Fairmount InSights
Anneliese van Arsdale

Recently, celebrities and the ultra-rich have been grabbing headlines through pandemic-inspired philanthropic action – from Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter and Square, announcing plans to donate $1 billion to coronavirus relief efforts, to Kynetic executive chairman and Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin launching the “All In Challenge,” an online fundraising auction leveraging star power in the sports, business, and entertainment sectors to provide food to those in need.

While Rubin is busy securing once-in-a-lifetime celebrity experiences for online bidding from donors like Kevin Hart, Peyton Manning, and Drake, what about the everyday donors, volunteers, and philanthropists who power our local nonprofits and charities?  How are the COVID-19 and unfolding economic crises affecting individual giving now, and likely for the foreseeable future?

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Aimée Miller

Fairmount Ventures is committed to supporting our constituents and clients as the world now navigates uncharted territory. We’re keeping our human and furry loved ones close, sharing Zoom pro tips and backgrounds, and working remotely with clients to develop rapid response outreach to their supporters in this moment of urgency and need. In short, we’re digging deep within our 28 years of firm experience and collective expertise to help Philadelphia-area nonprofits navigate the short, medium, and long-term. Here’s some of what we observe, and advise, on what nonprofits need to know this week:

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Aimée Miller

The world changes; opportunities arise; internal needs shift. Effective nonprofit leaders know to redeploy their team, recruit people with specific capabilities, and sometimes – reluctantly – lay off staff whose skills no longer align with what is needed in order to make room for others whose do. Staff have job descriptions, are organized to maximize their talents, and are evaluated to assess and enhance performance. And yet – when it comes to utilizing volunteers in major fundraising efforts, how frequently are these same axiomatic management principles deployed? MORE

Margarita Mirkil

Fairmount’s day-to-day client work is continually enriched by the skills and insights of our Research Assistants. Working a flexible 10 hours a week around their studies, RAs help generate a wide range of data to inform our consulting team’s strategy recommendations – socio-economic and census information, background on funder grantmaking priorities and awards, research-informed best practice in the nonprofit sector, and donor wealth capacity and philanthropic giving history, among others. This latest spotlight on our team features RA Rachel Urban (Temple University/BS in Community Development and BA in Economics, December 2019), who shares more about her goals and experience working at Fairmount Ventures. MORE

Don Kligerman

If you are still grooving to Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca or your car cassette player, we have your back.

The rest of us know that the world has changed in linear and unforeseen ways, creating a different environment for nonprofits since the days of shiny gold suits. Looking forward, we know that the world will continue to change, so how do we prepare for both the logical progressions and the unexpected? In an era of uncertainty and abundant choice, nonprofits can maintain the status quo and hope for the best, quickly pick one path and stick with it, or suffer the paralysis of analysis in perpetual hesitation. All are dangerous. MORE

Aimée Miller

Fairmount’s day-to-day client work is continually enriched by the skills and insights of our graduate-level Research Assistants. Working a flexible 10 hours a week around their studies, RAs help generate a wide range of data to inform our consulting team’s strategy recommendations – socio-economic and census information, background on funder grantmaking priorities and awards, competitor reviews, research-informed best practice, and donor wealth capacity and philanthropic giving history, among others. This latest spotlight on our team features RA Matthew Forrest (University of Pennsylvania, MPA, Fels Institute of Government Class of 2019), whom we asked to share more about his expertise and experience working at Fairmount Ventures. MORE

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Emily McNair, Project Manager, is a seasoned development and communications professional whose work at Fairmount channels her direct experience in the human service sector, her passion for writing, and her keen awareness of organizational and interpersonal dynamics. Her client projects span resource development planning, strategic campaign support, and developing tailored materials that position nonprofits successfully among multiple stakeholder audiences. Emily studied Anthropology and holds a B.A. in that field from Bard College. MORE

Don Kligerman

Fairmount Ventures has been conducting executive searches for nonprofits for years, but we have seen a marked increase in the last several as the generational shift in leadership accelerates. Long-term leaders often become synonymous with an organization such that it is hard to imagine anyone else in their seats. Yet, the existential moments that accompany significant change are wonderful times for organizational and personal resets that should not be wasted. Here are a few points we’ve learned along the way. MORE

Margarita Mirkil

2019 is off to a busy and exciting start at Fairmount Ventures. Our consulting team’s work to help Philadelphia-region nonprofits grow and thrive is enhanced daily through the support of our outstanding Research Assistants. Among her projects, Sabrina Briggs (Temple University, BA/2019) plays a key role in defining and implementing a range of data analysis, systems enhancement, and capacity-building projects to help Fairmount best fulfill its social impact mission. Rosemary Santos (University of Pennsylvania/BA 2014) excels in developing detailed research profiles that inform a mix of planning and fundraising projects. get to know each, below. MORE