The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

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Five Big Questions (and Answers) Every Fundraiser Should Know




I recently spoke in Richmond at the Virginia Fund Raising Institute conference. VFRI is a cooperative effort of all of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapters throughout Virginia. These chapters organize annually to coordinate the VFRI in order to advance philanthropy through education and fellowship.

Restricted: A Sector Held Hostage to Good Intentions


The following is an excerpt from Grow, Spring-Summer 2011, by Anne Olin, CEO of The Olin Group. If you have a short article of relevance to the nonprofit community that you would like to post to the Trust Blog, please send an email with a summary of the article to

Top Revenue Builders for Nonprofits


The following is a guest post from Nonprofit Software. If you have a short article of relevance to the nonprofit community that you would like to post to the Trust Blog, please send an email with a summary of the article to

Nonprofit Community’s Contribution to Reducing National Debt



I think it’s time to change which kind of organizations are eligible for a tax exemption.

Monitoring Your Portfolio

Nonprofit leaders are encouraging organizations to plan for the future by creating a reserve fund. Once you start building your reserve fund, you'll need to put it somewhere. And just like individual investors, nonprofits need to keep an eye on what their investments are doing. Here are some options for managing your organization's portfolio. Note: This article is provided for information only and is not intended to serve as financial or investment advice. Consult a financial professional for advice specific to your situation.

You probably already know you need to monitor your investment portfolio and update it periodically. Even if you've chosen an asset allocation, market forces may quickly begin to tweak it. For example, if stock prices go up, you may eventually find yourself with a greater percentage of stocks in your portfolio than you want. If stock prices go down, you might worry that you won't be able to reach your financial goals. The same is true for bonds and other investments.

Making Volunteering a Win-Win Situation

Volunteers are key resources for many nonprofits. They support your mission and can bring valuable skills to your organization, becoming a positive addition to your culture. At UniversalGivingTM, we have many long-term volunteers and interns on our team. They provide great new ideas, strong operational support, and can-do attitudes. They are an essential part of our culture. Our vision would not be the same without them.

Summer 2011 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey

How are your organization's development efforts going this year? How did your fundraising between January and June 2011 compare to the same period last year? Which techniques are working for you? Which aren't? What do you think holds the most promise for your organization's fundraising success?

Building Relationships with Donors

A Checklist for Creating a Proactive-Relationship Development Process

Not-for-profit organizations depend on the financial support of individuals and corporate donors, and whether you realize it or not, a pledge can be the beginning of a long-term relationship with your organization. Or, as Humphrey Bogart so eloquently put it, a donation to support your cause can be "the start of a beautiful friendship."

Benchmarks Extra: Correlations


The 2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study is a joint project of M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).

The Agile Approach to Nonprofit Management




I’ve been thinking a lot about the need for high-performing organizations to have a mindset of adaptability in order to meet ever-changing challenges and opportunities. One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes is on planning: “People who plan are the unhappiest people in the world. Opportunity is unpredictable. Most of the time, opportunity comes in over the transom. And opportunity doesn’t stay long. If you don’t respond to an opportunity, it moves on.”

Extreme Makeover: Nonprofit Board Edition

I don't know about you, but every Sunday evening I have my tissue box handy for a good uplifting hour of television while watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. This chart-topping reality show is inspiring as deserving families and communities come together—rebuilding and reimagining their futures.

Good News on Giving in 2010

Charitable giving rose to $290.98 billion in 2010, reports this year's edition of Giving USA. That figure represents a 3.8 percent growth over 2009, halting two consecutive years of philanthropic decline. GuideStar's president and CEO, Bob Ottenhoff, noted in his blog, "After two bad years, it is good to know that we're starting to experience an increase, albeit a small one."

Top 10 Fundraising Tips

Compiled from Darian Rodriguez Heyman, ed., Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals