Community Support

When an Event Goes Flat

When an Event Goes Flat

Recently, a friend asked me, “What do you do if your fundraising event goes flat?”

My friend works for a national organization with a signature fundraising event.  She can’t just stop doing the event. Her chapter of the organization is required to use the event to raise funds every year, but for some reason, her community just isn’t having success with it. The event seems to have lost its appeal.

“So what can you do to turn things around?” she asked.

Nonprofits Blocking Social Innovation? I don't Think So

Nonprofits Blocking Social Innovation? I don't Think So

The piece is really disappointing, but hardly surprising from a man who heralds the end of corporate social responsibility, arguing “traditional corporate philanthropy is considered an inappropriate use of capital, a distraction of time and resources from business activities” (Forbes, July 9, 2014).  His July piece in Forbes counsels businesses on how to exit the “business” of corporate social responsibility.

How sad to me that a business leader would have so little appreciation for our common human and environmental interconnectedness, so little appreciation for the stakes all corporations have in the planet and its populations.

But mostly, in suggesting that nonprofits don’t work, I wanted to laugh out loud and ask “How on earth do we know? How do we know what nonprofits are capable of?”  Have we ever really tried them?  I mean, REALLY tried them?

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Early requests for sponsorship support were disappointing.  One company’s response was typical, “How come, if you’ve been serving the community for 23 years, we’ve never heard of you before?”

Not promising as far as beginnings of sponsorship campaigns go.

The organization needed to re-introduce itself to the community.  We decided to hold a Corporate Breakfast. 

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Many organizations have some sort of Advisory Councils.  But often these councils, populated largely with former board members or community dignitaries that don’t have time to be board members, languish, largely neglected by the very organizations that have created them. They often have no clear purpose and meet infrequently.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

How would you like to increase donations 600-800%?!?

How would you like to increase donations 600-800%?!?

What if you could do one thing in your development program and increase your donations 600 – 800%?!!

You can! According to Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang in a whitepaper produced by Blackbaud and Hartsook Institutes, Growing Philanthropy in the United States, 600-800% is the amount by which you can increase a donor’s lifetime value simply by converting him or her to a monthly giver.

Consider:  if you’re typical donor makes a $25 or $35 check at the end of the year, you can increase his or her giving dramatically by signing them up to give $5, $10, or $15 each month instead. A monthly contributor who gives $5/month, for example, has increased their contribution 240% in one year.  Now, multiply that by the number of years he or she will give.

The math is pretty simple and straight-forward so the real question is how do you get started?

The answer isn’t rocket science:  Ask.

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

ponsorships can make the difference between an event being successful and an event being a failure.  Sponsorship dollars are critical.  Fortunately, sponsorship dollars are something that are easy to raise (yes, you read that right) – easy because they are a win-winCompanies receive several benefits from sponsorships:

  1. Corporate sponsorships provide companies benefits with their customers
  2. They increase employee productivity and loyalty, and
  3. They offer traditional marketing benefits like name/brand recognition in the community.

Building the Donor Pipeline

Building the Donor Pipeline

The 2013 donor retention rates are in:  39%.  Annually, we lose 61% of all our donors.

With donor retention rates at all-time lows, one of the things that all nonprofit organizations have to work toward is acquiring new donors.  We have to keep the building the pipline by finding new donors.

With good reason, much has been written about how to retain donors and people across our profession, in workshops, webinars, conference presentations, journals, and blogs have advised, coached, and advocated that we take steps to stem the tide of donor attrition.  This is all excellent advice.  We do absolutely need to work to retain our existing donors—especially since an existing donor costs less to retain than a new one does to acquire—but even if we’re able to improve retention 10-20%, we’re still in need of aggressive annual efforts to acquire new donors.