Deborah L. Lukovich
"PNC showed me ways to save money, improve my cash flow and be smarter about my financials. I value PNC as a resource for my own business as well as my clients, because they are genuinely interested in my future and that of my community."
Empowering Schools and Nonprofits to Thrive
Although steadfastly committed to their mission and infinitely proud of the good they do, schools and nonprofits sometimes shy away from development efforts, says Deborah Lukovich, founder and president of alinea. Yet many organizations have found a cheerleader and advocate in Deborah and alinea, which helps them attract more resources by inspiring people with their stories, setting clear direction and strategically cultivating relationships with community members.
"We help schools and nonprofits develop a mindset of abundance, not scarcity, giving them the confidence to welcome people who are inspired to help," Deborah explains. "We empower these organizations to foster genuine relationships through clear articulation of their mission, goals and needs."
Deborah began alinea in 2004, when she realized that her fundraising expertise and experience in the private sector could have a real impact on the sustainability of nonprofits. "I found a gap in the marketplace for teaching and coaching small nonprofits on the basics of fund development," she explains. "I'm not talking about writing a fundraising plan; I'm talking about teaching staff people how to talk about their organization and what to say and do after someone tours their site." Two years later, Deborah expanded her team as requests came from schools concerned about sustainability. alinea's philosophy and empowering approach are detailed in Deborah's book, "The Secret to Better Schools: A New Mindset for Engaging the Community."
alinea grew quickly, with business doubling or tripling in each of its first five years through referrals and word of mouth. The company now serves clients nationwide. Deborah has spent the past two years expanding the company's infrastructure, positioning alinea to grow dramatically as schools and nonprofits continue to voice concerns about decreasing budgets.
Cultivating Genuine Relationships
Deborah follows her own advice, carefully nurturing relationships in her life and business. She attributes her career success to the support of a variety of mentors who have influenced her throughout the years, and she builds relationships with corporate partners to optimize her effectiveness in the community. She works with PNC, for example, on seminars for nonprofit decision-makers.
"PNC is extremely supportive of nonprofit organizations, understanding the need to build relationships and help them work toward their financial goals," say Deborah. "Together, we develop seminars to enlighten and empower the decision-makers of these organizations."
Deborah counts on PNC for her own financial needs as well. "After 20 years with my bank, I wasn't motivated to make a change until PNC showed me ways to save money, improve my cash flow and be smarter about my financials. I value PNC as a resource for my own business as well as my clients, because they are genuinely interested in my future and that of my community."