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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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.

6. 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.”

7. 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.

8. 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.”

9. 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?

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.”

14. 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?

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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?”

19. 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?

20. 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?

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.”

28. 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.

29. 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?”

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. 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?

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.

43. 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.

44. 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.

45. 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.

46. 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.”

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. 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?

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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.

56. 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?

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. Beware Of Fundraising By Crisis -

The first 16 days of October were a demonstration of “governing by crisis.” The federal government was shut down, hundreds of thousands of government employees were furloughed; small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals were impacted in ways big and small; and the business of governing was brought to a standstill because Congress could not pass a budget.

60. Get Ready for Year End -

Are you and the nonprofits you are involved with ready for the year end? Many nonprofits seek to raise a meaningful percentage of their funds during the last two months of the year. Planning usually begins in August, but it is not too late to make a plan and implement it.

61. Affordable Care Act’s Time has Come -

The Affordable Care Act is here! Knowing that nonprofits play a key role in connecting people to services, we asked a few questions of Dr. Clarence Davis, medical director, Government Business with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

62. Events -

B.I.G. for Memphis, a business interest group that brings together Memphis Police colonels and business leaders, will meet Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Phelps Security, 4932 Park Ave. Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich will present “Pursuing the Guilty and Protecting the Innocent.” Visit phelpssecurity.com or email bigformemphis@phelpssecurity.com.

63. African-American Philanthropy and Museums, Part 3 -

Part three of a three-part series The African-American and African Diaspora museums and cultural institutions that have emerged across the United States are a testimony to perseverance. At the same time they, like many other cultural institutions, face many challenges. Nonprofit CEO, capacity building consultant, master strategist and cultural arts worker Grace C. Stanislaus recently shared her perspectives on African-American and African Diaspora giving, philanthropy, and the role of cultural and arts institutions.

64. African-American Philanthropy and Museums, Part 2 -

Part two of a three-part series “While our museums face many challenges, there are as many opportunities. Collectively we need to determine what steps we’re prepared to take and how aggressive we’re prepared to be to ensure the current and future relevancy and sustainability of our museums.”

65. African-American Philanthropy and Museums, Part 1 -

Part one of a three part series “Self-empowerment is one among many strategies people of African descent have employed to ensure our survival in the New World. This includes the creation of museums and cultural centers that document, recognize and celebrate the art, culture, history and contributions of African-Americans. These institutions, many of which were established as a result of public/private partnerships, bear testimony to the hard battles fought to bring dreams to fruition.”

66. Fundraising: Investment or Afterthought? -

Investing in the fundraising operations of a nonprofit is an investment in the organization’s future. It takes time to build a fundraising program that is capable of securing revenue from multiple sources. It takes vision, planning, leadership and resources – including money.

67. How Will You Fund Your Strategic Plan? -

Strategic planning is the process that drives the work of many nonprofit organizations and institutions. It takes different forms depending on the culture and policies of the nonprofit. Some complete the process at a retreat, others hire a facilitator to work with a committee of the board, still others hire a firm to survey best practices and emerging trends amongst competitors and collaborators. The outcome – a strategic plan – will drive operations and decision making over a multi-year period.

68. What’s Your Policy? -

Most people who volunteer with nonprofits are ethical and deeply committed to the organizations and institutions they serve. But sometimes in the midst of doing good there may be a tendency to sidestep best practices that build credibility. One way to ensure credibility is for the board to craft, approve and implement fundraising guidelines, policies and procedures. These should be clearly worded and should support the work of board members, volunteers, staff and donors.

69. Nonprofit Values and Efficiency -

Board members with experience and connections in the private sector can help nonprofit organizations grow and think in new ways. And nonprofit service can help board members from the private sector to grow and think in new ways, too. Efficiency and cost reductions often contribute to business success. Time and energy is devoted to developing and implementing strategies that increase the efficiency, value and profit while decreasing costs. Technology, collaboration and innovation have factored greatly in this process.

70. Can’t Sell What You Don’t Know -

Part one of a two-part interview with Mike Bruns. Mike Bruns possesses the characteristics of an ideal board member: deeply engaged with the organizations he supports, generous as a donor, and he treats his nonprofit involvement with the same seriousness he applies to business ventures.

71. Workshops, Seminars: Blessing or Curse? -

Continuous training, education and exposure to new people and ideas can lead to continuous improvement, motivation and engagement. Workshops, seminars and conferences add to the skill set and competency of nonprofit employees, executives, board members and volunteers. The question is: what happens after the workshop or conference?

72. Evaluate Your Nonprofit From Funders' Perspective -

Donors and funders don’t necessarily tell you why they won’t fund your nonprofit. Many will make their evaluation based your organization’s presentation and reputation without sharing their objections. But, if you know the criteria by which you will be judged, you can proactively prepare.

