Posts Tagged "advice"

Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Board Development, Featured, Staff Development | 1 comment

Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

I returned yesterday from the Land Trust Alliance’s Annual “Rally” Conference in Denver. It was easily one of the two or three best Rally’s I’ve attended. The venue was terrific. The workshops were engaging and increasingly inclusive of difficult topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Gender Bias. And Denver turned out its glorious best weather for us. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Vice President Anita O’Gara and I conducted a four-hour seminar on Annual Giving strategies that drew a sold-out audience, and I reprised my Development Committee Makeover workshop from last...

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The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | 3 comments

The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

If you’re smart, you won’t wait until November to write your end-of-year appeal. If you’re really smart, you will have already written it. OK so most of us aren’t that smart. But the fact still remains that it’s not too early to get a good start on it for 2017.     It’s fall! Time to give. So, here’s my general advice for approaching the task of getting to that first draft of the appeal letter: Start with a story. Return to the story at several points in the letter. List your board members down the left-hand side of the first page. Use 1.25” margins, 13pt type, and double space...

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Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Featured, Membership | 3 comments

Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Many land trusts renew their members in the Fall and many are now scrambling to produce renewal letters. Some I’ve seen, and they lead me to make the following recommendation to everyone: Don’t overdo it! Renewal letters need to do three things: They need to remind me of WHY I’m a member. They need to remind me of what I gave last year. And they need to suggest an increased level of support this year. And they need to do all that in an emotional – not data-driven – way. The most common way to overdo it is to try and resell the donor on the merits of the organization. I still see a lot of...

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What Makes a Good Letter of Intent?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Featured, Foundations | Comments Off on What Makes a Good Letter of Intent?

What Makes a Good Letter of Intent?

Many foundations use a pre-proposal system called a Letter of Intent, Letter of Inquiry, or simply LOI. They do this to save themselves – and you – the time preparing and reviewing complex proposals that are going nowhere. It’s a good system, but it places a heavy emphasis on the LOI – if you are successful, the foundation will invite the full proposal. But hey – no pressure, right? The LOI should be written to communicate at least three things: That you have researched the foundation and know the project fits their guidelines; That this is a real project with real outcomes that serve real...

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Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Or – How will we ever raise $100,000 this year?!? If you can make a goal tangible, it will help you imagine it being real, and if you can make it real, you can make it possible. (And frankly, if it’s not possible, you’re better off finding that out early, right?) A gift chart can help. Here’s how. Most of us are familiar with the basics of a gift chart – a list of gifts needed to make a specific goal with higher-level gifts listed first and smaller gifts listed below in descending tiers, sometimes called a donor pyramid. Gift charts are commonly used in capital campaigns – and rarely used...

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