Essential Steps for Successful Volunteer Program Development

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

If you are employed by a relatively new nonprofit that has grown steadily since its founding, congratulations: you are on the path to success. You established your board, vision and mission statements, engaged an initial group of donors, hired your core staff and created community impact through your programming. What’s the next step? In a word: VOLUNTEERS.

Besides financial contributions, the gifts of time and talent are the most important donations that supporters can make to your [...]

Fundraising Essentials for Small Shops

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

If you are a 1-, 2-, or 3-person shop, wearing multiple hats in your nonprofit office in addition to needing to fundraise: this post is for you. Nonprofit leaders are often brought in because of their passion for the cause and ability to run an amazing program for the community they serve--but did we also mention you need to fundraise to keep your doors open? Where do you start? What are the essentials when you would rather be spending your time saving the world? (Psst…it’s not pla [...]

What Former American Presidents Can Teach Us about Philanthropy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday in the United States that began as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday and has expanded as a day to honor the memory of past presidents. In addition to their services to our nation, did you know that many of the men formerly known as POTUS were avid philanthropists? Today we’re taking a look back at what the presidents have to teach us about why donors engage in charitable giving.

Philanthropy Is an Investment in the Future [...]

Events with Purpose

Monday, February 13, 2017

Whether the thought of planning an event sounds fun or frightening, too often I think there is not enough time devoted to developing a purpose, strategy and evaluation. Rather, we do what has always worked, make sure everyone has fun, and then it’s on to the next. The reality is when you take a look at the number of hours and dollars that go into an event—is it always worth it?

Let’s make a plan...

Get strategic. What is the real objective of this event? [...]

Wait, Wait--Come Back! – Reengaging Lapsed Donors

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Do you know off the top of your head, at this minute, what your donor retention rate is? You should! Don’t let donors slip through the cracks or fall off the radar when there are plenty of tools out there to assist in keeping them engaged and continuing their giving habits.

This begins with making donor retention a priority in your organization. The amount of time and money you spend acquiring a new donor compared to what you will spend with an existing donor is significant. Take a l [...]

Strategies for End-of-Year Campaign Success

Monday, November 28, 2016

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” ---said no fundraiser, ever.

The holiday season is a paradox for most fundraising professionals. Yes, holidays are a time of good cheer filled with turkey, mistletoe and quality time with loved ones. The holidays also are a challenging, pressure-filled time for nonprofits to strike while the iron is hot, capitalizing on goodwill towards men to fund services and programs in the coming year.

In 2012, Charity Navigator conducte [...]

Setting your Fundraising Committees up for Success

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let’s face it. Sometimes whether we want to or not, life forces us to delegate. It may be incredibly hard to relinquish control—you want everything to be said and done in the professional and timely manner that you would bring to the table. By using fundraising committees you may be able to free up some of the precious hours of your day as a fundraiser by letting super-passionate volunteers do the outreach for you.

Building your committee.

Committees can be a great way to br [...]

5 Quick Ways to Say “Thanks!”

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Topics: stewardship

While we know you can never thank a donor enough, the Golden Rule of Stewardship is that we should be thanking our donors seven times. SEVEN TIMES?! I speak with some nonprofits that feel lucky if they get one end-of-year thank you out the door before closing the books. After I pick my jaw off the ground I remind them how important it is for timely acknowledgements, but also try to provide a few suggestions of easy ways to remind a donor how much we love them without spending too much time or m [...]

Be the Mentor You Wish to See in the Nonprofit World

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sometimes I’ll hold my breath before I, almost apologetically, admit that I am…a millennial. (Gasp!) And if there’s one consistent annoyance I hear sitting in on countless conference sessions about how to deal with my generation, it’s that we’re not loyal to our employers and bounce from job to job like we’re at one of those indoor trampoline parks.

Some will say—“it’s not their fault! It’s the society they were raised in! They t [...]

Free Money? Sure!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Topics: peer to peer

As the President of the Board for a small, young nonprofit that is completely run by volunteers, I often look for cost-effective ways to fundraise that won’t entail much legwork. Lucky for us, new fundraising trends are constantly emerging for consumers/runners/etc. to add meaning to their holiday shopping, miles, and so on.

Here are some really easy suggestions to promote outreach and giving opportunities for your organization.

Requires Zero Effort

Register your nonprof [...]

The Three Pillars of (Fundraising) Sustainability

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sometimes, fundraising feels like trying to carry water in a leaky bucket. Donor retention remains at about 60 percent and there are high rates of employee turnover at many nonprofit organizations. The push to fundraise from a donor-centric perspective has proven beneficial but in order to raise more money in support of the mission, keep our donors and employees and create meaningful change we need to take our approach a step further. Nonprofits must be sustainable.

A good fundraiser recog [...]

3 Reasons Why You (Yes, You!) Need a Strategic Plan

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

“What do you know about strategic planning?”

“Do you think we need a strategic plan?”

“Strategic plans seem like a lot of work to put together.”

Sound familiar? Most of my conversations with board members were a variation on this theme when I worked as a fundraiser: strategic plans sound like a great idea but an awful lot of work.

It’s true that creating a strategic plan involves a combination of meetings, research and writing. But i [...]

Getting Your Board on Board with Donor Management Software

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Everyone in the nonprofit world understands the importance of keeping overhead costs low. In an effort to save money, well-intentioned board members may be opposed to the idea of investing in donor management software. What your board may not know is that refusing to make that investment may actually be costing you money.

To take the leap and commit to a nonprofit CRM solution, you must persuade a majority on the board to add a line item to the organizational budget. Despite the cost-effec [...]