OK, commandment #1 (by far): You build your sales’ success (i.e., your fundraising comm’s success) backwards from your target audience. “What the heck does that mean?” might be your challenge. ——So … let’s get basic. You, fundraiser, are trying to sell my brain something. You want my brain to make a purchase decision … a purchase decision that will benefit your charity’s mission-cause-movement-ideal-belief-invention-initiative-program-plans for… Read more »
Fundraisers are managers utilizing a fundraising plan as a management document to achieve goals and meet metrics. However, even though fundraisers rarely hold a nonprofit’s top staff position, fundraisers are also leaders. Knowing the difference between fundraising management and fundraising leadership is essential for fundraising success. While management is focused on today’s details, leadership is focused on tomorrow’s possibilities. Those possibilities are rooted not… Read more »
We know that 2020 was hard on nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools, and municipalities, and 2021 will continue to be difficult for much of the year…all the more reason to consider grant funding as a critical and timely source of revenue. In this article I will share with you many years of experience at Grants4Good and give you three ways to THRIVE (not just survive),… Read more »
Every word matters. Some words matter more. We or you?
Why this book screamed to be made In the US, as of 2017, there were something like 1.3 million government-sanctioned charitable organizations. It’s a growing sector: at current rates, about 47,000 new US charities are born each year. Is that a lot or a little, for a nation of some 330 million? I say it’s a lot. After all, the same population gets by with… Read more »
Early in my 30-plus year career in the philanthropic arena, I was looking for a major gifts officer for a reproductive health clinic in Los Angeles. Of the many résumés I received, one was from a candidate with ten years of solid experience—but for eight of those ten years, he worked for religious charities that opposed the values held by my organization. Within the… Read more »
The IGNORANCE CEILING is destroying fundraising. Now you know. Meet the frustrated: So MANY fundraisers quit so fast. They learn “best practices” … and then collide with the “Ignorance Ceiling.” I.e., bosses and boards insisting: “I don’t like it. No way.”
Suddenly it seems like everyone’s talking about it. Or maybe “finally” is better than suddenly. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has gotten weighty on the subject. On June 7, it featured a scathing article by Amanda Pearce, CFRE, under the headline, “Nonprofit is a Tax Status, NOT a Business Model.” Even US charity watchdogs have admitted they got it wrong. In case no one at… Read more »
Many of the principles of fundraising I learned early on really are true: listen to prospective donors to connect them to your cause; build relationships to move supporters to the next level of giving; and thank donors more often than you ask for money. These do result in better fundraising outcomes. But based on my recent experience, I’m wondering if the scarcity-based approach of holding your funding sources under lock and key could use an upgrade.
People of the North American West depend on healthy rivers, national parks, forests, monuments, and other public and working lands to sustain their families and their communities. These majestic landscapes provide refuge and inspiration, and fulfill economic, cultural, and spiritual needs. And yet, we are losing the equivalent of a football field of natural land in the Western United States every two-and-a-half minutes. Family… Read more »
7. Donors aren’t forever. Mostly. Again: Why do you need a donor acquisition program as well as a donor relationship program? Because donors come and go, like pee holes in the snow. A couple of years ago, I polled experts around the world with the question, “How long does the average donor stick with a charity?” There was a gawdly lot of hemming and… Read more »
As someone who began her career as a fund raiser and migrated to become a funder as head of a large corporate foundation, I have a somewhat unique vantage point on the struggle many nonprofits endure when engaging funders and major donors to support their cause. In speaking with executive and development officers who are charged with fundraising, I find it most helpful to… Read more »
On the delicate topic of approvals . . . What is the Mt. Everest-sized obstacle which prevents many nonprofits (yours?) from taking advantage of “donor-centricity”?
Funding News and Grant Tips Registration is now open for the Funding Information Center’s annual grant writing workshop/webinar. Please go to http://dshs.texas.gov/fic/al29-3-3.aspx#R for details and instructions. Kaiser Family Foundation Issues Report on HIV, Opioid Epidemic http://dshs.texas.gov/fic/al29-4-1.aspx#A 2018 County Health Rankings Highlight Disparities by Place and Race http://dshs.texas.gov/fic/al29-4-1.aspx#B Community Health Centers Don’t Have Capacity to Expand http://dshs.texas.gov/fic/al29-4-1.aspx#C Parents’ Giving Habits… Read more »
Learn what it takes to govern efficiently Be part of Board Boot Camp on Saturday, April 21. Jennifer Moriarty, the founder of Moriarty Consulting Group, will lead board members and executive directors through the fundamentals of effective board governance the basic roles and responsibilities of a board strategies for building effective board structures. $5.1M raised during Big GiveOver 600 nonprofits participated in 24 hours of… Read more »
Newbies, skeptics, the timid (and Ian) DO worry: “So, Tom, where’s the irrefutable research that switching to ‘donor-centered’ communications will raise more money for our org. than the comms crap we now send out?”
Witness one form of abuse unique to fundraising . . . You get the training. You learn, say, how and why donor-centered communications raise lots more money. But your boss doesn’t like the way donor-centered communications sound … so your boss says no. Why? Because your boss doesn’t know any better. Because your boss trusts her own uninformed hunches, instincts, opinions more than she or he trusts you and the training you’ve just received. And you need the job . . .
In Reciprocity We Trust Newbies, skeptics, the timid (and Ian) DO worry: “So, Tom, where’s the irrefutable research that switching to ‘donor-centered’ communications will raise more money for our org. than the comms crap we now send out?” Mike wrote me a couple of weeks ago…. I’m an avid follower of your newsletters and webinars, so first a little bit of flattery. Thank you… Read more »
Your board wants to help lead you to greater fiscal health. You want the same thing. Why then do so many CEOs tell me they’re disappointed in the board support they receive when it comes to generating income?
Humans have always used stories to make sense out of our chaotic world. When our ancestors had to kill animals they felt were kindred spirits to survive, they created myths to help them come to terms with it. When they invented agriculture, they created myths that glorified graft and highlighted the seasonal nature of existence. When they began to settle, humans created myths imbuing cities with transcendence. As Yuval Noah Harari describes in his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, story went on to play a vital role in building all subsequent civilizations.