Editorial Results (free)
1. Changing the Fiber of Your Nonprofit
- Friday, May 17, 2013
A capital campaign – or any other quantum leap in your fundraising – will pull at every fiber of your nonprofit. These are not “business as usual” activities. If you want to grow from one level of donated revenue to another you have to do things differently. It’s no different than a business seeking to enter a new market or release a new product. New, more and different thinking, actions and people are required for new, more and different results.
2. Nurturing Social Capital
- Friday, May 10, 2013
“Trusting relationships and reflection/rejuvenation are required for building strong networks and collaborations.”
That’s the word from Patricia Brandes, executive director of the Barr Foundation. She didn’t say more funding, more collaboration, lower expenses or greater impact. She focuses on the three R’s – relationships, reflection and rejuvenation.
3. Creating Continuity of Operation Plan
- Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Part two of a two-part series Emergencies and disasters are unthinkable everyday occurrences. Some big, some small. They impact us as individuals, families, communities and sometimes as a nation.
4. Emergency Preparation – Part 1
- Friday, April 26, 2013
A bombing and citywide lockdown in Boston, a chemical explosion in West, Texas; threats of flooding along the Mississippi River; tornadoes; earthquakes; and the all-too-frequent house fire.
These are a few of the disasters we all need to prepare for. We need to get ready at home with our families, at work, at our places of worship and at the nonprofits where we spend our time. Most emergencies come with little warning. Many are unthinkable. Some are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Others – such as fires – occur every day. How will you get ready?
5. Making Dollars and Sense With Nonprofit Partnerships
- Friday, April 19, 2013
Woman- and minority-owned businesses can benefit from well-defined relationships with select nonprofits.
Partnering with nonprofits makes good business sense for emerging and established woman- or minority-owned businesses. Board service puts a human face on your business; donating goods and services extends your brand. Creating a culture of philanthropy helps your business better compete for well-educated potential employees seeking a meaningful career and the opportunity to give back. Building a brand that communicates “we” instead of “me” opens the door to new networks and relationships that can help you meet your business objectives.
6. Your Mobile Device: Friend or Foe?
- Friday, April 12, 2013
Who is more important: you or a group of your fellow nonprofit volunteers or professionals? What signal are you sending when you direct your attention to your mobile device instead of the group’s discussion? If you believe the work of the organization or institution is unimportant, say so and work with your peers to restructure meetings. If not, give your attention to the business at hand. Each of you has carved out time from your busy schedules to attend the meeting: make the most of it.
7. Making the Ask – Part Two
- Friday, April 05, 2013
Fundraising provides nonprofits with the money they need to deliver on their missions. When you ask others to join you in giving you become part of the nonprofit’s success team.
In part one of this series we discussed how to prepare to solicit a gift. In this column we cover setting the appointment and what to say when asking.
8. Making the Ask – Part One
- Friday, March 29, 2013
How do you ask someone to make a gift to a nonprofit that you believe in? What do you say? When do you ask? What if the person says “yes?” What if she says “no?”
When it comes to soliciting a gift for a nonprofit here’s what you need to know. First off, if you are new to fundraising, it is natural – and healthy! – to feel a bit nervous. One way to reduce nervousness is to prepare and rehearse. Think about what might encourage a potential donor to give, and what his or her objections might be. Be prepared to overcome potential objections with information. And don’t worry – the most important thing is to ask. You can’t predict the response, but you can prepare your presentation. And, once you start getting a few “yeses” you may get addicted to fundraising: it is fun to secure resources for organizations and institutions you believe in.
9. New Books Designed to Increase Fundraising
- Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Local fundraising consultants Melvin and Pearl Shaw have written two books designed to help nonprofits increase their fundraising activity.
10. The Power of Women Fundraisers
- Friday, March 22, 2013
Women are role models in so many sectors of our economy, and the nonprofit sector is no exception. In honor of women’s history month we salute women who step up to the challenge of raising money for nonprofit organizations and institutions they believe in. Their leadership and vision impact the lives of individuals, families, communities, regions and our nation as a whole.
11. ‘Lean In’ for Leadership In Nonprofit Career
- Friday, March 15, 2013
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook has a new book out. “Lean In” has generated a lot of media attention. It’s all about women and leadership in the business world. Bottom line: she encourages women to seek leadership-level positions. Listening to the news stories we asked ourselves, “what about the nonprofit sector?”
