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Editorial Results (free)

1. Consider This Before Starting A Nonprofit -

The nonprofit sector is diverse and innovative. Memphians are always creating solutions to the many challenges that arise. We see a problem and seek to fix it. We experience something wonderful and we want others to share in our joy.

2. Four Things To Know for Your Fundraising Plan -

The fundraising plan is at the core of successful fundraising. But what exactly is a fundraising plan? Is it a spreadsheet? A list of activities? A list of potential donors and funders? Our answer: it’s this and so much more.

3. Black Philanthropy Month -

It’s August – that means its Black Philanthropy Month.

Too often philanthropy is still viewed as a word that belongs to someone else – a word associated primarily with a small percentage of white people with wealth who give large transformative gifts. Yet the word philanthropy means love of humankind – a love expressed in a great diversity of ways by a great diversity of people. And that is the value of Black Philanthropy Month. To remind us that we are philanthropists and that we can – and do – make an impact in our local communities and globally.

4. When Should You Resolicit? -

When is the right time to solicit a gift from a current donor? Do you send a letter once a year and hope for a gift? That’s one strategy.

Some nonprofits believe it is a good one. Their logic: “We don’t want our donors to feel we’re always asking for a gift.” Here’s our guidance: Begin the solicitation process when you say “thank you.”

5. Defining ‘Worthy’ Can Be Tricky -

We noticed that people – including ourselves – talk about “worthy” causes, and in many ways the phrase is a “seal of approval.”

Yet what’s “worthy” to one person or group, isn’t necessarily “worthy” to another. The phrase assumes shared values, but doesn’t always make clear what those values are, or why the cause is worthy.

6. Nonprofit Fundraising Values -

Values are at the heart of a nonprofit and its operations. Our question to readers: What are your fundraising values?

We truly understand the importance of securing money and resources. At the same time we caution against a “money first” approach to fundraising. We believe that fundraising should be grounded in a nonprofit’s values. We offer six fundraising values for your consideration.

7. More Things To Know Before Proposal Writing -

Last week’s column focused on six basic things you should know before writing a proposal. Here, 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 is 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.

8. 6 Things to Know When Writing a Proposal -

Summer reading is highlighted in Oprah and other magazines each year. A good read is great to enjoy on the beach or curled up on a lawn chair. But what about a good summer write?

That’s right – start writing now to help the money come in at the end of the year, or perhaps next spring. That’s how it’s done. Writing proposals now prevents future complaints such as, “How can I write that proposal in just three days?” It’s called planning ahead.

9. Share Your Vision in Concise, Compelling Ways -

How does your nonprofit report on its work? How do you share your vision, work and impact? Do you send an email? Create an annual report? What about an annual meeting bringing together donors, leaders, clients, vendors, partners, board members, and staff? Are you up to it? Can you make the time? Our perspective: How can you not afford the time?

10. Measuring Your Organization’s Customer Service -

Nonprofits are increasingly asked to focus on the people they serve. This is not news. So many employees, volunteers, board members and executives at nonprofits are all about the people they serve. They are passionate, compassionate, committed and resourceful.

11. Who Donates The Most? Individuals! -

The numbers are in: Americans gave an estimated $358.38 billion to charity in 2014. That’s 7.1 percent over 2013, and the fifth year in a row that giving increased. Individuals – that’s you and me – continue to give an estimated 90 percent of all gifts.

12. Excuses: The Scourge of Fundraising -

How do we stop using excuses as a conversation starter, or icebreaker when starting a meeting?

We all know people who start conversations by making excuses for why they are late, unprepared and haven’t completed what they committed to do. First comes the excuse, then comes a focus on the content of the excuse. A meeting to review fundraising progress can turn into a discussion of traffic, construction, family illnesses, the weather, and before you know it 15 minutes have passed.

13. You Want To Build A Building? -

Owning a building can be a turning point in the life of a nonprofit. A building represents positive attributes: permanence, ownership, longevity, visibility, stability, status and achievement. You can control your destiny, make improvements, and expand when needed. You have an asset to leverage for future projects. No one can make you move.

