Category Archives: FUNdraising Good Times

Power, wealth, and influence – what does it really mean?

Power, wealth, and influence – what does it really mean?

In the fundraising world there are things we are comfortable talking about, and things we tend to shy away from. One of these is the impact that people of power, wealth, and influence can make on the life of an organization or institution.   There can be a tendency to believe all people bring equal assets to the board of an organization. That belief can obscure the specific value that people of power, wealth, and/or influence can bring. Its not that these people are more important than other board members, but rather that their absence can have a negative impact. Let us be clear, leadership and vision need to be provided by people who have deep relationships with the people a nonprofit serves or advocates for. You have to have […]

Read More

What to do if you have to do it all: guidance for the one person fundraising shop

What to do if you have to do it all: guidance for the one person fundraising shop

Sometimes you are the one person responsible for fundraising for your organization. When that’s the situation our guidance is this: start small and plan BIG. The most important thing to know – and act on – is that you must have a well-defined job description. You can contribute to creating it if you are already in the job. If you are considering such a position, be sure to ask for the job description and review it closely. It needs to define what you are being asked to take responsibility for and the resources available to you. One of those resources needs to be the executive director. He or she needs to dedicate time to cultivation and solicitation, and to meeting with you each week. Yes, every week. Look out for […]

Read More

Creating a sense of urgency

Creating a sense of urgency

Have you ever wondered why your fundraising efforts seem to stall, not get off the ground, or never come to an end? We suspect your campaign isn’t working with a sense of urgency. There are so many things that need to go right in order for a fundraising campaign to be successful. One of them is creating a sense of urgency. This should be set during the planning phases: you cannot recover once you set another standard. If you want to increase momentum within your fundraising, we have 11 suggestions to help you get started. Establish a time duration for your anticipated fundraising campaign, and stay with it. Prior to launch, create an agreed upon list of campaign milestones. When recruiting volunteers and staff, let them know what you are […]

Read More

What makes a good fundraising program?

What makes a good fundraising program?

Does meeting your organization’s financial goal define the success of your fundraising program? If you receive a windfall gift that takes you over the top, do you feel prepared to meet next year’s goal? How does meeting or exceeding an annual fundraising goal tie to sustainable fundraising success?  People ask us, “what do you look for in a successful fundraising program?” And then, they answer the question themselves! Some say, “If you don’t meet the goal, you’re not successful.” Others say “We can’t rely on a one-time homerun. There are things you have to do year-in and year-out no matter what.” We believe sustainable fundraising requires more than luck and chance. Windfall gifts are great, but not enough. We recommend using volunteers, systems, and science to build sustained success. Here […]

Read More

Who calls the shots at your nonprofit?

Who calls the shots at your nonprofit?

Sometimes the multitude of decisions that need to be made can be overwhelming. If you are a nonprofit leader you know that the need to make decisions is never ending. But how do you make decisions? Better yet, how does the organization make decisions? Some organizations find they aren’t able to advance as they desire. If you are in this position, consider looking at how decisions are made, and who manages the decision making process. Things may not be as clear as they seem. Sometimes the executive is not really making the decisions, even though she is technically empowered to do so. Consider these  examples. By committee. A number of options and opinions are put on the table by various individuals within and outside the organization. These are collectively discussed. […]

Read More

How to develop a world class fundraising volunteer

How to develop a world class fundraising volunteer

Are you struggling to develop and manage fundraising volunteers? Do you think it is “easier” for you to do the fundraising yourself? Do you secretly feel it is a waste of time to work with volunteers? We believe that a successful fundraising campaign should be volunteer driven with staff providing guidance and support. To accomplish this, nonprofit management and staff need to put the same energy into developing a volunteer pool that they invest in developing major donors. Here are 14 suggestions to help you develop your volunteer team into what we consider “world class volunteers.” “Make the case” to potential fundraising volunteers about the impact they can make through giving of their time, money, and connections. Tell your organization’s story with the same level of professionalism you apply when […]

Read More

Are you an honorary board member or a real one?

Are you an honorary board member or a real one?

Are you really an active participant as a board member, or are you there in name only? Some may not be aware, but there actually are different “classes” of board members. It is rare for someone to tell you which class you are a part of, but you can assess your behavior and learn for yourself. We believe there are two primary classes: honorary board members, and “real” or participating members. There are a few behaviors that can be tell-tale signs of an honorary member. These include not rocking the boat; going with the crowd; and not putting ideas on the table. Here’s what we know: Serving as a “yes” person can be deadly for an organization. Your involvement, support, and ideas add value and help create a functioning board. […]

Read More

Restoring sanity to your nonprofit - anger

Restoring sanity to your nonprofit

Within nonprofits there is always someone who is known as the “sane one” and another known as the “insane one.” It is often the CEO who is seen as the source of “organizational insanity.” These leaders are constantly keeping multiple balls in the air, juggling as fast as they can. Their charge is to keep the organization alive, relevant, connected, financially solvent, and the list goes on and on!!! That is a lot to manage!!! And it can be crazy making, both for the leader and all members of the organization. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s our suggestion: make sure your nonprofit has an administrator to run the shop. This person can become the “sanity” in the organization. He or she is the balance to the CEO, and […]

Read More

Back to FUNdraising School Special

You cannot say thank you enough! As students head back to school, its time for nonprofit professionals to return to FUNdraising School. Receiving a gift – especially a major gift – is an important milestone for any organization. Gifts and grants are the financial backbone of so many nonprofits, and they cannot be taken for granted. Yet sometimes they are. And that can have a negative impact now and in the future. Here’s what we have learned. In the nonprofit sector professionals and volunteers “wear many hats.” There is a lot of work to be done, and people are busy. Sometimes the function known formally as “gift processing” gets neglected, or set aside until the end of the month or another arbitrary time. While this allows other priorities to receive […]

Read More

How to raise our children to become philanthropists

How to raise our children to become philanthropists

Part two of a two part series This column is offered in honor of Black Philanthropy Month. Giving is one aspect of philanthropy. Deciding how, where, and when to give is another aspect. You can support the young people in your life – and in your community – as they become philanthropists. You can help them grow from giving of their time, talent, and treasure and into thinking of themselves as strategic philanthropists. There is much a child can learn and accomplish by starting their own philanthropy with a dollar, 100 dollars, or more. Their giving can go even further when they add their passion, time, creativity, smarts, and relationships to the mix. Developing a revenue-generating business or a fundraising campaign can turbo charge their philanthropy by providing a stream […]

Read More

%d bloggers like this: