Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership

 

We at The Forbes Funds strongly believe that the training, tools, and mentorship in the ACCEL courses are more important now than ever. However, due to the continuing restrictions on larger public meetings due to COVID 19, we worked in conjunction with The Benter Foundation and INFLUENCE|SG to revise the Spring and Fall 2020 ACCEL courses. 

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Enhance your fundraising and marketing efforts with the Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL) program. The Forbes Funds and The Benter Foundation are offering advanced courses to equip Western Pennsylvania non-profit leaders with tools to increase support and raise awareness for their organization.  

Based on the feedback we have received over the past few months, we have restructured our course offerings and format, in conjunction with Derrick Feldmann of INFLUENCE|SG, to address the needs of the sector in this unprecedented moment of disruption. In response to this feedback the ACCEL program has been redesigned with these new features:

  • Two inclusive course tracks: ACCEL Fundamentals & Advanced ACCEL
  • Online, virtual learning via Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar with an emphasis on small group and peer learning
  • Weekly, one-to-one coaching sessions with development experts to address specific organizational needs
  • Weekly, technical assistance sessions to address specific organizational campaigns & events
  • End of Year Campaign planning and assistance
  • Two free, Peer-to-Peer Roundtable events to address relevant/emerging topics
  • Guidance for developing fundraising and marketing plans in this new era

All courses take place on Tuesdays via Zoom (courses begin August 11th).

Please contact Dr. Hannah Karolak (Hannah@forbesfunds.org) or Preston Carmack (Carmackp@forbesfunds.org) for additional information. 

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ACCEL Fundamentals (APPLY HERE)

ACCEL Fundamentals offers participants the opportunity to build a solid foundation for their organization’s marketing and fundraising efforts in this new era. The course will begin on Tuesday, August 11th, and meet weekly for three months. Participants will receive weekly one-to-one coaching and technical assistance. Each participating organization will receive assistance in preparing their end of year campaign. 

For a full schedule, go here. In the interest of safety and flexibility, all sessions will be offered online and there are morning and afternoon sessions to choose from. There are no prerequisites for this course. Because of the new approach, past Velocity and ACCEL graduates are also welcome to apply.

Cost: For more information, please reach out to carmackp@forbesfunds.org).

Participantion includes:

  • A weekly 90-minute lecture with a Q/A Discussion at the end.
  • A 60-minute weekly small group coaching session
  • A 15-minute technical assistance session (by appointment)
  • Guest Speaker Engagements with local development professionals 

Estimated ROI: Each participating organization will receive a minimum of $5,850 in direct capacity building and technical assistance. Based on previous program years and program reviews, we estimate this ROI to be higher. 

  • ACCEL Fundamentals Curriculum = $250
  • Weekly Individual Coaching Sessions = $2100
  • Weekly Individual Technical Assistance = $3500
  • Total = $5,850

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ACCEL ADVANCED (APPLY HERE)

ACCEL Advanced equips participants with in-depth knowledge of fundraising, marketing, and movement building. These tools are essential for organizational growth and resiliency, particularly in times of uncertainty and disruption. The course will begin on Tuesday, August 11th, and meet weekly for three months. For a full schedule, go here. In the interest of safety and flexibility, all sessions will be offered online. Because of the new approach, past Velocity and ACCEL graduates are also welcome to apply. 

Cost: For more information, please reach out to carmackp@forbesfunds.org)

Participantion includes:

  • A weekly 90-minute lecture with a Q/A Discussion at the end.
  • A 60-minute weekly small group coaching session
  • 15-minute technical assistance sessions (by appointment)
  • Each participant will get a virtual mentor
  • Each participant will also get up to 1 hour in additional consulting support from Derrick Feldmann
  • Each participant will graduate the course with a detailed fundraising strategy for the next year. We will review each plan and EOY campaign to offer feedback and support

Estimated ROI: Each participating organization will receive a minimum of $6,600 in direct capacity building and technical assistance. Based on previous program years and program reviews, we estimate this ROI to be higher. 

  • ACCEL Advanced Curriculum = $1,000
  • Weekly Individual Coaching Sessions = $2,100
  • Weekly Individual Technical Assistance = $3,500
  • Total = $6,600

Apply to ACCEL

Application: Applications must be submitted by July 31st. Please complete this application

Location:  Course sessions will be held online via Zoom.

Scholarships and Credits: Participants may be eligible for professional development credits upon completion. Please contact Preston Carmack at 541-908-1696 or carmackp@forbesfunds.org for additional information.

 

ACCEL Participant Site

Access the Participant Site 
Access ACCEL Resources

 


Testimonials

"providing non-profits like Bike Pittsburgh access to national fundraising expertise...completely transformed my fundraising communications strategy."

"I learned strategies to take our marketing and fundraising to the next level. The best part? These were strategies specifically designed for non-profits. Non-profits who are short on staff and hours in a day."

"All of the guesswork we had, all of that throwing spaghetti against the wall, it was now gone. I had the opportunity instead to focus all of my effort on creating the best campaign possible with the tools they gave us."

"I learned... how to talk less about the non-profit and more about the people we serve."

"We raised $20,000 more during our year-end campaign compared to the year prior."

"I joined [a cohort] with little to no knowledge of the best fundraising tactics, and left with a clear strategy. This program works."

 

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