News & Insights

Wednesday, January 01,2020

What I've Learned from 15 Years Serving Clients

January 1, 2020—As the Winkler Group turns 15 years old this year, I wanted to share with you a list of lessons I've learned while serving the clients that we are so grateful for.  Honor the Lord in all we do.  Always be proactive in seeking ways to improve. Daily. What excites me the most, after 15 years, is that we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible. Sometimes giving honest counsel costs us business, but I can sleep well at night. I dream about where our firm will be in 1, 3, and 10 years. Our firm is not... Read More

Posted by: Timothy M. Winkler, Sr., MA, CFRE on Wednesday, January 01,2020

Sunday, December 01,2019

Do You See Disney in Our Logo?

December 1, 2019—“Are you associated with Disney World, or do you work for them?”  Someone asked me that at a conference years ago.  I was taken aback at first, but then I started thinking about it.  I laugh about it now but am also grateful because his legitimate question provided the opportunity to share what our logo actually stood for, as well as the story behind it. Not surprisingly, the general appearance of our logo is that of a capital W.  But it goes far beyond a simple letter. When we worked with the graphic designer during... Read More

Posted by: Timothy M. Winkler, Sr., M.A., CFRE on Sunday, December 01,2019

Wednesday, November 13,2019

Winkler Group Joins Florida Leaders to Tackle Independent Schools’ Pressing Issues

November 13, 2019—Winkler Group Senior Consultant Sarah Evans Sprinkle was part of a panel at the Florida Council of Independent Schools annual convention with Jay Goulart, the Gulliver Schools' Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and Eric Zaytzeff, Trinity Preparatory School’s Director of Advancement. With top school leaders from across the state, the panel led a lively discussion about the financial lifeblood of every independent school. Building a culture of philanthropy in schools was a clear priority for heads of schools, directors... Read More

Posted by: on Wednesday, November 13,2019

Tuesday, October 01,2019

WG CEO Shares Alarming, Yet Optimistic Trends from the Field of Philanthropy

October 1, 2019—To a sold-out audience of fundraising professionals, Winkler Group founder and CEO Tim Winkler shared his reaction to this year's Giving USA data and some trends his firm's consultants are seeing in the field.     His talk to the AFP Lowcountry audience centered around 2018's increase in total giving, but Mr. Winkler cautioned against focusing only on the increase.  Giving, when adjusted for inflation, actually declined in 2018.  And for the first time, giving by individuals fell below 70% of total... Read More

Posted by: on Tuesday, October 01,2019

Sunday, September 01,2019

Winkler Group Expands; Opens Bluffton Office

Charleston — As the Winkler Group celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, two veteran fundraisers, Richard Guarino and Meghan Burgess, join the team. Together, they have raised more than $300 million leading capital campaigns and advancement offices for universities and nonprofit organizations.  “The Winkler Group’s commitment to our clients is exemplified by the addition of Rick and Meghan. They understand what it means to inspire philanthropy,” says Tim Winkler, founder and CEO.  Mr. Guarino will lead the Winkler Group’s... Read More

Posted by: on Sunday, September 01,2019

Thursday, August 01,2019

New Year, New Opportunities for Three Independent Schools

The Winkler Group is proud to congratulate three of our independent school clients that exceeded their capital campaign goals over the summer!  The big milestones they crossed—and their hard work and dedication—will enhance their students’ educational experience.  Read how these campaigns are transforming these schools: Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee Transforming Stories, the largest and most forward-looking project in the school’s history, has raised over $16 million.  Through the campaign, CPA will expand... Read More

Posted by: Sarah Evans Sprinkle, Senior Consultant on Thursday, August 01,2019

Thursday, July 18,2019

We mourn the loss of Molly F. Greene, Water Mission co-founder

Our prayers go out to the Greene family and Water Mission organization. Molly was an incredible friend to the Winkler Group and everyone she met. We mourn with our community this tragic loss.    From Tim Winkler, Founder and CEO of the Winkler Group: "Our hearts are broken. Water Mission was the Winkler Group's first client. Over the years, we have been privileged to work with them on many occasions, and they have become dear personal friends. Please join us in praying for the entire Greene family."    Water Mission's... Read More

