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How Artificial Intelligence Can Protect Nonprofits Against Fraud
February 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

As we’re entering a very technologically advanced age, nonprofit organizations are often victim to fraud. Fraudsters are targeting nonprofits, using nonprofit donation pages as testing grounds for fraudulent card testing. Card testers build computer algorithms that automatically and rapidly attempt donation form submissions with different credit card number combinations...

4 Volunteer Management Best Practices of 2018
February 20, 2018 at 11:19 am

Volunteer management best practices have changed as volunteer expectations and the reach of nonprofit organizations evolve. That said, the ultimate goal has always been, and will always be, to provide great experiences to volunteers and impact the community in an organized and efficient way...

Smart Spending: 6 Ways to Keep Your Nonprofit's Overhead Low
February 16, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Nearly every business strives to operate with low overhead. Because nonprofit organizations rely on donations and grant money, rather than traditional sales, it's even more critical for these companies to keep spending to a minimum. While it may seem challenging—perhaps even downright impossible—to balance your budget in a way that keeps your organization afloat, following a few…

How to Not Be the Best Kept Secret in Your Community
February 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Raising awareness is in the top five things every nonprofit organization wants. Or so they tell me. What they don’t know is how to not be the best kept secret in your community...

Why You Should Stop Being a Hero
February 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

As we scroll through headlines and highlights triumphantly displayed on our social media feeds, it’s hard to feel that we who answer phones, enter gift records, clean office dishes and chip away at “To-Do” lists will ever arrive at greatness. Can you recall the feeling that, although your nonprofit has a meaningful mission, your workweek just feels like uneventful routines and ordinary tasks?...

Year-End Messaging to Offset Loss of Deductions
February 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

In a recent blog, we wrote about the new tax bill that doubles the standard deduction, effectively reducing the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions from 30 percent to 5 percent, according to experts. That’s a decrease in roughly 30 million households...

5 Fundraising Tips for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders
February 12, 2018 at 12:12 pm

The ongoing quest for funding can often feel like navigating a psychological minefield of cultural complexities and politics. Indeed, there were times I felt completely in the dark during the first few years that I was trying to get our ocean nonprofit Beneath the Waves off the ground and evolve from a small, grassroots organization.…

Donor Management: 5 Ways to Organize Your Supporter Data
February 8, 2018 at 11:53 am

Donors are a major part of any nonprofit’s efforts—they are the ones funding your mission after all! It only makes sense, then, that smart nonprofits would have a strategy in place for managing all of the data that comes along with donor relationships. Luckily, donor database software (also known as nonprofit constituent relationship management or…

Nonprofits Must Embrace Transparency, Flexibility to Attract Talent
February 5, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Filling a seat and collecting a paycheck aren’t enough for the new generation of nonprofit employees. With Millennials representing the largest group of Michigan’s 430,000 nonprofit sector employees, their employers need to pay attention to what will attract and retain this growing sector, said Bill Gesaman, strategic growth officer with the Michigan Nonprofit Association.  Gesaman…

Did Your Nonprofit Lose Funding? 3 Things to Do Next
February 2, 2018 at 11:48 am

One of the most dreaded moments of being a nonprofit founder or social entrepreneur can be the moment you realize you're out of funding. Whether it was a grant that didn't come through or a fundraising strategy that never took off, it's a scary feeling. Funding, for businesses and nonprofits alike, is the fuel of…

5 Fundraising Mistakes Can Kill Your Startup’s Seed Round
February 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

First, some bad news: Early-stage funding is harder to come by than it used to be. The seed-funding market has collapsed, with seed deals dropping by nearly 50 percent by some estimates, since 2014. Venture capitalists are putting more money into later-stage deals, leaving early-stage startups scrambling to grab investors’ attention. The good news is that…

Why Inbox Inundation May Be the Best Fundraising Tactic for Nonprofits
January 26, 2018 at 11:21 am

In order to run programs that benefit society, nonprofits obviously need to raise money. But many groups still don’t grasp whether they’re going about it in the right way. As it turns out, the easiest answer may be the most obvious: use email. A recent Blackbaud survey of over groups 700 groups on its cloud-based Luminate platform…

Why Nonprofits Need to Chase—and Keep—Millennials
January 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? It was one of the most successful fundraising challenges in recent times, with over $115 million raised, not to mention priceless public awareness. And the driving force behind that campaign? The enthusiasm of Millennials…

2 Data Trends Nonprofits Can't Afford to Ignore
January 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

At CrowdRise and GoFundMe, we're combing through huge amounts of social fundraising data and putting together a report that will help nonprofits better understand how people donate and share. (You'll be able to check out the full report in March.) Till then, we came across some early insights that were too important not to share right away...

9 Ways to Cost-Effectively Promote Your Cause
January 17, 2018 at 11:47 am

Nonprofits might find it difficult to prioritize marketing—especially if budgets are tight and resources limited. However, there are ways to maximize your marketing dollar and not sacrifice the opportunities to promote your mission. Even a small investment can pay off. Time and time again, I’ve seen how marketing significantly impacts a nonprofit’s ability to get greater support...

In Football and Fundraising, Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing!
January 3, 2018 at 11:51 am

At Lighthouse Counsel, we love creating the right strategy for a client. It makes a huge difference. Every project, every organization, every campaign is unique and requires a personalized approach and strategy, undergirded by proven best practices and an understanding of where the organization is and where it wants to go...

Why Your Segmentation Probably Stinks (and What to Do About It)
December 19, 2017 at 11:05 am

Suppose you were asked to separate your donors into Pile A and Pile B. What criteria would you use? Before answering, recall the only reason to segment is to raise more money than one-size-fits-all. Creating and executing tailored content and experiences come at a cost, which at the very least is more work for staff...

5 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofit Bosses to Beat Burnout
December 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

Most nonprofit leaders and staff are doing a lot to stretch the resources they have. As a nonprofit executive who is passionate about her work, I have at times found myself working around the clock. There’s always so much to do that you can find yourself constantly connected electronically, tired, stressed, over-scheduled and over-committed, trying…