Meet Our Advisors
February 1, 2008

Since FS launched in 2003, we’ve been blessed to have an Editorial Advisory Board made up of some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people in the fundraising sector. Meet some of our 2008 board here, and look for the rest next month and, in coming months, Q-and-A interviews with each where they’ll share their insights on fundraising.

Be Prepared for Common Donor Questions
January 15, 2008

In its whitepaper, “E-Philanthropy Strategy for Nonprofits — Cast a Wider Net,” nonprofit software and services provider Blackbaud suggests that nonprofits consider the questions donors and potential supporters ask most often during phone conversations, and make the answers easily accessible on their Web sites. Among them: * What is your mission? * What community do you serve? * How would you use my donation? * How will you acknowledge my donation? * Do you need volunteers? * How do I get to your office? * Where do you get most of your funding? * How can I help? * What are the benefits of

Weaving an Effective Web Experience: Part 2 How does your site compare?
November 6, 2007

Blackbaud recently conducted an assessment in an effort to help nonprofit organizations evaluate their current Internet marketing efforts. In this second look at the results, we’ll delve into the “Visit Value” section. With more than 500 respondents, the questions in this section focused on a Web site’s “sticky” properties — if it feels fresh and trustworthy, and offers information and experiences that make a return visit likely. Here is a look at how nonprofits are using, or not using, these principles: Is your Web site content updated at least monthly? Responses: Yes 67%; No 33% If your site content is not updated frequently,

Important Questions About Your Web Site
September 1, 2007

Nonprofits face increasing competition for support every day. Fortunately, the Internet offers unparalleled opportunities to better differentiate your organization, increase involvement and operate more efficiently. By leveraging the Internet to market your organization, you can build stronger relationships with your constituents — including donors, members, volunteers and employees — to better support your mission both now and in the future.

Be True to Donors
August 21, 2007

The nonprofit sector relies on public trust. Without ethical standards and a way to convey accountability to donors, that trust will degrade and support suffer. Accountability is the way an organization conveys its ethical standards for fundraising to donors, how it shows donors the measurable results from their gifts. In the whitepaper, Accountability Matters: Without the Public Trust, Nonprofits Wouldn’t Exist, Liz Marenakos discusses the need for nonprofit accountability, beginning by listing the three components of accountability: financial and regulatory compliance, stewardship, and donor trust. Marenakos is product line manager for Blackbaud’s financial management and data analysis solutions. According to Marenakos, because of the breadth of

Net Gain: ‘Major’ in Online Relationships
March 1, 2007

A nonprofit organization’s Web site might not be the point of transaction for six-figure donations, but it can serve as a powerful tool in cultivating major gifts. An effective Web strategy can help build relationships with major donors by identifying prospects, capturing information and providing a high-touch, 24/7 communication channel. It offers a great way to have more frequent, less invasive (and less expensive) interactions that empower donors by putting them in the driver’s seat. The key is to align your organization’s Internet strategy with your offline major- giving program and the specific needs of your major-donor prospects. Major gifts and major

Put Your Web Site to Work
November 1, 2006

Nonprofit organizations are facing more competition for support every day. Many are turning to the Internet to better differentiate their organizations, increase fundraising and operate more efficiently. By leveraging their Web sites, organizations will have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their constituent communities — including donors, members, volunteers and employees — to support their missions today and in the future.

The Three Stages of Solicitation
August 15, 2006

Prospect research is most effective when you have the information you need when you need it. Sounds obvious, right? But it implies that an organization knows what information it really needs. The type of information needed depends on the prospect’s stage in the solicitation cycle. There are three stages within the solicitation cycle: the identification stage; the cultivation stage and the solicitation stage. 1. Identification of capable prospects is among the most important responsibilities of prospect research. At the identification stage, you only need to have clear evidence of major-gift capacity — expensive property or significant stock holdings, for instance. It is not

Three Measures That Hone in on Direct-mail Gold
August 1, 2006

In its white paper “RFM: A Formula for Greater Direct Mail Success,” Charleston, S.C.-based nonprofit software services provider Blackbaud posits that by using a database of donors’ giving histories to do RFM analysis, organizations can increase gifts and reduce costs.

Blackbaud recommends the following tips for nonprofits interested in setting up RFM measurement.

Empowering Advocacy Through Technology
August 1, 2006

Do you need to raise public awareness in order to serve your organization’s mission? Do you need to maintain public funding for your organization? Do you protect or fight for social issues important to your organization?