12. Will New Logo Raise Money?
- Friday, March 08, 2013
Will a new logo raise money? Will it attract a new donors and volunteers? Can it transform your nonprofit’s relationship to the community? Maybe. The answer depends on the amount of work completed prior to bringing on a graphic designer. Let us start at the end: If you invest in a logo instead of asking hard organizational questions, your logo may not deliver what you want it to. There really are no shortcuts to raising money.
13. Team Building Provides Secret to Fundraising Success
- Friday, March 01, 2013
Part two of a two-part series. It’s all about leadership and team building. You’ve heard the refrain, but what does it mean?
In terms of nonprofit fundraising there can be no greater mandate than leadership and teamwork. Scarce funding for staff positions, stiff competition for the philanthropic dollar and an abundance of wishful thinking leaves nonprofits at risk of not meeting their fundraising goals. Building and supporting a volunteer-led fundraising team is one way out of the vicious cycle imperiling too many organizations.
14. Team Building Yields Fundraising Success
- Friday, February 22, 2013
Part one of a two-part series. Will hiring a fundraising professional solve your fundraising challenges? Is it your secret wish that someone will take care of fundraising so you can focus on the “more important” work of your nonprofit? Perhaps you seek a million-dollar bequest from an unknown admirer.
15. Honoring a Pair Of Fundraising History Makers
- Friday, February 15, 2013
Lights, camera, action. In 1980 the United Negro College Fund launched the Parade of Stars telethon. It became a nationwide fundraising program raising millions of dollars for generations of students, and support for historically black colleges and universities. It became the largest one-day African-American special event in the country. It changed black history – and American history – creating an acknowledged culture of fundraising in the African-American community. America’s largest corporations became engaged. Small churches, teachers, sororities and fraternities became engaged. Donors and volunteers from across the country organized to support UNCF and celebrate black philanthropy.
16. Saluting UNCF Founder Patterson
- Friday, February 08, 2013
Black History Month celebrations are incomplete without a salute to nationally recognized fundraiser Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund. Named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Patterson was committed not only to fundraising but to collective fundraising that has changed the lives of generations of African-Americans.
17. It’s All About Commitment
- Friday, February 01, 2013
Part two of a two-part series Commitment is at the heart of all successful nonprofit fundraising. It needs to be developed and sustained. It starts with the organization’s leadership – the executive director or CEO, board members as well as leadership level employees and volunteers. The purpose and vision for proposed fundraising needs to be carefully discussed by these parties, ideally through one-on-one conversations with time for challenging questions and clear answers.
18. It’s All About Commitment
- Friday, January 25, 2013
Part one of a two-part series Successful fundraising for a nonprofit requires the full commitment of board members, the executive director, staff and volunteer leadership. Without this commitment, it is very difficult to meet fundraising goals. People may say they are committed and that is good. What is more important is the extent to which people embody that commitment.
19. Create a Mission, Vision and Plan
- Friday, January 18, 2013
Successful fundraising begins long before a fundraising plan is ever created. It starts with your organization’s vision and mission. These two items are at the core of nonprofit operations. It is the vision and mission that drive your strategic direction and goals. And it is the strategic direction that influences fundraising and the use of funds.
20. Preparing for Fundraising Success
- Friday, January 11, 2013
Why are some nonprofits successful with fundraising and when others face challenges? What can be done to change a nonprofit’s fundraising “fate?”
Some of the things that impact fundraising are outside a nonprofit’s control. These include a downturn in the local or national economy, or increased – and unexpected – competition from national disaster relief efforts. But other factors can be addressed proactively.
21. Is Your Board Bored?
- Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Here’s a question for our readers who are nonprofit executives and board members: is your board fully engaged? Does the structure of your board meetings encourage members to bring their talents and abilities to the table or does it stifle members’ creativity and create a “bored board?”
22. Year-End Fundraising Reflections
- Friday, December 28, 2012
As you reflect on 2012 here are some things to consider in the area of fundraising. Take a quiet moment to contemplate the following as you prepare for the coming year.
Let’s start with the big question: did your organization meet its fundraising goal? If yes, what contributed to success? If no, what happened? How many individuals made a gift? How many businesses or corporations made a grant or gave matching gifts? Did foundations or government agencies award funds? As you look at the numbers, consider whether or not the organization is dependent on funds from one or two sources? If the answer is yes, what would happen if those funds were reduced or eliminated?
23. Thank You, Memphis and West Tennessee!
- Friday, December 21, 2012
As the year comes to a close we want you to know how much we appreciate you, our readers. We appreciate your work to make this world a better place. Your efforts in neighborhoods, universities, hospitals, schools and in communities across the world are making a difference.
