Category: fundraising

It’s Time! 5 End of Year Giving Campaign Tips Plus 3 Strategy Ideas

It’s Time! 5 End of Year Giving Campaign Tips Plus 3 Strategy Ideas

The Nonprofit Guide to Sell More Event Tickets

The Nonprofit Guide to Sell More Event Tickets

Are You Afraid to ‘Make the Fundraising Ask’?

            Are You Afraid to ‘Make the Fundraising Ask’?   Many fundraisers are, but it’s a fear worth overcoming Everyone loves a juicy urban legend, right? Here’s one that, like most, may or may not be true. But it makes its point.

Best practices for recognizing, thanking and retaining monthly donors

This is probably one of the most common questions I get whenever I’m presenting a webinar or an in-person session or workshop: “How do I best recognize, thank, cultivate and retain my monthly donors?”  That’s why I’ve put together some common best practices. Of course, every organization is different, but most of these are very easy to implement. They don’t cost a lot of money and certainly they don’t take up a lot of your time.  The more you can do and prepare before you launch your next monthly donor appeal, the better off you are.  Here are three very important things to remember:   The more you do in the Recognition, Thanking and Cultivation stage, the higher your monthly donor...

Free Nonprofit Webinar! How to Conduct Nonprofit Board Recruitment in 3 Easy Steps

  Free Nonprofit Webinar! How to Conduct Nonprofit Board Recruitment in 3 Easy Steps As nonprofit professionals, we may spend our time recruiting talent or volunteers. And when anyone mentions recruiting, that may be the first thing we think of.  But there’s another part of a nonprofit organization that requires plenty of thought – nonprofit board recruitment.  Your nonprofit board is a group of people who focus on the overall strategy and accountability of your organization.  While your volunteers and staff oversee day-to-day operations, your nonprofit board manages the bigger picture.  So having the right nonprofit board members is crucial to running the organization the best way...

What’s Your Armadillo Story?

Honest Storytelling Deepens Your Impact Picture it: A trendy New York City restaurant crowded with hungry fundraisers fresh off a day of learning at a big annual conference. The chatter inside combined with the noise of a busy NYC street outside is deafening. That is until a voice rises above the crowd to say, “There are about 5,000 cases of leprosy in the United States. Most of them are caused by armadillos." All conversation fades out, wine glasses stop clinking and even the traffic outside silences itself. Or so it seems. Almost immediately the chatter begins again, traffic starts moving, waiters resume serving. Things get back to normal, but everyone within earshot is riveted. The...

Six Capital Campaign Best Practices to follow for a Super Successful Campaign

This a guest blog post by RobinCabral Capital campaigns are the most ambitious fundraising campaigns that a nonprofit organization will ever embark on during its lifecycle. Because of this, systematic steps need to be followed to ensure that a campaign will ultimately be successful.  Over many years, these steps have been refined into capital campaign best practices. The following are recommendations based on these capital campaign best practices that one should follow to ensure the ultimate success of their next nonprofit capital campaign. Steps to Improving Your Nonprofit’s Next Capital Campaign 1. Conduct a capital campaign feasibility study in advance. Feasibility studies are conducted...

96 Ideas For Nonprofit Fundraising Events

Finally, I’ve sorted the ideas by type, so you can easily find the kind you’re looking for. Then further divided them into these 4 groupings: Chapter 01 | 18 Food and Drink Event Ideas Chapter 02 | 21 Active Event Ideas Chapter 03 | 29 Social, Community, and Other Events Chapter 04 | 28 Mega Event Fundraising Ideas Dig in, and enjoy! 01 | 18 Food and Drink Event Ideas Many of the classic fundraising ideas rely on big events. Here are all the ones we could find to help you out! 1. Bake Sale Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ The bake sale is a classic. It’s something everyone knows how to do, and your audience knows what to expect from it. Also, since you’re dealing in...

How To Engage Nonprofit Board Members In Fundraising

01 | Introduction Boards and fundraising, I find, often mix as well as water and oil. You know this. You’ve seen it. Perhaps you are living it, dealing with board members who say “I’ll do anything but fundraise” and who tell you that they couldn’t possibly give you the name of one person who might care enough about what you do to make a charitable gift. Believe me, you are not alone. I do a lot of board training. Typically, I walk into a room full of lively, engaged people. Then I get introduced, and someone says, “Janet is here to talk with you about fundraising.“ And suddenly, these engaged people cross their arms and legs, purse their lips, and resolutely stare at the floor. Boards are...

