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aware that approximately 15 percent of people move households every year and 70 percent of business contact data is out of date within one year?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

A Penny Earned is a Penny Saved ~ Benjamin Franklin

In 1790, Benjamin Franklin bequest Philadelphia and Boston 2,000 sterling, which is equivalent to $3,219, with the condition that the money could not be touched until at least 100 years later. Today, Benjamin Franklin’s bequest is worth approximately $6.5 million dollars. What a legacy!

Creating trust, investing endowments in securities, mutual funds and high interest saving accounts are great ways to ensure that the operational mission and the solvency of your non-profit will last forever. Benjamin Franklin used a trust fund that incorporated compounded interest, as well as the gift of time to ensure that his seed …read more

Four Ways to Engage Millennial Donors

While they may not currently be giving large gifts, building relationships with Millennials can lead to larger gifts down the road. Here are a few things your organization can do now to engage this new generation of donors:

1) Provide opportunities to make small commitments: Millennials often have several passions and tend to make many small contributions to a variety of organizations. Engage potential donors with several events and campaigns throughout the year that ask for small contributions.

2) Create peer-to-peer relationships: Millennials are more likely to give and get involved in an organization when they receive recommendations or are …read more

Follow the Funding Streams

Relying too heavily on a single source of fundraising or the contributions of only a few funders is one of the dangers that organizations face when seeking funds. Certainly the current economic situation has pointed out the need for a wide base of support, one that includes funders from different sources.

There are six main sources of fundraising, which remain relatively constant year after year.

Individuals are the largest source of funding for nonprofit organizations. According to Giving USA, total charitable giving in the U.S. reached more than $298.4 billion in 2011. Of that amount 73% came from individuals.

Corporations …read more

Share Leadership with Your Volunteers

Nonprofits increasingly struggle to deepen their impact in the community while operating within tightened budget lines. Why not circumvent this by sharing leadership responsibilities with groups outside your organization’s four walls?

In the article “Local Forces for Good,” which appears in the summer 2012 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, authors Leslie R. Crutchfield & Health McLeod-Grant examine how their framework for creating high-impact nonprofits applies to local and smaller organizations. The authors assert that extending responsibility to volunteers and leaders of partner organizations is one practice that organizations can use to maximize their impact in the community.

Volunteers …read more

Building Your Brand

Corporations build strong brand identities to sell merchandise. Successful brand associations lead satisfied customers to buy the company’s next new product.

Nonprofits build brand identities to engender trust in their good work. Successful brand associations lead to media attention, respect, and funders.

There are steps that you can take to establish a brand, no matter how small or large your organization:

• Identify your constituency

The first, and most important, step in branding is to define whom you are serving. Defining your target audience gives you a “client-centered” approach to your project rather than a “program-centered” approach.

Be aware that …read more