24. The Gift for Those Who Have Everything
- Friday, December 14, 2012
What do you give someone who has everything? It’s the holiday season, time for us to reach out to those we know, love and respect offering gifts as a token of our feelings. Some of us get creative, finding the perfect gift. Others of us struggle, uncertain as to what would be the right gift. Some of us are fortunate enough to have the challenge of finding the right gift for the person who has everything.
25. Avoid the Year-End Crisis
- Friday, December 07, 2012
Part two of a two-part series on year-end fundraising Year-end giving is in full swing. Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays nonprofits are busy soliciting. Email, direct mail, TV and in-person solicitations are on in full force. Competition for the philanthropic dollar is fierce as organizations seek to encourage our generosity. Our heartstrings are pulled at, and it is easy – and good! – to impulsively give. With just a “click” on a link we can make a difference in no time flat.
26. The Year End is Upon Us
- Friday, November 30, 2012
Part one of a two-part series on year-end fundraising. Just in case you don’t know, the year-end is upon us. Christmas. Hanukkah. New Year’s Eve. This is also the time nonprofits roll out “year end” fundraising campaigns. Many started a few days before Thanksgiving. Or earlier.
27. Getting Set Up With Mobile Giving
- Thursday, November 22, 2012
Part three of a three-part series on mobile giving. Mobile giving and mobile donating are two ways technology is changing nonprofit fundraising and communication. Communicating and giving are now happening via text and mobile devices.
28. Your Nonprofit Must Change With the Times
- Friday, November 16, 2012
Part two of a three-part series People use their cell phones day and night. Many use iPads or other tablets. Gone is the phone booth, and for many, gone is the checkbook. Communication and financial transactions take place online, in real time, while people are on the move. It’s all about being mobile.
29. Make Sure Your Organization is Mobile
- Friday, November 09, 2012
Part one of a three-part series. Life has gone mobile. For many, life is lived on the move and cell phones and mobile devices are our guides helping with communication, directions, purchases, music, news updates, videos and more. “Mobile” has become the way much of America is using their computer. IPhones, Androids and BlackBerries are replacing laptops and desktop computers. Tablets and mobile phones are replacing the way that people access the information when they are on the road.
30. Research Foundations to Find Best Match
- Friday, November 02, 2012
Part three of a three-part series. Most grant-making foundations have a mission and vision. They make grants to nonprofits as a way of bringing their mission and vision to life. Your nonprofit may be just what a foundation is looking for. But how will you know? Foundation research is one answer. Marlene Lynn, professional proposal writer offers her expertise on this topic and related questions.
31. Success Found in Details
- Friday, October 26, 2012
Part two of a three-part series on proposal writing Need money? Write a grant proposal. If only life in the nonprofit sector were so simple. Writing a proposal to a foundation is about much more than writing. Our conversation with professional proposal writer Marlene Lynn points out the important subtleties involved in securing foundation grant funds. For example, a well-written proposal is not necessarily a funded proposal. We asked Lynn about the difference between the two.
32. Seeking Foundation Grants the Right Way
- Friday, October 19, 2012
Part one of a three-part series on proposal writing. If there is a mythical “pot-of-gold” in the nonprofit world it is the foundation grant. Many start-ups – as well as established nonprofits – look to grants from foundations as a cure-all; the answer to all fundraising problems. You can spot this tendency when you hear phrases such as “Bill Gates has a foundation, let’s submit a proposal.”
33. New Lessons to be Learned From Big Bird
- Friday, October 12, 2012
Are you prepared for your 15 minutes of fame? Or more precisely, your nonprofit organization’s 15 minutes of fame? What if you were the Public Broadcasting System, home to Big Bird of Sesame Street fame, and a presidential candidate put you on the chopping block in front of 70 million television viewers?
34. Church and Money
- Friday, October 05, 2012
Many churches, like other nonprofits, have to grapple with challenges of operating facilities, paying salaries and providing funding for programs, schools and mission work. The economic challenges of recent years have impacted congregations raising questions new and old.
35. Be Realistic in Fundraising Forecast
- Friday, September 28, 2012
Part two of a two-part series. How do you report that your nonprofit has not met its fundraising goal? Do you extend your campaign? Lay off employees? Close programs? Do more with less? Do you simply stop talking about the campaign and hope no one will ask about it?
36. No Shortcuts to Meeting Your Fundraising Goal
- Friday, September 21, 2012
Part one of a two-part series “Sadly, I have to report that I and we failed.” That is not a good message to have to deliver. But it is part of life. The above quote is from a report given by Robert D. Sweeney, senior vice president for development and public affairs to the University of Virginia board of visitors at its Sept. 14 meeting. Sweeney was reporting on the progress of the University’s $3 billion capital campaign.