Mastering the In-Person Fundraising Ask

Inside Look – this blog will cover the following topics: 01 | It Starts With You 02 | Keys to a Successful In-Person Fundraising Ask 03 | When Fundraisers Are Afraid to Ask for Funds 04 | The Actual Meeting: Tips and Structure 05 | When to be Quiet 06 | 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Blow a Face-to-Face Fundraising Ask 07 | The Problem with Leadership 08 | Your Asking Style 09 | A Step-by-Step Plan for Nailing the In-Person Fundraising Ask 10 | More About the Follow-Up 11 | What if the Answer is No? Before we really get going, here are the 6 most important rules for mastering the In-Person Fundraising Ask Relationships Relationships Relationships  Preparation  Preparation  Preparation Do you have a...

Ask a Nonprofit Expert – Beyond Virtual Facilitation: How to Maximize Engagement and Tackle Wicked Problems in Your Virtual Meeting

We’ve joined with a number of our nonprofit experts to bring you blog posts that will help answer some of your nonprofits toughest questions. In this post, nonprofit expert Caliopy Glaros answers some questions that came from nonprofit professionals during her last free live webinar with us “Beyond Virtual Facilitation: How to Maximize Engagement and Tackle Wicked Problems in Your Virtual Meetings“. See Caliopy’s answers below, and check out all of her webinars with CharityHowTo. Question: How is facilitating meetings among millennials and young professionals different when they seem afraid or powerless to share? Hierarchies and office dynamics can affect people’s participation in a virtual...

5 Digital Strategies for Nonprofit Event Planning

Planning events can quickly go from straight-forward and simple to complicated and challenging. As the new year continues, it’s important to gain a truly comprehensive understanding of the digital opportunities and tools you can leverage. This way, you can optimize the event planning process and increase registration and attendance rates.  The scope of tools and preparation time you need depends on what kind of nonprofit event you’re hosting. At Fonteva, we are experts in event management and know that there are several core ideas and key digital tools that can supplement any event you have in store. Whether you’re a nonprofit planning a fundraising event or an association hosting a...

Nonprofit Event Honorees The Key to Your Event’s Success

Organizations put a lot of time and effort into nonprofit events. They spend countless hours creating silent auctions, designing invitations and tribute books, and crafting stage programs. However, they spend very little time and effort choosing the perfect honoree, and because of this their nonprofit events often underperform and even, unfortunately, fail. The difference between an honoree that is just okay and one that is perfect is akin to the disparity between a lame duck and a golden goose! A lame duck is just along for the ride, but a golden goose will continue to bring riches long after the event is over. Why Your Nonprofit Event Needs a Golden Goose Honoree A nonprofit event doesn’t...

10 great nonprofit conferences to mark in your 2020 calendar

Fundraisers can’t turn a page on their calendar these days, it seems, without discovering hundreds of nonprofit conferences to attend. That’s not a bad problem to have.  The nonprofit/fundraising sector is one of the sharing-est sectors there is. Fundraisers really do seem to believe that a rising tide lifts all boats (because it’s true). So, there’s really no harm in the free and eager exchange of ideas in the fundraising world. One thing you’ll find at just about any nonprofit conference is an air of camaraderie – commiseration, even – with attendees sharing war stories, success stories, lessons learned, nuggets gleaned, etc. in the halls, at the lunch tables, at the after-session...

Five Steps to Prepare for Your Nonprofit’s First Capital Campaign

Capital campaigns are one of the most extensive campaigns that an organization will ever undertake. In most cases, an organization needs to fund capital purchases, upgrades, and/or renovations and repairs.  Given their highly episodic nature, organizations that are seeking to undergo a capital campaign must do so with foresight and preparation geared to success. The most critical steps are taken before even the actual capital campaign plan is drafted and far before an actual solicitation happens. Organizations that are embarking on their first-ever campaign or who have not undergone such intensive efforts in a while would be wise to take heed of the following preparatory steps to ensure...

