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Editorial Results (free)

1. Fundraising Matchmaking: Solicitors and Prospects -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part series. Because it is impossible to personally solicit every current or prospective donor, personal solicitation is reserved for individuals who can make a major gift. While the definition of a major gift will vary by organization, what’s most important is the care and planning that goes into soliciting these gifts. Here are some suggestions followed by things to avoid.

2. Got a Minute for the Minutes? -

We recently facilitated two board meetings for two very different types of organizations. One was an institution that is over 100 years old with a multimillion-dollar budget. The other was an emerging grassroots, community-based organization. At both meetings the focus was fundraising, and board members were actively engaged.

3. The Power and Time of Volunteers -

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

– Abraham Lincoln

“I wish someone would take care of all the details.” Such is the lament of fundraising staff who stagger under the weight of neverending activities and details. They try to keep it all together, to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s.” And yet it feels impossible.

4. Windfall Gifts: Blessing or a Curse? -

A windfall gift is truly a blessing. It can transform an organization, build a new law school or cancer center, pay off debt, launch new programs or expand services. If the gift is unrestricted the potential is limited only by the vision and capacity of the organization’s leadership. It can grow an endowment, increasing funds available for programs, advocacy or capital improvements for years to come.

5. Periodically Check Processes to Best Track Funds -

Where’s the money? How do you process gifts?

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. –Albert Einstein

Ideally your nonprofit is focused on raising the money you need to deliver on your mission and vision. You have a strong fundraising team with talented staff, enthusiastic volunteers, the right technology, and a communications strategy that gets the word out to all the right people. The money is coming in and everyone is feeling good about the progress being made. You believe you are on target to meet or beat your fundraising goals. Or are you? What do you know, and what do you not know?

6. Proofreading Potholes: Fundraising Miscommunications -

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us about our recent column on fundraising and proofreading. We heard from donors, volunteers, an executive director and a foundation program officer. We received feedback from you our Memphis readers, as well as readers in New York and California. Each had a story to tell about a nonprofit and proofreading.

7. It’s April – How is Your Year-End Fundraising? -

Have you considered “front loading” your year-end fundraising? Start now. Plan now. Put your systems in place. Mark your calendar. Build your team. Identify your prospective donors. You may think we’re joking, but we’re not.

8. Double Check: Why You Need a Proofreader -

Communication is the name of the game. It’s not just what we say; it’s also what we write. How are you communicating with the written word?

Do you read your reports, emails and letters before hitting send? Does the thought of grammar and sentence structure make you roll your eyes and think back to days in English class? Verb, adverb, present tense, commas vs. semi-colons. … We know it’s a lot. Like you, we try to “hit the mark” with our written communication, and yet there are so many errors and typos just waiting to be made.

9. Wearing Many Hats is Not Bad -

“We wear a lot of hats around here.” This is a common refrain at many small and medium-sized nonprofits. It’s even true amongst larger nonprofits that are under-resourced.

Sometimes it’s said with pride. Other times it is followed by a sigh that signals fatigue. We understand both sentiments. If you are one who “wears many hats” we salute your ability to multitask, pursue multiple priorities and keep your eye on the big picture and the details simultaneously. We recognize your agility and flexibility. You do what must be done, often without recognition.

10. Assessing Your Grant Management Process -

Grant funds are a major source of revenue for many nonprofits. Grant awards are heralded with public fanfare. Gaining – or losing – a grant can have critical implications. Is the grant management process at your organization as proactive as it could be? Consider these two groups of questions as you review your process.

11. Nonprofit Communication Checklist -

Sometimes it is necessary for you as a nonprofit leader to personally check how easy or difficult it is to communicate with your organization. When you verify these for yourself you can best assess your nonprofit’s responsiveness.

12. What is Your Brand? -

Discussions of branding can quickly turn to logos, colors or your online presence. Are those your brand, or are they expressions of your brand?

We believe they are brand expressions and that “brand” isn’t as neat and tidy as a logo. In fact, defining your brand can be a messy process. It’s emotional, bringing dreams and unanswered questions to the forefront: a group process that engages diverse constituents.