37. Your Reinvention Intention
- Friday, September 14, 2012
Reinvention intention: the energy, creativity and follow-through that brings change to life.
How is your reinvention intention? We imagine it was high in January. A new year lay ahead, full of promise. Out with the old, in with the new. You could feel the power of potential – you were committed to operating your nonprofit or institution in a new way. You were ready to increase your documented impact. Your fundraising goals would be met; new board members engaged. Your gala would be reinvigorated with increased revenue and attendance. As a board member you would raise challenging questions. As an executive you would partner more closely with your board chair.
38. Vision, Mission and Fundraising
- Friday, September 07, 2012
This is the second in a two-part series. In part one of this series we discussed the role that the vision, mission and strategic plan play in the life of a nonprofit’s fundraising. These are the starting point.
39. Vision, Mission and Fundraising – Part 1
- Friday, August 31, 2012
Part one of a two-part series. Successful nonprofit fundraising doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and preparation. It also requires an understanding and agreement regarding the organization’s mission, vision, strategic direction, goals, and financial position. We know that many times people want to begin fundraising right away. “We need money; we don’t have time to do all that,” is a common cry.
40. Faith-Based Fundraising – Part 3
- Friday, August 24, 2012
Part three of a three-part series Church fundraising requires prayer. That is at the heart of the advice offered by Willis White who served as campaign co-chair for his church’s $3.5 million campaign. We asked him how he prepared for the campaign.
41. Faith-Based Fundraising – Part 2
- Friday, August 17, 2012
Part two of a three-part series. Fundraising is one way congregations secure the funds needed to bring their vision to life. We met Willis White when he served as co-chair for his church’s $3.5 million campaign. He shares his reflections to help those considering their own campaign. Motivation, prayer, faith and teamwork were key to his experience.
42. Faith-Based Fundraising – Part One
- Friday, August 10, 2012
Part one of a three-part series Prayer must be at the heart of church fundraising, but the fundamentals of fundraising also contribute to success. We met Willis White when he was serving as co-chair for a $3.5 million, multi-year campaign to retire the debt on the Allen Temple Baptist Church Family Life Center. We worked with White, his co-chair Constance Walker and the church’s campaign leadership team during their campaign.
43. How to Set Your Fundraising Goal
- Friday, August 03, 2012
What is fundraising without a goal? Most campaigns have one. The question is: how do you set it?
Over the years we have observed different methods. We present them for your consideration. Which will work best for you? Which is similar to the way your organization sets its fundraising goal? How might you want to modify the method you use?
44. Build an Advantage By Creating Talking Points
- Friday, July 27, 2012
You just said yes to fundraising for an organization you believe in. It could be your child’s school, your alma mater, a local hospital or an advocacy organization. You felt confident you could help when you took on the task, but now, upon reflection, you wonder what you have gotten yourself into.
45. Preparing to Hire
- Friday, July 20, 2012
You can never hire enough people to help with fundraising. If you are strategic you will look for individuals with volunteer management experience who can help build and support a diverse team of fundraising volunteers. This is different from hiring someone to “solve all your fundraising problems.” While most written job descriptions don’t include the previous phase, the idea is often an unspoken desire that drives hiring decisions. Our advice: acknowledge your desire; then work diligently to identify the right person with the right skills. Fundraising experience is not enough. We suggest keeping the following qualities in mind as you proceed.
46. Don’t Be A Name Dropper
- Friday, July 13, 2012
Here’s a public secret: special events are designed to attract new donors. Yes, the funds raised through the event are important to the nonprofit. But that is only one goal. The second goal – acquiring names and contact information of potential donors – is often overlooked.
47. Stop. Look. Listen.
- Friday, July 06, 2012
Volunteers are the heart and soul of your nonprofit even if you have a large staff. At the end of the day, volunteers can take you to places you haven’t even dreamed of. Our “stop, look and listen” program can help unleash the creativity and power of your volunteers.
48. Ways to Reduce Your Fundraising Stress
- Friday, June 29, 2012
If you are responsible for fundraising for a nonprofit you know the meaning of the word stress. It comes with the job. Too often the pressure is on you – and you alone – to ensure fundraising goals are met. You may be a vice president for advancement for advancement with a college, a development coordinator for a local theater or the CEO of a national organization. All feel the pressure.
