Tracy Vanderneck

Tracy Vanderneck

Tracy Vanderneck is president of Phil-Com, a Florida-based training and consulting company where she works with nonprofits on fundraising, board development and strategic planning. Tracy has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, business development and sales. She holds a Master of Science in management with a concentration in nonprofit leadership and a graduate certificate in teaching and learning. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and an Association of Fundraising Professionals Master Trainer. Additionally, she designs and delivers online fundraising training classes and serves as a Network for Good Personal Fundraising Coach.

Lessons From Working at the American Red Cross

Bill was one of the first people I met when I worked at a local American Red Cross chapter. Now, a decade later, I mention him often when I train nonprofit staff because he taught me an important lesson. Maybe he can help you be successful in your nonprofit career, too...

Don’t Leave Your Donors Depressed

I hate to be sad or depressed. I know some people like a good cry; they feel it is cleansing, cathartic. I am not one of them. I’ve even been accused of wearing permanent rose-colored glasses because of the lengths to which I will go to avoid tearjerker movies or sob-inducing novels...

If Nonprofits Can Pay More, Why Don’t They?

If nonprofit organizations have such tremendous responsibility and represent a large employment sector, doesn’t it make sense for them to operate in a way that enables them to recruit and retain the best talent available? I believe the missions they deliver are worth it...

Stay Relevant By Soliciting Supporter Input

Nonprofits need to be flexible, open to new ideas and willing to change when appropriate. Soliciting supporter input on a regular basis will help organizations stay relevant and in touch with their base...

Understand the Regulations, and Educate Your Nonprofit Board Members

As development professionals, it generally falls to us (the executive director and the person in charge of finance are often in the boat with us) to keep current on the fundraising regulations of countries and states in which our nonprofit organizations solicit funds to support our missions. It can be difficult to keep up and, sometimes, we may miss things; it happens...

It Takes a Great Leader: CEOs Can Make or Break Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits are a positive part of many people’s lives, whether they are clients in need of services, donors giving to organizations or volunteers participating in the mission. While most of us have had favorable relationships with nonprofit organizations, unfortunately, many of us can also cite frustrations with them...

Want Fresh Ideas? Put a Kid on Your Board of Directors

Teenagers are irresponsible. They are lazy and entitled and never look up from their smart devices. Wait, what about Jack Andraka, who identified an early detection mechanism for pancreatic cancer… while he was in high school? He not only invented it, he pitched the idea to 200 research professors to test it and earned workspace in a scientific lab...

Fundraising When Your Nonprofit Is Not a Disaster Relief Agency

Disaster philanthropy is in full swing. People are giving everything they can to help their fellow humans after hurricanes, earthquakes and fires. We’re seeing the best example of why nonprofit organizations exist—to be the conduit that makes it possible for people to help other people...

Beware of the ‘Cult of Personality’

The term “cult of personality” tends to conjure dramatic images of political or religious leaders influencing the masses. It seems grandiose and powerful. Cult of personality has varied definitions, but they all basically boil down to this: The situation that arises when an individual person gains intense loyalty from a group of people from the sheer force of his or her personality...

Why Is Fair-Market Value So Difficult?

I had a math teacher in high school who, when asked questions about the basic rules of algebra, would answer, “It’s algebra. You don’t question why, you just do it according to the rules laid out.” A similar process is used when assessing and reporting Fair-Market Value—if a donor receives something from a nonprofit in exchange for their charitable donation...

Does the Nonprofit Industry Have an Employment Problem?

Doesn’t it feel like the employee turnover rate in the nonprofit sector is unreasonably high? It sure seems that each time I talk to a nonprofit organization, the person who used to be my contact is no longer there. It can be frustrating for volunteers and donors to deal with what feels like a revolving door of staffers...

Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Development Plan

You wouldn’t leave your house and drive your car aimlessly hoping you’d eventually find your great aunt Marge’s house in Tucson, even though you’ve never even been to Arizona. So as a nonprofit professional or volunteer, why would you just start doing random things to try to raise money for your organization and hope that the outcome is enough money?...