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Is your nonprofit ready for fundraising? Download our free checklist!

Is your nonprofit ready for fundraising? Download our free checklist!

It’s money that makes the world go round. While not everyone would put it so bluntly, the truth is that for many nonprofits money is one of the most-needed resources. Ideas and programs abound, but it can be hard to find the money needed to bring these to life. The process of attracting money – and the leadership that will sustain giving over the years – is what fundraising is all about. Through our work we have identified 18 prerequisites for fundraising success. These are the “invisible” processes, people, activities, and communications that underly fundraising success. They are the building blocks of a fundraising culture, and too often they are not explicitly communicated and implemented. To help share the “secrets” of successful fundraising we have developed a free checklist you […]

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Five ways to energize your fundraising for 2020

The new year is here, and hard as it is to believe, it will soon be June 30th and we will be halfway through the year. To help keep time from creeping up on you, we offer five suggestions for how to energize your fundraising efforts for 2020. Review your data. Take time to run reports that illustrate what is working and what’s not. The following are examples of the types of reports you want to run and review, and why. Renewals. Who gave in both 2018 and 2019? Who gave in 2018, but not 2019? Get to work immediately reaching out to those who are “lapsed” donors and ask for their support in the first quarter of 2020. Donor expansion. Did the number of donors and funders who gave […]

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Ekundayo Bandele of Hattiloo and The State of Black Theatre

Ekundayo Bandele of Hattiloo and The State of Black Theatre – Part Two

Part one of a two part series Ekundayo Bandele, the founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, talks collaboration and the future of Black Theatre with Mel Shaw of Saad&Shaw. Mel Shaw: How did you get buy-in from the African American community and then on to the general community? What was the secret there? Ekundayo Bandele: The secret was collaboration. We sought opportunities to collaborate with every legacy organization. We collaborated with Opera Memphis, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Memphis, Playhouse on the Square. Here’s why we did that: those art forms are established, and they are known in Memphis. By having a Black presence within those art forms we developed a sense of pride and respect for Black Theatre through Hattiloo. We also partnered with Black sororities, fraternities, […]

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Ekundayo Bandele

Ekundayo Bandele of Hattiloo and The State of Black Theatre

An interview with Ekundayo Bandele, Founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre. Part one of a two part series. We had the opportunity to interview Ekundayo Bandele, the founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. Hattiloo, as the theatre is affectionately called, is the only freestanding Black repertory theatre in five surrounding states. Listen in as Mel Shaw of Saad&Shaw interviews Ekundayo Bandele on the state of Black Theatre and what lies ahead. Mel Shaw: How would you summarize the state of Black Theatre as we know it today? Ekundayo Bandele: That is a double sided coin. The infrastructure of Black Theatre right now is very skeletal compared to where it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s. There aren’t a lot of brick-and-mortar institutions, and there aren’t a lot […]

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Stop Screening, Answer the Phone and Start Talking.

Stop Screening, Answer the Phone and Start Talking

Millennials aren’t the only ones clamoring for yesteryear. The telephone is a primary means of inbound and outbound communication for many businesses and nonprofits. Do you wonder why board members, volunteer leaders, and donors don’t get back to you? Could it be they had a negative experience when trying to reach you by phone? Maybe they did call, got frustrated, and hung up. Or maybe they left a message that never found its way to you. While we appear to be so interconnected with technology and apps, there are a lot of people who still use the phone. And, they expect to talk to someone when they call. The following are a few things that could turn a caller off. Could any of these be happening at your organization? Imagine […]

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Can you afford not to invest in organizational development?

Can you afford not to invest in organizational development?

Nonprofit people are some of the busiest people around. We are busy meeting needs, advocating, raising money, collaborating, and bringing people together to advance positive visions for who we can be individually and collectively. Our endeavors are meaningful, impactful, and often life-saving. Collectively we are transforming the world we know into the world we want our children to live in. And we seek to respect each other and feel good about doing good. But how does this all happen? Is there a magic team builder who transforms everyday humans into nonprofit superstars? Our experience has shown that while the hearts of those in the nonprofit sector are full of love and hope, we aren’t collectively blessed with any greater ability to work together than others. We need to invest in […]

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Don’t be a special event copycat

Don’t be a special event copycat

Special events are an integral part of nonprofit life and fundraising. They can be a fun way to build relationships, raise money, and increase awareness. They can also drain resources and divert an organization from its primary purpose. There’s a lot to consider before planning an event:  just because another organization is hosting a gala, walk-a-thon, bike ride, silent auction, golf tournament, or concert doesn’t mean you should do the same. Here are six things to consider. Do your homework and research. Sit down and talk with the leadership of organizations whose events you admire. Ask about bumps in the road you should be aware of, things that went well, the near disasters, and things they learned in hindsight. The best people to learn from are your peers and partners, locally […]

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Does your nonprofit meet your community’s needs?

Does your nonprofit meet your community’s needs?

As 2019 – and the decade – comes to a close take a moment to ask the critical questions. We all believe in what we are doing. We believe in the mission and vision of the organizations we lead and are associated with. We have contributed to strategic planning and fundraising. We give of our time, talent and resources. We know we are making an impact. The above is all well and good, but is it good enough? Is the health of your organization the most important aspect of your work? What if you are not meeting a community need – is organizational health still critical? We suggest that you take time to truly consider the extent to which your organization is meeting community needs. A starting point is checking […]

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Which nonprofits will be on your holiday gift list this year?

Which nonprofits will be on your holiday gift list this year?

As you decide whose been naughty and whose been nice, remember the nonprofits who make are “nice” every day of the year. Giving Tuesday is a “global generosity movement” that kicks off on the Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It’s all about unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. It’s a great time to start your holiday giving: you can give in person, online, by check or credit card. You can donate your house and everything you own. The choices are endless. Being of a more moderate nature, we recommend working within a “giving budget.” It will save you from a potential financial hangover in January, and keep you in the joyous spirit. Study your finances and what […]

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What is your fundraising “red zone?”

What is your fundraising “red zone?”

With less than 45 days to make or succeed your fundraising goal, it’s time to put a “red zone” plan of action in place. In football the red zone is the most difficult time to score. You are down to the last 20 yards. Things are difficult and intense. This is not time for the “ten yard by ten yard” standardized process. You are close, but you need to put all forces into play to score. The rest of the game doesn’t have to be as intense and strategic, but this is the do or die zone. Likewise, the last 45 days in a fundraising campaign can be the most difficult. You know you have to meet your fundraising goal. But what is your plan? Will you go on automatic, […]

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