Blogs

The Nonprofit Crash That’s Heading Our Way

GameStop made headlines around the world this year. You might be wondering, as a nonprofit professional, what this has to do with the industry. What you’ll soon discover is that a nonprofit crash is in the making. Moreover, leaders in the social good sector who believe “it can’t happen here” are mistaken.

Holding Events or Building Communities — Where Is the Money?

We thought events were the point and that the event’s success would drive our success. Doing our business that way means we have to acquire 75% of participants each year. That path means we don’t retain many donors. In effect, we are letting our prospective constituents use the community clubhouse for a party, but we’re not making sure they move into the community...

Why You Need Different 'Prices' for Donor Asks

In fundraising, a donor parts with money when he or she perceives that the “price” being “paid” is worth what happens when the money is used. The donor is giving a sum of money for something, and it is right for him or her. What is right for the donor as it relates the amount you propose to ask for?...

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

GameStop made headlines around the world this year. You might be wondering, as a nonprofit professional, what this has to do with the industry. What you’ll soon discover is that a nonprofit crash is in the making. Moreover, leaders in the social good sector who believe “it can’t happen here” are mistaken.

I was recently asked to sit on a nonprofit position interview as an unpaid adviser. I was also asked to serve as an adviser to a nonprofit search committee. Another hiring firm contacted me recently and asked me to recommend them to a prospective nonprofit. There is a great deal of action in the nonprofit hiring world these days...

Every person who works for a nonprofit or is associated with an organization internally is an ambassador of that organization by virtue of association. As an employee of The Salvation Army, I wear, with pride, a shirt with the logo of The Salvation Army. Volunteers also wear clothing that signifies an association with the organization...

Development

In fundraising, a donor parts with money when he or she perceives that the “price” being “paid” is worth what happens when the money is used. The donor is giving a sum of money for something, and it is right for him or her. What is right for the donor as it relates the amount you propose to ask for?...

As someone who’s been working with and on monthly donor programs for almost 30 years now, the order of operations comes up a lot. It often creates a pause or a stop in the growth of monthly donors. Of course, we’re only human and, as fundraisers, we often tend to focus — and agonize — about things that are least important. But they’re easier. They make us feel we’re more in control...

If you look at the most recent statistics on donor retention, the year 2020 was not great. One reason was that many organizations put a hold on asking for contributions in the first half of the year because they worried about donors not giving. Many continued to be reluctant well into the second half. Hence, many donors who gave in 2019, never gave in 2020...

E-Philanthropy

You might have mixed feelings about the idea of finding and implementing new peer-to-peer fundraising software. Maybe you’ve seen the signs that it’s time for a new solution, but you dread the process of finding the right technology for your nonprofit. When you’re on the buyer’s side, product demos can be tricky. Time is limited, and it’s important that you see all you need to see to make the right selection for your organization and feel confident in your decision...

We’re going to review the Facebook Fundraising Benchmarks Report 2020 by GivePanel. Let’s clarify what “Facebook fundraising” refers to. It’s probably exactly what you think it is: when someone on Facebook starts a fundraiser to support your nonprofit. But there’s some fine print here...

We live in an era when anyone can announce anything to everyone. You’d think that would be a good thing. In most cases, it’s not. Most of the time it’s a race for cheap attention. For nonprofits seeking the unearned notice of followers on social media, it’s quickly turned into a race to the bottom...

Direct Marketing

Technology and more people-centric (i.e., donors and supporters) ways of giving continue to expand, which is essential for nonprofit leaders to understand. For example, people could open a donor-advised fund (DAF) for very little money and give with the ease of tech platforms. Also, leading organizations, such as St. Jude, are reaching out to new audiences, like gamers, because they know they have to meet people where they are, to support a good cause.

It’s a wonderful feeling when something you always thought was bad for you turns out to be good for you. Take the use of pseudonyms in fundraising stories. There’s a widespread presumption that using made-up names for real people is a necessary evil...

Will there come a time when you’ll stop using address labels? I think that time may come if we’re not sending any mail. But until then…

Sectors

Because nonprofits are tax-exempt organizations, it’s vital that they operate with complete transparency.

A 2020 United Nations report notes that women lacked the political and human rights to protect their safety if they spoke up.

More than 70 years ago, the great social psychologist Kurt Lewin described social norms as being in a state of tension.

Data Management

As long as we’ve had a formal nonprofit sector, we’ve had donors looking to make substantial gifts to improve their image.

I’ve seen this happen several times in different ways. Donation platforms and donor base companies merge.

While we’re continually learning, we also have to protect our brands.