Category Archives: FUNdraising Good Times

Creating black led inner-city land conservancies

With this column we offer food for thought. We want to start a conversation, and encourage people to find a way that we can protect historically black neighborhoods and grow them through inner city, nonprofit land conservancies that African Americans establish, contribute to, fundraise for, are actively involved in, and govern. Background Over the years black residents – like others – have moved out of the inner city. Some have held on to family properties, leaving them to children or other relatives. Some who have stayed in family homes have been unable to consistently invest in home repairs. Some homes are lost for nonpayment of taxes, others are abandoned. We have all witnessed neighborhoods that are home to strong memories, yet today appear abandoned. We have also witnessed “urban renewal” […]

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Cultivation: a first step in the fundraising process

Cultivation: a first step in the fundraising process

Fundraising is about building relationships. We all have relationships. When it comes to fundraising – especially major gift fundraising – the question is this: do you – or those you know – have relationships with individuals who can make or influence major gifts? Relationships with potential major donors typically develop over time. They can be the result of an individual, corporation or foundation making smaller gifts over time. Through these smaller gifts donors get to know more about your organization’s work; they learn how you allocate funds; they may view your financials; and they are exposed to your board members through reporting, marketing materials, and what is known in the fundraising business as “cultivation.” Cultivation is one of the initial steps in major gift fundraising. This is basically relationship building. […]

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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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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

Why Diversity Matters in Philanthropy and Fundraising

In terms of philanthropy and fundraising, there is a perception that only one segment of our community is in a position to give money and set policy. Yet the truth is that people of color are fast positioning themselves to give back because of our increased education, wealth, and changes in the dominant culture. It is incumbent upon us as professionals that we grow to understand the different cultures that comprise our community.

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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in Fundraising and Philanthropy

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in Fundraising and Philanthropy – Part 1

Part one of a four part series On September 13, 2018 we were asked to speak to the Memphis Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The following is part one of our remarks. We share these as we believe they are important to all of us who care about the future of fundraising, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector. Remarks were written by Melvin and Pearl Shaw and delivered by Pearl Shaw. A little bit of history We are a husband-and-wife team, operating a fundraising consulting business that works locally and nationwide. Melvin is African American, Memphis born and raised, though he left Memphis in 1968, a time he describes politely as “tense.” I’m from New York. My mother immigrated from Egypt in her early 20s. My father is […]

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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

In terms of philanthropy and fundraising, there is a perception that only one segment of our community is in a position to give money and set policy. Yet the truth is that people of color are fast positioning themselves to give back because of our increased education, wealth, and changes in the dominant culture.

It is incumbent upon us as professionals that we grow to understand the different cultures that comprise our community: how they think, what they value. We need to get to know their leadership, and to understand what is important to them. We need to build platforms that allow us to hear voices different from our own and to engage those voices in our work … even when that means our work might change by including “someone else’s” priorities.

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Trista Harris

Can we see into the future?

“The future isn’t something that happens to you, it is something that you create with the decisions that you make today.” – Trista Harris How many times have you dreamed of seeing into the future? Did you know you could make this dream come true? By the time you finish reading this article, you will move beyond dreaming! Earlier this year we had the opportunity to meet Trista Harris. In a group session she impressed us as being clear and focused. Little did we know she was “future focused.” When we had a moment to talk over dinner, our minds – and hearts – were opened. Trista is more than a philanthropy professional, mother, wife, and community leader. She is a futurist. Needless to say, when she mentioned that our […]

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American values

American values

As United States Senator John McCain prepared for his death he wrote a message to America and the world. We share a few of his words as a call to our higher selves, a reminder of our humanity – and fragility – and as beacon of hope. I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life… To be connected to America’s causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves. The nonprofit community represents one aspect of what makes the United States […]

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How to know if you should launch a major campaign

How to know if you should launch a major campaign

When it comes to planning for a major fundraising campaign, people always want to know “what are the indicators that we should launch our campaign?” We suggest that the number one indicator is how well you have conducted your annual giving program. While there are differences and distinctions between an annual campaign, and a capital or major gifts campaign, a successful annual campaign indicates that basic fundraising systems, processes and relationships are in place. If you don’t yet have a strong annual campaign, we suggest taking the time to build one. Doing so will offer your organization the opportunity to prepare for a major campaign in a less “high stakes” environment. Of course, you can always “build as you go” but the challenges you incur may be more than anticipated […]

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