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GuideStar Blog

For Better or Worse: What’s Your Online Image Saying about Your Nonprofit?

Money for Good

The following is a guest post by Greg Ulrich, co-author of the new guidebook, More Money for More Good .

    Who is right?

    Highlights of the 2012 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report

    The 12th edition of our annual nonprofit compensation analysis has just been published. The report is based on 116,807 observations from 77,449 Forms 990 filed with the IRS by 501(c) organizations for fiscal year 2010. Among the highlights:

    The Secrets Behind Successful Nonprofit Home Pages

    Reprinted from the Chronicle of Philanthropy

    Capital Campaign Magic: Revealing Five Secrets of Success

    Have you noticed big capital campaigns in your community that raise millions ... even hundreds of millions?

    2012 Council On Foundations Fall Conference

    Lori Larson, GuideStar

    An Apollo Program for American Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

    The following is a guest post from Dan Pallotta and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of GuideStar.
    Dan Pallotta

    GuideStar Exchange: Share Nonprofit Report Pages Through Social Buttons

    You may have noticed a new addition to the public nonprofit reports on the GuideStar Exchange: we’ve added sharing capabilities through social buttons. These buttons include Facebook, Twitter, Share by Email, and much more.

    How large (and powerful) is the nonprofit universe?

    Nida Chughtai

    How you can take part in 9/11 Day

    11 years ago today our nation changed indelibly. For my part, I choose to remember how our nation came together in such a special way. The organizers of the annual 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11 Day) efforts want to help keep that spirit alive. Last year 33 million Americans dedicated time and remembering by doing something positive for others.

    Ten Tips to Make Donor Cultivation Personal

    1. Your time is valuable and so is your donor's. If you are going to take the time to cultivate donors, do it in the most personal manner possible.
    2. Apply the "personal equals special" test. If the contact doesn't make your donor feel special and unique, it's not personal enough. Make every donor feel that you are speaking only to him or her, even though the donor will know that is not actually the case all the time.
    3. Consider eliminating most of the time-consuming, impersonal "cultivation" you are now doing, such as the hard-mailed newsletter and the invitations to the entertainment events, and free up your time to work smarter.
    4. Think about yourself as a donor. Notice which cultivation contacts get your attention—mail, phone, e-mail, or fax? Notice how you connect personally with people in your everyday life. Is that how you're treating your donors?
    5. Notice that you have preferences for how people contact you—via which medium and which phone calls and e-mails you return, versus which ones you delete. Notice how flattered you are when the right person calls you or even sends you a note, yet how offended you are when someone else shows up at your door unexpectedly.
    6. Notice that you can discriminate between those "bulk" group e-mails and the smaller group ones that feel like a real person actually wrote them and meant them for you. Notice how you realize that some people are so busy, you're willing to cut them a little slack if they send out an e-mail to a small group of people. Notice that sometimes you even hit "reply" to those e-mails and send them a note in return.
    7. Notice how people who know you well get your attention these days. Blackberry, computer, phone, fax, or in person? (Granted, there will never be any substitute for an adorable child coming up to you and saying, "Hi, Daddy.")
    8. Notice that you get annoyed when people take too long to respond to you or, conversely, when they bombard you with several responses in a short period of time.
    9. Notice how quickly you switch modes of communication. You may reply to an e-mail message with a phone call or reply to a phone call with an e-mail. You may talk with someone via voicemail back and forth for weeks and accomplish quite a bit before you ever speak to them in person. Notice that you have adapted to multi-media communications.
    10. Notice that the people close to you know how to get your attention and how to use your time well when they need it. They know when they can find you on your cell phone in the car, when you check your e-mail late at night, when you shut down that hand-held computer before the flight takes off.

    This is the level of personal you need to be at with your donors. You need to get to know them well enough (and in the process gain enough permission) to earn the right to communicate with them like a good friend would. And that is going to take a lot of contact!

    Charities Learn to Turn Away Support Offered by Donors Who Are Overcome with Sympathy

    Originally published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy

    Accounting and Reporting Considerations for Online Contributions


    According to a recent study published by Nonprofit Technology Network, despite the continued economic slump, contributions raised by nonprofit organizations through online fundraising activities continue to increase.

    With expanding social media and technology applications for fundraising, nonprofits need to keep in mind the special considerations of accounting and reporting. The nonprofit organization should have a documented system of internal control for online contributions to ensure that all contributions to which the organization is entitled are captured and recorded in the accounting system.

    The End is Coming! 6 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Year-End Giving

    The following is a cross-post by Amy Eisenstein, author, speaker, trainer, and owner of Tri Point Fundraising, a full-service consulting firm.
    Amy Eisenstein

    Social Media for Nonprofits is coming to Chicago

    If you’re interested in helping your nonprofit realize the full potential of social media then don’t miss Social Media for Nonprofit’s Chicago conference on 9/19. This is the only conference series devoted to social media for social good, and features an all-star lineup of speakers giving inspirational presentations combined with real world case studies.

    Speakers including See3’s Michael Hoffman, Community Media Workshop’s Demetrio Maguigad, Fundly CEO Dave Boyce, and Justin Ware will give presentations full of practical tips and tools for leveraging social media for fundraising, marketing & advocacy.

    New Research Reveals Top Nonprofits in Climate Change and Microfinance

    Jasmine Marrow