Community Improvement, Capacity Building

CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC

New York, NY   |  www.causeeffective.org

Mission

For over 30 years, Cause Effective has strengthened New York's nonprofit sector by increasing the capacity of more than 5,000 community-based nonprofits to build sustainable communities of supporters. We provide carefully tailored counsel to help nonprofits diversify funding, raise more money from individuals, activate boards of directors, and get the greatest value from special events and anniversaries so they can achieve long-term community change.

Notes from the nonprofit

Cause Effective guides over 100 organizations individually each year to gain the ongoing skills and confidence to embolden board members to become persuasive advocates; boost staff’s expertise to successfully cultivate and solicit a wide range of donors; and build a team that can lead the organization in planning and implementing innovative campaigns to increase its base of unrestricted support.

Our work with nonprofits focuses both on immediate impact and on long-term, structural changes that will enable them to govern more effectively and expand their supporter base for years to come. Foremost among these is the activation of the board of directors as powerful, engaged ambassadors, serving a critical oversight function but also rolling up their sleeves in day-to-day friendraising and fundraising efforts.

Cause Effective’s commitment to training board, staff and volunteer leadership in partnership results in organizations that approach governance and fundraising as a team effort. We build organizations with the ongoing ability to sustain themselves in order to effect long-term community-based change.

Ruling year info

1981

Executive Director

Ms. Judy Levine

Main address

505 Eighth Avenue Suite 1212

New York, NY 10018 USA

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Formerly known as

Folkwords

EIN

13-3083978

Cause area (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?

Consulting

Cause Effective provides individualized, effective resource development management assistance to a wide range of nonprofit organizations. We deliver our expertise in many ways (such as Web-based resources, publications, workshops, one-shot consulting sessions, multi-month engagements, and long term relationships), which are tailored to a nonprofit's varying needs in relation to its organizational lifecycle as well as the time and resources available.

From groups working with immigrant day-laborers to organizations supporting at-risk youth and their families, Cause Effective’s consulting methodology transcends mission by its focus on supportive listening coupled with the capacity to individualize a progress plan to the circumstances of each organization. Our work with a diverse client base has incorporated board leadership development; fundraising planning of varying lengths and depth; board committee restructuring; milestone anniversary campaigns; first-time board fundraising ventures; sustained efforts to diversify an organization’s donor base; strategic thinking about intimate as well as large-scale special events; and board and staff coaching in building inter-dependent fundraising partnerships.

Population(s) Served
General Public/Unspecified
None
None
Budget
$500,000

Cause Effective’s workshops combine sophisticated governance and resource development analysis with practical, take-home applications. Workshop participants don’t just absorb nonprofit management information; they work together to create a roadmap of next steps they can apply immediately at the workshop’s end. At post-workshop check-ins, a high percentage of participants report using what they have learned to make a lasting organizational impact.

Cause Effective’s interactive workshops reach many groups with a wide range of organizational sophistication at once – allowing us to engage with an extraordinary range of nonprofit leaders from many cultures, missions, and geographic communities as they discover commonalities and differences.

Cause Effective leads over 40 workshops a year on governance, resource development, and special events. In fact, in 2015 the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of NY chose Cause Effective, for the fourth year in a row, to facilitate its Best Practices Workshop on Resource Development in recognition of Cause Effective Executive Director Judy Levine’s leadership on the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Selection Committee. Cause Effective is, truly, the “go to” source for expertise on how to move nonprofits forward in resource development and governance.

Population(s) Served
General Public/Unspecified
None
None
Budget
$100,000

Cause Effective’s website (www.causeeffective.org) features a resource section which includes templates, worksheets and tips on a variety of governance and resource development issues. The website is supplemented by an e-newsletter and blog which give timely assistance on pressing institutional development topics. Cause Effective also regularly publishes articles on governance and fundraising topics in order to reach additional groups that need our guidance. Cause Effective's book, "The Special Events Toolbox," sold out its initial print run and is being revised in 2015. In 2014 alone Cause Effective’s e-publications received over 52,000 hits, revealing a real hunger for Cause Effective’s expertise.

Population(s) Served
General Public/Unspecified
None
None
Budget
$40,000

Where we work

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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

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Workshops

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

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Consulting

Context Notes

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

Number of hours of coaching

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

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Consulting

Context Notes

Cause Effective helps nonprofits develop a roadmap to diversify funding and increase board involvement, and guides staff and board members in building the skills needed for successful implementation.

Number of training workshops

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

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Workshops

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.

