank you to the Administrator Task Force (Bill Faucett, Marion Yongue, Bryn Warner, Deborah Wagner, Jane Arnett) for developing the criteria for our search and for their thorough assessment of the candidates. As we continue to add value for our members, the hours and duties of the administrator have been expanded.

An Interesting Time For AFP

February 4, 2013
Nora Gunn, CFRE

Nora Gunn, CFRE

by AFP Suncoast Chapter President, Nora Gunn

It’s an interesting time in the history of the Association Fundraising Professionals.

Not-for-profits are becoming major economic force, ranking third in the number of employed workers behind retail and manufacturing industries, long considered to be the engines of economic growth. The charitable world is growing progressively complex, with a diverse set of challenges.

Advocacy is becoming increasingly important. Your Association was instrumental in sparing the charitable deduction from falling off the fiscal cliff during the recent tax reform and deficit reduction negotiations. While AFP remains vigilant regarding legislative that could potentially impact our profession, it is only through the might of our members that we can safeguard the continuing vitality of philanthropy.

Here in the Suncoast Chapter, We represent nearly 250 members in a diverse array of fields and specialties. Nearly 20 percent of our members hold CFRE certifications, one of the highest in the Association. Our Chapter trends above the national average in growth and retention nationally and compared to chapters our size. As larger percentages of new fundraisers enter the field, it is our obligation to provide training which advances ethical and effective fundraising.

Surveys show we are meeting your needs, but we are never content to rest on our laurels. You have told us you:

  • Appreciate the friendships made and kept over the years
  • Found a position or hired from our Job Bank
  • Access AFP’s professional learning sources and seek advice from colleagues
  • Value the “professionalizing” of fundraising
  • Enjoy having a local connection
  • Like to keep in touch with trends; adopt a broader perspective
  • Learn about ethics and best practices

Since being involved in the leadership of our organization, I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for our volunteer-run Chapter.  Your leadership cares about your experience and the mission of our organization. Both internationally and locally, we are working diligently to serve the interests and livelihood of our members and the philanthropic community.

Please reach out to us if you have a question or suggestion about your involvement.

Nora Gunn, CFRE
2013 AFP Suncoast President
Director of Development, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation

AFP Suncoast New Year Resolutions

January 3, 2013

by Nora Gunn, AFP Suncoast Chapter President.

Nora Gunn, CFRE

Nora Gunn, CFRE

January 1 always brings the gift of new possibilities, a fresh start. Undoubtedly, you’ve taken some time to think about changes you’d like to make in your personal and professional life. Maybe you’ve made, or already broken, your New Year’s Resolution. Here are some popular resolutions for 2013 and how membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals can help keep them.

  • Learn Something New: Whether you are new to the field or an experienced fundraiser, learning something new can spark creativity and build confidence. Members can borrow, free of charge, trending topics from the AFP Suncoast Webinar library or access online the AFP International Knowledge Center, a trusted source of vetted, essential information about fundraising, leadership and management.
  • Help Others: We talk to our donors often about the satisfaction that comes from giving, but it can be hard to make time to take our own advice. Enrich your life and someone else’s by sponsoring a student from the AFP Collegiate Chapter to attend our monthly luncheon or enroll in the AFP Suncoast Chapter’s new Mentoring Program and share fundraising skills, strategies, and activities.
  • Spend More Time with Friends: Members tell us that some of the best friends they have made have been people they have met through AFP Suncoast Chapter. Get involved through volunteering on one of the AFP Suncoast Chapter committees or attending one of the Mix-and-Mingle socials this year.
  • Take Control of Your Career:  Whether you are seeking a new job or have one to offer, the AFP Suncoast Job Bank is a great place to find opportunity. Need a boost to get to the next level of your career? Our Chapter provides a variety of scholarships to its members to assist with the cost of attending training and education programs.

As your President for 2013, my resolution is to provide relevant, quality services that meet your needs while implementing a strong vision for the future of our Chapter.  As an AFP member, you not only bring the best practices to your organization, but you are part of a larger collective committed to advancing effective and ethical fundraising which inspires meaningful change around the world.

On behalf of the entire Board, we wish you a successful New Year and hope to see you at a meeting soon.


Nora Gunn, CFRE

AFP Suncoast Chapter President

Social Media and You – Meet Bryn Warner

October 25, 2012

Bryn Warner

AFP Suncoast has some truly talented members. Our own board member, Bryn Warner is among them. He has joined a growing number of AFP Suncoast members who are becoming presenters and teachers. Almost as if planned, he will be teaching at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay on a topic near and dear to this blog – Social Media!

Attend either of his workshops and earn CFRE credits while building your personal and your organization’s online sociability:

10/31/12 LinkedIn: Building Your Personal Brand

11/28/12 Facebook: Communicating Your Message

If you haven’t met Bryn, why not shake his hand at the next AFP Suncoast luncheon or attend one of his workshops? Growing your network is so easy in AFP! And, of course, now you’ve seen Bryn’s picture and have something to say to start the conversation.

Do you know an AFP Suncoast member we should feature on the blog? Contact Jen Filla at 727.231.0516 or email her at jen at

Other Blog Posts of Interest:

Social Media and Fundraising: Metropolitan Ministries

Social Media and Fundraising: The Florida Aquarium

Social Media and Fundraising: Tampa Metropolitan YMCA