14. Supporting Fathers and Fatherhood -

It’s time for Father's Day. Time to lift up fathers and fatherhood. And time to ask ourselves how we honor fathers in our daily lives, the work of our nonprofits, and through our business and public policies. News headlines spotlight the phenomenon “absent fathers,” seeking to assign blame for the many challenges we face as a country and as communities.

15. Waiting for a Windfall -

You’ve written the perfect proposal. You submitted it on time. Perhaps you carefully reviewed the guidelines and found that your organization is a perfect match for what the foundation is seeking to achieve through its grantmaking. Or maybe a program officer reached out and personally asked your organization to submit.

16. Your Fantasy Fundraiser -

Tired of hearing about fundraising challenges? Maybe it’s time to hire your fantasy fundraiser!

The work of your nonprofit is critically important. You’re helping young people choose the right path in life. You are challenging new forms of discrimination and civil rights violations. The teenagers enrolled in your math and science program are the engineers of tomorrow. Our seniors are protected from fraud and abuse thanks to your organization. And disaster relief is provided around the globe because of volunteers here in the United States.

17. Your Fantasy Celebrity Board -

If you could have any five celebrities on your nonprofit board, who would you pick?

Visualize yourself as chair of the board of a nonprofit you believe in. Maybe it’s a university, an early childhood education center, a food bank, international research institute or performing arts company. You pick the nonprofit – and the board members!

18. Fundraising and Basketball, Part 2 -

Part two of a two-part series. It’s that time of year – basketball every night! The games get better and better. Grizz fans are loyal, excited and stressed. People are staying up way too late to make sure they see the full game. Everyone is wearing their Grizz gear. The playoffs are on!

19. Fundraising and Basketball, Part 1 -

Part one of a two-part series. Recent columns have focused on questions for employers to ask prospective fundraising employees and questions for interviewees to ask their interviewers. Our goal: to help all parties understand the critical role of fundraising professionals and what it takes for them to be successful.

20. Five Questions to Ask When Interviewing for Fundraising Job -

Part two of a two-part series. You’ve been selected to interview for a fundraising position. You’ve read the job description and researched the organization online. You’ve even talked with people who have been involved with the nonprofit over the years. You feel it inside: “This could be my dream job.” Yes, it could. But, it could also be a nightmare.

21. Work in Progress: The Grand Experiment Yielding Positive Results for Nonprofits -

It started with a question: What would happen if a local foundation were to provide select nonprofits with access to fundraising counsel?

The short answer is in: $1.5 million in grants and in-kind resources from foundations, granting agencies, or individuals has been raised since 2014.

22. Five Thought-Provoking Questions to Ask Job Candidates -

Part one of a two-part series. Need a magic cure for nonprofit fundraising blues? Hire fundraising staff. That’s it. Problem solved. Time to get back to what we were focusing on before we “got sidetracked” into all this fundraising. Ah ... if only that were the case.

23. Be A Butterfly Agent -

This 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.

24. From Challenge to Success -

Part two of a two-part series. Challenging finances and what feels like an onslaught of “bad press” can be part of the nonprofit experience. Addressing these is what leadership is all about. Keep an eye to the future, talk with your donors and stakeholders, and find a game-changing way to engage the community. This is the story of Regional One Health and its foundation.

25. Health Care Revitalization -

Health care is always in the news: advances in health care technology, groundbreaking research, and health care disparities are just a few. Yet there’s one story we rarely hear: the role of hospital or medical center related health care foundations.

26. 9 Ways to Keep Your Dream Job a Blessing -

You’ve landed your dream job. Your next step: Make sure it doesn’t become a nightmare. Consider these nine ways to tap your network.

When sharing news of your new position with friends and family, don’t forget to ask for guidance. Most people want to support your success: The biggest challenge is asking the right people for the right things. Don’t ask one person for everything you want to know. Ask one or two questions from a diversity of people in your network.

