Tim Burchill, executive director of The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Winona, Minn.-based St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, says the ethical challenges that nonprofit organizations face in regards to fundraising can be broken down into seven categories. 1. Tainted money. Burchill says this category is a media favorite. While some organizations restrict who they’ll take funds from — e.g., Mothers Against Drunk Driving won’t take money from alcohol companies; American Cancer Society won’t take money from tobacco companies; etc. — many other groups don’t make such distinctions. Burchill says there is no money that is inherently bad, but each organization needs to
Donor Relationship Management
I took a seat in the Grand Ballroom in the Waldorf=Astoria on the second day of the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s 2006 New York Nonprofit Conference in early August with my coffee and bagel just as Heath Slawner began his general session on the power of influence. Slawner’s presentation shed light on the topic of influence and ethics in a fresh, new way that had me on the edge of my seat even before the coffee had a chance to kick in. A partner at Montreal-based training and development firm Hart Resource Development, Slawner outlined six principles of ethical influence developed by Dr. Robert B.
If you have a gnawing sensation in the pit of your stomach, you just might be doing something unethical. So says Elizabeth Schmidt, president of nonprofit management consulting firm Southpoint Social Strategies and professor of nonprofit law and practice at the College of William and Mary Law School. Schmidt says conflicts of interest having to do with board members are very common in the nonprofit world, e.g., board members doing business with the organization where they stand to make a financial gain. She stresses that the entire board should always be aware that a board member (or an organization affiliated with a board
The wonders of online marketing give nonprofits the ability to reach out to millions of potential donors. But organizations seeking major and planned gifts often struggle with prioritizing the large amounts of data that result. It’s no great surprise that, after a while, all that data starts to run together and all those donors start to look alike.
No one wants to listen to complaints every day. Whether the complainer is a spouse (“Put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher!”), one of your kids (“Why can’t you take me to the mall?”) or a donor (“Stop sending me so much mail!”), it might seem easier to ignore the situation than to do something about it.
But just as you don’t want your spouse to file for divorce or your child to hitch a ride to the mall from a stranger, you also don’t want a valuable donor to say goodbye to you.
Prospect research is most effective when you have the information you need when you need it. Sounds obvious, right? But it implies that an organization knows what information it really needs. The type of information needed depends on the prospect’s stage in the solicitation cycle. There are three stages within the solicitation cycle: the identification stage; the cultivation stage and the solicitation stage. 1. Identification of capable prospects is among the most important responsibilities of prospect research. At the identification stage, you only need to have clear evidence of major-gift capacity — expensive property or significant stock holdings, for instance. It is not
Mention the word “campaign” and it virtually becomes synonymous with “database screening.” Once your organization has decided to embark on a campaign -- be it a capital campaign, an endowment campaign or a campaign for a very specific project -- a database screening is on the horizon. Screening helps identify new prospects in your database; provides clearer, more concise information on your known prospects; helps organizations prioritize prospects; and enables segmentation of prospects. Campaign screening and research is a four-part process that involves timing; compatibility and capability; selection; and roll out. 1. Timing. In an ideal world, a screening would be done before
Large nonprofits have the luxury of employing a prospect researcher, but what about fundraisers who don’t have an in-house pro? Sophisticated researchers can check several dozen Web sites while preparing an in-depth profile, but development officers can find simple facts about their donors by themselves, simply by searching several key Web sites. Below is a list of sites that development professionals can employ from their desktops to help answer some key questions in an organization’s search for information on its prospects. * How can I verify someone’s address and telephone number? Web site: www.zabasearch.com By entering the first and last
Hispanic Americans quickly are becoming one of this country’s largest minority demographics and are expected to eclipse all other ethnic groups by the next U.S. Census, says Loretta Poggio, consultant with Ethnic Technologies, providers of targeted mailing and telemarketing lists with ethnic and religious groupings. Before targeting any specific ethnic group, Poggio says nonprofit organizations should first do a house-file audit to reveal the ethnic representation of its constituents and show which groups are under represented. The next step is to examine its mission statement and find its relevance to the particular group it’s looking to engage. When targeting individuals of Hispanic
In her in-depth report “Asian-American Philanthropy: Expanding Circles of Participation,” published as a chapter in the book “Cultures of Caring: Philanthropy in Diverse American Communities,” Jessica Chao, vice president at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, looks at philanthropic trends within the Asian-American community. Chao explains that Asian-American philanthropy is not one size fits all. The types of philanthropy are as diverse as the population itself, influenced by social adaptation, economics and various levels of acculturation. Asian Americans give informally to close family and social circles and more formally to alumni and professional associations, doing so out of a sense of duty and obligation to the family,