End of Year

The Race is Still On

The Race is Still On

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I had a good friend named Sylvia. We swam on a swim team together. I was pretty much lousy at all sports – swim team included. Sylvia, however, had talent.

Sylvia was so much stronger and better than all of the rest of us in our age group that none of us could really give her a challenge. Near the end of any race, she'd look back at us and we were nowhere near her. She'd leave us way behind. So she'd slack off. There wasn’t any need to make a big effort. She would simply coast to a stop at the end of the race…and still win.

Sometimes the coach would give her a hard time about it telling her how many records she could hold if she just wouldn’t slack off at the end, but she wasn't especially interested in records. She was swimming for the fun of it. We were just in grade school and she didn’t feel any pressure.

It can be easy to feel like Sylvia right about now. #GivingTuesday is behind us. The end-of-year appeal letter we’ve been rushing around to get in the mail has gone out. It might even be kind of quite around the office. But it’s not time to coast to a close just yet.

Teaching Your Children About Philanthropy

The next few weeks are essential to nonprofits. 25% of all donations for the year come in between November 14 and December 14.

There is an out-pouring of gifts this time of year because people feel generous this time of year.

Many families decide that this is a great time to make sure that they teach their children about charitable giving and volunteerism. Some parents feel it’s especially important at this time of year to help children understand gratitude and the real meaning of the holidays. Still others are motivated by a desire to counter-balance the season’s commercialism and the focus on materialistic presents and desires for nonessential items.

But don’t take your young children to the local soup kitchen just yet, says writer Kelley Holland

Reach Their Hearts, Not Their Heads

Reach Their Hearts, Not Their Heads

I love committees.  I'm serious. I do. Those of you who know me personally know, I'm an extrovert. I'm energized by being in a room full of other people. I love brainstorming and discussions. 

But there are somethings a committee shouldn't do and writing your end of the year appeal letter is one of them.

An Up-Hill Battle: What to Do When You're Behind Your Goal

Recently, a friend of mine who is an Executive Director, asked me what to do. He was concerned that his organization was not going to make their fundraising goals for the year.  "What should we do?" he asked.

First things first. The year is not over yet! I was pretty upset that it's not even October and this Executive Director had already said "ain't gonna happen!" Whoa, my friend! As my mama always said:

"Can't never could!" 

You still have time to re-double your efforts. Pull your team together. This is a moment for him, as Executive Director, to demonstrate leadership. He needs a battle plan. Get all hands on deck. I mean all hands on deck: board members, staff members, volunteers. 

If you have a long way to go to goal, decide what each person can do. Give people specific assignments. Make sure that people have the tools they need to succeed also. If you want board members to send out emails, write the emails for them. Board members can edit them, but it helps them to get going to not have to start from scratch.

Here are a few strategies that have helped me be very successful in year-end giving:

Like a Dog with a Bone

Like a Dog with a Bone

At this time of year, a good fundraiser is like a dog with a bone. She’s sunk her teeth into the organization’s fundraising goal and she’s unwilling to let go.

And with good reason. There are still things you can do to make your goals. Don’t give up on your goal or on yourself. There are 5 and ½ weeks left in the year. If you haven’t yet met your fundraising goals for the year – It’s not too late! 

5 Ways to Get Board Members to Fundraise on Giving Tuesday

5 Ways to Get Board Members to Fundraise on Giving Tuesday

How Can a Purple Rhino Help You Get Your Board to Raise Money on Giving Tuesday?

“The Super Bowl of Crowdfunding” – that’s what Blackbaud’s npEngage calls Giving Tuesday.  Wouldn’t it be great to have 100% board member involvement?

The newly released Leading with Intent preview from BoardSource shows that only 26% of Board members get involved with asking at some point in the year.  There is a lot of opportunity for improvement there.  So how can you get your board members to raise funds this #GivingTuesday?

Asking Matters

Asking Matters

What you ask for matters.

If you haven’t finished your end of year appeal, one of the decisions you are probably agonizing over is the ask amount—what numbers to put in your “gift string” or “gift array”—those numbers that you will use on your response card or envelope to suggest gift sizes to donors.

Thinking carefully about these numbers is wise.  What you suggest matters.

Are You Ready for Cyber Monday?

Are You Ready for Cyber Monday?

I know you're getting ready for Giving Tuesday, but are you also ready for Cyber Monday?  Here's what you should do now to benefit from the shopping spree your supporters are about to take.

 

The Thank You Season

The Thank You Season

Thanking donors well is critical to donor retention.  According to donor communications expert Tom Ahern donors that are appropriately thanked in a personalized way within 48 hours of receiving their gift are more than twice as likely to give again.

Feel like your thank you ideas are stale?  Here are 8 inexpensive and creative solutions--

Finish Strong: 3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

Finish Strong:  3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

You need to finish strong.  It’s the end of the year and this is the make-it or break-it time for nonprofit fundraising.

If you’re still staring at a large fundraising goal and wondering what you can do to reach it, here are a few strategies that will help you take it to goal.  Here are 3 strategies to help you cross the finish line.