Hewlett Ends Effort to Get Donors to Make Dispassionate Choices on Giving
April 3, 2014

For at least a decade, movers and shakers in philanthropy have been trying to persuade donors to behave more like data-driven investors. But the so-called effective-philanthropy movement suffered a significant setback last month when the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a prominent champion of the idea, announced that it was ending an eight-year, $12 million effort to get donors to rely as much on their heads as their hearts.

Foundation Assets Reach Highest Level Since Downturn
March 24, 2014

A strong stock market helped boost the assets last year of big foundations to their highest levels since the Great Recession gutted endowments six years ago, according to a new Chronicle of Philanthropy survey. Yet grant makers still aren’t as well off as they were before the downturn, and that continues to put a damper on their giving. What it’s not doing, though: crimping ambitious new grant-making efforts to deal with vexing problems.

How Nonprofit Data and Volunteers Can Save the World
March 18, 2014

Join VolunteerMatch, GuideStar and Technology Affinity Group on April 8, 2014, for a free Nonprofit Insights webinar in honor of National Volunteer Week.  Learn how data and record-keeping in the nonprofit sector is becoming so much more than just the IRS Form 990—and why paying attention to this trend, and engaging volunteers to help you contribute, will help your organization get more funding and support.

Fundraising Training Exercise: Where Do You Stand? Fundraising Continuums
March 6, 2014

When you consider the ubiquitous raffles, benefit events, cookie and candy sales, most of us have far more fundraising experience than we realize. Many people have sales backgrounds and ask for money every day. Others have prepared grant proposals or solicited corporate gifts. The purpose of this activity is to assess the fundraising skill level of your team and to reinforce the idea that your colleagues know more than they think. It's also a fun, physical activity that gets people moving.

Ask the Expert: Everything You Wanted to Know about Nonprofit Tax Law
March 5, 2014

GuideStar and Venable, LLP are presenting a free webinar to help demystify nonprofit tax laws. Our speaker, Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum chairs the nonprofit practice of one of the nation's leading law firms.. Come armed with your questions and join us for a webinar you cannot afford to miss!

The Basics of Grant and Prospect Research
March 4, 2014

It doesn’t matter how many foundations, individual donors, local and regional governments, and other funders believe in your organization and can donate financial support to it if those donors can’t find you and put you on their radar. Researching grants and prospects is the first step in the process, and navigating the upper levels of major-gift fundraising often requires a different approach than individual gift campaigns.

Can We Move Beyond the Nonprofit Overhead Myth?
February 14, 2014

Will we ever be rid of the idea that nonprofits can somehow achieve a nirvana where very little (or no) money goes to boring things like salaries, technology, infrastructure, fundraising, leadership development, planning, R&D? I wonder if we could gain more traction by talking less about the negatives of an overhead myth and talking more about the positives of nonprofit organization building.

How a Hospital Foundation Increased Giving to Its Newsletter by 1,000 Percent
February 7, 2014

I gave a workshop on newsletters. People from Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minn., attended. Their donor newsletter, mailed quarterly to 20,000 people at that point, racked up an annual net loss of $40,000. Was there a better way, they wondered?

Something amazing happened post-workshop: Giving to Gillette's newsletter increased 1,000 percent (not a misprint), after a few changes.

The old way, the foundation received about $5,000 in gifts per issue.

The new way, the foundation received about $50,000 in gifts per issue.