Number of readers accessing web-based advice and tools

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

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Publications

Context Notes

Cause Effective's blog, e-newsletter, tip sheets, tools and articles offer timely, hands-on advice on topics ranging from board motivation to donor appreciation

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

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: <br/><br/>• 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;<br/>• assist organizations that could not otherwise afford our capacity-building services on a pro bono or sliding scale basis; <br/>• 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<br/>• collaborate with a wide range of partner organizations to provide richer and more comprehensive aid to New York City’s community-based nonprofits. <br/><br/>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<br/>Consulting/Training for large and small nonprofits:<br/>* Increase delivery of resource development and governance services to larger nonprofits to 20% of direct pay clients<br/>* Marketing plan developed/operational for larger self-pays<br/>* Continue emphasis on resource development and governance strategies for smaller nonprofits<br/><br/>Range and Depth of Service Offerings<br/>* Expand range of in-house resource development and governance expertise<br/>* Create innovative program packages to effectively scale service delivery by delivering 4 portfolio programs (1 new)<br/><br/>Partnerships<br/>* Enlarge footprint through partnerships with colleagues, individual consultants and institutions with complementary missions - 1 new partnership & 1 new initiative<br/>STRATEGY 2: To increase Cause Effective's internal capacity to produce excellent and innovative program results in a staff- and cost-effective manner<br/><br/>Outcomes Collection<br/>* Improve Cause Effective’s collection of programmatic data and ability to drive practice towards achievement, including systematic measurement of designated outcomes<br/><br/>Staff Knowledge and Learnings <br/>* Establish protocols to enable Cause Effective to systematically capture learnings that deepen training and consulting effectiveness<br/>* Build staff ability to deliver, replicate and advance Cause Effective’s methodology and expertise<br/><br/>Tools for Service Delivery<br/>* Create documents library to streamline and boost core consulting and training practices <br/><br/>STRATEGY 3: To stabilize Cause Effective's financial model to allow adequate program support and eventual growth<br/>Financial Health<br/>* 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<br/><br/>Financial Reserves <br/>* Add $10,000 to Cause Effective’s financial reserves to enhance Cause Effective’s operational flexibility and resilience<br/><br/>Diverse and Growing Contributed Income Base<br/>* Strengthen Cause Effective’s relationship with institutional funders for both portfolio and project support<br/>* Expand the base of Cause Effective fans (individual donors and institutional funders) who are committed to investing directly in Cause Effective<br/><br/>Increased Board Capacity Board Capacity <br/>* 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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>Guided by the needs of individual clients, we:<br/>* Uncover hidden fundraising and friendraising assets<br/>* Gather together current and potential supporters to create a team of thinkers and doers who can be counted on<br/>* Act in a culturally sensitive manner, working within the values and context of each organization<br/>* Coach board members and work closely with staff, bringing a variety of tools to the table<br/>* Help prioritize activities so that time spent on resource development is invested in the areas with the greatest payback<br/>* Focus on setting each organization up so that it will be able to fundraise and “friendraise” successfully in the future on their own<br/><br/>Our areas of practice include:<br/><br/>Fundraising<br/>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.<br/><br/>Board Development<br/>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. <br/><br/>Special Events/Anniversaries<br/>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 Evaluation Framework includes the following indicators:<br/><br/>• Key Questions on Resource Development<br/>o How much money was raised – new or total?<br/>o What is the organization doing differently to raise money?<br/>o Is the board more active in fundraising?<br/>o How much has the board raised?<br/>o Is there a group responsible for fundraising (a fundraising committee) now where there wasn’t before?<br/><br/>• Key Questions on Governance<br/>o Has the organization recruited new board members? If so, how many?<br/>o Were new committees were formed? How often are they meeting? What have they accomplished?<br/>o Are board meetings/committee meetings more engaging and productive?<br/>o Has new leadership emerged on the board?<br/><br/>• Key Questions on Special Events <br/>o Did you raise more money?<br/>o Did you cultivate additional people/network/etc?<br/>o Did you expand your solicitor base? (e.g. honorees, donors, staff participation, other volunteers?)<br/>o Did you integrate your event into a year round fundraising campaign?<br/>o Did you use any specific tools from Cause Effective (solicitation vehicles, tickets, sponsorships, in-kind donations, etc.) <br/>o What was the effectiveness of the presentation of mission and engagement with guests? <br/>o Did you have a fundraising evaluation and follow up with your team? <br/>o Did you learn anything useful for next time?<br/><br/>Current outcomes measurement procedures:<br/>• Baseline questionnaire<br/>• Intake interview<br/>• Real-time outcomes logging on SalesForce <br/>• Mid-course consultancy – assessment of progress and realignment of consultancy arc/goals<br/>• Close-out consultancy – assessment of progress and next steps recommendations<br/>• Programs – immediate post-program e-survey (60% response rate)<br/>• All consulting clients – year-end impact e-survey (50% response rate)<br/>• Post-consultancy checkpoints (3, 6, 12 months post-consultancy – 25% response rate)

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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.

Financials

CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC
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Operations

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

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CAUSE EFFECTIVE INC

Board of directors
as of 11/28/2016
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Jacqueline Ebanks

Women's Club of New York

Gabriella Polur (Treasurer) Senior Director, Individual Business PMO

TIAA

Yvonne Moore Chief of Staff & Chief Operating Officer

Abigail E. Disney

Martine Broeders (Secretary) Partner

High Spark Advisors

Michael Rochon Program Manager

TIAA

Chelsea Amegatcher Human Capital Analyst

Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Claire Scanlon Vice President

BNY Mellon

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

Keywords

fundraising, governance, resource development, capacity building, special events, anniversary, management, assistance, support, technical