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 [...]

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 [...]