27. Why Are You Running a Capital Campaign? -

Let’s be honest. Do you really know why your nonprofit is running a “capital campaign?” Does your institution have specific capital needs such as buildings or equipment that it needs to invest in? Could it be your nonprofit is really running a “we need a lot of money campaign” or an “everyone else has done it” campaign?

28. Women and Philanthropy -

“Women rock!” “Women rule!” “If you want something done, ask a woman.” “Women hold up half the sky.” It’s women’s history month and time to highlight women’s roles as philanthropists and fundraisers.

29. ‘Lion King’ Actor Gives Back to Memphis -

You’re trying to raise money. You know who could provide funding. You set personal appointments, talk with people in person. You know you have a good project that will make an impact. Yet all you hear is “no.” When do you give up? Russell Joel Brown heard “no” 75 times before he got to “yes.”

30. Professional Development Pays Dividends -

We were reviewing a proposal for a client this week and noticed in the funder’s guidelines a request for information about the organization’s ongoing training and professional development activities, and the budget for these. Needless to say there was silence in the room.

31. The ‘Carnegie Hall or Bust’ Fundraiser, Part 2 -

Dr. Todd Robinson is a Navy pilot and flight surgeon, author, film producer, University of Tennessee Health Science Center alumnus and faculty member, and a practicing Memphis physician. He is an M.D. and a Ph.D. But until now there was one area in which he had no experience: fundraising.

32. The ‘Carnegie Hall or Bust’ Fundraiser, Part 1 -

We were recently caught off guard when Dr. Todd Robinson, a reader of FUNdraising Good Times, shared with us that he raises over $75,000 using information from this column.

33. How To Determine Nonprofit Software Costs -

Part two of a two-part series. Software is at the heart of so many nonprofit functions. You can’t afford down time. And you don’t want to find out your new system won’t talk to an existing one after it is up and running. What’s a nonprofit leader to do? In search of guidance we talked with Janna Finch of Software Advice, an online firm that reviews nonprofit technology.

34. Three Ways to Evaluate Nonprofit Technology -

Part one of a two-part series. “The main reason nonprofits look to update or implement technology is to acquire additional functionality that will automate more tasks, which they hope will free up time to work on more strategic projects.” – Janna Finch

35. Recommit To Fundraising -

Is fundraising at the top of your to-do list for 2015? Are you ready to recommit to help ensure the vitality of your nonprofit or college? Will you sign your fundraising commitment form again? What?!? Your organization doesn’t use one? Now is the time to change that.

36. Media Coverage: More Than a Press Release -

Will 2015 be the year your nonprofit is highlighted in news stories and feature pieces? Will those who could benefit from the work of your organization read about you in the newspaper, see a story on TV, or listen to an interview on the radio?

37. Your 2015 Secret to Success -

We often start the new year with enthusiasm and high expectations, and yet by year-end so many of our great plans are unfulfilled. Will 2015 be another year of doing the same thing and expecting different results, or will this truly be a new year?

38. Nonprofit Dating Game -

The holiday mistletoe, love song, and New Year’s Eve parties conjure up the allure – and the drama – of dating. Who are you dating? Who do you want to be dating? Who will you be dating in 2015? And, if you’re married, how will you reaffirm your marriage in 2015?

39. Social Change and Nonprofits -

Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. Cleveland, Ohio. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. These cities and the deaths of these African-American males – men and boys – are in the headlines. So are people’s responses.

40. Year-End Reflections – Part Two -

Last week we shared a little of the history of this column. We hope we conveyed why we are committed to these weekly writings, and most importantly our belief in you, our readers. While we have met only a few of you in person, we hold you up before us in our minds as we write.

41. Year-End Reflections – Part One -

As 2014 comes to an end, we find ourselves reflecting on our work and this column. They are both intertwined: FUNdraising Good Times is one way we help nonprofit organizations and institutions position themselves for fundraising success.

42. Giving Tuesday -

Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. What’s next? Giving Tuesday. That’s right. This December 2, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a new global holiday, and it’s all about philanthropy.

43. The Wise Donor: Moving Beyond Emotion -

It’s always good to give. To give from our hearts, according to our beliefs, and in line with our vision for the world we want to live in. There is a renewed emphasis now as we enter the giving season.

