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Editorial Results (free)

1. Choosing a Donor Management System, Part One -

Technology makes the world go ’round. And that includes the world of fundraising. The complaints related to fundraising technology are many and varied. Some people complain they can’t produce “simple” reports requested by management. Others are vexed by the standalone nature of a product. Integrating with accounting is a common complaint, as is the frustration that arises when trying to reconcile fundraising data with that recorded by accounting. A common question – with a complex answer – arises: “What type of donor database should we be using?” 

2. Five Ways to De-Energize Your Board -

There is an ideal board in the consciousness of many nonprofit leaders. It often involves members who are engaged in governance and fundraising; who advocate for the organization; and serve as community ambassadors building relationships and partnerships. 

3. Responding to Rejection: Retreat or Resilience? -

Connecting with an individual donor, businessperson or program officer within a foundation can be the first step in securing resources for your organization. When you are asked to submit a proposal or share the highlights of your project you may feel optimistic and excited. Perhaps you are thinking, “This is really going somewhere!” You submit the requested information, wait a bit and then hear what you believe is a loud, resounding “No!”

4. What Every Board Member Should Know -

We recently had the opportunity to work with an organization that is ready increase its impact. Current board members had recruited and approved new members; there was work to be done and people to do it. Our role was to help orient all members to their roles and responsibilities.

5. 4 Tips for Approaching Decision Makers -

One way to help sustain your organization is to build and nurture relationships with decision makers who can provide finances and resources. 

Be intentional as you expand the number of decision makers who know your organization. It takes time for an executive within a corporation – or a board within a foundation – to decide to make a major gift or grant. While many executives have the authority to make discretionary grants, in most cases these are substantially smaller than grants made through the formal grant making process. 

6. The Pros and Cons of Engaging Political Leaders in Fundraising -

Fundraising is a community endeavor, and our communities include the politicians who are elected to represent us at all levels.

Current, former and prospective elected leaders are often involved in fundraising, providing great value. At the same time, there are challenges related to engaging politicians as fundraising volunteers. With this column we discuss the pros and cons.

7. Five Steps to Engage Volunteers -

A well-run volunteer management program can change the life of your nonprofit. Most leaders know this and yearn for a team they can depend on. At the same time, many delay engaging volunteers because “it’s a lot of work.” That’s the truth. But it’s also true that an investment in volunteers will leverage the work of your organization in ways you can’t yet imagine. 

8. Gifts for Gifts? What is Your Practice? -

As a donor, what do you want in return for your gift? A letter? Public recognition? Opportunities to meet with like-minded people? Access to the organization’s leadership? A plaque? A pen? Your family’s name on a building?

9. Secrets to Passionate Leadership -

Some leaders have charisma, that ability to engage others. They reach out and touch your heart and soul. Others are quiet with a passion that reveals itself more slowly but is equally compelling. These leaders know what they are talking about, and they know how to connect with people.

10. What are Capacity and Infrastructure? -

Knowing your mission, vision and proposed impact is critical to your success as an organization. Equally important is the process of building your capacity and infrastructure. But what exactly are these things?

11. Last Word: MATA and the TBI, Fieldstone Gets Bigger and Wedge Bills -

Since Gannett bought The Commercial Appeal there has been a lot of speculation about what would remain of the Memphis operation in a newspaper chain known for consolidating not just in-house parts of the publishing process but the reporting side too. The biggest question in the air was the fate of the large printing presses at the CA. And Monday evening, there was an answer.

12. Dr. Bethune Was True Fundraiser -

In the early 1950’s, I had the honor to hear Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune speak in a packed, hot and humid Clayborn Temple in Downtown Memphis. She was a powerful orator. She mesmerized me, she mesmerized the crowd. She raised money for Bethune-Cookman College the old fashioned way: “She passed the hat.” 

13. People More Crucial Than Plans -

Creating fundraising plans for our clients is one of our core services. We invest time learning each organization, its culture, assets, position in the marketplace, challenges and successes. And we get to know the people. We combine our learnings and experience to create a fundraising plan. While we wish a plan could magically bring resources to a nonprofit, the truth is that it won’t. A plan is only as valuable as the people who implement it. 

14. Where Will the Funding Come From? -

How will you meet your fundraising goal in 2017? This question typically elicits one of three responses. Some are confident they will be able to secure the funds their organization needs. Others have a general feeling about where the money and resources will come from. Still others are used to making do and believe they will survive one way or the other. Where does your nonprofit fall on this spectrum?

15. Defining Your Legacy -

When an organization captures your heart you think about how you can contribute to their work. You give of your time, resources and talents. You can also plan to continue your giving in the future, even when you’re gone. You can start at 20 years old or 70. Age is not a barrier.

16. 10 Ways to Refine Your Fundraising Readiness -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part series. Are you ready for a successful fundraising year? Are you already involved? Before you go full force in the marketplace – whether with cultivation or solicitation – stop and review your fundraising readiness status.

