Our Clients Say it Best
CivicAIM has been an invaluable resource for Trellis Foundation in our evolution as a grantmaker. Erica brings the perfect combination of passion and practicality to address the challenges of organizational structure and capacity. Her own experience – as both a nonprofit leader and as a funder – contributes to a deeper understanding of how foundation practices can advance or impede the goals we seek to achieve.
Erica came highly recommended by a peer grantmaker of facilitating a board and its executive staff to develop a strategic plan. She is masterful at her craft and we certainly appreciated the close attention she has given the FCF Board, strategic planning committee and my role as the Foundation's inaugural executive director. Erica left us with a strategic roadmap that our team can further develop...with hard work and dedication, but also enjoyment.
Fayette Community Foundation
Erica did an exceptional job quickly assessing the needs of our Good Measure Steering Committee retreat on a very tight timeline. Her prior philanthropic experience/leadership brought instant credibility to the work and participants, which I was grateful for, as our organization was navigating internal transitions and new organizational priorities.
Mission Capital, backbone support to Good Measure funder collaborative
The Texas Grants Resource Center has partnered with Erica on several philanthropic projects over the years and her knowledge and expertise has been invaluable. Most recently Erica served as a guest speaker to our Community Partner Networking Program. Her insight on developing donor relations, tips on grantwriting and first-hand knowledge on grantmaking provided a wealth of practical and inspirational information for our nonprofit audience. We look forward to working with CivicAIM again.
Texas Grants Resource Center, The University of Texas at Austin
The One Skye Foundation had the pleasure of working with Erica related to our exploratory community discussions regarding the establishment of a Catalyst Fund in Austin to promote better collaborations amongst nonprofits. Erica joined our effort at a critical moment to help us gather community leaders and stakeholders to present our best practices findings and to have a conversation about the relevance of the Catalyst Fund concept in Austin. She created and promoted the event, from soup to nuts, and then helped us survey and gather feedback from the participants afterwards. Further, she established an ongoing communications mechanism to help us stay in touch with this curated community of nonprofit leaders and funders. The devil was in the details, and there is no doubt that Erica helped to wrestle that devil to the ground for us. However, perhaps her most important contribution is the way she went about this work– with expertise, grace, enthusiasm and professionalism. All added a significant amount of gravitas to our event, and overall efforts, and have since lead to our continuing success.
Ray Brimble, Trustee
One Skye Foundation
After over a decade of funding local education foundations throughout Texas, we were ready to share key lessons and progress of this funding initiative with our funder colleagues. Rather than take a spotlight approach, Erica was instrumental in designing a learning agenda that set priorities for the series of convenings we held across the state. From program design to engaging the right set of partners to facilitating the discussion, her approach was well planned and executed. She added value and objectivity to our vision of elevating awareness of our grant initiative. Because of this, we continue to partner with Erica and CivicAIM and highly recommend her counsel.
Texas Pioneer Foundation
Erica’s insight into social enterprise made the Meadows Social Enterprise Fellows program a success. She has real-world training in the challenges nonprofit organizations face when experimenting with new financial models, growing high-potential programs, reaching new audiences, and (not-so-simply) building organizational capacity. Erica asks questions that matter and shares knowledge that is useful. Her expertise in this field will be an asset to any project or organization seeking to make an impact.
The University of Texas at Austin - RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service
When I met Erica I was impressed with her openness as well as her attentive and responsive approach. She has proven to be an excellent asset to training Foundation Innovation's growing network of local education foundations across Texas. I am specifically impressed with her ability to bring an honest, yet high reaching perspective. She has led start-up foundations, empowered them to aspire, and encouraged their success.
Foundation Innovation, LLC
UWT needed a jump-start a new project while we staffed up. Erica was the ideal person to set us on the right path for this new effort. CivicAIM performed comprehensive research, went over-and-above on deliverables, and all in a timely way. Even after the project ended, she continued to reach back out when she ran across things that might be helpful for us, showing that not only is she good at producing work, but her heart is in the work, too! As we have additional consultant work in the future, CivicAIM will be the first we call.
United Ways of Texas
CivicAIM is a top-notch consulting firm. They are organized, thoughtful, thorough and incredibly personable. They also have an amazing grasp of the roles and responsibilities of foundations in advocacy and policy. Since 2013, CivicAIM has provided support and counsel. I look forward to collaborating with Erica and CivicAIM more times to come!
CivicAIM is our strategic counsel in giving and impact. We hired Erica to develop rigorous evaluation methods in our grantmaking. Erica is a great partner with whom to brainstorm, and her talents as a practitioner evolve the ideas into the day-by-day procedures necessary to produce healthy evaluation over time. Erica rolls her sleeves up and does what it takes to get the job done no matter how difficult or complicated it may look in the beginning.
We are grateful to Erica and CivicAIM for walking with us toward achieving positive and meaningful impact in a rural community. Erica challenges us and helps create space to imagine, to innovate, to approach everything as an opportunity for new insights and real possibilities. As we continue our journey, we know we have a competent and accessible partner for the long term.
The Stanzel Family Foundation, Inc
The Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation hired Erica Ekwurzel of CivicAIM to facilitate our weekend foundation retreat. This was a special board retreat as we were to decide whether the foundation would continue in perpetuity or spend out. Erica researched and uncovered pros and cons in our discussion that we had not considered. She was energetic and thoughtful throughout the process, giving each board member times to express their thoughts and pause for reflection. Her organizational skills and ability to keep all on track were exceptional.
Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation