At Last, 100% Board Giving!

At Last, 100% Board Giving!

Does 100% of your organization’s board contribute financially? They should. In my 2012 Small Shop Fundraising Survey, an astonishing 55% of organizations are reporting that they do not have 100% board giving. How can you reasonably expect others to contribute financially to your organization if members...
FREE. Nine of the top fundraising gurus sharing their secrets with you!

FREE. Nine of the top fundraising gurus sharing their secrets with you!

Beginning on March 7th, join us as nine nonprofit experts, including yours truly, share how to build a stronger nonprofit organization by: 
sharing your message, growing your funding and engaging your board! This is your chance to learn: How to get your board members over their fear of fundraising. 4...
International Women’s Day—Being the Change we Want to See

International Women’s Day—Being the Change we Want to See

When I was growing up, it was rare that any of my friends’ moms worked outside the home.  My elementary school, situated in the middle of “Wonder Years” style suburbia, didn’t even have a school cafeteria at the time. You walked home for lunch. But I was one of those rare kids who did have a...
Is your organization living hand-to-mouth?

Is your organization living hand-to-mouth?

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
 Many years ago, I met with with a senior citizen organization.  Early on in our meeting, I asked the executive director, Adele Wilkins, a delightful sexagenarian, how much money...
Generosity Day:  Did you take the pledge?

Generosity Day: Did you take the pledge?

Surprise a stressed-out waitress with a humongous tip…cook a meal for your neighbor who’s just home from the hospital…send a “care” package to your best friend, who’s dealing with a homebound parent with dementia. Valentine’s Day has been officially rebooted as Generosity Day: ...
101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide

101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide

It goes without saying that before dipping a toe into the social media waters, nonprofit organizations need to come up with some sort of strategy. Where are your donors? How much time do you have to devote to social media? What will you be sharing on social media – and listening to? How will you...
The 10 essentials of an ideal thank you letter

The 10 essentials of an ideal thank you letter

Are you creating partnerships with your donors?  A sense of loyalty and commitment? Blackbaud’s recent Growing Philanthropy in the United States report revealed that nonprofits have made little headway into reducing donor attrition rates.  According to recent data collected by the Association of...
Seven quintessential nonprofit resolutions for 2012…and beyond

Seven quintessential nonprofit resolutions for 2012…and beyond

Create a solid plan.  In the words of Yogi Berra:  If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.  How much do you want to raise from grants?  How much do you want to raise from individual donations – from direct mail, online, from your monthly giving program? ...
Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in

Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in

Welcome to 2012! What resolutions will you be making to advance your organization in 2012?  I asked a few of my friends and colleagues to share their best resolutions for 2012. Nonprofit database expert Robert Weiner said “like many people, my resolutions are often the same year after year. ...
An NPO Culture of Scarcity … eats fundraising for lunch

An NPO Culture of Scarcity … eats fundraising for lunch

A Culture of Scarcity: If you live in and work with, an NPO/NGO culture, you understand – in your gut – what it means to live in a Gladiator Culture; where 9 out of 10 equally qualified (but unequally prepared) foundation and agency grant apps – are rejected.  You know that knot in...
I had my Board Chair call to personally thank a $20 donor. Am I crazy?

I had my Board Chair call to personally thank a $20 donor. Am I crazy?

Today’s guest post from Rene Bouchard, Director of Development at Cinema Arts Centre in New York is not really an article, but rather a LinkedIn discussion that I thought deserved broader coverage, particularly in light of this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival.  Rene is one very savvy fundraiser,...
Program and Development staff: Together at Last

Program and Development staff: Together at Last

Today’s guest post comes from Marti Fischer of Marti Fischer Grant Services, LLC Are you a member of a development office that is fully integrated into your organization, and part of programming and long range planning meetings? If so, congratulations and read no further, this article is not meant...
What’s the One Secret to Winning Foundation Grants?

What’s the One Secret to Winning Foundation Grants?

“It does not happen all at once. There is no instant pudding.” W. Edwards Deming When a colleague sent me a link to a web page with the following claims and asked me if it was legitimate, I had to smile. Hundreds of Billions Up For Grabs — Every Year! … there are the more than 75,000 foundations...
November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival | How are you giving Thanks?

November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival | How are you giving Thanks?

I’m hosting November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and what better topic, as Thanksgiving approaches, than giving thanks? According to the author of Donor-Centered Fundraising, Penelope Burk, “90% of donors who start contributing to a particular cause stop giving by the fifth renewal request.” And...
Surveying to engage

Surveying to engage

In the thank you economy you can’t thank your donors – or survey them – too frequently. Take a cue from The Other 98%, a nonprofit dedicated to “making our democracy, economy and media work for everyday Americans, not the special interests or the political fringe.” With...
Ignore at peril:  your donors live online

Ignore at peril: your donors live online

If you’re in the midst of finalizing your online appeal you’ll be thrilled to learn that 90% of fundraising revenue still comes from offline sources.  Yes, direct mail still rules. But, as this multichannel fundraising infographic from @franswaa of Blackbaud shows, your organization’s online presence...
Emily’s List says ‘thank you’

Emily’s List says ‘thank you’

How can you creatively steward your supporters online? Emily’s List, the political action committee devoted to electing pro-choice female candidates, recently used a novel online method to thank their supporters. Donors received this email, which read: Dear firstname, What an amazing EMILY’s...
Live it to write it

Live it to write it

Last week I had the opportunity to meet two sisters, trustees of a regional family foundation.  I had applied for a grant from the foundation on behalf of a local client and a site visit was scheduled.  It was an excellent visit, relaxed, friendly, plenty of great questions, and an unplanned –...
8 Reasons development directors leave

8 Reasons development directors leave

“It seems that development positions continue to be an 18 month cycle? Is it organizations not giving them enough time to gain traction or development professionals not as strong as their resumes?” I’ve been following this particular AFP “On Fundraising” LinkedIn group topic  for the past...
The dreaded red pen

The dreaded red pen

Several years ago I was blissfully sailing through my first job in nonprofit development after leaving the cushy offices of a private family foundation. It was ideal in that I had autonomy as long as I got results…and I GOT RESULTS! In less than two short years I had increased foundation grant...

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