New Twists on Practical Business Philanthropy, How to Make Your Sponsorships Standout This Year

At a recent meeting, Kevin Cooper, head of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, did a brilliant job of thanking his sponsor. In his remarks, he acknowledged the sponsor, and also cited how the sponsor exemplified the day’s topic. Similarly, when Lori Ruth, with the Observer Media Group, introduced me at a pro-bono speech in December, she based her comments on my in-depth bio and what she learned from interviewing me.

Both introductions differed significantly from the typical, mind-numbing, “Let’s all …

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Watch: Practical Business Philanthropy #6

In this video series, we’ve talked about partnering with nonprofits to create practical business philanthropy. This time, we look at public-private partnerships.

Here’s a video from around the world showing you a program where Toyota partnered with the New Zealand government to inspire children to become Toyota Kiwi Guardians and travel and get outside with their families.
The secret of the partnership’s success? Figuring out how to help both entities create the results they wanted, despite the fact that …
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Writing a Fundraising Plan That’s Better Than Gold, We Reveal Three Insider Secrets to Ensure Your Plans Success

While many nonprofit leaders produce fundraising plans to check off a to-do box, my readers want more. They want their plans to summarize exactly how they will win revenue. They seek plans to help them stay on track. Here are three criteria to use to transform your strategic thinking into high-quality documents.

Three Benchmarks to Ensure Your Fundraising Plan Helps You Grow Revenue  

  1. Shut Backdoors. Valuable fundraising plans first protect current income. They invest in donor stewardship and more.
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Boards That Fundraise, Three Easy Ways for Boards to Help Fundraise without Asking for Money

In the last issue of Added Value, I wrote about Boards Who Won’t Help Fundraise. This time, let’s talk about boards who do. What actions do board members take to help fundraise? According to your responses from this survey, (you can still add your experiences) boards who help fundraise most commonly take these three actions:

1. Donate Generously

Leaders model behaviors they want others to copy. According to BoardSource, 74 percent of board members participate in giving. Best …
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Good, Better, Best Smart Corporate Giving You Need to Adopt Today

It’s the giving time of year. Our inboxes and mailboxes flood with requests for support from worthy organizations. How to respond? Do you use good, better, or the best approach to corporate giving? Let me explain each style:

1. Good. You give. Thank you. You recognize that being in business has rewards and responsibilities. Ninety percent of Americans, “believe that businesses need to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business interest,” according to Edelman’s Good Purpose …
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Making Your Own Luck A Review of Lucky’s Market Approach to Philanthropy

Last month, our local groceries shopping scene got more competitive. A Lucky’s Market opened. This new store followed our first Sprouts the previous year. Plus, shoppers can shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Publix, Winn Dixie and online.

What’s a Hungry Business in Search of Customers to Do?
Besides competitive prices, Lucky’s distinguish itself with local philanthropy in two ways.

1. Bags for Change
If you bring your bag to the checkout, Lucky will give you wooden coins. You deposit …
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Boards Who Won’t Fundraise Three Shocking but Unfortunately Familiar Scenarios

Nonprofit leaders spend an inordinate amount of time trying to change boards that won’t fundraise. Recently, I worked with two sharp leaders with “Never Boards.” The first group found fundraising repugnant. They had a nice endowment, strong earned revenue, and a member willing to write checks to cover emergencies.

The second had been hand-picked for compliance with the former CEO’s leadership. Their duty came with a promise they would never have to ask for money, and they liked it …
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Fundraising for Everyone Includes Donors How to Your Make them Your Best Fundraisers

Pam first taught me about creating donors that fundraise.  She worked at a performing arts center on Florida’s East Coast. One day a major gift donor called, “I found a couple who will be perfect for us.” Would Pam make sure they got seats together at the next performance? Also, during intermission would Pam stop by to meet them? Within a month, the couple joined at the $5,000 level. In three years, their annual gift grew to $10,000.

As you …
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Leading the Employee Give-Back Team to Victory Questions for Philanthropic Champions

You’ve been asked to lead an employee team to develop your firm’s corporate philanthropy. What are some issues to explore on your journey to a great outcome? Here are five of nine questions I recommend to shape your meetings and launch your philanthropy toward a greater return on your investments.

The questions are all “big picture” that explore effective philanthropy. Use them before you select specific activities and nonprofits to support. By answering them, you’ll establish infrastructure for long-term success …
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Grant Writing is Like Getting Someone to Ask You Out

How to Write a Bang-up, Catch Their Eye, Crush- Making Introduction Letter

I found a “we’d like to talk to you about grant funding” letter I revised for a client. It’s a one-page sheet blued all over with ink and suggestions to strengthen it.

Why? Introduction letters must be compelling enough to blow through the clutter. To save time and to further your mission, your goal is a definitive yes or no to your invitation, based on your case. Since …
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