Professional Development

10 Reasons Clean Data Should Be Fundraising's #1 New Year's Resolution

10 REASONS CLEAN DATA SHOULD BE FUNDRAISING'S #1 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION 

Why clean data should be your # 1 resolution:

  1. Direct Mail Appeals: The results of your direct mail appeals are driven by the quality of your mailing list.
  2. Email Marketing: The open rates of your email marketing efforts are driven by the accuracy of your email lists.
  3. Donor Retention: Want to alienate a donor fast? Write “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones” to Ms. Jones who divorced lying, cheating, dead-beat Mr. Jones three years ago. I can assure you, Mrs. Jones will never, ever donate again. Ditto, if Mr. Jones has been deceased for 5 years and she’s called your office twice to let you know.

Fundraisers as Change Leaders

Fundraisers as Change Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation of Fundraisers

For the last several years, we’ve been talking about a culture of philanthropy and the importance of an organization having a culture of philanthropy for a development director to thrive and for a development program to take root and grow. I believe the concept of a culture of philanthropy or the lack of one is a useful idea for understanding whether or not an organization is ready to begin and sustain a development program.

However, I also believe that part of how receptive an organization is to a development program has little to do with how it feels about fundraising and more to do with how it feels about change.

A Fundraising Program's Secret Ingredient: A Plan

A FUNDRAISING PROGRAM'S SECRET INGREDIENT: A PLAN

In fundraising, there is no silver bullet, no pixie dust to sprinkle, no incantation to chant and the only potion I’ve ever known anyone to brew entailed a strong portion of tequila. I own two wands, both pink and sporting Disney princesses, but I suspect neither contains any actual magical properties. Fundraising is about relationship building, hard work, and a good plan.

In fact, according to the Third Space Studio, it’s a whole lot more about the plan than we may have realized in the past.

3 Ways to Not Leave Money on the Table

3 Ways to Not Leave Money on the Table

I’ll never forget. It was Christmas at my first Director of Development job. It was actually the second nonprofit I had worked for, but the first one I had ever served as the director of the fundraising program. I was also the first full-time director of development in the organization’s history. The organization, a children’s shelter, received a large portion of its donations for the year from its end of year campaign. I felt a lot of pressure that first holiday season to succeed.

In response to an appeal letter I had mailed, one donor called and asked to come visit. Of course, I readily agreed. We sat in the living room of one of our buildings talking and then, he asked me (!) how much he could give. He got out his checkbook and waited for me to give him a number. This, of course, is a fundraiser’s dream.

The problem was, I was such a novice at that time that I sat there pretty much frozen and didn’t know what to say! 

Career Advice for Nonprofit Professionals

Career Advice for Nonprofit Professionals

In the nonprofit sector, we nonprofit professionals apply for positions in the nonprofit sector. We have experience with nonprofit jobs.  Because we’re nonprofit professionals with nonprofit experience, applying for nonprofit jobs, we assume that the people who are reviewing our resumes understand what our titles and positions mean and entail.  They don’t.  Even if we list our accomplishments, they don’t get it.  Too often, board members are hiring or sitting on the search committees that hire us. Those board members are almost always business people who don’t understand what’s involved in our jobs.

12 Things To Do During The Summer Slow Down

12 Things To Do During The Summer Slow Down

For fundraisers and other nonprofit professionals,  the summer months are often slow.  Donors, board members, and other colleagues head out for vacations.  It becomes difficult to hold committee meetings and get things accomplished.  One board of directors I used to work with met monthly all year-long except in the months of July and December—December because of the long holiday break and July because they recognized that practically everyone was on vacation.

So how can you make the most of this summer slow down? Here are 12 things you can do while the office is quieter during the summer months: