Sarah Durham

Sarah Durham is president of Big Duck, a New York City-based branding, marketing and fundraising firm for nonprofits. She serves on the boards of the National Brain Tumor Society and the New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The book “Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications,” by Sarah Durham, offers nonprofit organizations strategies to communicate more effectively using limited resources — which has become an even greater challenge for many nonprofits, large and small, in today's struggling economy.

That's the question that Paula Birnbaum Guillet, head of fundraising development and innovation at UNICEF, and global fundraising consultant Bernard Ross ask in this month's cover story, a special report on fundraising innovation. The consensus: If your approach to fundraising is overrun with the weeds of fear and stale thinking, it’s time to sow some seeds of innovation. This report shows you how.

Relationships 2.0
From the Barack Obama fundraising juggernaut to an ironic, grassroots campaign for Planned Parenthood, fundraising in 2008 was all about relationships — both off- and online. In her "Relationships 2.0" feature, Sarah Durham wrangles the overarching strategies from a number of efforts, which you can use in your own campaigns.

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You Talkin' to Us?
You can, you know. If you want to share your thoughts on something you've seen (or would like to see) in the pages of FS or in either of our e-letters (the FS Advisor or FS Giving 2.0) or on fundraising in general, drop us a line at Right now, we're especially interested in hearing about how the economic downturn is affecting your fundraising, both in strategies and response.

Yesterday, the mother of a sick child Googled the name of a devastating disease. She got thousands of results, but the ones that interested her the most were links to your organization’s Web site; two stories from the national media; a handful of online support groups for patients and their families; a general health Web site with online communities dedicated to the disease; and one site focused exclusively on a heartsick father’s negative experience with an operator on your organization’s support line.

For fundraisers, the first quarter of the year is as much a time to look back as ahead. It’s a time to find out how year-end appeals tallied up, to assess how winter events performed and perhaps to report back to the board on what it all means.

For fundraisers, 2008 was a year of change and challenge. Plummeting endowments, budget cuts and other lows added pressure to bring in new money while spending even less than before.

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