Posted by: on Thursday, July 18,2019

Monday, July 01,2019

Philanthropy's Ties to Our Nation's Birth

The founders of our country built more than just a new nation.  They pioneered a new concept...philanthropy.  In honor of Independence Day, the Winkler Group honors Benjamin Franklin's contributions to fundraising and the lessons that still ring true today.    In 1751, Benjamin Franklin’s long-time friend, Dr. Thomas Bond, recognized that Philadelphia needed a facility to care for the poor and the sick.  Europe had hospitals; America did not.  Bond knew that he needed a respected and popular person to lead the effort, so he... Read More

Posted by: Lee Mikell, Senior Consultant on Monday, July 01,2019

Tuesday, June 18,2019

Giving USA 2019: Is the Boom Over?

Written by Jessica Browning, Winkler Group Principal and EVP and member of Giving USA Editorial Board.  Giving USA 2019 was released today.  Here are our key takeaways from the highly anticipated report on philanthropic giving in America.   Takeaway 1: Get Ready for a Slowdown? While 2018 giving increased in current dollars to $422.71 billion, there was a $1.7% decrease in inflation-adjusted giving.  In addition, every key metric measured by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) was down for the first quarter of 2019. What’s... Read More

Posted by: Jessica Browning on Tuesday, June 18,2019

Saturday, June 01,2019

Coming Soon: Giving USA Editorial Board Perspectives

The much-anticipated release of Giving USA 2019 is Tuesday, June 18.  Two Winkler Group principals are members of the Giving USA Editorial Review Board, so we will be ready with analysis and key takeaways.     Jessica Browning, principal and EVP, served as this year's lead chapter reviewer for Giving to Foundations and chapter reviewer for Giving to Environment and Animals.  Jim Bush, principal and president, was recently named to the Editorial Review Board.  The Winkler Group is a member of the Giving Institute,... Read More

Posted by: on Saturday, June 01,2019

Monday, May 06,2019

Winkler Group CEO Earns Masters Degree

Tim Winkler, Founder and CEO, received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Columbia Biblical Seminary last Saturday.  The graduation coincides with Winkler's recent announcement that he will take a two-year sabbatical in 2020. He and his wife Deborah will serve as missionaries in Ecuador.  Managing the firm during this time will be an established and expanded leadership team headed by Jim Bush, Principal and President, and Jessica Browning, Principal and Executive Vice President.  Both have been serving clients and guiding the firm’s... Read More

Posted by: on Monday, May 06,2019

Thursday, April 18,2019

Winkler Group Announces Leadership Team Promotions, Sabbatical, and Firm Expansion

Charleston, April 18, 2019–The Winkler Group, a leading campaign consulting firm with offices in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, today announced the promotion of veteran consultant Jim Bush to Principal and President. A thought leader in the field of philanthropy, Bush’s fundraising career includes numerous executive leadership roles spanning nearly 30 years.  He has held leadership positions at Blackbaud, Omatic Software, the YMCA, and is a former nonprofit executive director.  A highly sought-after speaker, Bush regularly... Read More

Posted by: on Thursday, April 18,2019

Friday, April 05,2019

WG Leads AFP Campaign Workshop

Winkler Group Principal Jim Bush and Senior Consultant Courtenay Fain last week co-presented "Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign?" to an audience of AFP Members.  They covered new ways to increase board involvement in fundraising, the importance of moves management, and what to do now to get ready for a campaign down the road. Mr. Bush has been named best speaker at numerous national and international conferences.   Ms. Fain is a recognized leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector and a past president of the Association of Fundraising... Read More

