Make That Connection Personal

Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, smartphones, and other social media tools mean we can pass messages much faster and more frequently. With everyone in a time crunch and trying to cover as much ground as possible, these tools can help us, especially when we need to transmit messages to many people. However, these tools also serve as a wall that protects us from real interactions.

In their book The Generosity Network Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker and Karl Weber show us how person-to-person connections lead to discovery, growth—and often amazing results. Below they give us some tips to make our …read more

Penalties for Charities: Government Oversight or Not

There has been a lot of conversation about charities that are not charitable. This conversation is forcing state governments to create regulations to ensure that charities are doing what they are supposed to be doing. For instance, the state of Oregon’s Governor signed legislation that would penalize charities that spends less than 30% on programs verses fundraising and administrative expenses and California has increased penalties for the misuse of funds by charitable organizations.

I am opening the floor for a spirited debate: Should our state governments provide oversight on charities’ operations or do you think that the …read more

Grassroots Fundraising Can Be Personal

Many organizations see grassroots fundraising as scattershot fundraising, where you want to hit as many targets as possible, without too much time spent on perfecting your aim. It’s often used when seeking small donations from unknown, uncultivated donors.

In Community Health Funding Report, Ryan Li Dahlstrom, Grassroots Fundraising Institute Training (GIFT) fundraising director, says grassroots fundraising is more than asking for money. “It can be thought of as giving people a chance to make a difference in something they personally care about, “

Dahlstrom urges fundraisers to build an ongoing relationship based on mutual concerns rather than focusing on obtaining …read more

Is It Your Head or Is It Your Heart?

A recent exposé detailed the failings of the 50 Worst Charities. The inquiry by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting, joined by CNN, highlighted charities that channel most of the money they raise to professional solicitors, mimic other charities’ names, deceive donors on telemarketing calls, divert money and contracts to people with ties to their organizations, and use accounting tricks to inflate the amount they report spending on their missions.

This report is a hard call for donors to perform due diligence on the organizations they are asked to support.

Of course there are many nonprofits …read more

Given by Anonymous?

English: This statue is also known as “Statue of Three Lies” Lie # 1 : This is not John Harvard’s face; no picture or statue of John Harvard survived. Lie # 2 : John Harvard was not founder of Harvard University; it was founded two years prior to being renamed Harvard in 1638. Lie # 3 : The inscription says that Harvard was founded in 1638; in fact, it was founded two years earlier. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it better to be an anonymous major donor? Or do donors have a need to see their names on buildings? Does …read more

A Problem that SHOULD NOT Exist

Our communities, government and the human population are becoming desensitized to the homelessness and the disenfranchised. Everybody deserves a place to sleep and something to eat. This video was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Messer and Nicole Malovany with the help of DePaul University in Chicago. Homelessness is prevalent in the United States and even more so in urban areas.

I live in Baltimore City and almost every day I see someone asking for change or food. If I have it to give I do. I watch others who will do the same and more often than …read more

Spring Fundraising Cleaning: Get the Dust Bunnies out of your Database

Spring has finally come and it’s time to throw open the windows, clean out the closet and sweep under the bed. If you haven’t cleaned up entries in your nonprofit database in a while, it’s probably a good time to do that now.

A robust database with correct names and addresses and accurate giving information is essential for effective fundraising.

Are your aware that approximately 15 percent of people move households every year and 70 percent of business contact data is out of date within one year? Ideally, your database should be thoroughly updated and scrubbed annually, but at minimum …read more

Wealth Inequality: The One Percent & The 99 Percent

Wealth inequality in America is a major issue for those who do not have wealth. It is reported that 99 percent of American wealth is held by 1 percent of the American population. This wealth is generated through inheritance and capitalism. When someone inherits massive wealth, he or she has a variety of investment and capitalist opportunities that would not be available to someone like me. The more wealth you have the more wealth you can generate. True capitalist sell things by taking their wealth, buying equipment, materials and inventory, creating something, adding a markup price and begin distributing. …read more

What the President and the Past Can Teach us about Email Asks

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cross-posted from

Looking for more people to open, read, and act on your e-newsletter because you are looking to raise money for your organization?

While the content of the email, donate button size, and from line are always important, focusing on the aspect that people see first (and often see last), the subject line, could just be the cure to your e- fundraising blues.

Instead of closing your eyes and typing, hoping and praying the first subject-line that pops into your head will do well, learn from the experts, those fabled people who can …read more

And the Oscar Goes To…YOU!

When Inocente took home an Oscar last weekend it wasn’t just a win for the filmmakers but for hundreds of micro-investors who helped the film come to life. The film was powered by Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding platform that is changing the way films, nonprofits, companies, everyone is getting the capital they need to reach their dreams.

Inocente is an inspiring story of a 15 year old homeless girl with a fearless determination to become an artist. It’s a brilliant example of a social change project that was able to be realized with a little help of a large online …read more