Is Your Nonprofit A Standout?

IMG_0347This is our September Your Ingenious Nonprofit Column. Read it to make sure your donor’s find you in the myriad of nonprofit lights.

Shine So That Donors See You:

A Fundamental of Individual Fundraising

Your Ingenious Nonprofit
September 2014
Karen Eber Davis

For two years, fulfilling my best friend’s dream, I lived aboard a 40-foot motor sailor. We made frequent night crossings. I was the navigator. Before GPS, this involved charts, compasses, and flashlights.

Navigating at night to the …

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When You Do Everything Right With A Donor and Get a “No”


Last week at my presentation, “They Don’t Get It” to the Southwest FL Chapter of AFP (the Association of Fundraising Professionals,) the audience members asked excellent questions. Here is one and my answer to it. It will be extremely helpful to you and your staff in good times . . . and bad.

Question: What do I tell staff when we have done everything right, from building the relationships, from listening to what the donor wants and honor and respecting

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How Many of These Things Do You Get Wrong About Fundraising?


From our latest newsletter, Added Value.  You’ll want to sign up today, we have some amazing articles coming up about income, boards, and excellence.

After the big game, you approach your car in the vast parking lot and click your key fob. Nothing. You click again. Still nothing. You don’t understand it—earlier the fob operated perfectly. You reach to jiggle the door and glance inside. A jacket and hat sit on the backseat. They aren’t yours. You step back and …

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The Top Seven Things Donors Hope to Hear in Words and Actions

IMG_01901. “Thank you, you gift made a difference.” View this as the start of the conversation not the end.

2. “Here’s specifically how your gifts help to change lives.” Ever seen what happens when you add a few drops to a bucket of water? Donors fear their donations will disappear.

3. “We can help you to achieve your hopes and dreams.” This only works after a donor has shared their aspirations; otherwise it’s a bromide.

4. “We care both about …

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Ten Ways to Provide Value to a Business Partner and Income to Your Nonprofit

IMG_0197Do you want to earn more income from corporate and business partnerships? Of course!

In our work, all things income, we’ve been asked to help develop business partnerships and sponsorship opportunities. While many other business objectives remain possible, here are ten distinctive objectives that deal with customer growth. Each focuses on helping business to wo0 customers—a common business goal. Each provides high value to growing concerns. Each provides the opportunity for you to jointly design several customized ways to meet …

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Get Ready for Governance by Design

Dear Friends:

I have been accepted to present at the  2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum (BLF), so I’m writing today to personally invite you to attend the entire conference and especially my presentation on Thursday, 10/9, from 4:30-5:45, “Open the Floodgates to Sustainability: 7 Nonprofit Income Sources.” Oct 9-10 | Washington Hilton | Washington, DC

When you attend BLF, you’ll learn how to guide your organization toward greater impact and mission fulfillment.  The Forum is the nation’s largest annual convening of …

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How to Make Money With Your Newsletter

You might, of course, charge your readers for it.

But assuming you don’t have this in mind, how else might you obtain donations and earn income with your organization’s newsletter? Here are two ways with examples to generate fresh thinking about this versatile and often overlooked income tool.  You may have other ways that I missed—if so, please share below!

1. Drive Home Efforts. To grow revenue, sync your newsletter with your income development efforts.

How might this work? Let’s …

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A Plea to Non-Asking CEOs

This is the latest Your Ingenious Nonprofit column. Its available for your publication. Please contact Karen for more information.

You’re out to dinner with your significant other. Your children are at home with a sitter. Suddenly, an earthquake shakes the ground obliterating the only road between you and your house. When you learn the news, what is your response? Do you telephone your children to say goodbye? “Sorry, kids we’d like to get home, but the bridge is out. It’s …

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What’s the Quickest Way to Earn More Revenue?

This post is from the newsletter Added Value.  If you’re interested in growing your income, you’ll want to read every issue. Subscribe to Added Value here. It’s free.

I listened to 50 promises. It was the end of a three-day event about earned revenue opportunities. During it, participants heard dozens of inspirational success stories. They learned about the infrastructure behind success. They’d completed plans for their nonprofits. Now with my prompt, they publicly committed to use them.

When it …

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Strategy Verses Planning: What’s the Difference?

As I work with nonprofits (and even in my own thinking) I encounter confusion on the difference between strategy and planning especially when it comes to growing revenue. This post explores both, explains their differences and provides examples of each.

Strategy identifies different routes to the future you want. A good strategy provides overall direction. You use it long-term. You can condense strategy into a few well-chosen words to convey its essence. For example:

  1. Follow the North Star: Used by
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