Articles

Grow Your Revenue: Challenge Your Board to Take Seven Quick Actions

board help with fundraising

Fundraising is for everyone. Who is everyone? Development staff, of course, but also the board, CEO and other leaders, staff, volunteers, and even donors. We start with your board, the leaders of the gang.

 What Can Board Members Do? 

Getting Very Practical

Research tells us that we each spend up to one day per week checking messages. Challenge your board to transform one daily message check into twelve minutes of specific actions to help your nonprofit grow. Some of the …
view article


Declutter Your Brain: Get Clear on Your Business Philanthropy Goals

Want to get better results from your business philanthropy? Divide your charitable gifts into three buckets. The clarity you gain will help you to drive directly to the results you seek. Here are the three buckets and unique returns for each.
  • The Love Bucket. The first bucket includes causes you love. You loved college. Your alumni gift tumbles into this bucket. You donated to help the survivors of Irma and Harvey, another love bucket gift. Another example? You give to
view article


You Can’t Opt Out, Fundraising is for Everyone

Did you hear the story about the million-dollar gift from the father of a nonprofit’s vendor? Or, the staff member who turned a $7,000 gift into $70,000 by connecting a donor to the development team? Tales abound about development directors, staff members, boards, and others who successfully snag significant donations for beloved nonprofits. What don’t we hear about? The misses. Times when organizations lost large gifts.

 How can you avoid losses? Engage everyone in developing resources. Allow no one to …
view article


Maximize Your Returns on Philanthropy How to Move from Few Returns to Many

To avoid haphazard returns, align your philanthropic and business strategies. Firms that maximize their returns build philanthropic strategies do this and reap the benefits.* Here are three ideas to help you pivot to a unified strategies.

1. Take It from the Top. Assign a percent or set-aside from the philanthropic and marketing budget each year to support the business strategy. A pharmaceutical firm tosses all new dollars into a business strategy pool.

2. Show Not Tell. Introduce your associates to …

view article


Should You Say Yes? Will You Say Yes? Build These Five Criteria into Events Before Volunteering Your Employees

You receive a call from a nonprofit. The caller invites you to provide volunteers, that is, your staff, to help with an event. How will you answer? You value community engagement. And, you and your fellow employees love your precious free time. Say yes when you find these five criteria built into the event.

Embrace Volunteer Opportunities that are:

1. Appropriate. What task needs doing? Does your staff have or can they acquire the skills to succeed? No matter the …
view article


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 …
view article


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
view article


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 …
view article


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 …
view article


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
view article