Articles

Avoid The Money Chase: Inoculate Your Board Against Quick Fix Fundraising Schemes

Peer-to-peer fundraising? Ice bucket challenge? Dinner out? Give days? Mobile giving? March Madness? The nonprofit world swirls with fads, trends, and quick-fix promises. While any one of the ideas might be just your ticket, pursuing all of them means trouble. If we’re not careful, you’ll find yourself falling head first down rabbit holes chasing quick-fix, magical, might-work-for-us fundraising schemes.
How do we help our boards avoid fads, stick with the tried and true, yet remain open to possibilities? The real …
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Help! How Do We Get Off This Event Treadmill?

Excellent news! Your event succeeded. You made money. People had a blast. You generated new donors. You stewarded current ones. The results were everything you hoped for and more.
Logically, you want to repeat your success. So, you add another event. And another. And another until your staff, board, and volunteers involuntarily cringe when they look at the calendar.
Besides making supporter’s shudder, what is wrong with too many events?
  • They consume, chew up, burn, and spit out staff.
  • They
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You’re Not Alone! Common Mistakes that Spoil Great Business-Nonprofit Partnerships

In July, I led a sponsor panel for the St. Petersburg Regional Art Summit. Panelist included staff from Bank of America, Duke Energy, and AARP.  Each panelist shared the ins and outs of their programs. As we wrapped up, Ann Shaler, Senior Vice President at Bank of America commented how much the panelists, despite their unique organizations, shared in common.
What was common, you ask? They’re frustrations for one. Read on to learn about three of them plus my insights …
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Getting and Keeping Talent: Your Secret Sauce for Loyalty and Hard Work

In his book Payoff, Dan Ariely writes, “People dramatically under appreciate the extent and depth to which a feeling of accomplishment influences people.” He goes on to state, “The more a company can offer employees opportunities for meaning and connection, the harder those employees are likely to work, and the more enduring their loyalty is likely to be.”
Adding meaning and connection to your employee’s lives sounds good, but how do you do it? You can’t order either connection …
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The Yearly Activity Review: How to Sacrifice Your Sacred Cows and Thrive

One of the trickiest activities nonprofit undertake is closing out existing activities. We hope things will get better. We shut our eyes and wish. Sometimes even to suggest a tweak to a declining program is treason. After all, it is easier, more fun, and exciting to add activities. Lots of adding means that most nonprofit do too much. To become the United States, the colonist gave up the monarchy. To grow, we sacrifice the finished.

Why Sacrificing Sacred Cows is
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Practical Business Philanthropy Video: Effective Insider Perks Create Solutions, Make Friends, Achieve Distinction

Looking for an idea for current nonprofit customers and prospects to express your corporate philanthropy? Gather your best contacts and offer them all-star education experience that solves their challenges. Make the events one of the perks of working with you.
Watch this one-minute video. It shows the Barnes Dennig’s example. You’ll catch some of the benefits you can reap for the community, nonprofits, and your company.

Seeking to boost the impact of your philanthropy? Watch these other Practical Business Philanthropy …
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Frog, Pot, and Boiling Water Hot Lessons to Solve Your Biggest Sustainably Challenge

The Nonprofit Sustainability FunnelIn my years of consulting I’ve noticed a pattern that parallels the urban legend involving a frog, pot, and boiling water. The tale postulates that a frog placed in hot water immediately jumps out. In contrast, a frog placed in cool water stays even if you ignite a burner it.
Likewise, organizations that experience abrupt threats to their sustainability act. Too often entities confronted with slow deterioration dawdle, even as conditions decay and options vanish. Some defer action until closure
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Beyond Just Writing a Check Three Other Ideas to Give and Magnify Your Philanthropic Impact

Think you can only write a check? I’m happy to tell you that your options abound. Here are three practical, under the radar, low-cost opportunities.

If You Have a Lot of Customers

Round-up
Invite your customers to round up their bills to the nearest dollar. Over time the result can be staggering. Talbots raised one million dollars for Dress for Success. Peace River Electric Cooperative’s Peace River Electric Cooperative’s awarded $645,000 in scholarships since the program began and grants different …
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Fundraising Alchemy: Turns Volunteers into Donors

Cameraman filming a volunteer and donorAs the videographer runs the camera, the donor explained why she included a bequest to Selby Gardens in her estate plans. Her gift will buy potting soil and supplies. As a volunteer, she experienced first-hand the Gardens’ practical needs. So, she gave Selby a gift in her will.

Nonprofits generate great opportunities including the chance to transform volunteers into donors. Often the process transformation involves multiple routes, maneuvering hairpin turns, and traffic lights.  Here’s an overview.

Green Lights

• Since …

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Make New Friends: The Nonprofit-Business Growth Connection Explained in Less than 400 Words

Last month, I spoke in Cincinnati for the CPA firm, Barnes Dennig. Director Brad Chaffin who specializes in nonprofit accounting shared, “I get to work with the nicest people in the world.” People engage in nonprofits for many reasons including fine individuals and profits.
Business leaders consistently tell me that they know intuitively that community involvement helps their businesses. I’m not talking about getting engaged for money, although people sometimes assume this. Rather, this is about how community engagement, especially …
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