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Mar 8, 2019
Posted Under: Uncategorized

The Foraker Group network is currently offline. All office phone and internet are currently down. Please email and we will respond as soon as possible.

Mar 5, 2019
Posted Under: Fundraising

Foraker is piloting our first ever Fund Development Planning cohort in Anchorage this summer. This is a cost-effective way for your organization to put a fund development plan into place with a group of peers and experts on hand.

Apply today!

With the Fund Development Planning (FDP) cohort you’ll find a safe space where you can discover new tools and resources to help you write and implement your fund development plan – with a group of peers going through the same experience. During your FDP cohort, you will craft a gift chart that is real for your organization, learn how to launch or strengthen your board’s fund development committee, develop your organization’s philosophy of philanthropy, write fund development goals and objectives that are realistic for the next 1-3 years, practice donor recognition, acquire tactical tools to implement your plan in the immediate future, and share your experience alongside a network of peers.

Why join the FDP cohort?

Accountability: Fund development planning is a critical piece of every nonprofit’s long-term success, yet many nonprofit leaders find it difficult to prioritize this process. This cohort experience will provide you with the framework to complete different parts of your plan during and between each class.

Tools: Over the course of this program, you will receive many examples of tools that you can use for writing, implementing and presenting your fund development plan.

Community: You will meet fellow executive directors, board leaders, and fund development staff who are committed to creating a supportive environment as you all focus on writing your fund development plan and learn how to foster a culture of philanthropy to make your nonprofits more successful.

Office hours: Your organization will have access to 1 hour of individualized consultation during the course.

Results: By the end of the class, your organization will have a customized fund development plan to guide you for 2-3 years, as well as a short-term tactical plan to set it in motion.

Who is the FDP cohort for?

The first FDP cohort will be for executive directors of small/mid-sized nonprofits who are ready to take the next step in planning for your nonprofit’s financial future. The executive director must be accompanied by a board member who will attend at least 3 specific sessions which are identified in the schedule, although they are welcome to participate in all sessions. Ideally, the board member is the board chair, or the head of the board’s fund development  committee. One additional person – who is a development staff person or a member of the board’s fund development committee – may participate in the cohort.

The FDP cohort is meant for nonprofit organizations who have:

  • Commitment from your board to undergo this process (through a letter of support)
  • Support from a board member (preferably the board chair or head of the board’s fund development committee) to participate in at least 3 meetings to support you and the whole board in this planning process
  • Organizational willingness to form or strengthen a fund development committee
  • Interest in creating a tactical version of the plan that outlines how each goal will be achieved
  • Interest in engaging with a peer network to share your fund development planning goals
  • A commitment to growing individual philanthropy
  • Individual donors, or a desire to have them
  • Willingness to write a narrative fund development plan summarizing key decisions
  • Ability to make the financial and time commitments to complete the program

* Please note that this is the first time Foraker has offered Fund Development Planning as a cohort, or group, class and we are piloting it in Anchorage to test the program and get feedback in person. We hope to offer an opportunity for statewide and distance-learning in the near future.

How often will we meet?

The cohort meets for six 3.5-hour sessions from June through September – see the schedule below for more detail. We are meeting in the summer to ready your organization for the year-end giving cycle.

This cohort will be in-person and will meet at the Foraker offices in Anchorage. Light snacks will be provided.

Depending on interest, we will offer subsequent cohorts via distance learning. Please contact the Foraker office if you are interested in a future distance-learning option.

What about donor privacy?

Throughout the course your financial and donor data will be treated as confidential, and you will not be required or expected to share any sensitive data with either The Foraker Group, instructors, or class participants.

What is the cost for the FDP cohort?

The fee is $2,350, or $1,950 for Foraker Partners. Travel and accommodations are not included in the cost of tuition.  Full tuition must be paid by the first day of the program. Payment plans are available as needed.

Are scholarships available?

We are unable to provide travel scholarships. Please contact the Foraker office if you are interested in a Fund Development Planning Cohort option offered via distance learning in the near future.

When is the next FDP cohort?

Subsequent FDP cohorts will be planned based on demand. Please contact us to let us know you are interested.

How does my organization apply?

