Fast Company | 2005 Social Capitalist Awards
FEBRUARY 10, 2005
Fast Company | 2005 Social Capitalist Awards. It's great to see a national magazine celebrate and take seriously social entrepreneurs
Fundraising and the Social Compact
NOVEMBER 10, 2005
22-24, 2005) offered the theme "Reshaping the Social Compact" and opened with president Diana Aviv's call for a respectful and passionate national conversation about urgent public issues. Independent Sector's annual conference this year (Oct. One comment that stood out to me, as someone listening for anything useful and fresh for fundraising, came out of the blue on a session on possible changes in charitable giving rules.
Fundraising Items of Interest Around Katrina
SEPTEMBER 6, 2005
link] Tuesday, August 30, 2005: In today's feature article, There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, Putnam Barber takes a hard hitting look at the culture of entitlement that is so prevalent in our sector. Thanks to Michael Gilbert and his Nonprofit Online News for his personal list of items of interest related to nonprofits, social justice in general, and the response to Hurricane Katrina in particular.
March Fundraiser's Musing
MARCH 2, 2005
From Eric Utne's Urban Almanac 2005, this quote by Emily Dickenson: "March is the month of expectation." March is an uncertain month—is it winter? is it spring? Light or dark? Windy or warm? It's also Women’s History Month—is there a way to honor the women (donors, clients, founders, volunteers, staff) in your organization? With snow on the ground here (Washington, DC metro area), I'm looking for the early signs of spring.
Gentle Nonsense, It's Dadaism Month!
DECEMBER 31, 2005
Today I break the rules of professional business blogging and blog-blab on about ideas pretty much unrelated to my blog's topic (fundraising and social change, for those still tuned in). My ol' college buddy Boog Highberger, current mayor of Lawrence, KS (Go Jayhawks) and unwavering Gentle Anarchist, has declared International Dadism Month. To be celebrated on Feb. 4, April 1, March 28 (coincidentally my birthday), July 15, Aug. 2, Aug. 7, Aug. 16, Aug. 26, Sept. 18, Sept. 22, Oct. 1, Oct.
Progressive Policy Resource for Organizers
DECEMBER 11, 2005
As part of the Nonprofit Blog Exchange , I'm highlighting Moving Ideas Policy Blog. There's so much here, I can't do it justice tonight (I'm on deadline now, then off to Baltimore for a three-day project, and back to DC to teach a fundraising class). So I promise to dig deeper and comment more thoughtfully on what looks to be a dense and substantive site. This is the blog related to the progressive policy magazine American Prospect, which was started by Robert Reich and others.
Online Fundraising Strategy
NOVEMBER 25, 2005
A page of resources to dig into related to online fundraising compiled by Michael Stein: Internet Strategist & Author: Writer
Federal Budget Policy and Fundraising
NOVEMBER 25, 2005
Sitting in the audience at INDEPENDENT SECTOR’s annual conference last month, I was wowed by twin presentations by Robert Greenstein , founder and executive director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Ronald Haskins , senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. From different stances, they offered essentially the same conclusion. The enormous, threatening federal deficit can be solved only by a balanced approach requiring tough political choices both to raise taxes and to cut spending.
National Philanthropy Day
NOVEMBER 15, 2005
Sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, today is National Philanthropy Day (November 15) with awards events nationwide. A couple of interesting tidbits: a page of philanthropy quotes and a page of dates in philanthropy history. Oh, that reminds me of something at the Independent Sector meeting. At one point in his speech on upcoming proposed changes to charitable tax law, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) stumbled over the word "philanthropy."
Notes from the Independent Sector Conference
NOVEMBER 14, 2005
Trying my best to be responsible, covering the Independent Sector 25th anniversary annual conference for Foundation News and Commentary , I took too many handwritten notes. My short report will be in the next issue of the magazine. In the next couple of posts, I'll share some of what caught my attention, starting with a pre-conference session organized by American Humanics and Public Allies on building the nonprofit workforce of tomorrow (or rather, I think, of today).
Dangerous Ideas for Nonprofit Start Ups
OCTOBER 22, 2005
Another list of notes that didn't make it into my fundraising for start ups workshop. For folks starting organizations, these predictable mistakes in thinking get people in fundraising trouble. The Most Common and Dangerous Ideas for Start Ups • Imagining the money will come quickly through an event (or getting a grant). Events are more work than it seems and they don't make money. Grantseeking takes time. Assuming foundations will love the idea and fund it all, now and forever. They won't.
Seven Fundraising Principles
OCTOBER 17, 2005
The No, Seriously Seven Preparing for two workshops on fundraising for staff, volunteers, and founders new to it, I began making a list that didn’t end up in either presentation. My inspiration was that there are some fundamental truths that novices just can’t believe. These are the things I find myself emphasizing, as in, “No, seriously. It’s true.” Here’s the list, not quite edited. And warning: it’s a little preachy. People give when asked (and rarely when they are not).