17. Define Your Giving Priorities in 2017 -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part series. As 2016 came to a close there was an avalanche of well-crafted requests to give to nonprofits. These came in the U.S. mail and via email. They were on TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, everywhere!

18. The FUNdraising Doctor is In, Part 2 -

Editor’s note: Part two in a two-part series. The financial health of an organization is often attributed to the board of directors. The composition of the board, its actions, the level of giving and the recognition of individual members all impact financial health.

19. The FUNdraising Doctor is In, Part 1 -

Editor’s note: This is part one in a two-part series. The board of directors of an organization is responsible for its financial health. What does this mean? How do you measure the fundraising health of the board? We at Saad&Shaw suggest a visit to the FUNdraising doctor. A check-up may be in order.

20. Friendraising: Two Examples of Success -

As the year comes to an end, many of us are fortunate to receive invitations to events large and small. With Hanukkah falling on Dec. 24 there will be simultaneous celebrating by Jews and Christians this year. And even more will celebrate the New Year. Some events are family parties, work gatherings or faith celebrations. Others are fundraisers or “friendraisers” for nonprofit organizations or institutions.

21. 3 Ways to Launch Fundraising in the New Year -

The new year is soon upon us, complete with new year resolutions. Some are personal: Lose weight, exercise more, be a more loving person, spend more time with family, quit smoking. … Others relate to the nonprofit organizations we work with. To help you prepare your nonprofit organization or institution for a most positive year, we offer these three suggestions.

22. Diversity and Inclusion -

Nonprofits are ahead of the game when it comes to diversity. Is that true? We may tell ourselves that, but diversity – and most importantly inclusion – requires we take an honest look at our organizations. 

23. What is a Culture of Fundraising? -

Part three of a three-part series. Everyone has to have a responsibility for fundraising. We call this a culture of fundraising. Others refer to it as a culture of philanthropy. Either way, this shared responsibility is at the core of nonprofit fundraising and sustainable organizations.

24. Creating a Culture of Fundraising, Part 2 -

Editor’s note: In part two of their three-part series on creating a culture of fundraising, Mel and Pearl Shaw share how to integrate and align fundraising with your mission.

25. Creating a Culture of Fundraising, Part 1 -

“How can we raise money before the end of the year?!?” We have received several calls like these. Established and emerging organizations want to make sure they communicate with and solicit donors before the end of the year. 

26. Don’t Wait Until Everyone Resigns -

“Nobody taught us how to go out and fundraise.” – Former board member

“After my experience at this organization, I am no longer interested in working in fundraising.” – Former fundraising professional

27. Who Gets Credit for the Gift? -

November and December are times of increased giving. So many of us are relationship- and philanthropy-focused. We open our homes to friends and family, and we open our wallets to nonprofits. 

28. Two Leadership Requirements: Honesty and Trust -

Are you brave enough to have an open and honest conversation about your organization’s fundraising? Are you willing to step out from behind your role as executive director and have an honest talk with your board chair?

29. Tell a Great Story But Make Sure It’s Not Fantasy -

If your story isn’t real, how can the funds you raise make a difference? Success is what nonprofits are supposed to project. Increased impact. New audiences, more people served, policies changed ... Everything is rosy. But what if it isn’t? What if our “successes” blind us to what isn’t working? We might tell a good story, but is it real? 

30. Year-End Solicitation: Asking Donors for a Gift -

Fall is in the air. Time for football, warm sweaters, and the approach of the holidays. For those involved in fundraising, it is also time to focus on the year-end campaign.

There are direct mail letters to write, holiday events to host, and online giving campaigns to launch and manage. There is also the process of personally asking select individuals to make a larger gift. “Soliciting major gifts” – as this is referred to – is not for the faint of heart. It is one of the most feared aspects of fundraising. It is also one of the most important. It is vital to nonprofits and provides donors with a way to make a meaningful difference. 

31. Last Word: The Grizz Are Back, Bass Pro Shops Buys Cabela's and Stein at Amurica -

Some of you will remember the late George Lapides, whom I worked with for a time at WREC, had a policy about pre-season baseball games or what he called the “Grapefruit League.” It was that they didn’t exist. He wouldn’t acknowledge the games much less the scores.

32. Gauging the Feasibility of Historic Museum -

As I watched the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on television, I was filled with excitement and emotion. I was excited about this historic moment and what it means for the African-American community and the nation.

33. Tools for Addressing Generational Poverty -

We recently had the opportunity to learn from three women and the approaches they use to help vulnerable children and their families. We attended two local presentations coordinated by the Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc. and want to share just a little of what we learned.

34. I Didn’t Give Because You Didn’t Ask -

We are entering the giving season. Many reader will focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. Here at FUNdraising Good Times, we are focused on giving to nonprofits. Like children who dream of a pile of gifts under the tree, many nonprofits are praying – or hoping and crossing their fingers – that the money they need will come their way.