44. How to Solicit Gifts for a Nonprofit -

It's time to ask, but just exactly what do you say? As the year comes to a close nonprofits look to board members, volunteers and donors to ask their friends, family members and colleagues to consider making a meaningful gift. You may have the internal fortitude to overcome your fear of asking (read, fear of rejection), but what exactly do you say and do?

45. Year-End Giving: It’s Not Too Late -

Crazy as it seems, 2015 is knocking at the door. Yes, we still need to celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. But, really, 2015 is almost here. And the question is: How is your nonprofit fundraising?

46. Hidden Fundraising Challenges -

Not all fundraising challenges lie in the actions – or lack of action – by donors, board members, staff and volunteers. Some are hidden in plain sight. Consider the following.

The will to fundraise. If you don’t want to fundraise, don’t make it a priority, and don’t invest time and money in fundraising, chances are you don’t have the will to fundraise. Will and willingness are related, but not the same. Willingness is an attitude: will is the application of willingness. It is evident in the actions you take and don’t take. Do you visit with people in person? Do you ask for financial and in-kind support? Are you building a corps of fundraising volunteers, or do you try to do it yourself when you have the time?

47. Hidden Fundraising Challenges -

You can’t see what you can’t see. There may be some challenges facing your nonprofit that you’re not aware of. They are insidious and sometimes deadly. Taking a close look at “what’s really going on” may refocus your energy and resources, and rescue your fundraising.

48. Two Quotes to Inform Your Leadership -

This week we heard two expressions we are compelled to share with you, our readers. They are “The Fooling Yourself Theory” and “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.”

49. Five Alternative Ways to Give Back -

The giving season is upon us. For many nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and colleges the next three months are all about fundraising. You will no doubt see an increase in direct mail and e-mail solicitations, Facebook campaigns, billboards, print and TV commercials and personal asks made by of you by friends, family members and associates.

50. Leadership and Fundraising -

“... The true leader can be recognized because somehow or other his people consistently turn in superior performances. ... A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others. Success without a successor is failure.”

51. Simplifying Financial Aid -

Trying to receive financial aid for college? How do you feel when completing the 10-page FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid) form? Could reducing it to two questions improve the process?

52. Five Out-of-the-Box Interview Questions -

If you need to hire a fundraising professional, you are in good company. This is one of the hardest positions to fill. It is even harder to retain a talented fundraiser.

We have written extensively on these topics over the years because they are a major issue confronting the nonprofit sector.

53. 5 Fundraising Job Considerations -

The possibility of a new position as a fund development or fundraising professional brings excitement and anticipation. A new position could mean the opportunity to “finally” put one’s professional skills to use. Maybe with a new position there will be greater opportunities to implement best practices and to meet – or even exceed – goals.

54. Launching Your Own ‘Ice-Bucket Challenge’ -

Last week we focused on the excitement – and revenue! – generated by the ALS Foundation’s “ice bucket challenge.” We’re talking millions and millions of dollars. And we imagine your nonprofit organization or college is thinking “why didn’t we think of that?!” Or maybe a board member has approached your executive or development director with a request launch your own challenge.

55. Getting In on Ice Bucket Challenge -

In the heat of summer having a bucket of ice water thrown on you may not be a bad thing. It’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation – contagious fundraising spurred on by social media, sports celebrities, television hosts, movie stars and international performers. Everyone – it seems – is in on it. Well, except for the two of us. We are enjoying the summer heat with no ice water – but we’re giving to ALS anyway. Here’s the reason: we want to be “in with the in crowd.”

56. Leading by Example -

Have you heard about Raymond Burse, the newly appointed interim president of Kentucky State University who voluntarily reduced his salary by 25 percent to ensure that all university employees would make a minimum hourly wage of $10.25?

57. The First 72 – Don’t Kill Your Fundraising -

Asking for a donation to your nonprofit is one component of fundraising. How that gift is processed once it is received is another.