Oprah's Fundraising Pitch
SEPTEMBER 20, 2005
Yesterday afternoon, I was transfixed during the Oprah show (a guilty occasional indulgence) when Oprah asked for donations to her Katrina Fund. It might have been the perfect pitch. A videotape of that moment would be lovely to include at board meetings everywhere. She started by saying what she'd committed to do. $10 10 million.
Life Cycles of Boards of Directors
SEPTEMBER 9, 2005
Found myself referring yet another client to this classic article by Karl Mathiasen at Management Assistance Group about how boards can (and often do) evolve—and how organizations at different stages need boards to play slightly different roles. Management Assistance Group - Board Passages
Disaster Fundraising on the Web Evolves
SEPTEMBER 8, 2005
Foundation News Digest, a service of the Foundation Center, offers a story on what the major disaster groups have been learning and doing to solicit support via the Internet
Gulf Coast Community Foundations
SEPTEMBER 7, 2005
Council on Foundations offers information and links to community foundations serving those affected by Hurricane Katrina
Arts Organizations Affected by Katrina
SEPTEMBER 7, 2005
Info and links to Gulf Coast arts and culture organizations affected by Hurricane Katrina, from ArtsJournal.com.
Turning Contacts into Donors
AUGUST 20, 2005
One of my clients met some people at an annual conference peripherally related to his organization’s cause. They hit it off. During the weekend, they talked a little about his work, and he believes they might be sympathetic. He’s quite certain they have the ability to make medium-sized or even major gifts. His question now is when and how can he approach them as prospective donors—without giving them the impression that he only cares about their money?
More Personalized Donor Cultivation
AUGUST 19, 2005
The loveliest card came in the mail for me two days ago, from a local modern dance organization associated with a MacArthur genius award choreographer. My connection? I’m an on and off participant in the group’s intergenerational amateur (although they’d never use that word) improvisation and composition dance work. More than once, I’ve mentioned my willingness to pitch in on fundraising and otherwise get more involved (it’s probably fair to say that I have skills). No one has picked up on this.
Personalized Donor Cultivation
AUGUST 18, 2005
Colleges and universities call it “move management.” Most other fundraising folks call it “cultivation.” Grassroots Fundraising Guru Kim Klien describes it as “Get some. Get more. Get more. Get more. Get it all (by which she means a planned gift from the person’s estate).” An example I found in the promotional sample of Major Gifts newsletter is directed at schools, and most applicable to large institutions, but may spark ideas for others.
Businesses Using Nonprofit-Style Mission and Vision
AUGUST 13, 2005
University of Wisconsin-Madison MBA in Arts Administration program director Andrew Taylor The Artful Manager: Andrew Taylor on the business of arts and culture. encounters what appears to be emotion, passion, and service from big businesses in their messages to consumers like him. Unique nonprofit-style client-directed branding and mission statements where bland, self-serving corporate "mission" statements used to reign
Sample Reception (and Fundraising Event)
AUGUST 11, 2005
For ideas and one model to consider, a full description of an awareness, networking, and fundraising event for an advocacy organization
Startup with No Money
AUGUST 4, 2005
I'm getting ready to create a workshop on funding and fundraising for start-up nonprofits and ran across this blunt answer to a not-uncommon initial question: Can I start a nonprofit with $0? Not what people want to hear, the answer provided by Channing Hillway, Ph.D., of Aristarcus Communication in Oak View, California on idealist.org's FAQ for start ups is exactly right. The answer isn't yes
Intriguing Penny Drive
JULY 28, 2005
Susan Carey Dempsey , Changing Our World, profiles a unique t-shirt and penny drive fundraising concept in the onPhilanthropy newsletter
Tips for Events
JULY 7, 2005
Before I forget, I wanted to make note of some particularly nice elements of two fundraising events I attended recently. Both events were for small arts organizations: Empowered Women International and Improv Arts. Both had a welcome table with volunteers who asked us to sign in and directed us to the party. While it was clear that people could give at the entrance, there was no hard sell.
Internet Fundraising: Where To Start
FEBRUARY 18, 2005
Adam Corson-Finnerty And I think (this is Amy, and the year is now 2005), some honestly intriguing or useful Internet-specific draw that brings people to the site regularly. Today I’m quoting heavily from a 2001 article called Goldilocks and the Three Fundraising Bears, by Adam Corson-Finnerty [link] I’ve included some updated and additional thoughts and am posting it here, primarily, for participants in Monday’s workshop (Feb.
Renewal Letter Ideas
JUNE 24, 2005
This morning, over leftover plantains and (sorry to admit) warmed-over coffee, one of the bills my husband was paying caught my eye. The renewal letter from Washington Consumer Checkbook looked gave me some ideas simple enough to adapt for certain renewals of memberships, subscriptions, and maybe even some gifts to nonprofits. Printed (just black and white with the logo up top) on smaller than typical letter-sized paper, the one-page note left blanks after Dear, $, and Sincerely.
