What follows is a confession. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s true.
“Marketing?” you ask. “Who, us? We’re a nonprofit. We shouldn’t be thinking about marketing—we need to concentrate on our mission.”
Ian McCuaig, on 3/28/17 8:00 AM
Based on my 20 years developing and executing donor-centric fundraising strategies, I have a nonpartisan prediction: philanthropy will get an unforeseen Trump bump. Overall giving will certainly rise.
Every organization dreams of recruiting and retaining a board of visionary planners, generous investors, willing askers, and passionate pragmatists.
Despite these yearnings, too many boards are assembled without a strategy. Board selection is pushed by a date when a “slate” must be presented. Frenzied phone calls result in the inappropriate recruitment of people who may be well intentioned but not able to propel the organization to the next level.
Sara Lowe, Elevation, on 3/24/17 8:00 AM
As a nonprofit, your focus should not only be on directing possible donors to your donation page but also providing them with a clear, simple, and exciting donating experience. Your goal as an organization is to have all those who have reached your donation page follow through and complete the action, right?
A while ago, while I was seeking input for a post on how we can all be more disability-inclusive, a colleague mentioned that we should drop the get-to-know-you question “What do you do?” because people with disabilities face significant employment discrimination, and this question is often a painful reminder of that. Another colleague of mine who is brilliant and talented and hilarious and wheelchair-enabled told me she spent seven years searching before someone hired her. I can imagine all the times during those seven years when people asked her “What do you do?” and how she must have felt. This has made me think of the “to-do” culture that we have and how it’s been affecting our work.
Ricardo Jose Bueso and Ricardo Juan Bueso, THX, on 3/22/17 8:00 AM
Editor’s note: We’re excited to launch a new series highlighting some of the partners who are using GuideStar data to make the world a better place.
Thx is a lifestyle brand and e-commerce giving platform reinventing how people shop and give to their favorite nonprofit causes. We create top-quality, responsibly sourced lifestyle products that inspire everyday thankfulness and give to great causes.
Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group, on 3/21/17 8:00 AM
Unexpected events are a part of philanthropy, in much the same way surprise snows can be a part of spring. Depending on where you are and what you’re doing (and whether or not school is cancelled), that snow can be a blessing or a curse.
Abby Jarvis, Qgiv, on 3/20/17 8:00 AM
You’ve spent a significant time building a well-designed donation page and implementing best practices to help your page perform at its best. Now, you should make sure that donors can find your page and inspire them to make a contribution.
Bill Hoffman, on 3/17/17 8:00 AM
Congratulations, you’ve just been appointed to one of the more prestigious nonprofit boards in your community! You’re really excited, because you have a passion for the organization’s mission and have heard nothing but great things about it. But after the warm glow cools down a little, you realize the pressure is on—how are you going to make your mark and really contribute to the organization? Start with asking the executive director or board chair these five questions and let their answers guide you to success.
Nicole Federico, on 3/16/17 8:00 AM
We're Spilling Secrets and a Five-Step Guide
It happens all the time. A sharp, rising late-20/early 30-something-year-old learns about your organization and wants to get involved. He or she’s got an impressive resume for a young career, a warm smile, and a handshake that says this kid’s going places. This up-and-comer is a prime candidate for a governing board seat ... in about 10 years, of course.
Many organizations that have a corps of volunteers are reluctant to invite them to donate. The rationale is usually a variation on “we don’t want to ask them to do more, since they give so much.” Or “we don’t want them to think we are ungrateful for their volunteer work.” In some organizations, these attitudes get baked into a Great Wall that divides the volunteer program from the development office.
Imagine this: You are leading your weekly team meeting, and you have just five minutes left to galvanize people around a critical decision that will affect many people. After quickly summarizing the discussion, you say that you think all are agreed and check if there are any objections. Hearing none, you close the meeting, feeling relief that the decision has finally been made.
Abigail Wade, on 3/13/17 8:00 AM
Image from World Bank Photo Collection (flickr)
There’s no shortage of names for them: millennials, Generation Y, echo boomers. No matter what you choose to call them, it’s a well-known fact that they’re highly sought after by organizations who want them to care about their cause.
Claire Axelrad, on 3/10/17 8:00 AM
In part 1 we looked at the first four of eight principles of influence borrowed from psychology and science that will help you to better incline prospective donors to say “yes” to your calls to action. Today we’ll examine four more.
Madeline Kardos, on 3/9/17 8:00 AM
Periodically, we like to see which nonprofits our users are researching most. Our first list looked at the 10 most-viewed nonprofits for August 2016, and our second compilation identified the top 10 for Giving Tuesday 2016. We thought it was time to revisit the topic.
Joy Duling, on 3/8/17 8:00 AM
Launching a mission-centered membership program offers a terrific opportunity for nonprofits to rally a base of like-minded supporters around a cause, while creating an entirely new stream of recurring revenue. However, it can be more difficult to build a thriving membership program than many nonprofits expect.
I’m in the process of writing an e-book for publication this summer called A Bold Approach to Grants Research. This book encourages grantseekers to challenge their thinking when it comes to identifying funders for a particular program or project.
Claire Axelrad, on 3/6/17 8:00 AM
I love to borrow from psychology and science to inform my fundraising strategies. Here are some of my favorite “tricks,” and they really work. [BTW: They’re not manipulations; they’re just smart, research-based tools you should be using]
Amy Eisenstein, on 3/3/17 8:00 AM
Last week, GuideStar hosted a webinar called “How to Get Started Raising Major Gifts.” If you missed it, watch the replay here. One question was asked more than any other:
“How can we raise major gifts, if we don’t have a database full of donors?”
Evaluate for Change, on 3/2/17 8:00 AM
“How many donors should I have on my mailing list?”
“Did our students meet their growth targets for this school year?”
“Are the goals for my organization truly long term?”
Fundraising is often described as a profession that finds you—those with a passion to help others, to make the world a better place, and who take the time to listen. Harnessing that passion, what are the ingredients to make a good fundraiser great? What keeps them inspired?