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Your Organization Could Win Up to $500 in the Nonprofit Winter Games

South Korea isn’t the only place with people competing for Gold (or Platinum!). We are excited to announce the first-ever Nonprofit Winter Games, where we will be giving away more than $2,000 in donations.

February 5–March 2, we're hosting our own games for the sector. Entering for a chance to win up to $500 is as easy as posting to your organization's favorite social media channel or updating your Nonprofit Profile.


Half of U.S. Nonprofits on Financial Precipice, New Report Finds

Around 50 percent of the nation’s nonprofits are operating with less than one month’s cash reserves, a new report by Oliver Wyman, SeaChange Capital Partners, and GuideStar reveals.


How Quickly Should You Thank a New Donor?

Research has shown that first-time donors who receive a personal thank-you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. Yes, thanking in 48 hours equals a 400 percent improvement in renewal rates.

First-time donors are ardent, as I discuss in my book, What Your Donors Want ... and Why. But that ardor cools fast if you don't sustain it. It's like a campfire ignited by match from tinder. It blows oxygen across an ardent new donor, keeping that small flame alive, excited by your mission, your vision, and your potential in their lives.


How to Prime Your Donors for the Ask with the Jedi Mind Trick

Let me be honest. Its no secret—asking for a major gift is ... scary. It’s one of the biggest challenges fundraisers face.

It’s a personal question which enters what is considered a taboo area of conversation—someone else’s money. Even after years of experience, every donor conversation is personal and therefore different. There’s always the unknown.


5 Ways to Make Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign Stand Out

If there’s one thing that’s certain in the world of online fundraising, it’s that nonprofit organizations of all shapes and sizes can’t get enough of crowdfunding.

Whether you’re a traditional philanthropic organization, a faith-based association, or a school, crowdfunding is one of the fastest, simplest, and most rewarding ways to connect with supporters online and leverage their excitement into fundraising success.


What Nonprofits Need to Know about the New Tax Law

There’s been much discussion recently about how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became law on December 22, 2017, will affect charitable contributions. It’s an important conversation. But there are other issues arising from the act that nonprofits should be aware of. Here are several from the 2018 Tax Law Checklist published by the National Council of Nonprofits. To view the complete list and get more information, view the checklist and the Council’s resource page for charitable nonprofits.


My Big Fundraising Failure—and What You Can Learn from It

In October, I rolled out a fundraising appeal for our new Training, Facilitation, and Consulting Certificate Program with Marlboro College.


How to Attract More Volunteers with a Better Web Page

If you have struggled to engage enough volunteers to sustain your mission, it may be time to refresh your technology. More and more, volunteers use the web to research and find opportunities to serve. Unfortunately, many causes have not upgraded their digital online communications to keep pace.

A simple, but effective, way to boost your volunteer recruitment results is to improve how you feature volunteer opportunities on your website, specifically by creating a focused landing page devoted entirely to attracting new volunteers.


The GuideStar Blog Posts You Read Most in 2017

Earlier this month, we published a list of the GuideStar Newsletter articles subscribers read most last year. Today, we're looking at the GuideStar Blog posts that caught your attention. Because the first 8 were also in the newsletter top 10, we're extending this list to 15 posts.


Why We’re Excited to Launch Our Next Generation APIs Today

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My first nonprofit job was in 1996 as a door-to-door canvasser to raise money for the Florida Public Interest Research Group. It was hard and felt like a crapshoot. But it taught me the value of perseverance and not taking no for an answer. I canvassed for six summers in my teens and twenties, all the while knowing there had to be a more efficient way to reach our potential supporters. We were a kick-ass group and we knew that the right people would support us when we found them. 


NPO Leaders: This Is So Worth 25 Minutes of Your Time

As nonprofit leaders, we have a responsibility to show the country what’s working and what’s at stake on the frontlines of America’s most vulnerable communities. But social-sector hard data is sparse at best, and real-time data is even rarer. The longer our sector remains an outlier in a data-driven world, the greater the opportunity cost—and the greater the risk that others will inappropriately use what numbers there are to justify budget cuts and other misguided decisions.


6 Back to School Lessons To Boost Your Online Fundraising

The holidays are over, and kids and college students are packing up book bags and suitcases and heading off to their respective halls of knowledge to learn about the Pythagorean theorem and the significance of metaphors in 18th-century British literature.

But what about you? What do you want to learn more about this semester?

There are any number of fantastic courses available, but the best place to start is right here.

In this article, we’ll cover ways nonprofits can improve their online fundraising. With online fundraising on the rise, it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to continue to improve their giving methods and outreach strategies.


A Surefire Way to Help Your Executive Director Complete Fundraising Tasks

A Surefire Way to Help Your Executive Director Complete Fundraising TasksHave trouble getting your executive director to make their calls and schedule appointments with major donors? You’re not alone.

Executive Directors Often Mean Well, But ...

The other day, I spoke with Marlene, a campaign director, whose executive director is wonderful in most every way, except—and it’s a big exception—that he had trouble actually getting around to the critical major gift calls he had to make for their campaign.


The Robots Have Arrived: How Nonprofits Can Make Sure They Save Rather Than Kill Us

Imagine your best friend Holly is in a horrible car accident and tragically dies. As grief overwhelms you and tears run down your cheeks, you pull out your smartphone. You send Holly a text telling her how much you miss her. Within seconds she responds with a funny cat meme—just like she always did. You start to laugh. After many more back and forth texts it feels like Holly is still alive. Or is she.

This isn’t a plot line from Black Mirror or an updated episode of the Twilight Zone. This technology exists today. It’s called AI, or artificial intelligence, and it is used to program chatbots.


Donor Advised Funds—The Most Efficient Way to Channel Funds for Social Good

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.

Donor advised funds (DAFs) are a growing segment of philanthropy.

On the other side of the Atlantic, DAFs have been in existence since the 1930s and have combined assets of more than $80bn in assets under management. They have attracted high profile donors including Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan who gave away $1bn worth of Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.


5 Smart Questions to Ask When Buying Nonprofit Software

As nonprofits grow, they quickly realize that Excel spreadsheets and basic, nonprofit-nonspecific software solutions simply don’t cut it. Instead of focusing on strategy and fundraising, nonprofit staff spend valuable time on administrative tasks or, worse, resolving problems caused by disorganization.


4 Ways Matching Gift Tools Can Help You Raise More Funds

As a nonprofit professional, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of matching gifts and may know a few techniques for how to encourage donors to submit a request.


Some Things I Have Learned in My Years of Fundraising

17 axioms you will want to know:


Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: 3 Vital Tips to Get Started Early

I hope last year was a great fundraising year for you and your organization. But I’m sure you’re wondering how you can make this year even better for your nonprofit.


The GuideStar Newsletter Articles You Read Most in 2017

Happy New Year! It’s time for our round-up of the GuideStar Newsletter articles you read most last year. As was true in 2016—and to an extent in 2015—you veered away from the traditional formula of fundraising, boards, and boards and fundraising. You were still interested in those topics, but you read articles about other subjects as well.


Your Engine of Impact: Scaling

Over the course of seven posts, we have argued that leaders who want their organization to achieve maximum impact must embrace the essentials of strategic leadership. We compare this kind of intentional leadership to a high-performance engine. In those seven posts, we have discussed the components of this engine: mission, strategy, impact evaluation, insight and courage, organization and talent, funding, and board governance. 


 Don't miss out on donations this Giving Season. Add a Donate button to your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile today.