guidestarblog_header.png

Giving: The Science of Lasting Happiness

You know those deep, gaping, and painful existential feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and meaninglessness you’ve been feeling all your life? That bottomless void that you’ve been so desperately trying to fill with yoga, meditation, a spiritual trip to the Himalayas, and a monthly subscription to seven of the latest and greatest “mindfulness” apps. 


Six Expert Tips to Make Facebook Ads Work for Your Nonprofit

Facebook advertising is fast becoming a popular channel for nonprofits to reach their goals, whether that means growing their membership, filling up their events, or finding new donors.

And they’re turning to Facebook ads because they work—often better than more traditional channels.


Boost Your Donor Retention Rates: 5 Fundamental Strategies

Year after year, campaign after campaign, nonprofits find themselves asking the same old question: why aren’t we seeing healthy retention rates?


And the Greatest Challenge for Nonprofits Is: A Lack of Time and Staff

We at GrantStation are writing and publishing the results of our most recent survey, the Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Report series. Over the years, the most frequent response to the survey question “What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking?” has remained the same. This spring, 21 percent of our nearly 5,000 respondents told us that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities.


Six Ways to Punch Up Your Fundraising Appeals

You could have the best online donation form in the world. But people won’t give to you unless you make a really compelling appeal that inspires them. That’s often easier said than done! When you’re a nonprofit fundraiser, it’s hard to carve out a couple of hours to craft a really great appeal.

We’re here to help. Here are six in-depth strategies you can use to create a more effective appeal.


Small, But Mighty: Seven Ways Small Nonprofits Can Boost Their Performance

On June 6, 2018, more than 500 participants (81 percent representing small nonprofits with less than $3M in annual revenue) joined SHALVA’s Board President Sara Block, Executive Director Carol Ruderman, and me in the “Small, But Mighty: Seven Ways Small Nonprofits Can Boost Their Performance” webinar, moderated by GuideStar Vice President and Fellow Ambassador Adrian Bordone. You can view the webinar recording here. 

Over the course of the 90-minute session, participants heard how the Leap Ambassadors Community collaboratively developed the Performance Imperative (PI)—a definition of high performance and seven disciplines for achieving it. In the initial hour, I interviewed SHALVA’s leadership about their journey, provided tips for less-resourced nonprofit leaders, and then responded to a rich set of questions for the final 30 minutes. 


Funding Anti-Poverty Programs

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

No matter how you slice and dice the topic, we all know that poverty is a huge issue throughout North America. I spend a good part of each year in Mexico and further south—in Chile—and have lived in Alaska for 40 years. I know how poverty has infiltrated Native villages throughout that state and Canada. And living in the New York Harlem neighborhood for part of each year, I see the “city side’ of poverty on a daily basis. That multiple perspective moved me to write this post as well as develop a new webinar focused on how to fund anti-poverty programs in North America.


Why We Ask in Person

Let’s be honest—most people don’t like asking for money. In fact most of us don’t like asking for anything. So, why do we not only solicit individuals for charitable gifts, but do it in person?


Perspectives on Giving USA 2018

Americans achieved a philanthropic landmark in 2017: for the first time total charitable giving surpassed $400 billion in a single year. A booming stock market and a generally strong economy combined to increase Americans’ financial resources and their confidence in sharing those additional resources through their philanthropy. 


Walking the Tightrope between Sympathy and Advocacy

  • The clients of a culinary arts training program are all formerly incarcerated. It promotes itself as a “job training” program without mentioning that its clients have criminal records.
  • A legal services provider for women caught in sex trafficking helps prostitutes, without any biases about the choices they have made, but has a hard time explaining its non-judgmental stance to donors.
  • A retirement community has a foundation that raises money from residents to allow fellow residents to stay even if they have exhausted their savings. Their fundraising literature emphasizes that the fund is for people who have run into financial difficulty “through no fault of their own.