BWF News
Minneapolis, Minn.—

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of BWF, the trusted partner to nonprofits across the United States and abroad. With four decades of growth, innovations, and success, BWF has helped thousands of organizations raise more money to further their missions.

Since the organization’s first client in 1983—the now-legendary Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island restoration project for which BWF helped raise over $315 million, far surpassing the original $200 million goal—to BWF’s expanded suite of predictive analytics and campaign insight tools through a partnership with IBM Watson, BWF has been a philanthropy innovator and fundraising data science trailblazer. There are many noteworthy milestones in BWF’s four decades of service to the philanthropic community.

“At BWF, we believe the nonprofit sector is essential to solving the world’s greatest challenges,” says Josh Birkholz, CEO. “Our purpose is to empower nonprofits while propelling them to what’s next.”

Founded in 1983 as Bentz, Whaley, Flessner & Associates, Inc., the organization initially focused on campaign planning and execution for higher ed clients. Today, the organization provides full-service counsel to education, health, NGOs, and arts & culture organizations across the United States and abroad that raise between $1 million and $5 billion+ annually. BWF has grown and adapted to continually meet and stay ahead of what nonprofits need to build capacity and reach—and exceed—their goals.

This anniversary year is marked by the largest team (80+ team members and growing) with the most specialization in BWF’s history. Team members bring deep expertise and track records of success in campaigns, strategic planning, annual giving, digital engagement, strategic communications, engagement science, systems implementation, business intelligence, and prospect development. Annually, BWF works on 250+ projects for 200+ clients. That annual work includes building 100 predictive models, conducting 40 surveys, and providing campaign counsel for campaigns totaling more than $20 billion.

BWF is poised for continued growth in the years ahead. That growth includes expanded service offerings, developing more strategic partnerships, expansion beyond fundraising, and a commitment to creating a high-performing culture with DEI implemented throughout all aspects of the organization.

Looking to the future, Birkholz notes, “The impact we make today is thanks to years of growth, team building, strategic planning, service advancement, and pushing the envelope. Our sights are set on being the premier accelerator of philanthropy, helping to raise the sights of organizations that are sparking innovation and making transformative changes and inspiring action.”

For more information, contact Allison Gannon.