Category Archives: FUNdraising Good Times

Three actions to take as a nonprofit executive director or CEO

Three actions to take as a nonprofit executive director or CEO

Part two of a two part series Whether you are a new or experienced nonprofit executive director there is always more to learn in the area of fundraising. Sometimes the responsibilities can feel overwhelming. In order to help keep you focused and engaged we suggest three actions: raise money, develop and use a fundraising plan, and build a circle of advisors. These will help you grow as a leader and will increase your confidence and ability as a fundraiser. Three actions to take as a nonprofit executive director or CEO Raise money. Your most important job as the CEO of your organization is to raise money for the sustainability and growth of your organization. One important way that you do this is by identifying, cultivating and soliciting major gifts and […]

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Three things you need to know as a nonprofit executive director or CEO

Three things you need to know as a nonprofit executive director or CEO

 Part one of a two part series As the executive director or CEO of a nonprofit you have many responsibilities. One of those is fundraising. Too often these specific responsibilities are not spelled out until there is a financial challenge looming on the horizon. To help you be proactive we suggest you make it a priority to know three things as it relates to fundraising and your organization. These can help you focus your time and effort so you are leading in the area of fundraising. Three things you need to know as a nonprofit executive director or CEO Who gives the largest gifts to your organization and who are your largest potential donors? Are they individuals? Foundation, business, or government leaders? For your current donors, how much does each […]

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Sweetness of Black-led giving circles

Sweetness of Black-led giving circles

Black giving is part of Black history. And like Black history, it takes place all year long. Black-led giving circles are one example of Black philanthropy and they are growing. These giving circles are an example of ‘for us, by us’ investment and their impact extends beyond dollars. Three advocates for Black-led giving circles recently published an article that tells the story of these circles, placing them within the context of Black community and Black-led solutions. Akira Barclay, Valaida Fullwood and Tracey Webb call attention to the impact of these philanthropic groups, letting people know that “In a high-stakes era, where anti-Black racism is mounting and economic rifts are widening, philanthropy through participation in giving circles is attracting growing numbers of Black Americans.” Giving circles bring people together with a […]

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Is there a campaign deal breaker in your midst?

Is there a campaign deal breaker in your midst?

You’re ready to launch a fundraising campaign. You know what you want to raise money for and how it will impact your organization’s ability to deliver on its mission and vision. You are ready to go. Or are you? Could there be a deal breaker lurking amongst all the perceived “green lights.” Here’s what we have learned: as you move forward in planning a major fundraising endeavor it is important to take time to build consensus both internally and externally. You may think you have consensus, but it can be fractured if you and your team haven’t openly discussed all aspects of campaign preparation. As an exercise we suggest you review the list below to see which area could be hiding a deal breaker now or during the life of […]

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How to write a grant proposal

How to write a grant proposal

 Part two of a two part series If your nonprofit wants to learn how to apply for grant funding, this column is for you. It can be overwhelming to apply for a grant from a foundation or granting agency. Each funder wants to know specific information, but not every one wants the same information. Some ask for a specific word count, others have a page limit, and still others ask you to count the number of characters in an answer to a specific question. The requirements may make you throw up your hands in distress. You can do that, but then we suggest taking a deep breath and focusing on the larger goal: securing funds for your nonprofit. Here are three things to consider as you prepare to write your […]

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How to secure grant support - Part 1

How to secure grant support

Part one of a two part series It can be exciting to learn about grants that are made to nonprofits. Grant announcements are one way the general public learns about investments in education, the arts, community development, entrepreneurship centers, scientific research, and more. They call attention to the grant recipients’ work, and sometimes inspire donors and other foundations to consider investing in a highlighted nonprofit, or to invest in similar ones. The news can also inspire other nonprofits: they hear of the grant, and lightbulbs go off. “We should ask for funding too.” And they are right. Writing grant applications is an important way to raise funds. There are fund development professionals who are busy researching grant opportunities from sun up to sun down. They network at conferences, follow up […]

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Build your fundraising dream team

What if you could build your own fantasy fundraising team? Imagine you have the opportunity to create a fundraising team with all the right people who have all the right skills. The sky would be the limit. Let’s take it down a notch. Let’s say you could add three dream team members to your current team. Who would you pick? What would be your criteria? How would your new members work with your current members? Would you have leverage or friction? Here are a few possibilities of super stars to consider. Which three would you pick and why? A board member who believes in what you are doing A CEO who has defined her business’ vision for the next three to five years A civic and social leader who has […]

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Crisis fundraising – are you ready to be a first responder?

Is your nonprofit equipped to respond to a financial crisis? A crisis can take many forms and fall along a continuum of urgency. How urgent the crisis is depends upon your organization’s underlying health, the ecosystem you are operating in, and the actual crisis itself. A fundraising crisis can arise due to an unanticipated loss of revenue, storm damage, a lawsuit, vandalism, or loss of a key employee. The crisis could be unexpected. It could also have been looming on the horizon held off with prayer, loans, and committed donors. What becomes a crisis could also be the result of an inability to build diversified revenue streams. In many cases a crisis is the result of unanticipated circumstances Think back on 2008 and the following years: so many nonprofits were […]

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Don’t forget to ask

Don’t forget to ask

Events are a tried and true fundraising method. They can also be an expensive trap that derails your fundraising if you neglect to make the ask. Events are at the heart of fundraising. These can be grand in scale, marketed as an annual gala. or they may take the form of a smaller breakfast or luncheon. In all cases they require planning, coordination, and a major investment of two valuable resources: money and time. To help ensure you get the greatest yield on your investment we encourage you to focus on your fundraising goals from the beginning. Be specific: how much do you need to raise from sponsorships, ticket sales, and importantly event-related gifts? Sponsorships and ticket sales can often cover the costs of an event – and even net […]

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Black philanthropy spotlight

Jazz with a higher purpose We all love jazz. But what happens when you take a local jazz concert to a higher level in pursuit of a higher purpose? We know the answer: it is the award-winning Ocean City Jazz Festival. This jazz festival is an example of black philanthropy — and love! — in action. Today we share the story of the award-winning Ocean City Jazz Festival to inspire readers who harbor a dream and haven’t yet realized it. We also share it as part of Black History Month in an effort to highlight Black philanthropy and the strength and assets of Black communities across the country. This year’s Fourth of July weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the Ocean City Jazz Festival, and it promises to be […]

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