Category Archives: For Your Consideration

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

Diversity, equity are our infrastructure and capacity

Today’s talented fundraisers value diversity and inclusion and use these to build and sustain fundraising teams for today and the future. As you build your team, look for new talents. Look for people who can understand the different communities within our community, and how they can contribute to your organization.

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Building consensus and reaching agreement

Nonprofit mission creep: good or bad?

This is the first in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success. Happy New Year! We hope you are energized and ready to embrace a new year and new fundraising success. We start 2016 by sharing a few nonprofit fundamentals: your fundraising should focus on securing funds and resources to implement your strategic plan. Your strategic plan is a road map for the activities which bring your mission to life. Your mission is the way your organization expresses its vision. This means your mission is at the very core of your fundraising. Your mission may be unwavering, or it may change over time. Sometimes that’s “good” and sometimes it’s “bad.” Most of the time it lies somewhere in-between. Let’s say your nonprofit’s vision is “a world without violence” […]

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Creative Christmas gifts for your favorite nonprofit

Creative Christmas gifts for your favorite nonprofit

Its Christmas time! And soon to be Kwanza. Then New Years! It’s time to celebrate and share gifts. We give to our families and friends. Many of us have already made a gift to nonprofits we hold closest to our hearts. But, there’s always time for more giving. Here’s a holiday gift idea that can extend into the new year: Give a non-financial gift. Here’s what we mean. First, let us be clear: nonprofits cannot operate without money. That is a fact. But, we also know there are many other things nonprofits need, and you just might be the right person to fill that need. Think about it this way: nonprofits are busy delivering on their mission and vision. Each also has to raise money, market their organization, and take […]

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Annual giving — five ways to say thank you

Many nonprofits will see an increase in gifts from individuals over the next few weeks. Some will be from faithful annual donors. Others may respond for the first time to your year-end appeal. Still others will feel an emotional tug on their heart strings and impulsively give online. As you prepare to say thank you we offer five things to consider. If your donor took the time to give, you can take the time to say thank you. There’s always a lot to do, but “thank you” must take precedence. If you plan well, it shouldn’t take much time. And, it can be joyous – you’ve received a gift. If a donor gives online, send your thank you electronically. If your donor sends a gift, send your thank you by […]

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#GivingTuesday

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season. Then there’s Giving Tuesday which, as you may guess, is all about giving – this time to nonprofits. Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday will be celebrated this year on December 1st. What began as a partnership between New York City’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation has grown into a day of giving that engages over 30,000 organizations worldwide. It’s a big deal. If you visit GivingTuesday.org you will find toolkits, case studies, and ideas. The website has suggestions for donors as well as nonprofits. The section on “ideas” is rich in suggestions for how families, businesses and schools […]

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Many small donors or a few large donors?

As the year comes to a close many nonprofits are looking at their fundraising goals and asking an important question: should we focus on securing a large number of small gifts, or a few large ones? We believe the answer is “both.” Here are three things to consider. Securing many small gifts often takes as much energy as securing a few large gifts. Much of the work is similar: define your case; agree on an ask amount or range; define your pool of prospective donors; determine the right method or approach. Most importantly “make the ask” and say thank you quickly when gifts are received. The difference between the two strategies often depends on a nonprofit’s fundraising history. Some have a history of securing large gifts. Others have built a […]

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Are you ready for year-end fundraising?

An important part of launching your year-end fundraising campaign is data. It’s not sexy, but it’s true. No matter how exciting your campaign may be, the question is this: who are you talking to? We believe a nonprofit’s year-end fundraising should engage current and past supporters as well as new ones. We understand the excitement of designing a new campaign, using new technology, to engage new donors. Go for it! But don’t forget those who already know and support your organization. Here are four things that can help you engage those you already know. “That was a great cultivation activity.” This is a phrase that makes the rounds within nonprofit circles. It’s repeated after a special event, or when a print or online article draws attention to the work of […]

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Ten solutions to a board who won’t fundraise

Fundraising in an Imperfect World– Part One What do you do if your board doesn’t have the connections, experience or willingness to be involved in fundraising? How will your nonprofit secure the money and resources it needs to deliver on its mission? We encourage board-led fundraising. We believe that when board members are actively involved in fundraising the nonprofit organization or institution will be more successful. Board-led fundraising includes active involvement in determining fundraising goals; identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors; making a gift of their own; and engaging others in giving and fundraising. But what if your board is reluctant to fundraise or simply refuses to “give and get?’ There are many reasons for this response. Members may not have been recruited to fundraise. They may be engaged in […]

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12 things to consider before you start a nonprofit

The nonprofit sector is diverse and innovative. People are always creating solutions to the many challenges that arise. We see a problem and seek to fix it. We experience something wonderful and we want others to share in our joy. There are two ways that nonprofits are different from for profit organizations: most nonprofits seek contributions from others as a form of revenue, and board members or trustees do not benefit financially. Nonprofits are often referred to as 501(c)(3) organizations. This is in reference to the IRS tax code that defines an organization as tax-exempt. Here’s what the IRS says: “The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children […]

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