CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC

Nonprofit Growth Partner

New York, NY   |  www.causeeffective.org

Mission

Cause Effective transforms nonprofits by partnering with mission-driven leaders to achieve social change. We work with leadership to develop, employ, and expand effective fundraising, governance and organizational strategies to advance equity and justice.

Notes from the nonprofit

During 2020, one of the most trying years in history, Cause Effective helped over 1,500 nonprofit organizations across the New York metropolitan area, counseling more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders and board members to raise more money, deepen their relationships with donors, create compelling communications, and build stronger boards of directors. Cause Effective clients experienced growth even while navigating 2020’s many unknowns, as this client attests: "As a result of our work with Cause Effective, our Board takes its fundraising responsibility more seriously and became more engaged – which proved critical when we pulled in the board for scenario planning." Cause Effective guides nonprofits under stress to identify and acquire the resources they need to deepen their mission impact despite adverse circumstances. We are committed, in the full range of our programming, to providing key support for all nonprofit leaders as they steer their organizations through uncertain times.

Ruling year info

1981

Executive Director

Ms. Judy Levine

Main address

209 W 29th Street, #242

New York, NY 10001 USA

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Formerly known as

Folkwords

EIN

13-3083978

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Nonprofit Growth Partner

Cause Effective supports visionary and committed individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector in several ways:
• Growth partner: We deliver training and immersive consulting to organizations eager to boost their governance and fundraising productivity; and we intensify our assistance in difficult times to help nonprofits weather storms such as the coronavirus pandemic
• Coaching: We offer coaching and instruction to build the skills, competence and confidence of the next generation of fundraising leaders, from executive and development directors to middle managers and board leadership, with special focus on addressing the systemic challenges facing professionals of color that block their trajectory to executive leadership
• Nonprofit leadership: We disseminate thought leadership on a sectoral level, invite the field to convene on issues in fundraising and governance strategy, and amplify racial and equity concerns to help ensure that all have their rightful seat at the table.

Population(s) Served

Cause Effective has led advocacy around greater diversity and access within nonprofit leadership for many years. In this decade, we are seeing firsthand a generational transition of leadership to a pipeline that is more ethnically and racially diverse. Accordingly, the need to increase the fundraising abilities of those new leaders — particularly leaders of color — is an imperative. Since 2017, the Cause Effective team has developed a multi-tiered approach to supporting the entry, retention and success of fundraising professionals of color. Our ground-breaking Preparing The Next Generation initiative focuses on influencing the sector to confront the biases that are interwoven with issues of race, class, money, and power, and to help eradicate the conditions that thwart the ability of professionals of color to thrive in fundraising.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Charles T. Haffey Community Service Award. 2013

National Minority Business Council

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Preparing The Next Generation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Cause Effective provides critical guidance and tools for nonprofit board members, staff, and volunteers on good governance practices and successful fundraising strategy in our peer-to-peer workshops.

Number of organizations accessing technical assistance offerings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Nonprofit Growth Partner

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Cause Effective supports nonprofits through customized board trainings, intensive coaching, and year-long transformative fundraising and governance residencies.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Preparing The Next Generation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Cause Effective partners with funders and colleagues to offer lively, interactive workshops which impart knowledge and give participants practical applications for fundraising/governance challenges.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Cause Effective's vision is to transform the New York City nonprofit sector's resource development practices so the sector has the resources it needs to expand its impact. In particular, in Fiscal Year 2015 we will:

• Provide high-quality governance and resource development assistance to a wide range of New York’s nonprofit organizations serving the City’s many diverse communities;
• assist organizations that could not otherwise afford our capacity-building services on a pro bono or sliding scale basis;
• increase our distribution of governance and resource development training materials via the web and print in order to reach nonprofits which might not be able to access our assistance in person; and
• collaborate with a wide range of partner organizations to provide richer and more comprehensive aid to New York City’s community-based nonprofits.

As a result, these nonprofits will improve their governance and raise funds in a more predictable way, providing a more stable base from which to address the critical challenges they face.

STRATEGY 1: To build the resource development sustainability of vital NYC nonprofits across diverse missions and sizes
Consulting/Training for large and small nonprofits:
* Increase delivery of resource development and governance services to larger nonprofits to 20% of direct pay clients
* Marketing plan developed/operational for larger self-pays
* Continue emphasis on resource development and governance strategies for smaller nonprofits

Range and Depth of Service Offerings
* Expand range of in-house resource development and governance expertise
* Create innovative program packages to effectively scale service delivery by delivering 4 portfolio programs (1 new)

Partnerships
* Enlarge footprint through partnerships with colleagues, individual consultants and institutions with complementary missions - 1 new partnership & 1 new initiative
STRATEGY 2: To increase Cause Effective's internal capacity to produce excellent and innovative program results in a staff- and cost-effective manner

Outcomes Collection
* Improve Cause Effective’s collection of programmatic data and ability to drive practice towards achievement, including systematic measurement of designated outcomes

