A Tribute to David Letterman: The Dunleavy Top 10

David Letterman

Say it ain’t so, Dave!

After a nearly 22-year run, David Letterman will be making his final sign-off on the Late Show tonight on CBS. It’s been an incredible run: Combined with his previous time spent on Late Night, Letterman’s more than 30 years as a talk show host surpasses even that of Johnny Carson.

The Dunleavy & Associates team has many big-time Letterman fans among its ranks, and we couldn’t let this occasion pass without notice. In honor of David’s signature Top Ten List, we created a list of our own to highlight the “Top Ten Ways that Dunleavy Makes a Difference.”

We may not have the side-splitting writers of the Late Show, but the Dunleavy & Associates team is still very proud of the work that we do to support all of our fantastic clients and their missions. So without further ado…

The Top Ten Ways that Dunleavy Makes a Difference

10. We’re professionals with experience

Dunleavy & Associates’ 14 team members have more than 150 years of combined experience working in the nonprofit sector (that’s as many as five Lettermans!). This includes positions in organizations large and small, for profit and nonprofit, with a variety of missions and services. We love matching the experience of our team members with the needs of our clients.

9. We’re professionals who care

At Dunleavy & Associates, we mean it when we say “Our Mission Is Your Mission.” Some people finish the 9-to-5 workday and forget about their job while watching … ahem, late night television. But our employees are passionate about the nonprofit clients they serve, always going the extra mile, even after typical working hours.

8. We’re professionals who teach

In many cases, our clients hire us to fill a knowledge or skills gap that exists in their organization. We see it as our job not to just fill that gap temporarily, but to pass along our know-how to the client so that their nonprofit is stronger after our relationship ends. To use the old saying, we don’t just bring the fish, we teach you to fish, too!

7. We’re professionals who learn

We’re happy that Letterman will retire on his terms and get to relax after a successful career. But Dunleavy & Associates never rests on its laurels! Just as we teach our clients, we also know the value of learning new methods and strategies from them. Our employees also pursue continuing education opportunities to make sure they stay on top of what it takes for nonprofits to succeed in 2015.

6. We’re professionals who are honest

When a client hires Dunleavy & Associates, they’re getting more than just an extra employee. They also get a strategic partner who will be honest in her analysis and help you make the important decisions.

5. Our clients get capacity

There’s no better feeling than taking a bit of burden off your shoulders. When capacity is stretched thin, it can be difficult to find an individual with the exact skill set needed to help with the load. The multi-talented Dunleavy roster can handle any responsibility, giving clients the confidence to tackle bigger problems.

4. Our clients get talent

Letterman is one of the all time greats of late night. Our goal is to be the all-time great of nonprofit services. Our team members wear many hats and are flexible, mobile, and responsive. We may not get the glamour of showbiz, but we get the reward of making a difference, and that’s plenty.

3. Our clients get change

Our clients don’t just get short-term solutions. Dunleavy & Associates team members help to institute meaningful change so that clients are stronger organizations after our services are completed. We do upgrades, not band-aids.

2. Our clients get commitment and connections

The Dunleavy team is proud of our activities outside the office: Our average employee donates $1,000 and 100 hours of her time each year to nonprofit causes, and many team members hold leadership positions in a variety of regional organizations. It’s a reflection of how much we care, and has the added benefit of growing our professional networks and experience, which we pass on to our clients.

And the number one way that Dunleavy makes a difference for our clients…

Drum roll please…


This is an idea Letterman could certainly get on board with.

At the end of the day, the nonprofit industry is one that’s all about passion. But stress and budgets and reviews can suck the joy out of the job. Our team members love helping to make a difference, not only for a client’s constituents, but also for its employees. We’re all in this together, and nothing makes us feel better than using our time, energy and abilities to relieve the burdens of our clients and seeing them get them excited about changing the world again.

David Letterman has truly made a difference in the lives of the tens of millions he’s entertained over three decades on the air. We’re not at those numbers just yet, but with the help of our current and future clients, we’ll get there.

Thanks for your support and don’t forget to watch David Letterman in action one last time, tonight on CBS at 11:35 p.m.

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How can our nonprofit leverage the social media networks of volunteers?

Brittany Alba

By Brittany Alba

The word “exponential” sure gets tossed around a lot these days. It seems to have become a favorite catchword of companies and businesses looking to generate excitement around a particular product or growth opportunity, regardless of whether the math actually checks out.

On social media, there’s no denying the exponential potential for nonprofits to grow their support base. And that’s because every volunteer plugged into social media has the ability to introduce dozens, even hundreds of their own followers to your organization with the click of a mouse. The only question is, how to make it happen?

Best practices are a bit of a mix between old and new techniques. One golden rule certainly holds true: “People give to people, not to organizations.” But networks like Facebook and Twitter advance this one step further: People give even more to people they know.

One of the best tactics a nonprofit can use on social media is to promote a story or blog post about a volunteer in their organization. Dunleavy client Angel Flight East, a nonprofit that provides free flights for those who need distant medical treatments, has done this to great effect. The organization’s Facebook page is full of posts about its volunteer pilots and constituents, and the unique relationships they share.

While such volunteer spotlights have long been a staple of nonprofit print communications, posting them on social media offers the unique benefit of tagging the individuals involved, so that they can easily share the story with their network. Privacy should be respected wherever necessary — especially in cases involving medical issues — but a nonprofit’s communications manager can help volunteers feel more at ease taking the spotlight by prompting them to follow the organization’s social media accounts well before ever asking them to be featured on it.

Social media also opens the door to new, creative ways to highlight the work of volunteers. A great example of this occurred at Community Partnership School, a nonprofit school with a mission to provide high-quality education to low-income families in North Philadelphia. A longtime classroom volunteer overheard a Pre-K teacher remark about how she wished she had more booster seats, so that more children could participate in field trips.

Amazingly, the volunteer went right out and bought twelve new booster seats for the teacher, and a short Facebook post documenting the act performed incredibly well on Facebook. This was a perfect example of how a single photo and a few words about one individual introduced hundreds of new people to the good work of the school and its volunteers. And it doesn’t just have to be volunteers: A brief introduction of a new board member can quickly circulate around that individual’s well-connected circle.

Even if your organization’s social media pages are still fledgling, you should not be deterred in implementing new social media efforts. By spotlighting volunteers or even constituents, you can rapidly introduce the people in their networks to your organization and grow your following.

This was recently the case after our firm helped bolster the social media efforts of CORA Services, a nonprofit that helps youth and families overcome a variety of life challenges. By posting several times a week and tagging volunteers, the page’s following grew nearly 25 percent in just a few months. And while that’s not quite exponential growth just yet, it’s certainly a meaningful advance toward the organization’s full potential reach.

About the author: Brittany Alba is a Project Manager with Dunleavy & Associates, and has worked with clients across the education, human services, and community development sectors. She specializes in media relations, graphic design, market research, and event planning, and has embraced her role helping the firm and its clients find new ways to raise funds in the digital age.


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