Posted by: on Friday, April 05,2019

Friday, March 15,2019

Winkler Group Opens Charlotte Office

The Winkler Group has expanded to North Carolina; Rex Otey, a career nonprofit fundraiser with nearly 30 years of experience, will lead the firm’s new Charlotte office.  Mr. Otey brings substantial development knowledge to Winkler Group Clients.  He has raised more than $70 million for universities, independent schools, churches, and nonprofits.  He is the former Vice President of Development for Catawba College, where he led the college’s $46 million campaign and overhauled the college’s annual giving program to exceed its $1.2 million... Read More

Posted by: on Friday, March 15,2019

Friday, March 01,2019

Crowdfunding's Gruesome Origins

Crowdfunding is not new.  It can be traced back 156 years to one of the darkest times in our nation’s history. Today, small contributors can raise large sums of money for a particular purpose with ease thanks to the Internet. But the first crowdfunding project actually occurred in 1863…long before the world wide web.    It was then that crowds of ordinary people were asked to voluntarily contribute to a project of national importance:  the medical care of soldiers on the battlefield and their transition back home. During the... Read More

Posted by: Lee Mikell, Senior Consultant on Friday, March 01,2019

Tuesday, February 26,2019

2018 Giving Results: Don’t Be Fooled by the Increase

Charitable giving was up once again in 2018; however, the numbers should be a wake-up call to everyone in development and advancement. Giving in 2018 was up 1.6% over the prior year.  But remember, it increased by 8% in 2017. The increase in giving came from gifts of $1,000 and above (which rose 2.6% over 2017).  The number of gifts below $1,000 fell by 4%.  Philanthropy leaders expected mid- and low-level gifts to decrease after the new 2017 tax law increased the standard deduction threshold. According to the Tax Policy Center, 8% of households now... Read More

Posted by: on Tuesday, February 26,2019

Saturday, February 02,2019

WG Leads Two Sessions at SUNY Conference

Winkler Group Principal Jim Bush and Senior Managing Consultant Nikki Rach were featured presenters at the SUNY Community College Chief Advancement Officers conference in Latham, New York, last month.  Designed to bring together college presidents, foundation board members, and advancement staff, the conference was an opportunity to share best practices in fundraising for two-year colleges.   Mr. Bush presented "When Campaigns go Sideways," a lighthearted look at overcoming the unexpected challenges that arise during any... Read More

Posted by: on Saturday, February 02,2019

Thursday, January 17,2019

Lessons from America’s First Hospital Capital Campaign

As we begin a new year, it’s the perfect time to look back even as we look ahead.  Philanthropy in America is as old as America itself, and it’s one of our country’s greatest strengths. Come with us as we recount the first hospital campaign—one that was launched even before we declared our independence.  We think you’ll find inspiration in its familiar lessons.   Our story begins in Philadelphia with the Founding Father who displayed his American authenticity by wearing a coonskin cap among European royalty . . .... Read More

Posted by: Lee Mikell, Senior Consultant on Thursday, January 17,2019

Monday, December 03,2018

Your Annual Fund And Capital Campaign Should Be Partners, Not Competitors

The holidays are here, and excitement is buzzing as we set-up decorations, visit our loved ones, find the perfect gift, and snap the family holiday card. But all this holiday cheer is also coupled with sheer exhaustion. In the season of giving, are we asking our donors to give to too many initiatives, particularly if we’re in a campaign?  And how do we make sure our capital campaign doesn’t cannibalize our annual giving—the lifeblood of most organizations? In this month’s blog, we’ll prove the symbiotic relationship between annual... Read More

Posted by: Sarah Evans, Senior Consultant for the Winkler Group on Monday, December 03,2018

Thursday, November 01,2018

Can Football Teach Us How to be Better Fundraisers?

It's the most wonderful time of the football season.  One simple lesson from my own college football days has stuck with me all these years, and it's one that applies as much to fundraising as it does to football.  One of my teammates had a vintage cotton liner that he wore all the time.  I don't know where he found it, but the words written on it were powerful: Hit. Tackle. Block.  I still remember this slogan because of how it simply and accurately described what winning football teams do. Even to this day, with... Read More

Posted by: Tim Winkler, Founder and CEO of the Winkler Group on Thursday, November 01,2018