Staff Knowledge and Learnings
* Establish protocols to enable Cause Effective to systematically capture learnings that deepen training and consulting effectiveness
* Build staff ability to deliver, replicate and advance Cause Effective’s methodology and expertise

Tools for Service Delivery
* Create documents library to streamline and boost core consulting and training practices

STRATEGY 3: To stabilize Cause Effective's financial model to allow adequate program support and eventual growth
Financial Health
* Diversify Cause Effective’s income base through a business model that is repeatable, expandable, and through which Cause Effective’s resources match the costs of delivering on mission by increasing direct pay earned income base

Financial Reserves
* Add $10,000 to Cause Effective’s financial reserves to enhance Cause Effective’s operational flexibility and resilience

Diverse and Growing Contributed Income Base
* Strengthen Cause Effective’s relationship with institutional funders for both portfolio and project support
* Expand the base of Cause Effective fans (individual donors and institutional funders) who are committed to investing directly in Cause Effective

Increased Board Capacity Board Capacity
* Increase Cause Effective’s board’s capacity to assure the institution’s sustainability by adding 2-3 new members

For over thirty years, Cause Effective has worked successfully with more than 5,000 of New York City’s community-based nonprofits to strategically build their board and staff’s capacity to plan and implement effective institutional advancement and resource development strategies. Our efforts have consistently focused on strategies to build the sustainability of the “middle ground” of the nonprofit sector – nonprofits with dynamic programming but limited governance and fundraising competence.

Cause Effective offers customized consulting that aims to transform organizational culture around fundraising and governance. Our solutions are not “off the shelf”; we create a unique workplan for each client that uses our expertise, resources and tools to springboard change and achieve greatest return.

Guided by the needs of individual clients, we:
* Uncover hidden fundraising and friendraising assets
* Gather together current and potential supporters to create a team of thinkers and doers who can be counted on
* Act in a culturally sensitive manner, working within the values and context of each organization
* Coach board members and work closely with staff, bringing a variety of tools to the table
* Help prioritize activities so that time spent on resource development is invested in the areas with the greatest payback
* Focus on setting each organization up so that it will be able to fundraise and “friendraise” successfully in the future on their own

Our areas of practice include:

Fundraising
Our resource development consultations vary from one-time brainstorming sessions focused on particular fundraising challenges, to in-depth residencies that aim at total transformation of how your organization raises funds. We work jointly with staff and board members to create a trained and engaged group of advocates who can identify and cultivate new potential donors, and successfully solicit gifts of all sizes.

Board Development
Cause Effective consults on a range of board needs: boards that simply need a brush-up on their fundraising skills; those that lack clarity on a range of governance responsibilities; and those with precipitously low participation levels. We work on board member replacement and recruitment, and revitalizing current board member involvement. Our governance/board development consultations don’t simply help board members understand what their responsibilities are, but also help the entire board to fulfill its role as part of a dynamic partnership with nonprofit staff leadership.

Special Events/Anniversaries
Special events require a critical outlay of nonprofit time and resources. The potential return is great – and so are the consequences if the event fails to deliver. Cause Effective has unique expertise in helping nonprofits rethink their event strategy and ensure that the work invested delivers a meaningful return.

Cause Effective’s knowledge of how community-based nonprofits grow has been gleaned from a wide variety of activities conducted over many years with thousands of nonprofit organizations. We deliver our expertise tailored to a nonprofit’s current realities and varying needs taking into account capacity measures including their time and resources. Cause Effective meets groups where they are in their organizational life cycle, not where we think they should be.

We are confident that our careful assessment process leads to developing a customized workscope for each client that enables our clients to set and reach resource development and governance goals that were previously unimaginable. These groups are often unable to access traditional governance or fundraising consultants or even, in the case of groups at the lower end of this scale, any professionalized executive or managerial staff. To attract the resources they need to carry out their work, they must create imaginative and effective governance strategies and fully engage their boards as advocates and fundraisers.

We believe that as a result of Cause Effective's work, New York’s many vibrant nonprofits are improving their governance and raising funds in a more predictable way, providing a more stable base from which to address the critical challenges they face.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Nonprofit Leaders - staff, board and volunteers

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email, Evaluation surveys at selected program checkpoints,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We changed the content and format of workshop programs in response to participant feedback.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have always solicited feedback from program participants and consulting clients - we view our relationship as a partnership that is co-directed.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC

Board of directors
as of 12/06/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Zanetta Addams-Pilgrim

Zap Consults

Gabriella Polur

Brooklyn Tide Advisory

Claire Scanlon

BNY Mellon (ret.)

Mark Castle

BNY Mellon (Treasurer)

Katrina Bandong

BDO FMA

Ross Pasquale

Rokt

Pedro Reyes

JP Morgan Chase

Tom Schier

JP Morgan Chase

Amy Wolf

The New York Community Trust (Secretary)

Kelsey Louie

The Door

Charko Patterson

Google

Michell Speight

ABFE

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/6/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/06/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.