Both are important. Your actions can strengthen a donor relationship, or contribute to its demise. “The First 48” is a TV crime show that stresses the importance of the first 48 hours to the overall criminal investigation. Create guidelines for “The First 72” to keep fundraising on track. Letting gifts “pile up” and processing them once every week or two may appear efficient, but this process may require investigation.

58. An Interview With Judy Davis, Part Two -

“I did not recruit leadership, instead I embraced leadership.” This is what we learned from Judy Davis, membership outreach manager at the Metal Museum in Memphis.

59. An Interview With Judy Davis, Part One -

We eat, drink and sleep fundraising. It’s what we love. We truly enjoy and embrace the people and organizations we work with. We get excited when clients take the tools we develop for them and put them to work. We cherish their successes and most importantly we celebrate their work.

60. Are Fundraising Fables Getting in Your Way? -

Why is it so hard to retain fund development professionals? That’s the polite version of the question that has executive directors pulling their hair out and nonprofit board members wondering “what’s going on?”

61. Welcoming Home Baby Boomers -

Part two of a two-part series. Talented leadership is always in high demand. The question is: Where do you look for leaders, who are you overlooking and how do you effectively sustain their involvement?

62. Grow Your Talent Pool With Older Workers -

Part one of a two-part series. Are you overlooking a valuable pool of prospective employees and volunteers? Are you unknowingly operating from outdated stereotypes of “senior citizens” and leaving talent sitting on the sidelines?

63. Compromise, Relationships and Faith -

Part three of a three-part series. Securing $58 million for a senior housing project is not easy. Cathy Davis, executive director of Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services Inc. (BHPMSS) in California speaks eloquently about compromise and engaging with the political system.

64. Accountability and Trust: Keys to Partnership -

Part two of a three-part series. Are you considering a private/public partnership to advance the work of your nonprofit? Learn from those who have already waded into the waters.

Cathy Davis, executive director of Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, Inc. (BHPMSS) in California is a leader with experience.

65. Creating a Nonprofit Private-Public Partnership -

Part one of a three-part series. Private-public partnerships are promoted as a collaborative way to bring people and resources together across sectors.

A recent example is the development of senior housing in San Francisco, California’s Bayview Hunters Point community. We are proud to be affiliated with this project and have witnessed the many twists and turns it has taken over the years. We asked Cathy Davis, executive director of the Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services Inc. (BHPMSS), to share specifics of her partnership so you imagine what a partnership could look like for your organization or institution. Her story is specific to her community; your story will be specific to Memphis.

66. How to Sabotage Your Fundraising -

Fundraising is about asking for money. That’s the common perception. But is it the truth?

Here’s what we have learned from our extensive work with nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, individual donors, program officers and foundation executives: Fundraising is about much more than asking for money.

67. The Important Role of Requests for Proposals -

Nonprofit organizations often secure the services of fundraising related consultants and contractors to support operations and growth. Services may be needed to supplement the expertise of current staff, to add specific skill set for a limited amount of time, or because it is more cost effective to contract for services than to hire full-time employees.

68. Finding Your Ideal Partner -

How do you become a successful nonprofit fundraiser? What is the secret to success? An engaging personality, relationships, tenacity, creativity, sales ability and consistent follow through are some of the attributes of successful fundraisers.

69. Graduating to a Lifetime of Giving -

Happy graduation! You did it! This column is for graduates and their families.

We salute your commitment to your education, your future and the future of your family. Graduating from high school, community college, a technical training school, or a four-year college or university is a big deal. No two ways about it. You are celebrating a milestone and the beginning of “what’s next.”

70. Black Men Make Giving Easy and Meaningful -

Part two of a two-part series. African-American men are pooling their money to create positive community change. The Ujima Legacy Fund brings together men who invest $1,100 and collectively increase their impact. Founder Reginald Gordon shares a few details so you can create a fund in your community. We pick up our interview with Gordon with a discussion about grantmaking.

71. Black Men Find New Way to Give Back -

Part one of a two-part series. Readers of our column know we are supporters and promoters of women’s philanthropy including women’s foundations and giving circles. Mel likes to joke, “what about men’s philanthropy?”

