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...
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...
From interest to commitment | 7 key drivers

From interest to commitment | 7 key drivers

You know you need to thank your donors promptly.  You know that it costs more (as much as 10 times) to bring in new donors than to retain your current donors. But beyond thanking ‘em how do you create that special relationship with a donor?  How do you go from interest and mild liking to full-fledged...
Are you looking for a commitment on a first date?

Are you looking for a commitment on a first date?

My first fiance asked me to marry him on our first date. That’s just weird! It’s amazing that I even went out with him again. What’s this got to do with fundraising? A first donation is like a first date. An indication of interest and mutual attraction. It’s in no way, shape or form...
911 | Musical salve

911 | Musical salve

Five For Fighting” is the musical alias of John Ondrasik..who came up with this one in 2000–almost a year before the towers fell in Manhattan. In the awful days just after….this became like musical salve in New York–most notably among the rescue workers…who heard their stories...
12 simple steps to mastering nonprofit email marketing

12 simple steps to mastering nonprofit email marketing

Why email marketing? Heather Mansfield writes in “Five Things Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About Web 2.0 Donors” “I believe, despite much talk lately of e-mail “dying”, that in fact the opposite is true. Your nonprofit needs to focus more on your e-mail newsletter than ever before because e-mail...
Four ways to ramp up your annual appeal

Four ways to ramp up your annual appeal

Crisis alert. Picture this. You’ve been on your new Development Director job for all of two days when the Executive Director informs you that the organization’s annual appeal should have gone out two weeks ago and urges you to “just doctor up last year’s appeal.” Last year’s appeal sucks. What...
How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is “How do I build relationships with foundation grant funders?” It’s a good question because it shows that the asker understands that relationship-building is just as important when it comes to seeking grants as it is in building a sound individual...
One leaflet, 2 volunteers – 285,000 people reached!
When life gives you lemons make lemonade

When life gives you lemons make lemonade

One of the many benefits of the #smNPchat on Twitter is the opportunity to meet fellow fundraising professionals throughout the world.  During a recent chat on annual appeal writing tips I was delighted to meet Amy Stephan, a St. Louis fundraiser with an inspiring annual appeal story of her own.  I’m...

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