73. Evaluate Your Nonprofit From Funder’s Perspective -

Donors and funders don’t necessarily tell you why they won’t fund your nonprofit. Many will make their evaluation based your organization’s presentation and reputation without sharing their objections. But, if you know the criteria by which you will be judged, you can proactively prepare.

74. Evaluate from Funder’s Perspective -

Donors and funders don’t necessarily tell you why they won’t fund your nonprofit. Many will make their evaluation based your organization’s presentation and reputation without sharing their objections. But, if you know the criteria by which you will be judged, you can proactively prepare.

75. Evaluate from Funder’s Perspective -

Donors and funders don’t necessarily tell you why they won’t fund your nonprofit. Many will make their evaluation based your organization’s presentation and reputation without sharing their objections. But, if you know the criteria by which you will be judged, you can proactively prepare.

76. Building Corporate Partnerships -

Does your nonprofit’s special event help sponsors and underwriters meet their business objectives? Do the benefits you offer align with the business needs of your sponsors/ underwriters? Here are some things to consider as you build your corporate partnership program.

77. Investing in Fundraising Success -

When the reality of “it takes money to make money” collides with shrinking budgets, nonprofits can face short-term and long-term revenue challenges. Consider the trend among some donors and funders to “restrict” their giving and grantmaking to programs, or direct services. This is a move away from “unrestricted giving” or “operating grants,” which allow a nonprofit to use gifts and grants where they are needed most.

78. Understanding Nonprofit Overhead Costs -

A public discussion is stirring on the topic of nonprofit overhead and the extent to which overhead costs should influence giving. The three leading sources of information about nonprofits recently issued a call to action asking individual and institutional donors to stop using “overhead” as the measure of a nonprofit’s success. GuideStar, Charity Navigator and BBB Wise Giving Alliance have issued a call to donors to move beyond the “Overhead Myth.”

79. Start Small, Think Big -

Let’s talk about data: the exciting information hidden within your nonprofit’s donor database. There’s much to be learned by running reports, and many reports to run. The most in-demand: funds raised to date. But what about less popular reports and the secrets they can reveal? What about your “top-tier small donors?”

80. Issues to Weigh for Fundraising Annual Goal -

We were recently asked what we thought about setting a fundraising goal for fiscal year 2014 by simply adding 10 percent to the 2013 goal. Good question. And of course we had questions of our own. The first of which was “did the nonprofit meet its 2013 goal?” The answer – and the reasons why – will be important to take into consideration when setting a goal for 2014.

81. Asking ‘Why?’ Can Transform Your Organization -

Part three of three-part series on transformational giving. Do major gifts to nonprofits fall from the sky, or are they more typically the result of deep commitment, relationships and the ability to use the tools and data available to nonprofits? We asked Barbara Pierce, founder of Transformative Giving, about how donor research supports transformational giving.

82. Focus on Your Donors, Not Their Money -

Part two of three-part series on transformational giving Why does one nonprofit receive $1,000 from a donor when another receives $1 million? What is the difference between fundraising and the process of securing transformational gifts? To get some answers we talked with Barbara Pierce, founder of Transformative Giving.

83. No Vision, No Gifts -

Part one of three-part series on transformational giving. Philanthropy makes front-page news with the announcement of large, transformational gifts. Think Bill Gates. Oprah Winfrey. Warren Buffet. With the news comes the question, “What would it take for us to receive such a gift?” This three-part series seeks to provide insights that can help nonprofits begin a conversation that may itself be transformational.

84. Changing the Fiber of Your Nonprofit -

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.

85. Nurturing Social Capital -

“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.

86. Creating Continuity of Operation Plan -

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.

87. Emergency Preparation – Part 1 -

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?

88. Making Dollars and Sense With Nonprofit Partnerships -

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.

89. Your Mobile Device: Friend or Foe? -

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.

90. Making the Ask – Part Two -

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.

91. Making the Ask – Part One -

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.

92. New Books Designed to Increase Fundraising -

Local fundraising consultants Melvin and Pearl Shaw have written two books designed to help nonprofits increase their fundraising activity.

93. The Power of Women Fundraisers -

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.

94. ‘Lean In’ for Leadership In Nonprofit Career -

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?”

95. Will New Logo Raise Money? -

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.

96. Team Building Provides Secret to Fundraising Success -

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.

97. Team Building Yields Fundraising Success -

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.

98. Honoring a Pair Of Fundraising History Makers -

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.

99. Saluting UNCF Founder Patterson -

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.

100. It’s All About Commitment -

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.