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Foundation Center

Recent Posts by Foundation Center:

Nonprofit Sponsorship: A Key Ingredient To Your Fundraising Recipe

One of my leisure activities is grilling and smoking. For me, it all starts with the rub — a combination of ingredients that I apply to beef, pork, poultry or fish. Salt and pepper, garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar and chili powder are all staples in my homemade rubs. I rarely use prepared rubs, as I like to experiment and find out what works.

The same goes for my awareness-building campaigns: a bit of this, a pinch of that, a scoop of something else.

In past years, we used to call this the “media mix.” Today, with the emergence (dominance?) of digital media, we’ve redefined this mix as multi-channel or cross-channel marketing. But at the core is what I have for many years described as a multi-arrow approach to marketing — that is, no one single arrow will hit the target every time. Rather, a mix of media and channels is the right recipe to raise awareness, and ultimately, to raise funds.

Why and How Do Nonprofits Work Together?

Nonprofit collaborations are at an all-time high.
Recent surveys conducted by the Bridgespan Group and the Patterson Foundation reveal that 91 percent of nonprofits engage in some form of collaboration. In turn — and contributing to some of the confusion around collaboration — a number of terms have emerged that attempt to capture these complex relationships: from formal partnerships and mergers to collective impact efforts, there are more than a few ways to approach collaboration.

Tell People What You Believe In

share_your_passion.jpgHow often does this happen?

You're at a gathering and someone asks you what you do. As soon as you say you work for a nonprofit, the next question is, "What does your nonprofit do?"

This is the point where most nonprofit professionals recite their organization's mission statement. Tailored to the person you're talking to, your response probably sounds something like:

How to Turn a "No" From a Foundation Into a "Yes"

 If you've written several grant proposals in your career, chances are you've heard at least one "no." Foundation representatives report that declining grant proposals from worthy nonprofit programs can be the toughest part of their job. While it may be hard, inevitably there is not enough funding to meet all of the deserving needs.

Overcoming Fundraising Reluctance: Tips for Board Members

A common refrain among executive directors
is that board members aren’t involved enough in fundraising. Fundraising, however, is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a board member. Raising support for the organization is a key measure of the board’s commitment to the group’s mission and is one of the most tangible ways to ensure its sustainability.

Why Venture Philanthropy Is the Future of Giving


For decades, the formula has remained unchanged: donors give to charities, nonprofits, and other social purpose organizations — here in Canada, where LIFT Philanthropy Partners is based, more than $12 billion was donated last year — and organizations, in turn, use those donations to run their programs and offer services in their communities. Benefits are considered to be directly correlated to the size of the donation: more money = more programs and services; less money = fewer programs and services. The cycle simply repeats ad infinitum, without a real understanding of results, impact, or long-term value.

5 Reasons the Public Is Losing Interest in Your Cause

What can you do when interest in your cause begins to wane?

It's a scary question, and one that many fundraisers and nonprofit marketers will face at some point.

5 Rules to Get Year-End Appeals Read

The end of the year will be here before you know it!
Working on your year-end appeal?

Around this time of year, it’s common for me to hear one or more of the following — not just from newbies to the profession, but also from seasoned pros:

  • I’m struggling with copy. Just wish it could be more inspiring.
  • I wish I knew some tricks to get more folks to open our envelope (or e-mail).
  • I’d like to leverage our appeal with e-mail and social media, but don’t know where to start.
  • Wish I knew how to make our call to action more urgent.

If these statements sound familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Fundraising Meets the Power of Peer-To-Peer Campaigns


This guest post is from Derrick Feldmann, president of Achieve, a research agency for causes, and lead of the national research team The Millennial Impact Project.

The Hottest Season Yet—For Fundraising


Once upon a time, charities would send out a year-end appeal … by mail … in late November. And that was their entire fundraising effort.

In an era of ice-bucket challenges, crowdfunding, and nonstop digital solicitation, is a bulk-rate mailing to your list really enough? Of course not. You need to stand out on multiple platforms and meet a heightened set of donor needs and expectations.

Fortunately, many donor engagement techniques that have traditionally been successful can set you apart in a crowded and increasingly complicated fundraising environment.

With all of the emphasis on online year-end solicitation, nonprofits often neglect the most important ways to build donor loyalty and increase giving. For example: In the waning days of 2013, I made gifts to a number of organizations online. Some provided only a digital receipt. Others took weeks to send a paper letter. Two never acknowledged the gifts in any way. Only one provided a personalized postscript.