49. Memphis Acts While Others Dream
- Friday, June 22, 2012
While headlines focus on a growing division of democrats versus republicans and business versus government, Memphis is proving that a shared vision for a positive future unites a city – and its nonprofits – across stereotypical divides.
50. Stay Focused on Need For Funding
- Friday, June 15, 2012
Fundraising is to nonprofits what sales is to business. It’s where the money comes from. In business the sales team secures revenue to cover expenses and generate a profit for shareholders. In nonprofits it is the fundraising team that raises the money you need to deliver on your mission.
51. Conference Can Help Fund Your Movement
- Friday, June 08, 2012
Part three of a three-part series Knowledge, resources and relationships build fundraising for grassroots organizations. The Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training provides all three.
52. Grassroots Approach Takes Right Mindset, Skill Set
- Friday, June 01, 2012
Part two of a three-part series Fundraising for grassroots organizations requires just as much skill, talent and planning as fundraising for other types of organizations. We asked Jennifer Emiko Boyden of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) about the skills required of executive directors and development directors and fundraising planning.
53. Try Grassroots Approach to Fundraising
- Friday, May 25, 2012
Part one of three-part series Is fundraising for small grassroots organizations different from fundraising for a hospital, or college? How do you raise funds for organizations that challenge the power structure?
54. Ways to Sustain Your Nonprofit
- Friday, May 18, 2012
Sustainability is a current buzzword. It’s also an important concept for each of us to integrate into our work, our communities and our personal lives. They are all connected, especially for those of us who work or volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Questions and concerns related to sustainability are often unasked and unanswered. How can we sustain our work in light of growing demand and contracting funds? How long can we continue to operate like this? And, on a personal note, how can I get through today?
55. No News Is Good News?
- Friday, May 11, 2012
Is your nonprofit organization getting the media attention it deserves? Do you ask, in frustration, “Why do we even bother creating press releases if no one covers our events?” You are not alone. We can’t promise a cure, but we can help you develop stronger relationships with appropriate media.
56. Are Websites Still in Vogue?
- Friday, May 04, 2012
In the world of Facebook and Twitter we sometimes forget the value of the trusted website. Can’t we say it all in 140 characters? Or a photo? Will the website go the way of the covered wagon?
57. RSVP Now for Nonprofit Conference
- Friday, April 27, 2012
Nonprofits are one way we come together to advocate for what we believe in, to provide services, to educate, to heal, inspire and enjoy the arts. To name just a few. At the heart is community, and with that comes communication.
58. Memphis Excellence In Fundraising Pitches
- Friday, April 20, 2012
Here are the ABCs of making a fundraising pitch. Keep it short, clear and simple. Tell people what you are raising money for and how their gift will make an impact.
Here’s a local example. Returning to our workout program means, for us, returning to the Fogelman Downtown YMCA. Before we could even get in the door we knew fundraising was in full swing. We saw a more-than-life-sized fundraising “thermometer” and the names of people and families who had donated as we entered the facility.
59. Connect Marketing And Fundraising to Increase Revenue
- Friday, April 13, 2012
Generating awareness for your nonprofit is good. Generating awareness that impacts the bottom line is better. When you strategically link your marketing, advertising and fundraising, you leverage their impact. It’s not hard, but it requires thinking ahead and coordinating resources. Why settle for one result – awareness – when you can secure awareness and revenue?
60. Determine Your Organization’s Economic Impact
- Friday, April 06, 2012
For every dollar invested into your institution what is the return to Memphis and the region? Is there a social impact? Political impact? Economic impact? How do you measure it? What do you track? These are questions to ask as you consider how to make the case for giving and investing in the nonprofits you are involved with.
61. Audits, Plans Prevent Financial Problems
- Friday, March 30, 2012
Part three of a three-part series Taxation, financial management and gift acceptance are three topics we discussed with Memphis attorney Van Turner, a partner in the law firm Brittenum Bruce PLLC.
62. Boards Should Establish Legal Policies
- Friday, March 23, 2012
Part two of a three-part series Legal issues abound in all areas of life, including nonprofits. We asked local Memphis attorney Van Turner, a partner in the law firm of Brittenum Bruce PLLC and an experienced board member, for general guidance regarding the law and nonprofits.
63. What Are Your Legal Responsibilities?
- Friday, March 16, 2012
Part one of a three-part series What legal issues should you be aware of regarding your involvement with nonprofit organizations?
Wanting to provide executive directors, board members, employees and volunteers with information, we talked with Memphis’ own Van Turner, a partner in the law firm of Brittenum Bruce PLLC. Turner’s law practice is concentrated in the areas of business and commercial litigation, business transactions, government relations, municipal law and estate planning. He is also an experienced board member.