72. Fundraising Reports: Clarity or Obfuscation? -

Fundraising reports can communicate progress toward agreed-upon goals. They can also take a lot of time to produce. They can be confusing. They can have too much detail, or too little. They can engage and energize. They can also obfuscate.

73. How to Keep a Fundraising Job -

Part two in a two-part series. We have seen nonprofit executive directors and college presidents pull their hair out over their relationship – or lack of a relationship – with their development staff. There are magic words development professionals say that pour gasoline on a slow smoldering fire. Here are a few.

74. How to Work With a Fundraising Professional -

Part one in a two-part series. Are you an executive director who wonders why his development staff doesn’t raise more money? A college president who wishes her vice president was ahead of goal?

75. Business Cards as Prospecting Tool -

Nonprofit CEOs, board chairs, and college presidents are constantly out and about meeting people and picking up business cards. Here’s what we know: You can use those cards to stack the deck in favor of your fundraising success.

76. Are You Begging or Fundraising? -

Fundraising is a noble profession. As a fundraiser you meet some of the best people around. You provide people with information and opportunities that allow them to pursue things that are important to them: “things” that really can’t be bought. You can’t buy an end to world hunger, gun violence, AIDS or domestic violence: you have to give. When you ask people to give you bring people together with projects, programs and institutions that align with their beliefs. You help people realize some of their highest aspirations.

77. Six Things You Can Do As a Board Member -

Calling all nonprofit board members: Do you sometimes wonder what value you bring to the nonprofits you serve? Do you wish you were more engaged, or that “they” took more advantage of the talents you bring to the board? We have the solution for you: take initiative! Don’t wait for someone to ask you to get involved.

78. Comprehensive Campaigns: Where is the Money? -

We were taken aback when, in casual conversation, an acquaintance blurted out, “Comprehensive campaigns are nothing but a con game.” We listened as he shared his experience of institutions that report campaign success but don’t have the money needed to implement projects laid out as campaign priorities.

79. Campaign Packaging -

Part one of a two-part series. Do you need to raise money for your nonprofit? If you answer “yes,” you are in good company. Fundraising is critical for most nonprofits and it takes time to build relationships that generate the revenue needed to operate.

80. Four Ways to Grow Your Alumni Association -

Part two of a two-part series on alumni fundraising. Alumni associations offer memberships and raise funds for the colleges and universities they are associated with. Many are independent nonprofit organizations; others operate as part of the institution’s alumni relations department.

81. Three Keys to Building Alumni Relations -

Colleges and universities look to alumni for financial support. If you attended or graduated from college you likely receive fundraising solicitations from your alma mater.

Some colleges excel at engaging their alumni and raising money from them. Their programs have been built over generations: First-year students are encouraged to set alumni giving as a personal goal. Other institutions such as community colleges are newer to engaging alumni. Some small private and public universities also face challenges.

82. Website Shows That ‘Black Gives Back’ -

If you want to challenge your thinking on the relationship between African-Americans and philanthropy you need to follow BlackGivesBack.com. Founded by Tracey Webb in 2007, BlackGivesBack.com takes the stereotype of African-Americans as the recipients of others’ philanthropy and illustrates – with images and words – that African-Americans are busy giving to diverse causes.

83. Is There a Need for Your Nonprofit? -

“What do you do when an organization wants to raise money, but there really isn’t a need for the organization?” That was the question we were asked recently. We were taken aback by the bluntness, but recognized its value. Here are our thoughts.

84. Pearl Shaw Named to Tenn. Lottery Board -

Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Pearl Shaw to serve on the board of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.

85. Pearl Shaw Named to Tennessee Lottery Board -

Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Pearl Shaw to serve on the board of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.

86. Mutuality – A Must in Fundraising -

It’s not all about you. 

As you prepare for your next meeting with a current or potential donor, funder or sponsor we suggest focusing on what you want to learn from the meeting. This is distinctly different from a focus on what you want to share.

