Results: Education & Research

Project Updates

Abbeville riding economic hot streak as 2018 winds down

Since last year, the initiative – which ensures every student in the county can attend Piedmont Technical College for two years at no cost – has surpassed its initial fundraising goal of $1.2 million. With $1.36 million either pledged or in hand, Evans said program administrators are already thinking about a second phase of the program.

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Grand Opening

Breaking ground: workforce education facility construction underway

Dirt flew and spirits were high as Big Bend Community College officials celebrated construction of the new workforce education center with a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. The new 70,000-square-foot workforce education center has 'been a long time coming,' said Daneen Berry-Guerin, dean of workforce education. Angie Clark, president of the BBCC Foundation, said workforce training will be 'critical' to sustaining local industry...

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Project Updates

Abbeville Promise more than halfway to its goal

As the Abbeville Promise capital campaign enters its public phase, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation announced Thursday the scholarship fund has raised $713,500, about 59 percent of the $1.2 million it needs to be fully funded. The Abbeville Promise is a proposed scholarship program that, starting with the graduating class of 2018, would fully fund a two-year education at Piedmont Technical College for any student who receives a high school diploma while a resident of Abbeville County.

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Speaking

North Carolina Center for Nonprofits Annual Conference

Over 20 years ago, the idea of discussing “investors” and “return on investment” in relation to nonprofit organizations seemed preposterous. Today, however, it is not uncommon to hear both terms used widely throughout the sector.

Before a surgeon can operate, the surgical team must check the patient’s vital signs to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Similarly, a capital campaign is a major operation impacting the financial health of your nonprofit. A feasibility study is a critical…

Many nonprofit organizations have been solely dependent on government funding for so long that the idea of pursuing private sector funding can be a bit intimidating. Where do you even begin? I recently had the opportunity to talk about effective fundraising processes at the National…

It’s the end of the fiscal year and you’re a few bucks short of your annual fund goal. The reserves are thin. What should you do to close the gap? Here are the top three things you should never do. 1. Send a mass email and post on social media that you must raise funds by year-end.

If your state or community has a Promise Program, chances are you’ve heard your funders say something along these lines: “I only give scholarships, so if Community College is ‘free,’ where does that leave me?” “I guess I should think of other organizations to support —…

Feasibility studies are a critical first step in fundraising. They typically are 20 to 30 questions in length and give you a great perspective on your organization: how people view the board, the effectiveness of the team, and who in the community should lead the…

Your capital campaign is over. You’ve secured the funding needed to implement your strategic plan, grow your services, make capital improvements, etc. Now what? Having a strong investor relations program is a critical element of every capital campaign.

Does your case for support look something like this? “We have to serve more people, so you need to give us more money.” Unfortunately, many nonprofits tend to put out a similar message. Inevitably, at the end of the fiscal year, you’ll see another one:…

Conducting a funding feasibility study is an important first step every organization must take before launching a capital campaign. This process helps you determine the viability of your project before investing significant time and money into the campaign. A well-executed feasibility study will paint a…

Capital campaigns are a group effort. Simply having a strong executive director or board chair at the helm is not a guarantee of success; it’s all about having the right team assembled. Convergent is happy to share Allison’s guest blog post as it provides valuable…

In December I reached out to community college leaders across the country to ask, “What are the next big trends in the world of community college fundraising?” While some speculated about the ways social media could become a stronger fundraising tool, others focused on how…

You’re in a team meeting when lightning strikes: your team just hatched the most incredible idea! It has the potential to answer all your problems, fix community issues, and revolutionize your organization. It is so tempting to go out and try to raise money for…

If we are being honest, on most days our inboxes are buried under a barrage of email. Many of the emails are automated email newsletters from businesses or organizations that we support. Many get marked “read” without us ever opening them or reading them. Really…

Change. According to noted Psychiatrist, RD Laing, “…change is so sped up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” Earlier this month I attended two conferences focused on the future of Community Colleges, one in Tampa – one in…

This year marked the 97th anniversary of the American Association of Community College’s Annual Convention. I’ve been fortunate to attend this event every year for the last ten years. I’ve even had the honor of presenting several times. This year’s convention theme, “Community Colleges: America’s North Star,” was a particularly interesting one to me.