13. Avoid the Special Event Pitfalls -

Many nonprofit organizations and institutions rely on revenue from special events. If you check any calendar of events you will find many to choose from: 5K and 10K runs and walks; galas with dinner, dancing and awards; concerts; luncheons with nationally recognized speakers.

14. Making the Needle Move: Corporate Men Behind the Birth of the UNCF Telethon -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part series. What contributed to the success of the history-making UNCF Lou Rawls telethon? Leadership, collaboration, teamwork and a respect for the individual goals of participating partners.

15. Making the Needle Move: The Birth of the UNCF Telethon -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part series. During its heyday (1980-1993), the United Negro College Fund’s “Lou Rawls Parade of Stars” was the largest African-American special event in the United States held on one day. It forever changed African-American philanthropy and how African-Americans are perceived as donors, volunteers and fundraising leaders.

16. Philanthropy is Alive and Well In The African-American Community -

Here’s a stereotype to bust: Philanthropy is about large gifts from the rich and the powerful who give to organizations and institutions that serve those in need. Here’s an expanded definition: Philanthropy includes everyday African-Americans who give freely of their treasure.

17. Ingredients of A Quality Meeting -

We recently received a request from a reader wanting to know how to get the most impact from meetings with her supervisor. “Each week, I am given full responsibility for what is discussed. It is the one opportunity where I have my supervisor’s undivided attention and think I should be more strategic in our discussion.”

18. Secrets to An Empowered Fundraising Team -

This is the fifth in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success.

Last week’s column focused on building a fundraising team. This week we provide suggestions for creating an empowered fundraising team.

19. Building A Fundraising Team -

This is the fourth in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success.

We can do so much more together than we can alone. A fundraising team that includes board members, staff and volunteers can transform your nonprofit. It will take time, energy and talent to build and manage such a team, but we believe it is worth the investment. Here’s what we have learned.

20. Are You Really Committed? -

This is the third in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success.

Commitment is critical to successful fundraising. Without commitment, ideas and plans remain just that. Our experience has shown that the full commitment of the board of directors, CEO, staff and volunteer leadership is key to fundraising success.

21. Building Consensus And Reaching Agreement -

This is the second in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success.

Agreement is the cornerstone upon which a healthy nonprofit is built. Without agreement amongst an organization’s leadership it is almost impossible to sustain successful fundraising.

22. Nonprofit Mission Creep: Good or Bad? -

This is the first in a series focused on the prerequisites for fundraising success. Happy New Year! We hope you are energized and ready to embrace a new year and new fundraising success.

23. Creative Christmas Gifts For Your Favorite Nonprofit -

Its Christmas time! And soon to be Kwanzaa. Then New Year’s! It’s time to celebrate and share gifts. We give to our families and friends. Many of us have already made a gift to nonprofits we hold closest to our hearts. But there’s always time for more giving.

24. A Time To Look Back -

As the year comes to an end there will be family celebrations, travels and delicious meals. In between the many activities we hope you will also have time to reflect. We hope you can let your thoughts wander over the year that is ending, and to extend into the year that is to come.

25. Five Ways To Improve Donor Relations -

We trust your year-end fundraising is going well. Perhaps you gained new donors during Giving Tuesday. Maybe your fundraising appeal letter is generating increased gifts from current donors. Perhaps your long-term donors are thinking of you as they complete their charitable giving for the year. In all cases there are people to thank and a “donor relations” program to launch or improve. There is much a small- to mid-sized nonprofit can do to engage and retain its donors. Here are five suggestions.

26. How Would You Rate Yourself As A Fundraiser? -

As the year comes to an end, we have the opportunity to reflect on our lives, give thanks and plan for the coming year. We reflect on family, our relationships with friends and community, and often our work life. With this column we offer 10 questions you can use to reflect on your role as a professional or volunteer fundraiser.

27. Annual Giving – Five Ways To Say Thank You -

Many nonprofits will see an increase in gifts from individuals over the next few weeks. Some will be from faithful annual donors. Others may respond for the first time to your year-end appeal. Still others will feel an emotional tug on their heart strings and impulsively give online. As you prepare to say thank you we offer five things to consider.