Segmentation is the key to your nonprofits direct mail success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Why Donor Appreciation is Crucial This Time of Year!

Guest blog post by: Margaret Battistelli Gardner A special holiday poem (with great apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr., each of whom was credited at different times with writing the original “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) ‘Twas a few days before year-end and all through the land Nonprofits were scrambling to put out a hand. Donors’ mail and inboxes were stuffed to the hilt With asks and appeals and a wee touch of guilt. Fundraisers were huddled, awaiting the cash, Ignoring, just maybe, they’d been a bit crass. These donors, they knew, keep them sustained And deserve so much more than the same old refrain. When out of the slush pile arose something new – A note...

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Fundraising Events

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg The holiday season is upon us!  A crazy, hectic time for nonprofits whose intentions are firmly glued on year-end giving. But soon this old year will fade away, replaced with a new year filled with great possibilities. For this new year, give your organization the gift of successful fundraising events. This is the time to bid farewell to bad event planning habits that have scuttled your fundraising events’ effectiveness, and to make a commitment to a new disciplined regime that will transform your bloated, boring events into sleek and engaging money-making machines. Here are five game-changing New Year’s resolutions you can make to get...

Why Direct Mail Fundraising is Better This Year-End Giving Season

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp This past weekend, I spent several hours going through the stack of direct mail packs I had  received in the past two weeks. I reviewed each one, identified organizations I’d like to donate to and then I scanned in those that could help give me some new ideas for year-end giving appeals for organizations I work with.  Every year around this time, I talk to nonprofits, struggling to decide if they should send out a direct mail appeal at year-end. Sadly, every year, some organizations drag their feet too long  that they end up missing out on the best time of the year to generate the funds they need to support their mission!  Why does this happen? I think there are...

Using a Match to Increase Your Nonprofits Monthly Giving Success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

3 Questions to Consider in Selecting Grant Management Software for Grant-seekers

Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC You successfully wrote and submitted a grant application. And you GOT the grant! Handstands, cartwheels, and high fives for your whole organization!  But now you have to implement the proposed work you outlined in the grant application, and you have to manage not just the program, but also the finances, and the required reports. And as you successfully start writing and managing one grant, you begin to build bigger grantmaker relationships and a grant portfolio for your organization building on your grant success.  Only now, the management of deadlines, relationships, and the decisions on all of your applications becomes more...

How To Create a Nonprofit Event Budget | CharityHowTo

Get a Grip on Nonprofit Event Budgets Creating Budgets and Cutting Costs Nonprofit event budgets are as unique as snowflakes, and just as elusive to pin down! Whether a gala, festival, or house party, organizations need to understand how to create a nonprofit event budget in order to successfully plan and execute their events.

Unique Giving Tuesday Ideas for Your Nonprofit Social Channels

Blog Post by Julia Campbell The seasons are changing, summer is waning, fall is approaching and that can only  mean one thing – year-end charitable giving season is about to descend upon us! For many nonprofits, year-end giving season is kicked off by the global giving movement #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to the consumerism that often marks year-end. Americans have a day of giving thanks (Thanksgiving). This is followed by two days of giving and getting deals (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) – so why not a full day for giving back?  This year #GivingTuesday is on December 3, and expectations are sky...

3 Case Studies that Prove that Nonprofit Direct Mail Still Works in 2019

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp, Charity How to Presenter, Author, Blogger and Nonprofit Library Contributor  I grew up with and in direct mail. I was fortunate to work at Reader’s Digest (RD) in Amsterdam right after college and it really shaped the rest of my career. I’ve always loved direct mail because you can measure results, but nothing beats seeing the boxes and boxes filled with responses coming back.  I was ‘hooked’ on direct mail and all of us direct mail ‘nerds’ at RD loved recieving the latest direct mail samples sent to us from countries like the U.S. Australia, Canada etc.  The general rule of thumb was that if direct mail packs worked in those countries, they’d most likely also...

