Accountability

Going ‘New School’: Harvard Medical School Leaves its Stuffy Reputation in the Dust
April 22, 2008

Harvard University, including its medical school, carries an established and distinguished reputation. The classic, old-school images of the professor wearing a sweater vest and smoking a pipe or the young, poised student who speaks with perfect diction come to mind. Unfortunately, that same stuffy, serious reputation came through in the Harvard Medical School’s direct-mail campaigns. For years, the heralded medical school sent a very plain package to prospects for its Harvard Health Letter newsletter. It was precisely what one would expect from Harvard: a straightforward outer envelope that used its name to do the selling. Nothing flashy — actually, it was the antithesis of

Without Passion, Organizations Perish
April 22, 2008

You come to work lifeless. Everyone around you has that look in their eyes: a glaze that signals boredom, purposelessness, fatalism. “What am I doing here?” you ask. Good question. What are you doing? If you’re a leader or manager and you see this zombie-like state among your organization’s employees, there is something you can and should do about it. What are the key indicators that an organization has lost its passion, and how do you counteract it? Key signs that your organization lacks passion: * The leader is really not excited about what the organization does. In fact, many employees aren’t either. They

Spot Your Sneezers
April 15, 2008

In a true epidemic, studies show that there are always a few people who infect others at a much higher rate — the sneezers. For any number of reasons — hygiene, genetics, behaviour, etc. — these people manage to spread the disease all too effectively. They’re highly contagious! In a typical fundraising campaign, we see the same phenomenon. If you’re a fundraiser, chances are you’ve observed this yourself. Those people who know how to work their network, ooze charisma and raise way more money than the average? Those are your sneezers. Bottom line: If you’re smart, you’ll treat them differently. No, I’m not

Ask the Experts: Vendor/Client Relationships, Part II
April 8, 2008

A direct-mail provider in the Chicagoland area recently posed a question about an experience he had with a client organization. We had several fundraising pros tackle the question and ran a number of responses last week. This week, a few more. My company partners with many nonprofit organizations. Several of them annually ask us for donations back. We make it known that our policy is to review what we have done for organizations in December, and if a company wants us to make a donation they may [ask us], in writing, at that time. About six weeks ago, one of these nonprofits contacted us

Ask the Experts: Vendor/Client Relationships
April 1, 2008

A direct-mail provider in the Chicagoland area recently posed this question: My company partners with many nonprofit organizations. Several of them annually ask us for donations back. We make it known that our policy is to review what we have done for organizations in December, and if a company wants us to make a donation they may [ask us], in writing, at that time.  About six weeks ago, one of these nonprofits contacted us (via e-mail) asking if we would consider making a $1,500 donation to a special event they were having. In spite of the fact that our policy of a written

Don’t Let Hillary (or Rudy or Barack or …) Steal Your Donors
January 1, 2008

For those fundraisers who appreciated that 2006 and 2007 were relatively disaster-free, and therefore were free to pursue funding for their causes without seeing donors abandon them for the victims of a previously unimaginable hurricane or tsunami, let me be the first to tell you that 2008 will be different. In 2008, a disaster is brewing that will hijack both the majority of the public’s attention and its funding. This Category 1 disaster is not a hurricane, but an election. This year will be all election, all the time — and if you don’t get out front and actually compete with it, Hillary,

Feuding for Free E-mail
June 1, 2006

For a few months now, you’ve been hearing about plans by companies such as AOL and Yahoo! to apply a new business model to Internet communications to afford e-mail senders a secure way to communicate with potential customers. Goodmail recently unveiled a certified e-mail program that AOL and Yahoo! plan to make available to e-mail senders that allows them to bypass spam filters for a fee and get guaranteed access to recipients’ inboxes.

2006--The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
December 28, 2005

2006: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly FS Advisor: Jan. 3, 2006 By Abny Santicola, associate editor, FundRaising Success An increase in accountability and a decrease in government funding are just two of the major challenges that nonprofits will face in 2006, according to Anthony Knerr, founder and managing director of New York-based nonprofit strategic consultancy Anthony Knerr & Associates, which works with nonprofit organizations on issues of strategic positioning, program development and global campaigns. Here, Knerr’s take on some hot-button issues looming on the horizon for the new year: Accountability and transparency: “I think there’s going to be more demand for and

Not to Be Indelicate, but …
November 1, 2005

More than 50 million consumers have had their personal data compromised this year, a statistic grim enough to elicit spasms of paranoia in donors’ hearts about identity theft, data security and privacy. But, in reality, there have been few cases of privacy infringement reported in the nonprofit world — not enough to spawn a skittish donor pool.

It does, however, raise two important questions for nonprofit fundraisers. First, with the explosive growth in data collection and compilation, to what extent is it moral, ethical or legal to mine data on potential donors? And secondly, what proactive measures can be taken to safeguard donor privacy?

Talking Back
July 1, 2005

Has your organization planned for federal or state legislation addressing financial governance of charities?