SEPTEMBER 2017

Announcing the 2018 Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has issued a call for submissions and nominations for the 2018 Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy. Authors of published research works on fundraising and philanthropy are invited to submit a book or monograph of 50 or more pages or a peer-reviewed article. Works must be published by a commercial publishing house or a professional organization between December 1, 2015, and November 1, 2017.

Cash awards of up to $3,000 will be presented to the winner(s) of the competition, who will be introduced at the AFP Board meeting prior to the AFP International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans in April 2017.

Click here for more information and a submission form.


Skystone Welcomes Contemporary Arts Center as a Returning Client

Skystone Partners is proud to welcome back Contemporary Arts Center as our client. We were privileged to help the Center with two previous campaigns, including its $25 million effort to build a new facility in Cincinnati. Completed in 2003, that campaign far exceeded its original goal, raising $34 million. The New York Times called the new facility “the most important American building to be completed since the end of the Cold War.” We are excited to renew our relationship with this renowned organization and look forward to another productive engagement!  

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Welcomes Two Female Gorillas

Exciting news from our client Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! To help commemorate the inaugural World Gorilla Day on September 24, the Zoo welcomed two female gorillas, Freddy and Kebi. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a leader in gorilla population management and husbandry and has conducted groundbreaking research in the field. We are honored to be part of the Zoo’s ongoing comprehensive campaign and congratulate them on their newest arrivals!

Zoo Knoxville Receives Major Grant

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Congratulations to our client Zoo Knoxville, which received a $500,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant will support the Zoo’s $13 million campaign to create a reptile and amphibian center that will improve the educational and interpretive experiences of visitors. Of the 132 organizations receiving awards through this highly competitive process, only a handful received more than $500,000. Others included the San Diego Zoo and Ford’s Theatre. Kudos are indeed in order for this incredible accomplishment!

National Philanthropy Day

Skystone Partners will help celebrate National Philanthropy Day on November 9 by joining AFP colleagues at a Cincinnati Music Hall event titled “Coming Together for our Community.” It’s an important day that recognizes the profound difference philanthropy makes in our lives, and we hope you celebrate it with your own colleagues.

Sneak Previews

​Recently Skystone Partners became a new member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Over the past five years we have served five different zoos, and we hope to embark on a new venture with the AZA. Stay tuned!

 Also, keep your eyes peeled for our new digital tool that promises to help you better retain and inspire donors. More to come in our next issue.



may 2017

Zoo Knoxville Secures $5 million and Dream Wilder Campaign Casts Vision for the Future

Randy and Jenny Boyd, longtime supporters of Zoo Knoxville, have pledged $5 million to the Dream Wilder Campaign.  In their honor, the first project of the Campaign has been named the Boyd Family Asian Trek.  This gift, the largest from an individual in the Zoo’s history, allows for the addition of new species to the Zoo and the creation of natural habitats unlike anything else in the Zoo currently.

The Boyd Family Asian Trek is the first addition to the Zoo as part of the $30 million Dream Wilder Campaign.  In addition to the new Asian-themed habitat, the Zoo will add a much-anticipated new Reptile Education Center, a new habitat for the river otters closer to the Zoo’s entrance, and a café and restrooms. 

“We are humbled that Randy and Jenny have shown their dedication to the Zoo and to the East Tennessee region by making this historic gift,” said Tim Williams, one of the co-chairs of the Dream Wilder Campaign and immediate past president of the Zoo Knoxville Board of Directors. 

“Dream Wilder will allow the Zoo to update its aging infrastructure and a catalyst to the revitalization of the Magnolia Avenue corridor,” Board Chairman Eddie Mannis stated.  “The Zoo has seen record attendance in the past few years with more than 470,000 people visiting each year, half of whom are tourists to the area.  Completion of these projects sets the Zoo firmly on the path to 800,000 annual visitors—our ultimate goal.  That will equal an economic impact of nearly $60 million for the local community.”

Tiger Forest, the first phase of Boyd Family Asian Trek, opened April 8 and allowed thousands of visitors to have their first glimpse of Arya, the Zoo’s new Malayan Tiger.  Zoo Knoxville will have the capacity for six such tigers as part of the American Zoological Association’s Species Survival Plan. 

“Zoo Knoxville is proud to be part of a special effort to breed these endangered animals.  To have this dynamic facility to showcase the animals and the work we are doing is a great honor,” said Lisa New, the Zoo’s President and CEO.


​​​Announcing the 2017 AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy

Skystone Partners is proud to announce that Dr. Lilya Wagner has won this year’s AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy for her outstanding book, Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving (Praeger 2016). Dr. Wagner becomes the first author to receive the award twice, having already been honored for her earlier work, Careers in Fundraising.

Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving, described as “excellent” by the AFP Research Committee, examines an increasingly important phenomenon: the intersection of philanthropy and diversity and how different populations and traditions are changing the very notions of giving, volunteering and charitable engagement. What makes the volume so distinctive is that Wagner’s work is based on both research and practice and brings together specialists from various countries who provide personal perspectives which explain the preferences for generosity.

Each year, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Partners Prize for Research to the author or authors of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior. The award is made possible by an endowment established by Skystone Partners through the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy to encourage advanced research that extends the knowledge of fundraising and philanthropy.

Wagner is director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions, an internal consulting group for a system of North American church-related organizations ranging from health care, educational, and community service providers. In addition to her extensive experience in fundraising, she is a long-time faculty member of The Fund Raising School, is on the philanthropic studies faculty of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and teaches graduate courses for St. Mary’s University in Minnesota. AFP presented the Skystone Partners Prize for Research at its board meeting before the 54th AFP International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco on April 29
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Welcome New Clients!

Skystone Partners is proud to welcome Aviatra Accelerators, Per Scholas, and The New School Montessori as new clients this month.  We are excited for the opportunity to work with these organizations on projects such as campaign studies, major gift program development, and board development and executive coaching.  

February 2017


Skystone Partners client TMS Foundation is proud to announce the addition of Andrea McKinty Holland as its new Development Officer.  Andrea formerly served the American Cancer Society, Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and Allegheny College in senior development positions. Skystone Partners was honored to conduct the search that successfully brought Andrea to TMS Foundation!

Delta Zeta FoundationTo Walk TRULY in the Light of the Flame Campaign passes the $3 million mark... and ahead of schedule.  With a total goal of $3.5 million, the campaign supports the newly developed Member Development program, and expanded leadership and educational opportunities for collegians. ​

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