64. More Ways to Help Black Colleges, Universities
- Friday, March 09, 2012
Part two of a two-part series “Supporting leadership for life is not just a motto for us – we invest in it. Many of the schools were founded in local churches and that historic bond is a tremendous source of pride.”
65. Church Giving Supports HBCU
- Friday, March 02, 2012
Part one of a two-part series The power of your church giving may be stronger than you know. For example, did you know that when you give to the United Methodist Church you are supporting 11 historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) in addition to supporting your congregation? That’s right. You are part of a long tradition now managed by the church’s Black College Fund under the leadership of Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson.
66. How to Engage, Manage Volunteers
- Friday, February 24, 2012
Part five of a five-part series Volunteers are at the heart of fundraising. They make all the difference in the world. They are passionate, connected, creative and talented. And they need to be managed. Ask anyone who has served as a fundraising volunteer and you will quickly learn what made their experience great and what fueled disappointment. Perhaps you, as a volunteer, have experienced the joys and the pitfalls.
67. Fundraising Roles, Responsibilities for Staff
- Friday, February 17, 2012
Part Four in a Five Part Series Have you heard this before: “We’ll hire the right person and they will raise the money”?
Hmm … if only fundraising were so simple. Here’s a short list of problems associated with this perspective. First, the board is ultimately responsible for fundraising and needs to be engaged at all times. Then there’s the issue of how to identify, hire, manage and retain experienced fundraisers. Let’s not forget the adage “people give to people,” which includes peer-to-peer fundraising.
68. Buck Stops With Nonprofit Execs
- Friday, February 10, 2012
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a five-part series on roles and responsibilities.
It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as a nonprofit executive. And a lot of work! You are the CEO and chief development officer. That means fundraising. Even if you have a vice president for advancement or a development director. At the end of the day the proverbial “buck” stops with you.
69. Are You on Board
- Friday, February 03, 2012
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a five-part series on roles and responsibilities.
You’ve said “yes,” and now are serving on the board. What is expected of you? How do you demonstrate leadership? While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can provide guidance regarding your fundraising-related roles and responsibilities.
70. Think Before You Say ‘I Do’
- Friday, January 27, 2012
You’ve been asked to serve on the board of a nonprofit you believe in. It could be a college, a local advocacy organization or a healthcare center. Do you say “yes”? What would you actually be saying “yes” to? What do you need to know to make an informed decision?
71. Who’s Making ‘The Ask’?
- Friday, January 20, 2012
How do you ask for money? More specifically, how do you ask people to give to a nonprofit organization or institution you believe in?
Do you ask folks you know? Family members? Co-workers? Do you write a letter to Bill Gates? Do you ask colleagues after a business meeting or friends after yoga class? What do you say? How much do you ask for? What happens if you ask for a gift and find out someone else already asked?
72. Creating a Culture of Fundraising
- Friday, January 13, 2012
Fundraising is a vital part of an organization’s lifeblood – it is what people do in order to bring an organization’s mission and vision to life. This is what makes the nonprofit sector different from the private or public sectors. “Revenue” is donated or “granted,” and fundraising is the primary way funds are secured.
73. Get Ready for a Year of Promise
- Friday, January 06, 2012
Happy New Year! We’ve been hearing whispers that 2012 may – just may – be a more prosperous than 2011. There may be more jobs, less unemployment and more good circulating throughout Memphis and the Mid-South. We believe in preparing for the best of times, placing stock in the adage that luck favors the prepared. In term of fundraising for nonprofit organizations and institutions, preparation is always the bedrock.
74. Politics Can Be Minefield For Nonprofits
- Friday, December 30, 2011
2012 promises to be an action-packed year with presidential elections and the accompanying debate, competition, advertising and promises. Politics will definitely be in the air. And they may find their way to the doorstep of a nonprofit you are involved with. That could be good news – an elected official who believes in your cause, who wants to help attract attention and funding to your organization. Or is it?
75. Funding Grassroots Orgs Can be Worth Risk
- Friday, December 23, 2011
Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part series Taking a risk and funding smaller, grassroots organizations may feel challenging when there are larger, more established organizations providing similar services. Yet, even when providing award-winning services, not all organizations or institutions can serve everyone within a service area.
76. Recognize Who Makes Decisions
- Friday, December 16, 2011
Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part series Which is more important: efficiency or innovation? Consolidation or diversity? Are the values and metrics of the private sector the same as those of the nonprofit sector? Should funding flow to institutions and organizations that demonstrate the greatest impact and serve the greatest numbers?
