Blogs

Do Your Colleagues Inspire You?

You will meet many colleagues in the nonprofit business. If you are extremely fortunate, you will maintain relationships with valued colleagues for a number of years. Besides just going to and from work each day, I encourage you to meet and engage with colleagues. When you do, your knowledge expands greatly...

Revisiting the Lowly Postcard

Earlier this year, I received a postcard mailing from the Share and Care Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in New Jersey. In just four panels (one of which was the address panel), the postcard tackled one of those funding needs that make many fundraisers cringe—toilets...

Be Coachable for Nonprofit Success

“You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love,” said renowned chef and cooking instructor Julia Child. You and I love nonprofit work—and especially fundraising. Therefore, we should be lifelong learners and coachable. According to Webster’s, coachable is "capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better."...

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

You will meet many colleagues in the nonprofit business. If you are extremely fortunate, you will maintain relationships with valued colleagues for a number of years. Besides just going to and from work each day, I encourage you to meet and engage with colleagues. When you do, your knowledge expands greatly...

“You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love,” said renowned chef and cooking instructor Julia Child. You and I love nonprofit work—and especially fundraising. Therefore, we should be lifelong learners and coachable. According to Webster’s, coachable is "capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better."...

I remember working for a social services agency where the social workers would often say to me, "I could never do what you do." I’d reply, "Back at you!" Each of us thought the other person’s talent was a mystery because we’d never learned it. And we’d never wanted to learn it. I also remember board members, sitting in a fundraising training I was facilitating and saying, "I could never ask for a major gift as well as you do."...

Direct Marketing

Earlier this year, I received a postcard mailing from the Share and Care Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in New Jersey. In just four panels (one of which was the address panel), the postcard tackled one of those funding needs that make many fundraisers cringe—toilets...

Since 2006, NonProfit PRO has held a competition for the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. This year's competition opened last week. If you’re with a nonprofit or agency (or know someone who is), and you’ve achieved some stellar results, it's time to get the ball rolling. Why should you submit your campaigns? Because great work deserves to be seen and rewarded...

There are 142 days left in 2016. That sounds like a lot, and it is if you start thinking about year-end direct response fundraising now. But if you wait, there’s a good chance you will leave money on the table because of missed opportunities and no time to give it your best effort. For those of you who want to enjoy the holidays knowing that you’ve done all you can to maximize the income your nonprofit will receive, here are some things to work into your planning...

Development

Gift cards used as recognition are like wiregrass in my fescue, like a dog’s butt on my favorite pillow, like white zinfandel being the only wine served. There is so much wrong with using gift cards as recognition, and actually as gifts in any regard, that it’s hard to even know where to start chewing on the issue. I always have known it was wrong...

There is a friendly debate going on between a major gift officer, with a great deal of experience, and me. The subject is about the use of receipt returns in major gifts—that tiny, tear-off "coupon" that is attached to the official receipt that goes to a donor...

As a capital campaign consultant and coach, I’ve doled out lots of advice over the years. A few tips recur again and again. They always seem fresh, pertinent and important. These tips are more about human nature than they are about fundraising. But then, great fundraising is more about human nature than it is about money...

Data Management

The problem with the ease of communicating these days is, well, we talk too much! And too often, we aren’t really communicating with people who really want to engage in that particular conversation at that particular time. Before you move into the busy last four months of the year, take time to consider your donor audience...

I have two teenage sons, both in superb physical condition. As their mother, I feel empowered to set them to mowing grass, painting, sealing the driveway and other character-building tasks whenever I see them in repose. Likewise, it’s fun to put the bright young minds at Turnkey to work in similar fashion. A frequent object of my "what do you think" spotlight is Julian May. He suffers from the ability to write, which makes him a target. I asked him, "In your mind what’s the most important thing right now in peer-to-peer fundraising?"...

I can remember the day just like it was yesterday—that dreaded moment when my director of development approached me and said: “We need you to get an appeal out. And it should have gone out last week.” To provide context, I was a mere two weeks into my job and had been pulled off task so frequently that I still had no idea what this particular organization had done in terms of past grants...

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...

E-Philanthropy

Donald Trump has risen to power; as of last night, he is the Republican nominee for the president of the United States. To some, inexplicable. According to the mechanics of the human mind, however, perfectly reasonable...

With more than 1 billion websites across the digital landscape, we know there are some elements that are mandatory for effective web experiences...

Social media is one of the powerful tools that fundraisers have sitting in their back pockets. At no cost to the nonprofit or to the participant, powerful fundraising messages can be communicated to the participant’s personal network. This includes many potential supporters that the fundraiser may not have been comfortable contacting directly. Additionally, this is an effective method for increasing the visibility of both the nonprofit and the participant’s upcoming event...