Blog

There’s always more to accomplish

Last week we met with the executive director and board chair for an organization that is interested in raising money so they can expand their reach to serve people they aren’t yet reaching. Their history and current successes are strong and impressive. But that’s not enough for them. In fact their focus is on “how can we realign and increase our resources so we can serve those we aren’t yet reaching.” Yes, they want to engage in fundraising. But they are also looking at revenue-producing partnerships. They have identified their assests – property and programs – and are looking at how they can use these to expand services, increase impact and increase revenue. They are looking forward. And they are making decisions and taking actions to deliver on their vision. […]

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Let's Check The Minutes

Everyone has pet peeves. We are no exception. One thing we have noticed in our work is that the quality of minutes taken – or not taken – at meetings make a big impact on an organization’s effectiveness. Meetings are a valuable investment of time on the part of those who attend. We share perspectives, make decisions, and determine direction. Minutes are a way we can look back and recall what was discussed, decided, and the actions we agreed to take. When minutes are not accurate the result can confusion, misunderstandings, and a failure to meet important commitments. We agree. There are many reasons why minutes may not be accurate. Here are a few: Minute taker was unable to track the conversation and record important points. He attempted to transcribe […]

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Let’s Check The Minutes

Everyone has pet peeves. We are no exception. One thing we have noticed in our work is that the quality of minutes taken – or not taken – at meetings make a big impact on an organization’s effectiveness. Meetings are a valuable investment of time on the part of those who attend. We share perspectives, make decisions, and determine direction. Minutes are a way we can look back and recall what was discussed, decided, and the actions we agreed to take. When minutes are not accurate the result can confusion, misunderstandings, and a failure to meet important commitments. We agree. There are many reasons why minutes may not be accurate. Here are a few: Minute taker was unable to track the conversation and record important points. He attempted to transcribe […]

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Proposal Writing in the Age of Twitter

Welcome guest blogger Cheryl Clarke. Here’s Cheryl’s words of wisdom on proposal writing in the age of twitter. Twitter proposals.  That’s what I call those online grant application forms that ask a series of questions which applicants must answer within a specified word, or even character, count.  Can a nonprofit agency effectively tell its proposal story given such severe space restrictions?  It’s not easy, but it can be done.  Online application forms require grantwriters to go on a verbal diet and write low-fat proposals rather than more caloric full-blown narratives.  For most of us, this means that online proposals are more challenging to draft.  Why?  Because we’ve got to make each word count.  We do not have the luxury of slowly building our case for support.  We’ve got to get straight to […]

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Individual Donor Research – San Francisco Workshop

Major Gifts on Limited Time: Using Research to Prioritize Prospects Presented by Barbara Pierce Friday, August 14, 2009, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Development Executives Roundtable (DER) Location: The Foundation Center, 312 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco Co-sponsored by The Foundation Center With so many responsibilities, how do you decide how to use your time most wisely? In this workshop, you’ll learn valuable tools to use in making time-efficient decisions about which prospects to focus on for the best results. We’ll discuss what prospect research can (and cannot) answer for you, where to start your search, tips on best research sites, an introduction to electronic wealth screening and finally, how to utilize the information you do find to cultivate and solicit potential donors. About Barbara: Since she was handed a […]

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Boards and Fundraising: Common Complaints and Proposed Solutions

We hear a lot about boards and fundraising.  Below are comments and questions we hear from leadership and staff of organizations and from board members.  Do these sound familiar? Take a look. Common staff comments and questions: How can we get our board more involved with fundraising? We give them a goal each year, but they never meet it. We can’t get 100% of our board to give. Our board is more interested in policy than in fundraising. Everyone agrees on our fundraising plan at the board meeting, but board members just don’t follow through. Common board comments and questions: We are willing to get involved, but the goals are unreasonable. I didn’t join the board to raise money. They keep changing the fundraising goal – I need a strong […]

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Are you a 50% Giver?

“My wife and I decided to give away all our income above the U.S. median household income.” – Tom Hsieh. Do you know anyone who gives away 50% of their income? Believe it or not, people do. And they feel good.

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Passion, Creativity and Fundraising

When you work with a non-profit organization that is in line with your personal mission and values then everything is possible. Your creativity is sparked and you look to engage people with your non-profit and how you can advance its work.

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Ed McMahon and black history

This week America mourns the passing of Ed McMahon an entertainment giant, household name, and trusted American icon. He is remembered by the general public for his 30 years as Johnny Carson’s side-kick on The Tonight Show, his 12 years as the host of Star Search and his 16 years co-hosting TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark. He earned a place in American cultural history. And he earned a place in African American history. As the creator and producer of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Lou Rawls Parade of Stars telethon I want to salute Ed McMahon for his work as the show’s co-host for over 17 years. From the very beginning Ed lent his name, his prestige and his connections to the telethon. His role as […]

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Q&A – Private Public Partnership

One of the programs of the East Bay Community Foundation is it’s public/private partnership program. We thought you might want to know about this, so we asked questions on your behalf. What is the Foundation’s public/private partnership program? Based on the reality that neither government, business, the non-profit sector nor the philanthropic sector alone possesses the resources to resolve our most pressing challenges, our partnership program is dedicated to forming partnerships that pool resources from different sectors to develop solutions to specific problems.  Specifically, we look to partner with the private and public sectors. To make significant change, we need to go beyond the power of one.  We need the power of many. Does this initiative provide funding for local non-profit?    Funding for local non profits who focus on our […]

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