Need a new search?

If you didn't find what you were looking for, try a new search!

March 2010

Survey: 52 percent of adults 18­–64 use social media

By |March 5th, 2010|

According to a new report released by Pew Research Center, social media use is up 45 percent for adults 18–64 since February 2005. Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next looks at the values, attitudes and experiences of the Millennial generation while also shedding light on the Boomer generation.

Pew Research Center’s survey of more than 2,000 adults shows that 30 percent of boomers use social networking sites, up from only five percent in 2005. In total, the report found that 41 percent of adults use social networking sites. […]

September 2015

Why a Give-or-Get Fundraising Policy is a Bad Idea

By |September 12th, 2015|

Is someone recommending that your nonprofit board adopt a give-or-get fundraising policy?

Hang around any nonprofit for a while, and you’ll hear someone proposing a give-or-get fundraising policy.

Typically found in a board contract or policy, it might say something like:

“I agree to personally give $1,000 annually, or to raise that amount from others.”

Sounds great, right? A written commitment by your board members to raise money?

Here’s why it’s a bad idea.

In organizations that are most successful, there is a culture of fundraising. Everyone participates in fundraising (getting) and everyone gives (to the extent they are able, a personally significant gift). I like to GIVE and GET

A give-or-get fundraising policy sets up uneven dynamics on the board if wealthier board members are able to buy their way out of participating in the nonprofit’s fundraising activities. All board members should be introducing the organization to friends and colleagues, and identifying ways that they can contribute to the organization’s financing.

The better fundraising policy for your nonprofit board of directors? Give and get.

If you’re a nonprofit board member:

  • Give an amount that is personally significant to you.
  • And find a way to use your strengths and talents in the “getting!”


Membership Level 2

By |September 9th, 2015|

For $599, you get all of Package 1, as well as access to all two-day intensives (over 80 trainings, a $4,664 value)

August 2015

Maximizing Your Social Media for Year End Fundraising

By |August 28th, 2015|


Does your social media presence disappear at the end of the year when your board and staff are busy fundraising? Do you use social media in your fundraising efforts but the strategies you’re using aren’t getting much traction with your donors?

With donors in a giving mood, social media platforms have more fundraising potential than ever. We will show you how to turn your online champions into fundraisers and donors in our Maximizing Your Social Media for Year End Fundraising  training. From creating shared fundraising goals, to communicating the impact of dollars raised, this training will help you optimize your posts and get your supporters excited about supporting your organization.

In this training you will learn how to:

  • Engage people not just to give but to encourage others as well
  • Design and create an online graphic that shows real-time progress toward the goal
  • Use photos, video and testimonials to underscore the importance and urgency of the campaign

For more information and to reserve your spot in this exciting training, click here.

Price: $49.00

Nonprofit Dashboards

By |August 28th, 2015|


How are you doing? Do you need to wade through lots of reports and data to find out whether you’re in the black, meeting monthly goals, changing the world?

Learn about innovative dashboard tools that provide quick, relevant visual information for organization leaders, in real time, to understand financial and programmatic growth/challenges.

A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more organizational or programmatic outcomes.

Dashboards are typically developed on a single page and allow for the quick identification of where performance is going well and where improvement is needed. This method of presenting important data is quickly becoming popular as a means to communicate outcomes across diverse stakeholder positions and personal abilities (i.e., ability to understand data and outcomes).

JVA was selected to present dashboard basics to over 50 nonprofit professionals at the Colorado Nonprofit Association Conference. We’ve developed dashboards for our clients to help directors and program managers easily track metrics important to them, and to their boards and funders.

If you want to learn how to build a dashboard for your organization or department,  this training is for you!

Going to the Next Level

By |August 25th, 2015|

Going to the Next Level

You’re firmly established, and you’ve shown impact. There are a number of things you might do to get to the next level … and we can help you get there.

Sometimes what you need to get to the next level is to more fully engage others in your work. We can help you:

To train your board, staff, volunteers, grantees—learn more about our training topics and prices. We can also bring them to you on site. All pricing is exclusive of travel.

Comments Off on Going to the Next Level

Our Team

By |August 19th, 2015|

The JVA Team

At JVA, we’re a huge believer in Jim Collins’ principle of getting the right people on the bus. To us, that means people who are passionate about community and social change (it’s what they do when they’re not at work as well). It’s people who genuinely care about our customers’ success—the kind of guy like Collin, who brought a bell to work that we ring when we learn about a grant award going to a client. It’s people who are committed to getting it right. People who will go over the top to ensure your success. People who work together.

Our Valuable Team Members Adam Brock is a social entrepreneur and facilitator based in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. He is co-founder of The GrowHaus and the Denver Permaculture Guild, and has won numerous awards for his work on local food and social justice including Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and Denver Post’s “Colorado’s Top Thinkers”.

He is the Social Enterprise Developer at JVA, leading the Mission, Inc. Basecamp and providing one-on-one consulting with social entrepreneurs. Brooke brings more than 10 years of digital marketing experience to JVA and her true passion lies in digital campaign management, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Brooke drives the digital marketing strategy for JVA, and provides clients with the tools to leverage digital technology to increase visibility, raise funds and connect with key constituents. Collin Lessing brings more than a decade of experience in communications and marketing to his role as senior associate in grant writing and marketing at JVA.

Collin’s passion is working with community-based organizations and sharing their stories of impact with funders. He has helped several organizations advance their sustainability and growth through millions of dollars in successful grants. Gayle brings her 25 years of work in the non-profit field managing programs, and working with local community organizations to tackle issues around poverty, education, workforce development and homelessness.

