Tag Archives: philanthropy

What the CFRE??##!!?

Special note for Mid-South readers: CFRE Review Course will be held Saturday September 9th In the nonprofit world money is almost always an issue. Where will it come from? When will it arrive? Is it restricted or unrestricted? These questions are accompanied by others such as “how are we implementing our fund development strategy?” and “will we meet our fundraising goals?” Fund development and fundraising professionals live and breathe these questions and more. Those who have earned a CFRE credential have a wealth of knowledge and experience they can draw on when working with leadership, staff and volunteers to sustain and grow nonprofit resources. “What’s a CFRE?” you may ask. We are here to fill you in. A CFRE is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. These are individuals who are […]

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Money Is Not Enough

Money is not enough

Nonprofits play a critical role across the country. They represent, serve and advocate for a great diversity of individuals, families and causes. They are joined in this work by foundations and corporations who provide money, resources, connections and technical assistance. In many cases it is through the work of nonprofits that foundations and corporations live into their missions: nonprofits are one way that the actual work gets done. Nonprofits and funders are natural partners. Yet there is always the reality that nonprofits solicit and funders give. This is one of many dynamics involved in the solicitation and granting of funds. Other dynamics include who gets to define the impact a nonprofit makes; how many nonprofits a community needs; and the reasons behind why some organizations are funded and others aren’t. […]

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Defining your legacy

Defining your legacy

Each day we are creating the legacy that one day we will leave to our family and the world. We do it with our words and daily actions. We do it with our giving. What is most important to you and your family? How do you want to be remembered? When an organization captures your heart you think about how you can contribute to their work. You give of your time, resources and talents. You can also plan to continue your giving in the future, even when you’re gone. You can start at 20 years old or 70. Age is not a barrier. Think about the assets you have or may accumulate – your home, IRA, 401K, stocks and bonds, rental properties, life insurance and other investments. Have you made […]

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10 ways to refine your fundraising readiness in 2017

10 ways to refine your fundraising readiness in 2017

Part Two of a Two Part Series Are you ready for a successful fundraising year?  Are you already involved? Before you go full force in the marketplace – whether with cultivation or solicitation – stop and review your fundraising readiness status. Here are 10 business processes we have found impact fundraising. Take a moment to review, and consider scheduling a staff meeting to discuss. 1 – Customer service. Do we have a system in place that provides donors with the information or interaction they requested? Have we created a culture that ensures people who interact with our organization leave feeling informed and good about giving? 2 – Recognition and acknowledgement. Do we have a donor recognition program that seeks to make our donors and volunteers feel special and appreciated? Have […]

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Define Your Giving Priorities in 2017

Part One of a Two Part Series As 2016 came to a close there was an avalanche of well crafted requests to give to nonprofits. These came in the US mail and via email. They were on TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter… everywhere! So many were compelling. They combined emotion with facts. They communicated impact. They spoke to us personally. They let us know that our gift – no matter what size – would make a difference. As fundraising consultants we were impressed. As human beings we knew that our family had only so much we could give. And, we suspect that you – our readers – are not that different. We all want to make a difference, especially in those areas that are important to us on a personal level. […]

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How to integrate and align fundraising with your mission.

How to integrate and align fundraising with your mission

Creating a culture of fundraising Part two of a three-part series Fundraising is the process of attracting people and resources. Yes, it’s about raising money. But it’s also about “how” you raise money. We believe that fundraising should be infused into all aspects of an organization’s culture. It needs to be a shared responsibility that is as important as what is defined as the “work” of an organization. In a nonprofit, it is unsustainable to separate the two. We encourage you to read Beyond Fundraising: What does it mean to build a culture of philanthropy? This report was written by Cynthia M. Gibson and produced by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. The report shares four main topics: shared responsibility for development; integration and alignment with mission; a focus […]

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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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Giving Back Book: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists

Philanthropy is alive and well in the African American community

Here’s a stereotype to bust: Philanthropy is about large gifts from the rich and the powerful who give to organizations and institutions that serve those in need. Here’s an expanded definition: philanthropy includes everyday African Americans who give freely of their treasure. So much of African American philanthropy is impactful, but unrecorded. We have a history of digging deep and calling on each other for the good of our community. Ever since we landed on these shores that’s what we have done. It’s part of our DNA, though rarely recorded. Our philanthropy is a rite of passage. It arises out of necessity. It empowers us to address needs within our community. It also gives us an independence. It’s how we survived for decades after the end of slavery and through […]

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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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The Effect of a Butterfly Gift

Butterfly Effect, Saad and Shaw, Paying It Forward, Random Acts of KindnessThis is what we’ve heard – when a butterfly flaps its wings it can start a hurricane on the other side of the world. The idea being that a tiny movement can initiate unanticipated activities. We hope you will join us in a burgeoning butterfly movement of unintended positive consequences.

Here’s the back story. We were watching the show CBS Sunday Morning when we saw a segment of Chris Rosati of Durham North Carolina. He is living with ALS and chose – on a whim – to give two girls at a restaurant $50 each. He asked them to each do something kind for someone else. It was a no-strings gift to girls he might not ever see again. The girls gave the money to a village in Sierra Leone where they knew villagers were fighting ebola. And, they shared their experience with Rosati, who had never thought he would hear from them. He was so delighted he has announced plans to give out butterfly grants – $50 each – to kids who want to change the world. (more…)

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