77. Be Brave, Ask Questions
- Friday, December 09, 2011
Editor’s note: Part two in a two-part series. Sometimes the questions we don’t ask are the ones that lead us astray. In part one of this series, we discussed how today’s changing – and challenging – economic times can be a catalyst for nonprofits if we are brave enough to ask questions we might prefer to run from. Here are a few.
78. Assess Organization With Honesty
- Friday, December 02, 2011
Editor’s note: This is part one in a two-part series. As nonprofit leaders, it is time to go to a new level of honesty with ourselves and those we serve.
It is time for questions we may have put off: Are our current operations best serving our community? How could we do things differently to be of greater impact? Should we phase out some programs and introduce new ones? Is our mission relevant? Is there a more effective or more efficient model of service delivery? Should we consider merging with another organization? Who could we partner with?
79. Cause Marketing Fulfills Circle of Giving
- Thursday, November 24, 2011
How do you say thank you? The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis says it with a Kroger gift card, preloaded with five dollars.
Take it to Kroger, add your grocery money to the card, do your shopping, pay for your groceries with the card, and Kroger will send the Women’s Foundation five percent of what you spent at the store. Five percent. That’s a lot. And you can reload your card, using it to buy groceries, gas and pharmacy items throughout the year. With every dollar you spend, five cents goes to the Women’s Foundation. It adds up quickly.
80. Addressing Factors That Cause Nonprofit Fatigue
- Friday, November 18, 2011
We’re all human. We get tired, lose focus and experience fatigue. Sometimes we can’t name what we are experiencing. We find it difficult to refocus, reenergize and – if needed – reinvent. When this occurs within a nonprofit we refer to it as “nonprofit fatigue.”
81. You Can Help Heal City’s Hunger Pains
- Friday, November 11, 2011
It’s great to know where our next meal is coming from. Food brings people together. Especially during the last two months of the year! But what about the 14.5 percent of households who are hungry without dependable, consistent access to food? Where will their next meal come from and how can we help put food on their tables?
82. Financial Health for Nonprofits – Part 4
- Friday, November 04, 2011
Part four of a four-part series. Writing a funding proposal can be difficult. Creating the budget associated with a proposal can be more than some can handle. That’s where people like Carol Cantwell of Fun with Financials comes in. For this column we asked Cantwell what guidance she has to offer regarding budgeting and their financials, and how these tie to (and often impact) fundraising in general. Here is what she shared with us.
83. Financial Health for Nonprofits – Part 3
- Friday, October 28, 2011
Part three of a four-part series. Fundraising and budgeting have people and money at their core. In this series we have been talking with Carol Cantwell, founder of Fun with Financials about budgeting and nonprofit organizations. Carol has a degree in economics and has worked with nonprofit organizations in the area of financial management for 19 years. She also has a sense of humor – a must in these times!
84. Financial Health For Nonprofits – Part 2
- Friday, October 21, 2011
Part two of a four-part series Financial health is a must for nonprofit organizations. If your organization wants to build toward financial health, this series is for you. In part one, we talked with Carol Cantwell, founder of Fun with Financials, about the challenges facing nonprofits and suggestions on addressing these.
85. Financial Health for Nonprofits
- Friday, October 14, 2011
Part one of a four-part series Financial health is more than spreadsheets, bank statements, headaches and heartaches. Wanting to provide our readers with new insights into financial health and management, we asked Carol Cantwell, founder of Fun with Financials, what she looks for as indicators of organizational health when reviewing an organization’s financials. Here is what she shared with us:
86. Your Case For Support
- Friday, October 07, 2011
Regular readers of this column know we are advocates of a strong case for support or “case.” As a refresher – the case is the core document that communicates your organization’s vision, history, impact and what it will cost to bring the vision to life. It is an externally focused document that is rooted in your strategic plan and that communicates your fundraising priorities in a clear, concise and compelling way.
87. Replace Yourself, Sustain Your Board
- Friday, September 30, 2011
It is neither good nor advisable to serve on a board forever. While you may be deeply committed to the organization or institution you serve, you need to rotate off the board at the appropriate time. At least for a little while. Term limits help a board sustain a freshness and new perspective that can be lacking when too many board members have served more than four to five years. It can be hard for an organization to change when its leadership is static and lacking in “new blood.” With too many people who have been on the board a long time, new board members can also feel frustrated when their ideas are not accepted, or the board seems “stuck in its ways.”