Having participated in a learning cross exchange to India, being a board member with The Center for Ethical Leadership as well as being part of the Denver’s Road Home’s steering committee lends a variety of experiences to her work. Jade has more than ten years of experience in project, operations and brand management. This experience includes managing multimillion-dollar contracts, starting nonprofits, and being in the forefront of many social justice campaigns.

Jade manages the JVA website as well as all digital media and branding. Janine brings over 30 years of experience in community and social change including starting nonprofits and social enterprises, community organizing and advocacy, developing policy and programs, coaching social change leaders, and assisting government agencies and foundations in their work. A skilled trainer and facilitator, Janine’s area of expertise include: generating new ideas for social innovation, developing sustainable business models, strategic and business planning, and social enterprise development.

She is passionate about developing new leaders for social change, and transforming the view of older adults from being the silver tsunami […]

Comments Off on Our Team

March 2015

Denver Commission on Aging Strategic Plan

By |March 15th, 2015|

Cover Photo for Denver Commission on Aging Strategic Plan reportIn early 2015, JVA facilitated a strategic planning retreat for the Denver Commission on Aging, seeking to both engage current and new members of the Commission in challenging thinking about a vision for older adults in the city role of the Commission in moving that vision forward. The resulting report reflects the energy and enthusiasm of Commission members, and a revitalized commitment to making Denver the best city for older adults.

November 2014

Giving thankfully on Thanksgiving

By |November 25th, 2014|

By Scot Kersgaard, JVA Consulting

Happy Thanksgiving.

Events in Ferguson, Cleveland and around the world leave many of us with heavy hearts and aching souls. That doesn’t mean we give up the holidays. Perhaps it means we ask a little more of ourselves this year, give a little more of ourselves.

Many of us will sit around a table on Thanksgiving and talk about what we are thankful for. It may just be a list of things, or it may be a time to talk in more depth. Some of us may do this while standing around in a circle holding hands. Many, of course, won’t do this at all, which does not imply a lack of thankfulness.

We all have holiday traditions. Some play football in the yard on Thanksgiving. Some watch football on the telly, some go for long walks after dinner, if only as a warm-up for leftovers.

Here’s an idea, though. Maybe Thanksgiving is more than a time to express thanks, eat and enjoy football. Maybe it is a time to give thankfully and mindfully, to acknowledge our own good fortune by giving a little something back.

Maybe it’s time to look at each other differently, to not see ethnic, racial or socioeconomic differences as dividers, but as opportunities for broadening our own understanding, to expect the best from each other rather than to fear the worst–and to present our own best self to the world on a daily basis.

My wife, yesterday, said to me that we need to pick up our charitable pace. Partly, she is looking at the need, which, in the field of human services in a cold climate like Denver, tends to go up this time of year. Partly, she may have been thinking about the fact that we have done OK this year, kept the mortgage paid and the heat on and the pantry stocked.

Inspired by Janine Vanderburg, who treats Colorado Gives Day like a holiday, I told my wife we could each give away $X on Colorado Gives Day in any way we each want. Much as Janine would expect, we’ve begun bartering and lobbying, with my wife telling me why we should give more to her favorite nonprofit. In the end, we will probably give more than planned.

Colorado Gives Day is great. It does not, of course, replace year-round giving. It also does not replace fundamental human kindness.

Writing checks or typing credit card numbers into Colorado Gives Day forms is a great way to express thanks. A smile and the understanding that we are all one people is a great way to express shared humanity with each other.

Let’s do both this year.

Between Now and Colorado Gives Day: Last Minute Efforts

By |November 18th, 2014|

By Scot Kersgaard, JVA Consulting

Last year, 1440 nonprofits raised an average of $14,500 each on Colorado Gives Day, for a total statewide give and take of $20.9 million. This year, 1600 nonprofits will participate in the December 9 event, says Community First Foundation Manager of Online Giving Dana Rinderknecht.

There is no predicting how much money will be raised or how many people will give, but it is easy to understand that organizations that put some real time, effort and imagination into Colorado Gives Day do substantially better than those for whom it is an afterthought.

Rinderknecht says having a year-round strategy that is integrated into a nonprofit’s overall fundraising plan sets the most successful organizations apart from the rest.

Still, she says there are definitely things organizations can do from now, right on up to and through Dec. 9 that can make a difference.

“One big thing is to get your donors to get their friends to give,” she says.

She says nonprofits might want to encourage staff, board members, volunteers, donors and other friends of the organization to set up their own Fundraising Pages, which are mini websites that individuals can create through the Colorado Gives Day website, which they then direct friends and other people through social media, email and other means.

She says lots of nonprofits have contests to see whose Fundraising Page gets the most donations. “You can have boards compete with staff with the team that raises the most getting breakfast from the other team, for instance,” Rinderknecht says.

“The gamification of giving is one of the biggest trends we are seeing in online donations,” she says.

Another big trend, at least with Colorado Gives Day, is trading donations, where person A says to person B, “I will give to your favorite causes if you give to mine.”

She says intra-generational giving is big on Colorado Gives Day, where parents or grandparents talk to their children and grandchildren about the importance of charitable giving and encourage them to participate in giving on that day.

“You need to make sure everyone knows you are taking part in Colorado Gives Day, and you need to get people excited about giving,” Rinderknecht says.

On Colorado Gives Day itself, she says, it pays to begin working the phones early, not just encouraging people to give but also calling to personally thank those who do give.