35. Donor Retention and Attrition: How Effective is Your Fundraising? -

We know you want to meet your fundraising goals. We also know some readers may be anxious wondering, “How will the calendar year end? Will we be in the red or in the black come Dec. 31?” While we don’t have a magic wand, we do want to suggest two aspects of fundraising management you should keep an eye on.

36. How to Prepare for a Board Meeting -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part interview with Kim Moss. The board of directors plays a critical role in the life of a nonprofit. While each board is unique, best practices can increase a board’s effectiveness.

37. Four Secrets to Nonprofit Growth -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part interview with Kim MossWe recently had the opportunity to work with Memphis nonprofit consultant Kim Moss. He is a wealth of knowledge with 34 years experience in nonprofit administration. He knows about taking care of business.

38. 5 Guidelines for Managing Nonprofit Funds -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part interview with Leland FaustWhat would you do if you were responsible for reviewing financial management policies for your nonprofit? What would you do if asked to vote on a change of investment firms? What questions would you ask?

39. You’ve Raised the Money, Now How Do You Keep It? -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part interview with Leland FaustFinancial management and investing is critical to the sustainability of nonprofits. As a board member or trustee you have a fiduciary responsibility. But how do you fulfill that responsibility? What do you need to know as it relates to financial management and investment?

40. How to Be a Successful Board Member -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part interview with Dr. Belle Wheelan. Dr. Belle Wheelan knows a lot of about boards. As a former president she has worked with boards at two different colleges. She has served as a trustee, and currently works with a board in her role as president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

41. So You Want to Be a College President? -

Editor’s note: Part one of a two-part interview. We recently talked with Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A nationally recognized leader in the field of higher education, Wheelan is the first African-American and the first woman to serve in this capacity.
With 799 institutions of higher education under her jurisdiction, Wheelan knows firsthand the challenges and opportunities a president must negotiate. 

42. 3 Ways to Elevate Your Volunteer Engagement Program -

How can you increase the time, money and expertise available to your nonprofit? Some of us want to increase the hours in our days from 24 to 30, others believe “cloning” is an alternative. We understand the lament “not enough hours in the day” and so we offer a proven solution: elevate your volunteer engagement program. Here are three things to consider.

43. Nonprofits Can Help Mid-South Heal -

We are no different from you, our readers. We have been grappling with emotions, engaged in conversations, and reflecting on our role – and the role of the nonprofit sector – during these times of protest and grief.

44. 2015 Was America’s Most Generous Year Ever -

Here’s what we learned from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015. Donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $373.25 billion in 2015, setting a record for the second year in a row.

45. Is Your Nonprofit Legit? -

Passion for mission is at the heart of a nonprofit, but don’t forget your “business” requirements. Nonprofits must comply with many of the same regulations as businesses, and additional ones that are specific to the sector. As an executive or board member you need to be aware of these, and operate within the law.

46. Community Engagement Award -

National recognition was bestowed upon the ArtsMemphis Community Engagement Fellows program this past week. Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, awarded the esteemed Robert E. Gard award to the fellowship program.

47. Important Role of Corporate Support for Nonprofits -

Financial and in-kind support from businesses and corporations are so important to the life of nonprofits. Whether through event sponsorships or grants for programs and operations, businesses matter. They provide visibility, funding and talent.

48. Dignity, Honor, Respect: A Fundraising Success Story -

Do not underestimate the vision, power and tenacity of grassroots community organizations. We have seen firsthand how a well-defined vision can transform a community and the lives of its residents.

49. 3 Answers for Volunteer-Led Organizations -

We recently had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop at the 41st Neighborhood USA Conference (nusa.org) held right here in Memphis. Participants came from as far as Alaska and Japan. The city bustled with energy from these dedicated community activists and the estimated $750,000 economic impact they made on the local economy. We caught the buzz and want to share three topics that emerged from our conference session. 

50. How to Be a Confident Nonprofit Solicitor -

Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part series. Personally asking someone to make a gift to a nonprofit you believe in is one of the most valuable things you can do. For some this is done with comfort, ease and joy. For others there is a twinge of fear, or maybe a silent scream of terror.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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?

56. 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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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.

60. 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.

61. 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.

62. 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.

63. 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.

64. 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.

65. 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.

66. 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.

67. 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.”

68. 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.

69. 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.

70. 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.

71. 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.

72. 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.

73. 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.

74. 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.

75. 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.

76. 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.

77. 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.

78. 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.

79. 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.

80. 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.

81. 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.

82. 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.

83. 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.

84. 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.

85. 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.

86. 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.

87. 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?

88. 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?

89. 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.

90. 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.

91. 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.

92. 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.”

93. 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.

94. 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.

95. 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.

96. 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.

97. 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?

98. 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.

99. 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.

100. 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.