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When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

The development committee of your board is like the fire department. They should always be ready to fundraise. They should be planning for the next campaign, cultivating new donors, and understanding the philanthropic landscape. When the time to actively fundraise arrives they “spring into action.” It is always the right time for a campaign if your organization has done its planning, built its capacity, has volunteer leadership in place, and understands the philanthropic landscape. That is a lot of work. No organization can do it all at once and simultaneously continue operations. This is ongoing work, it takes place step-by-step, day-by-day. It is part of who you are as a nonprofit, large or small. Yes, you need to focus on your mission, vision, people, and constituency. At the same time […]

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(from left to right) Dr. Elwood L. Robinson: Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; and Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College.

Corporate leaders offer more than money

“What can we do to help?” That was the question asked by a corporate representative at a conference we attended last week. The already lively discussion quickly blossomed and increased in focus. Here are the details. We were in Winston Salem participating in the State of Black North Carolina conference. We fell in love with the people, energy, and positive, forward thinking. We were surrounded by people – including high school students and senior citizens – all of who were asking questions, offering solutions, sharing history, and strategizing. We facilitated a panel discussion on HBCUs: Their Mission, Their Value, Their Future. The panelists were Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College; and […]

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Math of Fundraising

The math of fundraising

How do you reach a fundraising goal? There are many activities that together can guide you to your fundraising destination. One of these is knowing how many people you need to ask to give to your nonprofit, and at what level people need to give at. A simple solution is to raise $100,000 by asking 100,000 people to give one dollar, or 10,000 people to give $100. That could work, but that’s a lot of people to reach. Some organizations have that reach – but in most cases they also have a much higher fundraising goal!  You could raise $10,000 from ten people – that’s easier – but you would have to know ten people who can give $10,000. All these methods are feasible in the abstract. The question is […]

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How to win at fundraising

How to win at fundraising

Wonder why it’s easy for some nonprofits to raise money and not so much for others? Here’s what we have learned: sustained successful fundraising requires consistent attention, action, funding and leadership. It is proactive and donor-focused. The success of an organization’s fundraising depends upon the involvement of a cross-section of influencers and their ability and willingness to cultivate and solicit major donors. Success also depends on prerequisites that support the involvement of influencers and donors. Below we share a few of these prerequisites, otherwise known as “secrets to winning at fundraising.”  Think on these questions. Talk about them. Share these with your board, staff, volunteers, fellow community members. Consider putting them into an online survey and ask those you know to share their responses. Do we have full understanding and […]

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What will be your fundraising legacy?

What will be your fundraising legacy?

As you begin your board service, define what you want to achieve by the time you leave. Whether you are a new or established board member we suggest you take the time to define for yourself what you want to accomplish through your service. Time will pass; crises will arise; there will be leadership changes, budget shortfalls, unexpected windfalls, mergers, resignations and more. You and your fellow board members will have to respond and react. In order to assure you are more than responsive, we suggest you set a fundraising-related goal that you consistently advance so when your board term comes to a close you will leave a legacy. You set the goal. There are many to choose from. You could raise a specific amount of money; to build a […]

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Hiring your new leader

Hiring your new leader

Where does fundraising rank as a priority when searching for new leadership? It happens all the time. “I quit!” or “You’re fired!” are the extremes that can mark the beginning of a crucial organizational change process. When you find yourself in the midst of a leadership transition it will be critical that your search team pays close attention to each candidate’s experience with and knowledge of fundraising. Yes, we know there is a long list of qualities and experiences that will be valuable, even critical. But you have to ask about fundraising, and you have to ask the right questions. Unless you have consistent access to funds whenever you need them, the financial health of your organization will rest on your new leader’s ability to attract and sustain funding. Here […]

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ENERGIZING YOUR VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP

Energizing your volunteer leadership

A special column for executive directors and college presidents “I guess I’ll have to do it myself. I can’t depend on anyone. People say they want to help, but…” If you find yourself doubting the power, ability and leverage that volunteer leaders provide we ask you to think again. Yes, it takes consistent time and energy to work with volunteer leaders. You have to keep them informed and up-to-date. Many will want to talk with you by phone. Some want to meet in person. Others will offer ideas that have already been investigated and eliminated. Some will share stories of “how things used to be,” and others may not really understand the priorities of your organization or institution. That’s all part of life and part of engaging volunteers. There is […]

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Philanthropic investments in the Black community

As Memphis and the world marks the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. there is much to reflect on and much to look forward to. Our reflections can be a source of inspiration for what we can accomplish together moving forward into the future. We can embrace the “fierce urgency of now” that Dr. King spoke of. “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time.” The work of social justice and social change continues through churches, local and national organizations, partnerships, shared learning, persistent advocacy, social organizing, lawsuits, and through […]

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Ocean City Jazz Festival

Jazz with a Higher Purpose

2018 Ocean City Jazz Festival Sat. July 7 – Sun. July 8 Historic Ocean City Community at North Topsail Beach, NC. About Ocean City Ocean City was established in 1949, as the first North Carolina coastal community in which Blacks could purchase land, 15 years before the Civil Rights Act.  The first Festival was held on September 6, 2009 and has been held every year since. Learn more. Purchase your tickets!

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