Melissa Busch

Melissa Busch
When Fundraising Gets Personal

Every fundraiser has his or her tried-and-true bag of tricks. But in this day of donors seeking to be more actively involved with the charities they support, it might be time to bury those bags and try a fresh approach.

‘Think Boldly and Have Audacious Goals’

Controversial fundraiser Dan Pallotta believes that in order for charities to do their jobs and do them well, they must operate more like the private sector: Salaries must be comparable to those in business, donations should be spent on advertising, and nonprofits should be permitted to invest in the long term.

An Interview With Christine Orman, resource development manager, ReRun

Rerun is a place where retired racehorses go for a second career.  The nonprofit was founded in Kentucky in 1996 by two women connected to the racing industry who pioneered the concept that ex-racehorses do not have to go to auction or be slaughtered once their racing days are over, said the organization's resource development manager Christine Orman says.

Fundraiser Snapshot: Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson has spent more than half of his life helping charitable organizations raise money. And his 26-year fundraising career has been as diverse as it’s been long.

An Interview with John Barnes, deputy executive director of programs and development, Food & friends

When a home-bound friend battling AIDS needed something to eat, The Rev. Carla Gorrell realized that the need went well beyond one person. According to John Barnes,  deputy executive  director of programs  and development at  Food & Friends in Washington, D.C., what began as lunch for one has grown into an organization that provides three meals a day for more than 1,350 individuals, six days a week.

Holiday Fundraising Goes Virtual

Big fundraising drives and galas might not be the best ways to raise dollars when the nation is suffering from a poor economy. Challenges that come with these tough times have forced fundraisers to think outside the box.

More and more nonprofits are discovering social media as a means of reaching supporters and potential donors because it enables them to get in front of new and engaged audiences, allows consumers to share information and stories about causes that are important to them, and provides a direct pathway to online donations.

An Interview With Amanda Carter, CoachArt

CoachArt tries to make life a little brighter for underprivileged children suffering from chronic and, often, life-threatening illnesses by getting them involved in arts and sports. Here, CoachArt Executive Director Amanda Carter discusses the organization and its fundraising efforts. FundRaising Success: Please tell us a little about the organization’s history. Amanda Carter: The idea of CoachArt was first conceived in 2000 by Zander Lurie in memory of his father Dr. Art Lurie, a cardiac surgeon who loved teaching and mentoring children. Zander, together with his family friend, Leah Pomeranz Bernthal, set out to create an organization that would enhance the lives of

Pulse: Shopping for a Better World

Just in time for the holiday online shopping rush, allows shoppers to make donations to their favorite charities while they shop. Already, organizations including Action Against Hunger; The Parkinson’s Institute; ASPCA; SOS Children’s Villages; and The Climate Group, the world’s first international NGO focused exclusively on the solutions to climate change, are reaping the benefits. The site’s co-founder, Mads Ellegaard, says it’s a simple way for consumers to help charitable causes while purchasing things like books and plane tickets. And it costs nothing for an organization to become a part of the site’s network of charities. “Our purpose is that we

Free Money — Eligible Nonprofits Apply Now

Southlake, Texas, consumer-goods company Project 7 is giving away money and looking for organizations interested in taking it. Project 7 will donate $15,000 (from profits from the sales of products like bottled water) to one representative charity in each of these seven areas: Build the Future, Feed the Hungry, Heal the Sick, Help Those in Need, Hope for Peace, House the Homeless and Save the Earth. “We are looking for organizations experienced in these seven areas of need that strive to do as much as possible with every dollar donated,” Project 7 founder Tyler Merrick said in a press release. Any U.S.-based

Fundraising Through the Years

Customizing a fundraising campaign that speaks to every generation isn’t just a question of whether an appeal should be delivered by postman or sent electronically to an inbox. The method of delivery matters, but so does its message, Blackbaud enterprise solutions engineer Samantha Cohen said at a Blackbaud Delivers event held earlier this month in Philadelphia. “It’s not just mail for the older and e-mail for the younger,” Cohen said. “It’s about what you say.” Demographics affect retention Cohen explained that fundraisers must remember that each age group seeks a different relationship with the institutions it supports. “It is much more than

A Loyal Donor is a Retained Donor

Donor retention boils down to loyalty. “If you have a loyal constituent, you are able to retain them,” Blackbaud enterprise solutions engineer Samantha Cohen said at a Blackbaud Delivers event about donor retention held last week in Philadelphia. “A donor will talk about a hospital, a symphony, an animal-rescue organization that they support. A loyal donor will talk about my hospital, my symphony or my animal-rescue mission,” she said. “That my is a shift to loyalty. They are emotionally invested in that institution.” Every nonprofit should be striving for loyal donors, Cohen said. Organizations can achieve this by building relationships with donors

Survey Says: ’Tis the Season to Give Online

Many people who make charitable donations this holiday season will do so with the click of a mouse. A recently released survey, conducted by JupiterResearch, shows that more than half of U.S. residents plan to donate to their favorite charities this holiday season via the Internet. Convio, the Austin, Texas-based provider of on-demand CRM software and services for nonprofits that commissioned the survey, estimates U.S. online giving to reach more than $3 billion during the 2008 holiday season. That means nonprofits need to make sure their efforts to attract supporters via their Web sites and other electronic communication mediums are inspiring and

Don’t Toy With the Marine Corps

A U.S. Marine in his dress blues remains stone-faced as a young boy looks up and asks him if he’s Santa Claus. “Heard you might be him,” the boy says. “If you are him, here’s my list.” Finally, the serviceman acknowledges the boy, opening his white-gloved hand to take the list. Walking away, the boy says, “He is Santa Claus.” That public service announcement for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has been melting hearts and opening wallets for 10 years, continuing the tradition that has allowed the 60-year-old organization to bring more than 386 million shiny, new toys to