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The Crucial Role of Silence When Asking for a Gift

In my book, How to Raise $500 to $5000 from Almost Anyone, I offer a multitude of fundraising how-tos, from identifying prospects to setting a goal to offering meaningful thank-yous. But perhaps the most difficult aspect of soliciting a donor is what I want to focus on here.

By now, we all know the importance of asking a donor for a specific amount—“I’m hoping you’ll be able to join us with a gift of $500.” That’s challenging enough for most of us, but here’s something even harder: asking for a contribution and then remaining silent.


Paradoxical Commandments for the Nonprofit Professional

Hi everyone. Before we begin today’s blog post a couple of things. First, please go write a review of a foundation on grantadvisor. (it’s like a Trip Advisor where you can anonymously review foundations). Second, if you’re an Executive Director or CEO of color, there is a Facebook support group for you, full of amazing colleagues: EDOC—ED Unicorns of Color, which stemmed from ED Happy Hour, which is open to all current and retired EDs/CEOs.

Speaking of amazing colleagues, one of the reasons I love our sector so much is the quality of the people we have. However, I’ve been encountering more and more professionals who have become increasingly jaded and cynical about the work.


Working With What You Got: Resources for Nonprofits to Leverage Communications Efforts

In a world that can seem more focused on who you know and how much money you have, it can be daunting for a nonprofit organization to share its mission and message with the public. Nonprofits face a number of challenges every day, whether it is limited amount of funds or a small staff. However, there are creative ways to leverage current resources to maximize your communications and PR efforts.


Don’t Let Chargebacks Limit Your Chance to Make Positive Change: How Nonprofits Can Prevent Online Fraud

Despite attempts by banks to make online transactions safer, as much as 60-70 percent of card fraud still occurs online. And it seems that no sites are sacred. Unscrupulous hackers are increasingly stealing from well-meaning nonprofit organizations, and even running transactions on insecure nonprofit websites to test stolen cards, costing groups thousands of dollars in chargeback fees from fake donations.


What Not-For-Profit CEO Candidates Must Ask

When recruiting chief executives for not-for-profit organizations, I pose one key question to each candidate: Are you truly passionate and committed to the organization’s mission and its work? This is fundamental. As a not-for-profit CEO, you will be eating and breathing this work, 24/7. There are a lot of great organizations out there and you should believe in your heart of hearts that this is the most important one for you, so that others believe it as well.

As a candidate, if the answer for you is yes—you are deeply passionate about the mission—the next step is to evaluate the organization. Is it ready for you and the right place for you?


The Four Most Important Things To Do Right Now To Get Out Asking

The list of things that can keep us from getting out to ask is really long. Not enough time. Fear of rejection. Not thinking our donors are ready. Not wanting to step on relationships. Are any of these on your top 10 list?

At the end of the day, what gets us out there is mostly a combination of enthusiasm for the cause and a sense of responsibility.


Sage Intacct and GuideStar Improve Financial Health & Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations with Innovative Dashboard

New Financial Board Book Automates Best Practice Metrics to Deliver Real-time Insights into Mission Impact

Sage Intacct, the innovation and customer satisfaction leader in cloud financial management solutions, and a solution available in Sage Business Cloud today announced the general availability of the new Sage Intacct Nonprofit Financial Board Book Powered by GuideStar.


A First Date with Data

She goes by many names—Data Analytics, Big Data, Data Visualization. Data is a decision maker, and a knowledge powerhouse. She is a techie, speaks in code (Python, anyone?), and is revered by every sector in town.


5 Ways to Improve Your Charity’s Transparency

It is unfortunate to say, but many people do not trust charities to use their donations appropriately. In a world of instant news, we are often faced with corruption and scandals surrounding nonprofits. Charities are held at a higher standard and need to improve their transparency in order to maintain donor trust. 

When potential donors can easily find your organization’s information, they are usually willing to be more generous with their donations. Here are five ways to improve your charity’s financial transparency.


50,000 GuideStar Seals of Transparency—and Counting

Today I’m celebrating! I am celebrating our 50,000 (and growing) strong community of nonprofits and foundations at GuideStar. These organizations have added information to their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles and have earned a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum GuideStar Seal of Transparency.


Are You Building Relationships Or Collecting Checks?

On December 31, 2017, I became a statistic.

I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting.


Navigating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conversations

What’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Why Should We Care About It?

It’s easy to talk about the things we have in common. When we meet people, we start with what we all relate to. “Is it still raining out there? Are you also flying home? ­­­You got tickets to Hamilton?!

It’s a lot harder to talk about differences.

It’s even harder to talk about differences when they’re about our identities.


How to Ask Your Campaign Committee Members for Their Gifts

One of the characteristics of most successful capital campaigns is that they ask for gifts from the “top-down, and inside-out.”

That’s shorthand for saying that you’ve got to solicit the people who can give the largest gifts first and the people who have been most involved with your organization and your campaign—that is the campaign committee members and the board.


How PCI Compliance Reduces Data Breach Risks

Payment card industry (PCI) compliance can be a daunting subject for many nonprofits, but maintaining compliance is an important precaution to protect your organization’s reputation and fundraising goals. Today, data breaches are increasingly common. There are 5,113,159 records lost or stolen every day, and in 2016 63 percent of nonprofits suffered at least one breach. For nonprofits, the threat of a data breach includes loss of reputation with donors, and potentially six figure fees to cover the cost of audits performed by the payment card industry.


Advice from a Grantmaker: Two Steps Every Grantseeker Should Take

If you’ve ever applied for a grant, you know there’s a lot of paperwork involved. There’s a reason for that: for each new grant awarded and every payment processed, administrative and financial staff must carefully consider pertinent laws, IRS requirements, and the changing landscape of the nonprofit sector, all while protecting the funds their respective founders set aside for philanthropy. 


3 Ways to Incorporate Matching Gifts into Donor Acquisition

Nonprofits are always looking for creative ways to encourage first-time donations. From empowering marketing strategies to high-profile corporate partnerships, you’ve tried it all!


Can We Halt the Steady Decline in Donor Retention?

Donor retention continues to fall. According to AFP’s 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, overall donor retention was just 45 percent last year. It’s down from the previous year. It will likely drop further this year, because that’s been the overall trend for the past decade. 

Naturally, retention varies among charities and even among donor segments, but the message is clear: Too many donors are losing interest. That’s a problem, because low retention requires more spending on donor acquisition,  which is already more expensive than retention. Here are four possible reasons enough donors aren’t staying engaged. 


Why We’re Proud to Be Part of Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud

GuideStar’s mission is to “revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.”

We know what you’re thinking: “How can providing information ‘revolutionize’ anything? Revolutions are exciting. Information ... isn’t.” Oh, but it is, and a new initiative from Salesforce.org and United Way shows just how exciting nonprofit information can be.


NASCO, GuideStar, MRFP, and CityBase Creating Single System for State Charity Registration and Reporting

Will enable charities and professional fundraisers to comply with fundraising regulations in one place

The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO), the Multistate Registration  and Filing Portal, Inc. (MRFP), GuideStar, and CityBase have joined forces to simplify compliance with state fundraising regulations.


Why Nonprofits Need to Care About Proper Data Collection

Despite the inherent challenges of running an organization, nonprofit professionals have a wide selection of talent, strategies, and tools to help them achieve their goals. In essence, nonprofits must be managed just like for-profit businesses, and nonprofit employees are the hard-working professionals behind the scenes who do just that. 


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