Blogs

Take a Vacation! (And Do It Right)

Many nonprofit executives are lucky if they can spend 10 percent of their work year on vacation. This 10 percent could easily affect the 90 percent left on the job. Be sure to take your vacation and try to take it the right way. How? Focus on body, mind and spirit...

What My Parents Taught Me About Fundraising, Part 2

Last week, I mentioned some phrases my parents had said often (it seemed ad nauseam when I was a teen) that, in hindsight, I’ve realized relate to fundraising. Here are a few more “mom-isms” and “dad-isms” that constituted my earliest training in fundraising, whether I knew it then or not...

It’s Not About the Money—Again

Fundraising is about people, not money. Not that well-meaning organizations don’t continue to make it about money—all the time. Because they do. This truth was on stellar display recently when The Wall Street Journal reported that Duke University had filed a lien on the estate of oil magnate and Duke alumnus, Aubrey McClendon, for the balance of unfulfilled pledges amounting to about $10 million....

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

Many nonprofit executives are lucky if they can spend 10 percent of their work year on vacation. This 10 percent could easily affect the 90 percent left on the job. Be sure to take your vacation and try to take it the right way. How? Focus on body, mind and spirit...

We are working with a client who is undergoing a CEO transition. Over the past two years, this organization had invested in a master planning process and also an extensive strategic planning process. When asked if it should pause while searching for a new CEO, our response was an emphatic "No!"...

If football coaches do not recruit well, their teams will not have winning seasons. In the nonprofit world, a losing fiscal year could mean a reduction in programs, services and staff. If you have too many losing fiscal years, you could end up looking for another position at another nonprofit...

Development

Last week, I mentioned some phrases my parents had said often (it seemed ad nauseam when I was a teen) that, in hindsight, I’ve realized relate to fundraising. Here are a few more “mom-isms” and “dad-isms” that constituted my earliest training in fundraising, whether I knew it then or not...

Fundraising is about people, not money. Not that well-meaning organizations don’t continue to make it about money—all the time. Because they do. This truth was on stellar display recently when The Wall Street Journal reported that Duke University had filed a lien on the estate of oil magnate and Duke alumnus, Aubrey McClendon, for the balance of unfulfilled pledges amounting to about $10 million....

Do you have a plan in place to meet your year-end fundraising goals? Just imagine: The average nonprofit raises more than 40 percent of its annual revenue during the last quarter of the calendar year. Start getting ready for year-end fundraising with the following tips you can start implementing now...

Direct Marketing

While many nonprofit peer-to-peer programs have been able to connect with the Millennial audience based on school or institution structures, the audience often does not often transition to post-academia participation. Why is that?...

The end of the year will be here before you know it! Are you working on your year-end appeal? Crafting fundraising appeals and end-of-year campaigns is not rocket science, but you do have to adhere to certain guidelines if you want to achieve blastoff. So, here come some guidelines!...

Understanding our audience members and their motivations is important to successfully recruiting them to support our causes. Born in 1980 or later, Millennials are the first generation of digital natives; at about the time they entered high school, the internet became a public space. Half of this group, age 26 and younger, entered high school with social media, first Myspace and then Facebook...

Data Management

Creating a donor profile is one of the most illuminating things you’ll ever do—and my first step in working with most new clients. It’s only when you truly can envision the individual you’re writing to that you’ll find your overall writing—from your appeals, to your emails, to your website copy—will take on a deeper, more personal approach...

Recently, a United Way agency asked our organization to participate in a several-hour-long audit session. While the event was very structured, it also was conversational in approach. It provided a wonderful forum for our organizational members to evaluate how an outside organization perceives us, and for us to test our systems, processes and performance standards...

The better you get at asking for major gifts before you plan a capital campaign, the more successful your campaign is likely to be. And, of course, the more money you’ll raise year-in and year-out. Here are three tips to keep in mind when approaching a donor for a big gift...

E-Philanthropy

Collecting—whether business cards, followers on Twitter, "likes" on Facebook or first-time donors—is meaningless without a strategy to turn those relatively blank connections into meaningful, lasting relationships. If your marketing and/or fundraising strategy is based on collecting and counting, it’s time to rethink this strategy...

If you are a leader in higher education, independent schools or any nonprofit, you need to be on social media personally, especially if your role includes fundraising. Why? A key part of your role is to nurture relationships. If your board members, donors and prospective donors are engaged in social media, then you need to be as well...

Crowdfunding has changed the face of disaster/emergency fundraising. It offers a way for people worldwide to offer monetary assistance to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is hosted on platforms that the nonprofit does not have to own or run, thus taking away a lot of logistical details that can bog down an emergency response. But crowdfunding brings with it a new set of challenges to be addressed...

Sectors

Give Kids the World Village, (GKWV) is a nonprofit situated on a "79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families." Since 1986, more than 146,000 children and their families have come to the resort to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions. But until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of it...

Last week, I went home to West Virginia, but I did not expect to drive right into a 1,000-year flood. Disaster hit my home state in a big way. That said, what impressed me the most when seeing the flooded areas was how West Virginians are working very hard to survive in any way possible...

The payday loan industry generates $11 billion in revenue. It is also a hated, predatory sector that uses its size to influence legislation in order to keep it alive and growing. It goes where banks are afraid to tread and preys on the "unbanked"—nearly one-third of the U.S. population is "unbanked" or "underbanked." That’s a lot of people in need of affordable financial services. Much of this population is also the population that the nonprofit sector serves...