Board Fundraising Heresy
JUNE 17, 2005
A heretical fundraising notion that I've raised before in workshops for experienced fundaisers: Get rid of the fundraising committee. Conventional wisdom is that the board leads fundraising. But too many board members, especially of smaller organizations, just don't. They are busy. They don't know how to do it. They don't want to do it. They are understandably afraid. Result? Disappointed and frustrated executive directors and staff.
Asking for Major Gifts
MAY 6, 2005
Here are the three principles I mentioned in the Marijuana Policy Project grantees' training workshop on Individual Donor Outreach—Getting Major Gifts: 1. We don’t surprise people—it’s not Ambush Fundraising. People need to know that you plan to ask them for a major gift. We don’t think of major gift fundraising as a time to twist their arms, hit them up, or any other violent image. We never, ever talk this way, even internally.
Include Finance Folks in Fundraising Plans
APRIL 21, 2005
From a discussion on Charity Channel's development office list. Christine Manor, the poster, is a national leader specializing in nonprofit accounting. A practical, thoughtful person. Luckily for organizations around the Washington-Baltimore area, she lives and works around here. "I I agree that the treasurer does not need to be the chair of the Development Committee.
Social Change & Other Dates and Holidays
APRIL 20, 2005
3 Mindfulness Day Feb. 9 Lunar New Year, rooster Feb. 19, 1942 Internment March 1, 1961 Peace Corps est. Mar. 4 World Day of Prayer Mar. 15 The Ides of March Mar. 19 Swallows return Mar. 31, 1927 Cesar Chavez born Apr. 11, 1968 Civil Rights Act Apr. 18 Holocaust Remembrance Apr.
Blogging for Fundraising
APRIL 12, 2005
From onPhilanthropy - Blogging as an Effective Fundraising Strategy: onPhilanthropy - Blogging as an Effective Fundraising Strategy It's not a way to raise money directly. Blogging can be used by nonprofit folks to engage, inform, and connect advocates (including donors) to each other and to the work
Strategic Pathways to Revenue Growth
APRIL 11, 2005
Not long ago when working on branding for both a nonprofit organization client and a women entrepreneurs' group, I came across four basic paths for growing business revenue. Get new customers. Get customers to buy more often. Get current customers to buy more expensive stuff or services. Grow the high margin business lines. So, here is an adaptation for nonprofit organizations. Four basic paths for focusing on fundraising and revenue growth. Acquisition of new donors and/or funders.
Check in with Grassroots Donors
APRIL 10, 2005
Taking a few minutes to do a little Spring cleaning of my e-mail inbox, I stumbled upon this super-sweet idea—calling the smallest-amount grassroots donors to check in. Suggested by Hildy Gottleib , a Tucson-based consultant to nonprofits, small businesses and first nations tribes, the idea makes sense for anti-burnout of us development folks and it makes sense for honest care and feeding of donors. It's a modest strategy that values what's valuable.
Five Truths About Capital Campaigns
APRIL 10, 2005
onPhilanthropy - "The Five Dirty Secrets of Capital Campaigns" We are working on a really great capital campaign. In the active stage of volunteers doing their letters, phonecalls and meetings, all I can say to this article is, "yep
Spring Forward Fundraising Ideas for April
APRIL 6, 2005
It's National Poetry Month. Jazz Appreciation Month, too. Reward best ideas that failed and foolish ideas that worked. Time to start on budgeting. Make up with finance and program staff. Spring cleaning for files. Get some fresh air
Meeting with Funders
MARCH 8, 2005
A comment from a participant in my grantseeking class last week got me thinking about meetings with funders. He suggested he would try not to say too much in a phonecall following up an introductory letter. Instead, he’d focus on the goal of getting a meeting to discuss things further. And that’s right. Get the Meeting to build the relationship. Stay connected (and real) and the money will come. New to grantseeking, this person has experience in other forms of fundraising.
Social Ventures as Fundraising
FEBRUARY 20, 2005
Social Ventures Another post especially for SALSA workshop participants: The world of social ventures, aka social enterprise, is the world where non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses meet. Granted, a business activity run by a nonprofit in support of its mission it is not techically fundraising. But if designed well, with a high margin, then it is a revenue source the chief fundraising officer must recognize and embrace.
February Development Director's Calendar
FEBRUARY 10, 2005
Black History Month Send valentines to most loyal and passionate donors. Planning. Sneak off to Foundation Center Spring foundation dockets. Leadership and legacy gifts
Glossary for Nonprofit Jargon
JANUARY 22, 2005
Complete Glossary. Stumbled onto this yesterday and will be recommending it in classes, workshops, and to clients