JGA Blog

Ted Grossnickle

With decades of experience in advancement, Ted Grossnickle helps clients to think strategically about their fundraising efforts. A leader to the JGA team and to the broader nonprofit community, he is known for his authentic voice and commitment to guiding organizations to achieve their best. Ted’s counsel has helped a wide range of nonprofit institutions from higher education, the arts, community organizations, and faith-based groups to transform by helping them connect in a meaningful and enduring ways with their constituents.
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Recent Posts

The Generosity Commission to Explore “Reimagination” of Philanthropy

November 10, 2021

From the earliest days of our nation, people saw needs and helped each other. In many cases it was the only way to survive – and as our subsequent history has proven – Americans are not only generous to and with each other, but that impulse has become a key characteristic of who we are and how we think of our society. Giving and volunteering make things happen in our lives that are simply not possible through other means.

The world is changing rapidly. The last time there was research-backed national conversation about giving and volunteering was in the 1970s with the Filer Commission. At that time, giving totaled roughly $25 billion, there was no internet, and perhaps 10% of leaders in the nonprofit sector were women.

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Learning to Change

June 04, 2020

Like you, we at JGA have discovered new ways of doing that which only 90 days ago might have seemed unlikely—or unnecessary. The definition of what is necessary has changed so dramatically. And, we’ve all changed, adjusted ,and innovated in ways that would have in February felt unimaginable.

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Guiding Your Team in Tackling Complex Issues

April 23, 2020

Like many college advancement leaders, Jane saw her alumni participation numbers continuing to trail downward. She knew she needed to engage with alumni in a way that was meaningful and increased their connection to their alma mater, but it wasn’t something she could expect the alumni office to do all on their own. They needed new techniques to engage alumni, and it was a project that would require both the alumni and advancement departments to work together. They also needed to create more collaboration with career services and other departments.

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Honoring a Leader in our Profession

March 26, 2019

On April 2nd in San Antonio, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor Dr. Paul Pribbenow, PH.D., CFRE,  as Outstanding Fundraising Professional for 2019 at the International Conference on Fundraising.

This is one of those occasions when a “blog” just doesn’t provide enough space to say why this is such a great honor and why it’s so appropriate. The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is the highest honor that AFP bestows upon one of its members, recognizing effective, creative and stimulating leadership, as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising.

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Required Reading for Running a Campaign

January 17, 2019

Thoughtful planning for a campaign is more important than it has ever been. The pressure to meet increasingly high expectations is real, establishing ambitious but realistic goals is more critical than ever, and yet resources to do so are seriously constrained or questioned.

Recently, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy to provide a curated collection of Chronicle articles and JGA insights on capital campaigns. While capital campaigns were historically the province of large charities and major institutions like universities and hospitals, in recent years they’ve become increasingly common among nonprofits of all sizes. In this collection of articles produced by Chronicle Intelligence, a division of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, we show you how to help your organization plan, market, and complete a successful capital campaign.

 If you believe a campaign is in your future, think about how well your organization can answer these key questions:

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August 22, 2018

JGA once again is pleased to sponsor the Kindelsperger Forum on Wednesday, September 5th.  The Forum honors our late colleague Kris Kindelsperger and aims to bring new ideas to the practice of our common work in philanthropy. This year, we will explore the rapidly changing environment of workplace giving and what it means for nonprofits.

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Giving Trends in America Highlight Need for National Conversation

June 06, 2018

This is the time of year when some attention gets focused on giving in America. The Giving USA Foundation will release next week its report on the latest facts and trends. JGA is a member of Giving USA and the Giving Institute and we are pleased to help promote awareness of the upcoming report. 

As we do so this year, we should pay special attention to the trend lines – and what they mean not only for giving and volunteering but for our nation. From my perspective, there are mixed signs – and some real concern.

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Fundraising Best Practice - The Magic of Vision as a Catalyst

October 20, 2016

My colleagues and I at JGA have had occasion over more than two decades now at hundreds of nonprofits to watch presidents and CEOs in action. The unique skill – and a fundraising best practice – that always captures our attention almost more than anything else is the way that some of them engage their entire institutions in a vision for “what can be.”

I’ve recently observed several leaders who have quietly displayed remarkable ability to do this.

To be sure, there are so many different and additional roles for a president as to be nearly impossible to write them all down. But when a president leads and causes everyone to think about and then, in many different ways, to become part of a shared vision for the future, it is magical.

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Gain Insight and Clarity with a Development Assessment

March 31, 2016

My colleagues and I at JGA are often asked by board or staff members to help them assess their development programs. Sometimes this begins with a person saying “Gee, I wonder if you could come in and ‘kick the tires’ on what we’re doing and think out loud with us about how to make it better.” Other times, they will ask about doing a very thorough, detailed “deep dive” into all programs, structures, staff, strategies and policies -- what we call a development audit.

Our experience has shown that the impulse to have this assessment, however they initially characterize it, is almost always an indicator of both strategic capability and of a willingness to improve and be better. That is, it takes a certain level of confidence in yourself and your team to invite an objective review with results that will get shared with others. And, it requires a willingness to think about both strategy and tactics.

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Trends in Endowment Fundraising Campaigns: 5 Key Implications

December 10, 2015

One of the more interesting aspects of our work as consultants is to observe trends and patterns in the experiences of our client institutions. While each of them have many specific and unique characteristics, it is also true that we observe and help them grapple with some of the same broad issues. One trend we have been seeing more frequently lately,  as referenced in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article, is the increasing interest in raising endowment support, leading many more institutions to consider an endowment fundraising campaign.

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