28. Giving Tuesday -

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season. Then there’s Giving Tuesday which, as you may guess, is all about giving – this time to nonprofits.

29. Many Small Donors or a Few Large Donors? -

As the year comes to a close, many nonprofits are looking at their fundraising goals and asking an important question: Should we focus on securing a large number of small gifts, or a few large ones? We believe the answer is “both.” Here are three things to consider.

30. Are You Ready For Year-End Fundraising? -

We believe a nonprofit’s year-end fundraising should engage current and past supporters as well as new ones. We understand the excitement of designing a new campaign, using new technology, to engage new donors. Go for it! But don’t forget those who already know and support your organization.

31. Can You Afford To Apply For A Large Grant? -

Big money attracts big dreams. Imagine what your organization could do with a large sum of money. Large could be $25,000 or it could be $25 million. It all depends on your operating budget. Whether you say “yes” to big money, or turn down an opportunity can impact your organization – and Memphis – for years to come. Learn three questions to ask before making a decision.

32. Stand Beside Her -

Stand Beside Her is an example of a powerful new advocacy campaign. Launched by Girl Scouts Heart of the South in 2014, the campaign is now a weeklong national event. It focuses women on supporting each other, and most importantly on changing the culture that girls grow up in. It’s a bold move to reduce comparisons and competition amongst women. The goal: changing our culture so every girl and woman can reach her fullest potential.

33. Keys to Unlocking Board Involvement -

Editor’s note: This is part three of a three-part series. The vitality of a nonprofit lies with its board members. Their individual and collective action, engagement and clarity of mission make a difference in the world. In this final installment of our interview with Lisa Hoffman we share her thoughts regarding the important work of a nonprofit board.

34. Resources And Mindfulness In Nonprofit Life -

Editor’s note: This is part two of a three-part series. Fundraising is fundraising, or is it? We asked Lisa Hoffman about her observations related to the similarities and differences between large, established nonprofits and emerging, or grassroots, organizations as it relates to fundraising.

35. Interview With Fundraising Guru Lisa Hoffman -

Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series. If you are lucky, you are fortunate to know people who are “the real deal.” That is Lisa Hoffman. She is an experienced and talented fundraiser and coach. A woman who is both gentle and firm in her guidance, her goal is to help you reach your fundraising goals.

36. Walking a Mile in Her Shoes -

“What size shoes do you wear?” That was what we heard. We saw a well-dressed woman casually take off her sneakers and give them to a woman who appeared to be homeless. Both were getting cream and sugar for their coffee at the Starbucks on Union Avenue. One walked out with designer sneakers on her feet and the other got into her car wearing socks.

37. You Can’t Raise Money From Behind A Desk -

Editor’s note: Part two of the two-part “Fundraising in an Imperfect World” series. What if your nonprofit isn’t comprised of people with power, wealth and influence? What if your board chair can’t pick up the phone and raise $1 million? How do you compete when you feel other organizations are supported by power-brokers and you can’t get your message heard?

38. 10 Solutions to a Board That Won’t Fundraise -

Editor’s note: Part one of the two-part “Fundraising in an Imperfect World” series. What do you do if your board doesn’t have the connections, experience or willingness to be involved in fundraising? How will your nonprofit secure the money and resources it needs to deliver on its mission?

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.”

43. 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.

44. 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.

45. 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.

46. 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.

47. 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?

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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!

56. 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!

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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.

60. 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.

61. 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.

62. 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.

63. 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.

64. 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.

65. 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?

66. 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.

67. ‘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.”

68. 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.

69. 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.

70. 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.

71. 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.

72. 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

73. 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.

74. 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?

75. 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?

76. 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?

77. 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.

78. 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.

79. 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.

80. 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.

81. 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.

82. 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?

83. 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?

84. 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?

85. 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.

86. 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.”

87. 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.

88. 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.”

89. 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?

90. 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.

91. 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.

92. 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.

93. 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.”

94. 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?

95. 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.

96. 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.

97. 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.

98. 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?”

99. 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?

100. 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?