Got Value? Get Income

The following is a copy of my December column. You can read more

An Offer They Won’t Refuse: Obtain Income, Provide Value

“We don’t even need to discuss this one,” Mike Clark’s CFO said, “It saves us three to four times the cost.” Mike Clark and his CFO were in the midst of budget planning. They were reviewing their memberships to determine which to fund in the next year. The membership that didn’t need discussing was for The Nonprofit Coordinating …

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Five Presents to Give Yourself for the Holidays

1. A Magic Slate. Yesterday, you learned. Be grateful for the education, no matter the cost. Start fresh.   slate






2. An Oxygen Mask. Love your neighbors as yourself gives two parties love. Each is important. Like on an airplane, first you don the oxygen mask of self-love; then help your neighbor with love.








3. A Sense of Safety. Despite the animal prints, those are not saber tooth tigers across the …

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Fundraising: Beyond Cute Puppies, Kittens, and Kids

Over and over, I hear nonprofits leaders complain that their fundraising efforts are hindered because they have nothing cute to offer donors. They envy other nonprofits who have baby animals and sweet children to show in pictures.

Hogwash! Stop putting excuses in your donor’s mouths.

Instead, recognize that cute is only one reason why donors fund nonprofits. Donors fund nonprofits because they offer services and programs that change and improve lives. Donors are attracted to opportunities to that they cannot …

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How to Get Individuals and Foundations Excited About Your Work

This article is my monthly column for November. To learn more about the column link here. 

In just four years, would you like to:

  • Grow your six figure donors by 30 percent?
  • Develop a new event that attracts one hundred thousand people?
  • Earn 50 percent more from foundations such as Carnegie, Gates, Rockefeller and MacArthur?

While this column can’t promise you that, it will share how the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) achieved these feats. It also shares six …

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Make Progress on a Board Goal in 5 Minutes

Julia Koch, Director of Development & Advocacy, at The Hope Project, Muskegon, MI recently asked, “Do you have any suggestions for 5 minute trainings that can be done during board meetings to help the board members get to know each other better and also become more engaged board members?”

I define training as an experience where someone teaches others to gain competencies, skills or knowledge. Creating them in 5 minute period is a tall order. Creating a 5-minute training for …

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Did You Regularly Find Gold at Your Board Meeting?

This article is from the November issue of Added Value. To subscribe click here.

No matter how you calculate it, board meetings are expensive. Staff spends substantial time preparing for, attending, and following up on them. Between preparations, driving, attending, and returning to homes or offices, each board member devotes at least three hours to every meeting.

How can you make your meetings worthy of these investments? Make gold by planning for them. Think of them as mini special events. …

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If There Are So Many Grants Out There, Why Won’t “They” Fund Us?

The Top Five Reasons

1. No interest. They care about conservation; you work with seniors.

2. No overlap. They care about seniors in California; you serve seniors in Miami.

3. No bull’s eye. They care about research for seniors; you provide seniors services.

4. No relationships. They care about seniors in Miami; they don’t know you.

5. Insufficient value. They care about seniors in Miami; the value you offer isn’t compelling.

Focus on grant opportunities in category 4 and …

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You Can Get a Grant for That, But Should You?

A nonprofit has a playground for children with special needs. It needs replacing.  Should they ask their local friendly foundation for the grant to replace it? They haven’t approached them in several years. It’s likely to be a winner.

I recommended NOT doing it. Surprised?

Here’s the thinking:

  • Funding the playground will appeal to other donors including individuals, foundations, and corporations. The playground serves high need, cute children. It has longevity. It offers a naming opportunity. Imagine the PR value
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Nice Example of Inviting Everyone to Give

It’s was midweek at the Chautauqua Institution this summer. Before the 10:45 morning lecture, the BIG event of the day, in each amphitheater seat, attendees find an invitation to give to the Chautauqua Fund.  How do you incorporate invitations for everyone to give into your routines?


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The Four Stages of Nonprofit Income Development

Which stage are you in?

Stage 1: Over Our Heads and Can’t Swim

Characterized by: Nonprofit income is a mystery. How can we get a famous donor to fund us? Funded by beginner’s luck or the founder.

Vulnerable to: Quick fix promises.


Stage 2: Any Money, Any Time

Characterized by: Frenetic and unconnected income development plus smoldering hope for a miracle.

Vulnerable to: Being pulled off track by fake green grass in neighbor’s yard.


Stage 3: Know the

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