Tag Archives: fundraising planning

Patience and time – everything won’t happen by Friday

Patience and time – everything won’t happen by Friday

The most effective leaders we have met keep their long term vision in focus. They simultaneously take advantage of immediate opportunities, and build capacity for the long term. These individuals have an understanding of the environment they are operating within, and are always building relationships that bring their organization closer to realizing their future vision. They know everything won’t happen by Friday. Patience and time are two resources required for success within the nonprofit sector. At the same time, these are perceived as being in short supply. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the goals you set for yourself and your organization. Examine whether or not these are realistic and achievable. Do you have the time, money, resources and relationships you need to reach your goals? […]

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Where will the funding come from?

Where will the funding come from?

How will you meet your fundraising goal in 2017? This question typically elicits one of three responses. Some are confident they will be able to secure the funds their organization needs. Others have a general feeling about where the money and resources will come from. Still others are used to making do and believe they will survive one way or the other. Where does your nonprofit fall on this spectrum of responses? Managing the fundraising process throughout the year can help reduce year-end “surprises.” With this column we offer three suggestions to support your fundraising. First, set your annual fundraising goal. How much do you need to raise? This should be set by the board based on information presented by the executive director and finance director. Working with a specific […]

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Three things you can do to launch fundraising in the new year

Three things you can do to launch fundraising in the new year

The new year is soon upon us complete with new year resolutions. Some are personal: lose weight, exercise more, be a more loving person, spend more time with family, quit smoking…. Others relate to the nonprofit organizations we work with. Three things you can do to launch fundraising in the new year 1 – Create a board commitment form. Working together as board chair, executive director and chair of the development committee create a board commitment form to help better engage board members in the coming year. Items to include are dates/times of board meetings; dates for special events; volunteer opportunities; and fundraising options. It would be ideal if every member could attend every board meeting and event. But most people have busy schedules. A commitment form gives members the […]

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I didn’t give because you didn’t ask

I didn’t give because you didn’t ask

Fear, ego, time and misinformation can keep you from asking for the gifts your organization needs. Don’t make these four mistakes. We are entering the giving season. Many readers will focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza and the New Year. Here at FUNdraising Good Times we are focused on giving to nonprofits. Like children who dream of a pile of gifts under the tree many nonprofits are praying – or hoping and crossing their fingers – that the money they need will come their way. A lot of money will be given to nonprofits over the next few months. Many families make their charitable gifts at the end of the year. Still others make gifts to honor their friends, family and loved ones. Will they give to your organization? Here’s […]

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Donor Retention and Attrition: How effective is your fundraising?

We know you want to meet your fundraising goals. We also know some readers may be anxious wondering, “how will the calendar year end? Will we be in the red or in the black come December 31st?” While we don’t have a magic wand we do want to suggest two aspects of fundraising management you should keep an eye on. Donor retention. In 2015 the donor retention rate was 46%. This means that 46 percent of those who made a gift in 2014 made a gift in 2015. Using these numbers, if you had 1,000 donors last year, you may end up with 460 this year if you don’t take proactive measures. Related to this, for every 100 new and previously lapsed donors who gave, 96 donors were lost through […]

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Five guidelines for managing nonprofit funds

Part two of a two part series: An interview with Leland Faust What would you do if you were responsible for reviewing financial management policies for your nonprofit? What would you do if asked to vote on a change of investment firms? What questions would you ask? These are issues nonprofits grapple with all the time. Some of us have experience in the realm of investment selection and fund management. Most of us do not. One person who is experienced as both a nonprofit board member and an investment advisor is Leland Faust. Faust has been nationally recognized four times by Barron’s as one of the country’s top 100 independent advisors. He is also the author of the forthcoming book A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street Is Fleecing You and […]

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Leland Faust

You’ve raised the money, now how do you keep it?

Part one of a two part series: An interview with Leland Faust Financial management and investing is critical to the sustainability of nonprofits. As a board member or trustee you have a fiduciary responsibility. But how do you fulfill that responsibility? What do you need to know as it relates to financial management and investment? To get some perspective we talked with Leland Faust, the founder of CSI Capital Management. In addition to degrees from the University of California (economics) and Harvard Law School, Faust managed over $1.5 billion in assets from 1978 through 2011. Barron’s has named him four times to its annual list of top 100 independent investment advisors in the country. If that’s not enough, Faust also has a long history of engagement with nonprofits, having served […]

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2015 was America’s most generous year ever

One of the positive attributes of who we are as Americans is our generosity. We believe in helping our fellow man. Giving is the backbone of our culture, manifesting itself in so many ways. We give our time, expertise, and skills. We share our resources and connections. We give money and other financial resources. For example, in 2015 charitable donations totaled an estimated $373.25 billion. That’s billion with a “b.” Here’s what we learned from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015. Donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $373.25 billion in 2015, setting a record for the second year in a row. “Americans are embracing philanthropy at a higher level than ever before” said Giving USA Foundation Chair W. Keith […]

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Fundraising matchmaking: solicitors and prospects

Part one of a two part series Personal solicitation is the backbone of nonprofit fundraising. It is also an area that many organizations and institutions shy away from. Learn how to improve revenue from personal solicitation. Because it is impossible to personally solicit every current or prospective donor, personal solicitation is reserved for individuals who can make a major gift. While the definition of a major gift will vary by organization, what’s most important is the care and planning that goes into soliciting these gifts. Here are some suggestions followed by things to avoid. The fundraising chair or development staff person should meet individually with each fundraising volunteer to learn who they are comfortable soliciting, and the size of the gift they want to ask for. During this confidential meeting […]

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Windfall gifts: blessing or a curse?

 The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. – Dr. Who Windfall gifts are the secret fantasy of every fundraiser. These large, unexpected gifts can take a capital campaign “over the top.” In other instances they are the saving grace for a struggling annual fund. But they can’t be counted on, and you don’t know if they will materialize. So, what are they – a blessing or a curse? A windfall gift is truly a blessing. It can transform an organization, build a new law school or cancer center, pay off debt, launch new programs, or expand services. If the gift is unrestricted the potential is limited only by the vision and capacity of the […]

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