The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

That Coulda Gone Better: Three Fundraising Mistakes You Don't Have to Make

“Only he who has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep.” So goes the ancient Chinese proverb. And of course there’s loads of truth in it, especially when it comes to creative strategy for fundraising—a road with plenty of potholes to cause problems.


Are You Mindlessly Employing “Best Fundraising Practices?”

I’m starting to get annoyed.

I’m getting too many formulaic fundraising emails.

Maybe it’s partly my fault?

You see, I know I write all the time about “best practices.” And some of these annoying emails are employing these practices―just not in a “best” way, as that word is defined.


Is Your Year-End Fundraising a Sprint or Part of the Long Game?

As a fundraiser, I’m keenly sensitive to how I act and am treated as a donor. I’ve shared before how last December, I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting. 


5 Best Practices to Strengthen Your Fundraising Cycle

Fundraising is one of the most important tasks that your nonprofit team undertakes year after year. Without the donations of your generous supporters, you wouldn’t be able to fund your projects and act as a champion for your cause.

Every nonprofit professional should know the fundraising cycle: identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. These five steps lay out the groundwork for building and maintaining strong donor relationships and achieving your fundraising goals.

But how can you make sure you’re optimizing each step of the process to ensure that you’re giving donors and members what they want?


The Expert’s Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising Events

Raising funds for a nonprofit can be a challenge. Even with the right advisers, team, plan, and dedication, pulling off a successful fundraising event can be quite difficult. Many organizations have adapted their fundraising efforts to new technology and trends; using mobile technology and donor management software has become common. Whether you choose to remain traditional or switch to more tech-savvy methods, here are some lessons that can help you increase your donations and grow your fundraising community.


The Top Five Things You Need to Know for the 2018 Giving Season

I’m sure you have a long to-do list to prep for the Giving Season, but do you know how you can reach millions of donors and funders with just a bit of your time? The answer is simple—by updating your existing GuideStar Nonprofit Profile!

Your nonprofit’s information goes out to more than 200 charitable websites and applications powered by GuideStar, including AmazonSmile, Facebook, Network for Good, and Charity Navigator. To make the most out of your Giving Season, here are the top five things you need to know:


The Fundraising Cheat Sheet for Board Members

Attention spans have shrunk today, especially with board members and volunteers who have myriad responsibilities weighing upon them. In this vein, here’s a quick recounting of the most important fundraising truths they need to know.


5 Strategies to Determine If Your Nonprofit Is Keeping Up

Part 1 of this two-part series, “How to Sustain Nonprofit Relevancy and Fundraising Effectiveness,” suggested five questions to ask in order to determine whether your nonprofit is simply resting on its laurels when it comes to your fundraising strategies. If this is the case, you’ll have trouble moving forward and pushing beyond the status quo to achieve excellence.


How to Sustain Nonprofit Relevancy and Fundraising Effectiveness

The late Jerold Panas*, fundraising guru and author of a bunch of books (two of which, Asking and The Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards, I frequently use with boards to inspire philanthropy), left us with a gem of a final article published in the GuideStar Blog: Nurturing Your Potential as a Fundraiser.


The Three Most Powerful Words in Fundraising

What gets in the way of you and your board raising more money?

For a fundraising trainer like me, this is a key question. Any sort of fundraising education must address the barriers that make it difficult for people to participate.

This list of common barriers won’t surprise you. Perhaps you’ve experienced them yourself.