The application period is open and will run until May 10! You can apply today. Please contact Amalie Couvillion or Emily Groves, Foraker Fund Development Consultants, with any questions and contact Kate Rose for an application:

Amalie Couvillion,, (907) 351-8346 mobile

Emily Groves,, (973) 818-5000 mobile

Kate Rose,, (907) 743-1201 office

If you would prefer individual fund development planning consultation, please click here for more information and contact us. If you are interested in applying for the next FDP program, please contact us.

2019 Schedule

Course Date Time Board member required? Instructors
Overview: Culture of Philanthropy June 26 1 – 4:30pm Yes Laurie Wolf with Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
It Starts with the Numbers: Writing out your Gift Chart July 9 1 – 4:30pm Yes Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
Discovering your Development Goals and Objectives July 31 9am – 12:30pm Optional Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
Appreciating Donor Recognition August 14 9am – 12:30pm Optional Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
Crafting your Philosophy of Philanthropy and Applying your Values Sept 4 1 – 4:30pm Yes Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
Wrap-up: Putting it all Together Sept 16 9am – 12:30pm Optional Laurie Wolf with Amalie Couvillion and Emily Groves
Feb 13, 2019
Posted Under: Government

To Alaska Nonprofit Leaders:

This morning the Governor’s office released its proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget. All budget documents can be found on the website for the Office of Management and Budget.

I encourage you to examine the proposed budget and understand what it can mean to your mission and your organization. I also encourage you to keep three important points in mind:

  1. Please know that the work you do matters.
  2. Remember that this is a proposal. There is a long road ahead of us before a final budget is approved. The legislature is the only branch of government with the power to appropriate money, which it does through a comprehensive budget bill. When the governor receives this bill, he can veto all or portions of it (the line-item veto), or he can reduce appropriations. We recognize that the proposed budget cuts released today are comprehensive and will have an impact on a wide array of nonprofit and community services. We are in the process of identifying the scope of the cuts and how services will be affected.
  3. Remember, too, that your voice matters. Bring your voice together with others through your networks, coalitions, and other joint efforts. Single voices for single organizations may be less effective than working together. 

If we can help you come together to strengthen your voice, let us know. We look forward to talking with you as we complete a full review of the budget.

Thank you for all you do for Alaska and Alaskans.


Feb 11, 2019
Posted Under: Foraker News

For many years now, we have been documenting the economic impact of the nonprofit sector on our state’s economy. Our latest report, published last year, found that the sector directly employs 44,100 people in Alaska — that’s more than 17% of the state’s jobs. In rural Alaska, the sector contributes 40% of all jobs. This impact caught the attention of Alaska Business and resulted in this feature that highlights our statistics but more importantly tells the story of community benefits from three Foraker Partners — Catholic Social Services, Hope Community Resources, and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Please share this story with your networks and help spread the value of the work we all do.

You can read the story here.

Feb 7, 2019
Posted Under: President's letter

We are taught to be prepared for disaster. As Alaskans we might understand that notion a little bit better today than we did in November after the earthquake, or again after the government shutdown in December, which was a different kind of disaster. We think we understand what it means to be prepared – that we know the consequences of a disaster. But, in fact, we understand them much differently when they happen to us and around us. There is rarely anything good to say about the disaster itself, but as we explored together in December, how we respond as Alaskans when disaster strikes, and specifically how we respond as nonprofits, is remarkable.

After the earthquake I marveled at our sector’s response. And now again, I do the same. The recent federal shutdown strained our communities. When asked if we would do a survey to understand how Alaska was impacted, I respectfully declined. With 15,000 federal employees and their families directly affected, and whole communities feeling the impact, I knew that a meaningful survey would require asking almost every Alaskan for their story. In communities big and small, rural and urban, we are interconnected with government. There was real suffering going on for people across our state and our nonprofits were doing their best to respond.

You have likely heard us say it before, every day, nonprofit organizations work hand-in-hand with government to deliver essential services. It is how Alaska works. We have documented it. We have celebrated it. And yet, in the act of doing it, we don’t seek recognition for it, nor even say much about our tax status. And really why would we. More important is that when there are needs in our community, we respond.