88. Federal Grants in Changing Times (Part 4)
- Friday, September 16, 2011
Part four in a four-part series With changes in the economy and the political landscape in Washington, many organizations are grappling with changes to federal funding that has supported their work in the past. Others are preparing for cuts or restrictions they believe are on the horizon.
89. Federal Grants in Changing Times (Part 3)
- Friday, September 09, 2011
Part three in a four-part series Federal grants play a major role in the funding of nonprofit organizations and institutions. Likewise, grant recipients play a major role in helping federal agencies fulfill their missions. While this has been true in the past, changes in the political environment and the national and global economy are impacting these partnerships and the funding that goes along with them.
90. Federal Grants in Changing Times (Part 2)
- Friday, September 02, 2011
Part two of a four-part series Securing a federal grant requires relationship building, follow up, reporting and stewardship. In part two of this series, we share information from Alan Kirschner, president of Kirschner and Associates, on the relationship between nonprofits and federal agencies. Alan’s extensive experience includes securing and managing federal grants for organizations as diverse as the United Negro College Fund, Partnership for Public Service and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
91. Federal Grants in Changing Times (Part 1)
- Friday, August 26, 2011
Part one of a four-part series Many organizations and institutions have been fortunate to receive federal funding for one or more projects. Some are small, one-year grants, others are large in relation to the size of the organization’s overall budget. Many have been multi-year grants.
92. Phone Remains Important Tool For Fundraising
- Friday, August 19, 2011
Let’s talk about the phone. In the world of email, Facebook, Twitter, texts and blogs, sometimes the phone gets overlooked. But it is a powerful tool. Especially, as demographers note, for people over a certain age. Many people grew up with the phone being the most immediate form of contact – the way to reach out and touch someone. Other ways are available, but there is an intimacy and yes, immediacy, that other methods don’t offer. With the phone you can actually talk with someone. You hear their voice, they hear yours. You can laugh, connect, make decisions, schedule appointments and then move on.
93. Family Reunion Giving Suggestions
- Friday, August 12, 2011
Part two of a two-part series. As your family plans its family reunion, you can plan for your family to make a positive impact on the community you call “home” or the community where you celebrate your reunion. You can do this by selecting a nonprofit organization to give to – each family can make a financial contribution and together you will make a powerful impact.
94. It’s a Family Affair – Reunions and Giving
- Friday, August 05, 2011
Part one of a two-part series Summertime is the time for family reunions. If you’ve been to one you know they can be expensive. But they’re also priceless. Reunions bring together families across the generations to celebrate history, to take pride in accomplishments and to pass down family history and traditions.
95. Lesser-Known Miss. Gov Candidates Offer Platforms
- Monday, August 01, 2011
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Democratic and Republican primaries this coming Tuesday will narrow the field of candidates for Mississippi governor.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant of Brandon and commercial building contractor Dave Dennis of Pass Christian are spending the most in the five-person race for the Republican nomination, while Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and Clarksdale businessman and attorney Bill Luckett are grabbing the most attention on the Democratic side.
96. Nonprofit Sector has Economic Impact
- Friday, July 29, 2011
This column is written for people who work in fundraising for nonprofit organizations or institutions. That means hospitals, colleges, the opera, job training programs, after-school programs, food banks, sports teams, charter schools, museums, senior centers, research institutes and more.
97. For Nonprofits: The Place to Be
- Friday, July 22, 2011
In this column we seek to share information, ideas and suggestions that can help nonprofit organizations and institutions. But we are not alone in our goal of helping to strengthen this important part of our community and our economy. There are many such individuals, organizations and institutions. One of these is the Association of Fundraising Professionals Memphis Chapter – AFP as it’s called.
98. Summertime Fundraising Blues: The Cure
- Friday, July 15, 2011
Part two in a two-part series. Do you serve as a board member for a nonprofit organization, a college or university or perhaps for your church?
Do you give of your time as a volunteer? Of your money? If you answered yes, this column is for you.
99. Summertime Fundraising Blues
- Friday, July 08, 2011
Part one in a two-part series. For some organizations summertime is “downtime,” in terms of fundraising. The special events of spring are over, families are on vacation, and year-end appeal letters won’t go out for months. So what’s a fundraiser to do? Here are some ideas.
100. Business Plan Basics, Part Three
- Friday, July 01, 2011
Part three of a three-part series about the role of the business plan: an interview with Dr. Jan Young In our last two columns, we’ve shared with you the wisdom of Dr. Jan Young, executive director of the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, about the development of business plans for nonprofits. Here, we asked her to provide examples of how a business plan can impact an organization’s success.