Blog

Nonprofits, do you believe in Santa Claus?

Nonprofits who conduct yearend campaigns may unconsciously believe in Santa Claus. Some – though by no means all – are looking for a yearend windfall gift to appear between now and December 31st. Staff and board members sweat out the yearend, checking the mail and organizational bank accounts. Their fingers are crossed, and many are popping antacids. Nervous doesn’t begin to describe the situation. As the days count down, reality may sit in, and talk may turn to “next year” as hope for the yearend diminishes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And yes, there is still time to move from anxiety and into action. First, we want to share best practices that can reduce yearend craziness. Organizations who are successful in their fundraising know they have enough […]

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Increase your fundraising success with matching gifts

Increase your fundraising success with matching gifts

There’s a public secret that benefits many individuals and nonprofits. It’s called matching gifts. That’s the term for when an employer – or other organization – commits to make a gift to a nonprofit that “matches” the gift made by an employee or other qualified individual. Sometimes there are “qualifications” or “restrictions” set on these gifts, sometimes not. Here’s a simple example: you make a gift to a nonprofit and ask for a receipt. You submit the receipt to your human resources office. A gift is then made from your employer to the nonprofit. That’s it – instant money! Matching gifts programs – when utilized –make a significant difference in the fundraising growth of a nonprofit. Unfortunately, in too many cases people are not aware, don’t know they are eligible, […]

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Shalom to our brothers and sisters

We write today to share our grief and sorrow with the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, with local Jewish communities across the country, and with the international Jewish community. We reach out to our Jewish – and non-Jewish – readers and take a public stand against anti-Semitism. What happened this past Saturday (October 27th) is horrific. To our Jewish friends, neighbors, community and national leaders we say Shalom. Peace. The hatred expressed by the killer at Tree of Life Synagogue was extreme. It is a hatred that many want to believe is a part of history, no longer with us. Yet anti-Semitism is alive and well: think about how often those of us who are not Jewish express or don’t challenge negative stereotypes of Jews, or choose […]

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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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Creating black led inner-city land conservancies

Creating black led inner-city land conservancies

African American led inner-city land conservancies can be organized and operated in ways similar to conservancy efforts that are established to protect wildlife, rivers, mountain ranges, farmland, marshlands, animals, and vegetation. There are individuals, families, churches, and stakeholders in our communities who could support a conservancy with cash donations and gifts of property for future use (whether to be sold or restored) in order to protect a given neighborhood.

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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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