How To Set Up Your Nonprofit’s Website For Monthly Giving

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Does Your Nonprofit Event Need a Psychologist? | CharityHowTo

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg Does Your Nonprofit Event Need a Psychologist? Many organizations spend an enormous amount of time and resources on nonprofit events, only to have them fall short of their goals. They may try changing venues and changing themes, but still, the events fail to meet expectations. What these organizations should be changing instead is their own mindsets and figuring out how to fix their events’ psychology! As a 20-year veteran nonprofit event planner, I deeply understand the psychology of fundraising through nonprofit events and how the choices we make during the event planning process will impact, positively or negatively, a guest’s...

The 5 Key Components of a Successful Monthly Giving Program | CharityHowTo

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp Setting up a successful monthly giving program doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you keep these key components in mind. Let me share the top 5 with you: Commitment Accountability Preparedness Detail orientation Persistence For a successful monthly giving program these apply to the person who’s interested and willing to grow the program as well as to the program itself. Let’s take them one by one.

How to Grow Your Monthly Giving Program from Good to GREAT

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Drink Your Own Kool-Aid…Start Monthly Giving to Your Own Nonprofit

This past week I heard this expression several times, so I wanted to explain why it’s especially important when it comes to monthly giving. Let me start with the Wikipedia definition: “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards.”

Direct Mail For Nonprofits – The Number One Thing To Consider Before Sending Your Next Campaign

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Create an Irresistible Nonprofit Fundraising Video (6 Best Tips)

How to Raise More by “Upgrading” Your Monthly Giving Donors

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Successfully Secure Event Sponsorships

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg

7 Tips to Get Your Organization to Embrace Asking for Donations

Blog post by Brian Saber We all know that asking doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. Your organization and staff have to embrace asking for donations clear across the board in order for you to develop a strong culture of asking. Think of what it would mean if you did have a culture of asking for donations. First and foremost, fundraising would stop being a dirty word! We all know that as soon as we mention the word fundraising most people cringe. Well, that isn’t going to get us anywhere, is it? Here are seven ways to shape a culture of asking and a strong fundraising future at your organization. 1) View capital campaigns as the standard During a capital campaign we invest a tremendous...

How to Overcome Event Planning Burnout and LOVE Nonprofit Events

Blog post by A.J. Steinberg

Top 3 Hidden Gems to Uncover with a Monthly Donation Program

How to Ask for Donations Face to Face for Your Nonprofit

This is a guest post by Brian Saber  Most fundraising professionals would prefer to do just about anything than ask someone for money face-to-face. Even for those who find it somewhat “easy,” it can be awkward and anxiety-inducing to ask for money, regardless of how good your cause is. Yet, deep down, we know asking for donations face to face for your nonprofit will end up making a huge impact… and the facts back that up. Asking in-person is proven to have the highest rate of success among all methods. Kent Dove of the Indiana University Foundation analyzed different ways of giving. Direct mail has the lowest success rate of the traditional fundraising methods –just 1-2%. Phone calls – not...

How a Monthly Donor Program Can Drastically Increase Your Nonprofit’s Revenue

This is a guest post by Erica Waasdorp

5 Best Practices to Promote Your Event on Facebook and Boost Registrations

Are fewer people attending your events these days? Are you hoping to dramatically increase attendance at your big conference this year?  Rather than relying mostly on email blasts, word-of-mouth, and social media posts, many organizations are turning to Facebook ads to fill up their events. Advertising on Facebook works well for event promotion for two reasons: You can have your ad pop up in the Facebook feeds of everyone in your network. You can promote your event to new audiences that wouldn’t be possible through other channels. If you’re new to creating Facebook ads, here are the five best practices for boosting event attendance. 1) Why You Need to Crunch the Numbers? The biggest mistake...

Why Training Your Board is So Important | CharityHowTo

This is a guest blog post by Brian Saber, Cofounder of Asking Matters. If we think we can send board members out to fundraise without giving them tools, we might need some analysis. What are we thinking?! It’s a license for complete failure, and the proof is in the pudding. Time and again our board members fail to partner successfully with staff to develop the organization’s resources because we never show them how or provide the training. But They’re So Successful! Yes, we ask people to join our boards because we think highly of them. They might be successful businesspeople or impassioned community activists or enthusiastic volunteers. They might be articulate believers or prominent...

How to Set Up Your Website for Maximum Online Fundraising Success

This is a guest blog post by Julia Campbell 

How Long Does it Take to Set Up a Monthly Donor Program?