News outlets across the state and around the country were noticing Alaska nonprofits in action during this shutdown. They captured stories of Bethel Search and Rescue that saves countless lives and lost its partner in the Fish and Wildlife Service and still had to find a way to keep doing its work. And the foodbanks in Juneau and Anchorage and Fairbanks that were feeding federal workers. And a local Anchorage church that reached out directly to TSA staff while credit unions and other banks tried to ease the pain of no income. The New York Times even focused on Kodiak, one of the many communities heavily impacted by the shutdown. While these groups were being noticed for their extra efforts, we also heard about the loss of funding to Alaska nonprofits, specifically domestic violence shelters. The media didn’t pick up these Alaska stories, but we did see them note that layoffs were occurring in shelters in New York, North Carolina, and Ohio, to name a few. The impact on nonprofits responding and paying the price of the shutdown goes on and on.

Of course, media outlets weren’t only ones to notice. Strong voices came together – including the National Governors Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council of Nonprofits – to speak to congressional leaders in an effort to find a resolution to this unnatural disaster. They all issued strong letters demanding an end to the shutdown and noting the impact on individuals, organizations, and communities across the country.

And yet, we know there are limits to what the nonprofit community can continue doing in the face of unexpected demands that come at the same time funding suddenly drops or stops. Add to this looming state cuts, and the safety net is stretched thin.

So now what? As Alaskans we know how to just keep at it – to do what needs to be done and to be prepared. We also know that we could find ourselves in another natural or unnatural disaster again at any moment.

On the practical side, I encourage you all to do your math and know your story. At every turn, know the story of your essential services and be able to back it up with the math. Take the time to show how your partnership with federal, state, and local government is financially responsible – not in the way that lets them stop, but in a way that explains the investment in positive terms. Don’t do it in the way that says you can do more for less, but instead in the way that offers what you can do better together. The temptation for “scarcity thinking” is high, which shows up like protecting our turf or playing the martyr. It also looks like accepting the premise that government doesn’t have a role in how Alaska can thrive. This isn’t an all-or-nothing moment. We need every sector to do its part. As Alaskans we simply work better when we work together. So, know your math. Do it for your organization. Do it with your peer organizations. Do it around causes, not just missions. Let’s show up with an abundance model that says we can do a lot when we all do our part. Let’s show up and say yes, we deliver essential services, and yes, we are the safety net, AND yes, there is an essential role for government and private industry to make that work. Indeed, this is the time to infuse government resources into nonprofit organizations as the way to leverage and maximize every investment we secure – it’s not the time to do more with less. If you need help with the math, ask. If you need help with the story, ask. It is going to take both to weather this time in our history.

While the practical approach is critical to moving forward, there is something more to consider. As we think about the stories of our disasters and the response, an odd combination of grief and joy is woven into the experience. Remarkably, while planning for our upcoming Leadership Summit, I spoke with Akaya Windwood. She reminded me that every day as nonprofit leaders we experience grief and joy in our work—even when no disaster is present. Honestly, I had not fully considered how these two strong emotions are interwoven into the fabric of our sector. But Akaya’s insight, in light of all the uncertainty in our economy, environment, and politics, feels like the gift we can give ourselves right now – not just to be prepared for the next big thing, but to stay grounded for the long haul.

If you haven’t considered this gift before, take a moment to think about what brought you to this work. Was it the joy of helping someone, or some place, or some thing? Was it the ability to create lasting change? Was it the deep desire to give back to a community? Was it bearing witness to injustice and taking a stand? There are so many reasons, but I imagine many of them were and are deeply rooted in that strong combination of joy and grief. After more than 18 years in this work, I can still find my joy and my grief and both remain deeply motivating. Looking for our grief is a practice in and of itself and one certainly to explore in all of its complexity. Looking for joy, on the other hand, has become popular thanks to Marie Kondo. Ms. Kondo’s understanding of joy is rooted in a deeply spiritual practice that she has translated for mainstream audiences. This translation asks us to understand that everything has energy and that energy can either bring us joy or not. This is true about our work as well. How you “pick up” your work and touch it and truly feel the grief and the joy is unique to each of us. But maybe, if we each take a moment or two to connect deeply to the original reason we came to this work, then we might refuel for the next disaster. Maybe then we can deliver the essentials more easily. Maybe to be prepared right now in this uncertain world is to know our own grief and to seek more joy. Maybe this is the gift to give to ourselves.