“Nimble, inclusive, and entrepreneurial.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos used these three terms to highlight the unique role community colleges play as a catalyst in workforce development issues. “You’re absolutely essential engines of workforce and economic development — locally and regionally,” DeVos told a room full…

Community Colleges change lives. We all have heard the stories of the financially strapped students whose dreams of a college degree seem unachievable until a scholarship opportunity opens the doors to their future. Philanthropy at its Horatio Alger-esque best! The donor feels good about their…

There were plenty of great sessions at this year’s annual summit, and we’re honored that Principal Andy Coe was included as one of the presenters. His session, “The Power of Community Partnerships in Funding Workforce Development Initiatives,” had an excellent turnout, and attendees really engaged…

This article was originally written for and published in the International Economic Development Council’s “ED Now” newsletter. We are excited to make it available to non-IEDC members here for the first time. There were 5.8 million job openings across the United States at the end of April,…

Convergent Note: The following is a brief excerpt from the article “Counterpoint: Feasibility Studies and Other Reasons Outside Counsel Can Help Small Nonprofits,” recently published by NonProfit PRO and written by Principal Mark Bergethon. To read the full article, follow the link at the bottom of…

Many state legislatures continue to struggle with their annual budgets due to shortfalls in revenue. For example, on May 18 Kentucky’s Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) announced that 506 positions had been cut: 191 faculty and 315 staff. These cuts were due to a…

Convergent Principals Rick Kiernan and Mark Bergethon attended and exhibited at the National Charter School Conference in Nashville two weeks ago. While speaking to dozens of charter school representatives about the prospect of launching a capital campaign to secure major funding commitments, several common questions…

Initiating a capital campaign is an exciting opportunity. It’s a time when you can help move your organization forward in a very dynamic way, although there are always a few challenges that will arise during a campaign. Many Executive Directors & CEOs might find themselves…

By Mark Bergethon We are excited to have Principal Mark Bergethon featured in FundraisingSuccess’s “ProSpeak,” which features essays about “the nitty-gritty of fundraising, written by the people who do it every day.” Here is a quick look at the article: Through the implementation and analysis…

The Central Florida Foundation (CFF) is a public grant-making foundation that serves as a trusted philanthropic home for more than 400 charitable funds throughout Central Florida.    Convergent has had the good fortune to get to know CFF better over the past several months, and…

Throughout this blog you’re bound to see many posts where we refer to “investors” and nonprofit “investments.” Don’t worry though; you are in the right place. This blog is meant to help nonprofits get a better understanding of the fundraising process, and we believe that…

A recent article in the The Chronicle of Philanthropy has spurred a lot of discussion among the principals here at Convergent. The article cites a study by Szu-chi Huang, assistant professor of marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, in which she suggests that…

Most public schools can rely on government funding to assist in bricks and mortar funding needs, but what if you are a public charter school and ineligible for such funding? How do you raise awareness and support for your school amongst the local community, including...

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We’d love to hear more about your organization’s fundraising concerns and goals to see how we can help.

We have benefited from the Convergent team's extensive experience and knowledge about targeted fundraising. We are embarking on a Major Gifts campaign and workforce training needs in five high-demand occupational area of our service area with laser sharp messaging about the ROI for business and industry.

Dr. Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, President
Tidewater Community College, VA

Both our board and staff found it extremely comforting to know we had a team of fundraising experts there to help us through the campaign process. Having Convergent involved helped to reassure us that we were 1) on the right track and 2) conducting our campaign in the appropriate manner to reach our fundraising goals. Hiring an outside fundraising consultant is an investment, but for us, it's one that was very worthwhile.

Mayor Joan Foster, Director of Development
Lynchburg Beacon of Hope, VA

Exceptional service and valuable insights were delivered by Convergent when they conducted our comprehensive feasibility study. The report's results and recommendations are pivotal for the success of our campaign. Convergent surpassed our expectations in relating to our funders.

Steven Bessert, Executive Director of Development
Gardner-Webb University, NC