Posts Tagged "Development Audit"

Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

You bet! And here’s how: FIRST, strategic planning quantifies what you want to accomplish in the next five years. That means you can take a stab at what it will actually cost to do all that. As a general rule, the costs will roll-up into two separate fundraising goals. The first goal is the capital goal. It includes all the expenses that will be one-time expenses. Land acquisitions, endowment, equipment and vehicle purchases, and trail building all fall into this category. You need to raise a specific amount of money over a specific period of time. You get that thing done, and move on. The...

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The Case for Membership

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Featured, Membership | Comments Off on The Case for Membership

The Case for Membership

I’ve never really understood organizations that do not use the word “membership.” Why not? What wrong with that word? It implies an obligation that lasts longer than a year. Yeah. I want that. Think about it. In a perfect world, non-profits would enjoy consistent and stable community support. Individual donors might make a first gift, a second gift (first renewal), multiple unrestricted gifts on some sort of predictable schedule, episodic major gifts restricted to support specific programs or projects, and a bequest gift at the end of their life. The person who enters this type of...

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Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Why are we doing this event? Because we did it last year. Why do we send out an appeal letter in October? Because that’s what we’ve always done. Why are our $250 donors called “Patrons”? Why do we host an annual golf tournament? Why do we write notes on renewal letters? Someone wise once told me that every once in a while, instead of trying to climb faster or smarter or more efficiently, it’s important to step back and make sure your ladder is still leaning on the right wall. I’ve written about this...

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Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot: Three Common Practices that Undermine Fundraising

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Communication, Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot: Three Common Practices that Undermine Fundraising

This weeks’ post is about shooting yourself in the foot. And in each case, the cause is related to an overreaction to a complaint. Worse, sometimes the person complaining is someone internal to the organization and who therefore should know better.   Life Memberships (and other forms of “discount” memberships) When I first started working for The Nature Conservancy, the organization offered Life Membership to people who contributed $1,000 or more. The logic was that membership came with a minimum gift of $15 and $1,000 therefore represented nearly 70 years’ worth. That same logic...

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How Many Individuals Gave Money in 2016?

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Development Audit, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | 1 comment

How Many Individuals Gave Money in 2016?

Yesterday was the 9th, which means that you have now received gifts from everyone who actually wrote their checks and mailed them on December 30th. So the fundraising year 2016 is now officially over. Here’s what I want to know: How many different individuals gave you money last year? It seems like such a simple question, but I have had more trouble getting clear answers than I ever would have suspected. Some of the confusion is just the nature of the beast. But much of it relates to this not being a very interesting data point for many people. It should be. Here’s why: The number of people...

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