This is a guest blog post by Erica Waasdorp How long does it typically take to set up a monthly donor program? From soup to nuts. At a recent webinar, I was asked the above question. The answer is: if you focus on it, you should be able to be up and running within a week. I realize that development people in small to mid-size organizations especially are always pulled in multiple directions and distractions are easy. That’s why I recommend you don’t launch the program until you have thought through and put in place the basics. But with a little bit of focus that can be done in a few days. You most likely have the systems already in place. Brainstorming about a name for a program can be done...

5 Tips and Strategies for a Better Nonprofit Fundraising Event

This post was a collaborative piece written by John Haydon, A.j. Steinberg, and Jeff Brooks.

Major Gift Fundraising is Like Dating – 4 Steps to Success

This a guest blog post by Kathie Kramer Ryan, founder of Arroyo Fundraising Would you ask someone to marry you on your first date? Chances are, no way! It’s just as unlikely that you—as a development professional—would ask a prospect to make a major gift to your organization during your first meeting. If you are planning or implementing a major gifts program, it’s a great time to review these 4 Steps to Fundraising Success. Step #1: Identify First, you’ll want to identify prospects who have the potential to become donors to your organization. Prospects may include friends and colleagues of your current donors, board members, committee members and other stakeholders. Consider former board...

Corporate Social Responsibility: How to Secure Corporate Support

Corporations invest in social responsibility programs and activities to support their triple bottom line: people, profits, and the planet. Companies are smart to be concerned about corporate social responsibility (CSR), both because CSR is a driver among consumer groups and because some labels— think “organic,” “recycled,” “smaller carbon footprint”— are generally more costly for companies to attain, thereby reducing shareholder profitability. A corporation’s long-term success is based on its ability to balance the vision against the interests of key stakeholder groups. As a for-profit company, my company–JustWrite Solutions–considers these questions all the time. We have a formal...

5 Tips to Get Your Fundraising Print Publications On Point

Blog Post by Heather Stombaugh Strategies and tactics in fundraising may change, but print publications continue to be a critical resource in the nonprofit toolbox. According to Kivi Leroux Miller’s 2016 Nonprofit Communication Trends report, print remains one of the top five most important communication channels in the nonprofit sector. Image Credit: Kivi Leroux Miller Every nonprofit should invest in creating compelling fundraising publications. However, in the tumult of other pressing needs, many small nonprofits put off developing their annual reports, cases for support, and other collateral to save money. Let me put this simply: in ANY business, you must spend money to make money....

$10,000 per Month of Free Google Advertising for Nonprofits | CharityHowTo

Step 1 – Strategizing Our case study is about Save The Redwoods and their mission is to protect and restore Redwood forests. To help fulfill this mission, we wanted to reach out to their target audience, i.e. people concerned about the Redwood forests, for support.

How To Banish Empty Seat Syndrome | CharityHowTo

By A.J. Steinberg

The 8 Fundamentals of a Monthly Giving Program | CharityHowTo

We’re big believers in the power of monthly donors. We have been managing monthly donor programs for decades and have seen the ongoing revenue it provides, especially in times of crisis. In some cases, it’s kept organizations afloat; even if they could not send appeals to ask for money, the monthly donations kept the funds coming in. That’s why we maintain that every organization can (and should) organize a monthly giving program.  A few years ago when we first started teaching webinars at CharityHowTo, monthly giving was still in its infancy and was used primarily by larger organizations. But today, monthly giving is becoming more and more popular. With the right tools — which you may very...

What Do You Mean You Don’t Need an Annual Report? It’s Not About You! | CharityHowTo

I love teaching the Annual Reports webinars for CharityHowTo’s participants (How to Create an Awesome Annual Report and How to Transition Your Annual Report to an Infographic). Professionals who attend and engage  have excellent questions, constructive ideas for others, and thoughtful approaches to serving their donors. And fundraising publications are one of my favorite topics in development. Sure, as a professional writer, I’m biased, but every nonprofit needs them and (should) use collateral all the time! While I know the folks who attend these webinars benefit from the conversation, I have also noticed a big problem. I receive A LOT of emails from potential participants who are...