Category Archives: Resources

Ten last-minute year-end campaign ideas

Ten last-minute year-end campaign ideas

It’s almost 2019 – do you have a plan for year-end fundraising? For many nonprofit 30 to 45 percent of their money is raised at the end of the year. That means it is critical to plan and be well organized to help ensure the financial health of your organization. Ideally you want to talk with current and potential donors throughout the year. You should have started your campaign yesterday, or 12 months ago. But that’s in the past…. Here are 10 steps to getting busy now.

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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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Three things to consider before applying for a big grant

Big money attracts big dreams. Imagine what your organization could do with a large sum of money. Large could be $25,000 or it could be $25 million. It all depends on your operating budget. Whether you say “yes” to big money, or turn down an opportunity can impact your organization – and community – for years to come. Learn three questions to ask before making a decision. When you are approached to apply for a large grant it can feel as if your nonprofit has won the lottery. Maybe you’re a grassroots program, a national advocacy organization, or a college or university. In most cases the response is the same: you are excited and begin to evaluate how your programs fit into the grant guidelines. If the proposed grant could […]

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How to create a fundraising plan

The fundraising plan is at the core of successful fundraising. But what exactly is a fundraising plan? Is it a spreadsheet? A list of activities? A list of potential donors and funders? Our answer: it’s this and so much more. Here are four things to consider when creating your fundraising plan.  First, your fundraising plan should be rooted in your strategic plan. The strategic plan sets the direction for your organization, and the fund development plan guides your fundraising activities so the resources needed to implement the strategic plan are available. Your fund development plan should be created as part of the strategic planning process, or as quickly thereafter as possible. Your fundraising goal should be drawn from the strategic plan. This is the core of your fundraising plan: how […]

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Nonprofit solicitation cycle

When is the right time to solicit a gift from a current donor? Do you send a letter once a year and hope for a gift? That’s one strategy. Some nonprofits believe it is a good one. Their logic: “we don’t want our donors to feel we’re always asking for a gift” Here’s our guidance: begin the solicitation process when you say “thank you.” You want to create awareness, provide opportunities for engagement, report on your progress, and encourage donors to make additional gifts. Touch your donors with three solicitations throughout the year: two should occur before your year-end solicitation. Each donor should hear from you throughout the year, regardless of the size of their gift. Tailor your communication to meet their method of giving. Here are 11 suggestions for […]

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Nonprofit fundraising values

Values are at the heart of a nonprofit and its operations. Our question to readers: what are your fundraising values? We truly understand the importance of securing money and resources. At the same time we caution against a “money first” approach to fundraising. We believe that fundraising should be grounded in a nonprofit’s values. We offer six fundraising values for your consideration. The goals and visions of a nonprofit should first meet the needs of the community served. We all have individual dreams and a vision for a better tomorrow. When crafting or reviewing the vision and goals for your nonprofit make sure they meet community needs and are more than a vehicle for your personal aspirations. Make clear how your nonprofit will benefit your community, and keep community benefit […]

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How to write targeted proposals

writing-targeted-proposalsLast week’s column focused on six basic things you should know before writing a proposal. With this column, we address three more nuanced things to consider.

Some nonprofits create a “boiler plate” proposal and send it out to as many foundations and corporations as possible, hoping to “get a hit.” That’s one strategy, and sometimes it is appropriate. Making small modifications to a standard proposal is efficient, particularly when seeking to secure sponsorships and smaller grants. In general, we suggest a more targeted approach.

Here are three things to consider:

  1. What percentage of your revenue do you project will come from foundations or corporations? We recommend building diverse revenue streams. This is important for long-term reasons such as having other revenue streams should foundation/corporation giving contract. A shorter term reason to diversify your revenue is that it signals financial health to foundations who are reviewing your proposal.

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HBCU Nation Radio Show

Here are some of the topics we have covered on The HBCU Radio Show. Prerequisites for fundraising Success – The Book When Do You Resolicit Boards Who Won’t Fundraise NonProfit Fundraising Values with Mel and Pearl Shaw Boost Fundraising by Building a Successful Alumni Relations Program Overcoming the College President’s Achilles’ Heel: FUNDRAISING Fundraising and […]

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Free Tool: Assess Your Fundraising

Download our free fundraising assessment tool. Whether your fundraising for a grassroots advocacy organization, or a large college or university, the principles are the same — fundraising is 90% planning and 10% solicitation. Make this the year you grow your fundraising program. Our simple three-page tool will help you assess your organization’s readiness for a fundraising campaign. Use the […]

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Free Tool: How To Solicit A Gift

Download our free two-page guide to soliciting gifts. Nonprofits often look to board members, volunteers and donors to ask their friends, family members and colleagues to consider making a meaningful gift. Don’t be intimidated — we’ll teach you what to say and do. Download our free two-page guide to soliciting gifts. Additional resources: Our book The Fundraiser’s Guide […]

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