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The Unspoken Truth about Boards and Fundraising

Does everyone on your board raise money?

If the answer is “No!”—perhaps the question makes you laugh or groan or grind your teeth—you’re not alone.

How do I know? By far, the most popular service I offer is board fundraising training. Because so many boards struggle to raise money, demand is endless. (Note to consultants: if you want to build your business, improve your skills as a fundraising trainer.)


Tracking Unicorns: In Search of the High Level Donor

Recently, I came across a fascinating article about a New York secretary named Sylvia Bloom who, unbeknownst to even those in her inner circle, had built up a large fortune over the course of her lifetime. Known as a frugal woman who rode the subway to work every day until the age of 96, it wasn’t until her passing, and a total bequest of $8.2 million to charity, that her secret was revealed.

One of the lucky organizations was the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which received a gift of $6.24 million to endow a scholarship program for low-income students. Every nonprofit organization should be so fortunate. However, for most, such luck requires careful planning. How can your organization find the Sylvia Blooms (aka unicorns) of the world? We’ve compiled some resources to help with your search.


20 Tips to Help You Dress for Nonprofit Success

Like other nonprofit professionals, I wear clothing. So every morning I wake up and immediately have to make an important decision: what to wear for the rest of the day. Now, this does not sound like a very big decision, but I have learned that how we dress in this field is critical to our work, determining how we and thus our organizations are perceived. Although I am not a style guru, I have worn clothing, so here are some tips I have picked up over the years that may be helpful for you. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section.  


How Northwest Health Foundation Is Using Diversity Data to Do Better

On every grant application, Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) requires nonprofits to report the demographics of the communities they serve, as well as the demographics of their board members. However, that hasn’t always been the case.


New Figures Reveal Diversity Gaps in British Philanthropy

The following article is cross-posted from Alliance magazine blog. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment. GuideStar is pleased to offer a non-U.S. perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

British foundations are falling short when it comes to embracing diversity. A new report commissioned by the foundation umbrella body, the UK’s Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), highlights a striking lack of racial, age, and gender diversity in the make-up and composition of foundation trustee boards.


5 Myths Busted on Why Charitable Giving with Wills and Trusts Is Difficult

It’s a little-known fact that planned giving has one of the highest ROIs (return on investment) of any fundraising activity, contributing to the fact that pursuing gifts from wills and trusts is rarely a key mission funding practice among the average American nonprofit.


10 Best and (Almost) Free Tools to Create Mind Maps for Your Nonprofit

A mind map is a visual representation of keynote thoughts centered around the main idea. It helps us stay organized in the informational chaos.


Latest 2018 Data from Giving USA Is Good News! (For Now)

Giving USA is the most widely anticipated and recognized report on the “state of our sector.” It’s the State of the Union for philanthropy, if you will.

And the latest data from Giving USA is good news! For now …

Below is a summary of what’s in this video—not an exact transcript. But you’ll get the gist whether you decide to read, listen, or watch.


5 Ways to Market Matching Gifts on Your Nonprofit’s Website

If your nonprofit has delved into the world of corporate philanthropy, you know about matching gift programs. These immensely popular programs are pretty simple: companies give the same amount of money to the same nonprofits as their employees. All the employees have to do is submit the proper paperwork and ensure that their donations are eligible under their employers’ program requirements.


5 Reasons Small Nonprofits Run Away from Marketing Their Organizations

If the words branding, marketing, or publicity make you want to run and hide, you are not alone. Every single day, nonprofit leaders struggle with how to get more recognition for their organizations—they run away from marketing their organization.

Marketing is simply the set of activities nonprofit organizations use for creating, communicating, delivering, and amplifying their missions. It’s crucial to ensure your most important stakeholders know who you are and are excited to support you.