87. Lessons From Young Women Philanthropists -

We were recently inspired by a group of young professional women who came together on a Saturday morning to discuss fundraising for their upcoming conference. These Memphis women were under 40, energized and engaged. They were getting ready to launch their sponsorship program and wanted guidance regarding how to solicit.

88. Invest Your Time for Fundraising Returns -

Engaged and effective nonprofit board members are the dream of board chairs and executives.

“Ah, if only our board members were more engaged” is a common refrain. “I can’t keep fighting my board” is another. Board members also have concerns: “I don’t know why we have board meetings: the executive makes the decisions, and expects us to rubber stamp them.”

89. How to Recruit Fundraising Volunteers -

Successful fundraising requires qualified volunteer leadership. Whether you are launching an annual campaign or a capital campaign, you need a campaign chair who is committed to your cause and willing to put in the time required to achieve your fundraising goal.

90. Three Tips for Fundraising Success -

Proper planning can set you up for fundraising success. Visualize your success, feel it in your heart and then make sure the prerequisites for fundraising success are in place before you start soliciting. Here are three tips to launch your 2014 fundraising in the right direction.

91. How to Succeed in Fundraising -

Happy New Year! Are you beginning 2014 with your hopes pinned on a bountiful new year? Does your vision of December 2014 include smiling faces as you toast members of your fundraising team, celebrating a year that broke fundraising records? Are you dreaming of fundraising success, or are you planting seeds that can bear fruit this year and for years to come?

92. Fundraising Anticipation for 2014 -

Part two of a two-part series In our last column we asked you to reflect on your fundraising for the past year and to record your answers to three questions: What have you done well, which activities or strategies didn’t meet expectations and were your goals realistic. In anticipation of the coming year, we suggest you use the wisdom gained from your reflections to lay the groundwork for 2014.

93. Fundraising Reflections for 2013 -

Part one of a two-part series. The year-end can be a perfect time to reflect on your 2013 fundraising activities and to anticipate 2014. If you are a nonprofit CEO, board member, staff or volunteer we have three questions to focus your reflections.

94. Civil Rights Museum Successes -

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens." This is the biblical quote Beverly Robertson, president of the National Civil Rights Museum used to begin our conversation.

95. How Do You Count Your Money? -

A cornerstone of successful nonprofit fundraising is trust. While there are many reasons to give, there are also reasons why people, foundations and corporations do not give. One reason is a lack of trust: donors and funders don’t trust the nonprofit to use the funds for the stated purpose. Here are some suggestions to help ensure your institution or organization retains a high level of trust from current and prospective donors.

96. Gifts That Keep On Giving -

Let the holiday season begin! Thanksgiving ushers in six weeks of busyness as we reunite with family and friends for dinners, parties, and holidays such as Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

97. The Power of Words -

We recently had the opportunity to attend a benefit dinner for Facing History and Ourselves as the guests of two long-term supporters. We had a great time. The event was much larger than we had anticipated and we found ourselves in a beautiful room surrounded by people committed to ensuring that students have the opportunity to learn from history and develop the ability to make ethical choices.

98. Are You Ready to Retire? -

With an estimated 10 percent of the workforce employed in the nonprofit sector, retirement benefits can be a factor that impacts individual employees as well as the nonprofits they work for.

For example, do older employees delay retirement because they don’t have enough money to fund their retirement? Does this impact the ability of a nonprofit to promote talent from within, or to attract new talent from outside the organization? Do younger and mid-career employees evaluate employment opportunities based on retirement benefits?

99. African-American Execs Needed -

The expertise and connections of African-American corporate executives can help chart a sustainable future for historically black colleges and universities. Historically black colleges and universities are amongst the largest African-American-controlled businesses in America. Many date to the 19th century. They have educated generations and built the black middle class. They are major employers in communities across the country. They also face challenges as they operate in an increasingly competitive educational marketplace.

100. Home Sweet Veterans Home -

Earlier this year we were introduced to a group of volunteers who want to ensure that veterans from the Memphis area have access to the services of a Veterans Home that is close to their family, friends and community.