January is a great time to cultivate all the donors who gave to your organization in 2017. And one way to cultivate those who gave last year is by sending a thank you letter that shares the many accomplishments their 2017 gifts made possible. As an added benefit for your donors, this letter should also include a summary of all 2017 gifts that can be used for tax purposes.
It’s not too late to prepare and send an annual acknowledgement letter to your 2017 donors. So listen to this week’s bonus break to quickly learn what this letter should include.
You can also read the blog post at The Successful Nonprofits Blog Here.
About the Host:
After strong listener feedback, the much loved Bonus Break is back!
Let me reintroduce the bonus break to you: Imagine taking a short 5- or 10-minute coffee break and getting the added bonus of making you and your nonprofit more successful. Produced as a companion to our longer Successful Nonprofits Podcast, the Bonus Break covers all of the topics you care most about: professional development, fundraising, governance, board relations, marketing, tech, and more.
Almost 20 years ago, I was chief fundraising officer for a Catholic charity that always closed the week between Christmas and New Years. As the director of resource development, however, I worked every day between December 26 and December 31 to capture those last minute donations. Consequently, we typically processed stock donations, vehicle donations, and major gifts that might have otherwise gone to other community based non-profit organizations. During my successful tenures as the development director at two different organizations, I learned the 5 things every fundraiser should do the last week of the year:
Listen to this bonus break to learn how to efficiently do each of these tasks with limited office support (after all, nearly everyone else has taken the week off).
Here's the sample board member give/get status report we promised you:
About the host:
Nonprofits all over the country are in the middle of a very busy special event season. In fact, many fundraisers and event planners are putting those final touches on their October and November events, and this is the perfect time to prepare your board to be enthusiastic ambassadors and fundraisers at the event.
To help make your board members effective ambassadors and fundraisers at your next event, we invited special event guru and auctioneer Abra Annes back on the podcast. She shared several fresh and innovative ideas for board involvement that will be fun for your board members, while also generating significantly more revenue for your organization.
Generosity Auction’s Website: www.auctionsgenerosity.com
Generosity Auction’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/generosityauctions/
Generosity Auction’s YouTube Channel:
***** Time Stamp Highlights: *****
About Successful Nonprofits Podcast Host Dolph Goldenburg
Dolph is recognized as a high performance leader in the nonprofit sector who served as a nonprofit CEO for a dozen years and a fundraiser for an additional ten years. Author of the book Successful Nonprofits Build Supercharged Boards, Goldenburg also founded a boutique consulting firm based in Atlanta.
His multi-state consulting practice provides interim executive transition, strategic planning, and organizational development services. The Goldenburg Group's clients have annual operating budgets ranging from $25,000 to over $25 million deployed in the areas of housing, education, civil rights, arts and culture, workforce development, health services, and community-based services.
Connect with Dolph:
There is nothing scarier than a cash-flow crisis. It can undermine your organization's success and even your own confidence.
If you're facing a cash flow crisis, listen to this bonus break over a cup of coffee. In less than 15 minutes, you'll learn:
After the hit featured conversation with Ellen Bristol about her book The Leaky Bucket on Episode 20 of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, I knew we would have her on to discuss her next book: Fundraising the SMART WayTM. In this book she brings the principles of Total Quality Management to identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors.
Some of the highlights from our conversation include:
About Successful Nonprofits Podcast Host Dolph Ward Goldenburg
Imaging a fundraising event in a hotel ballroom that was as much fun and as profitable as a vacation cruise! Imagine your donors feeling excited to buy a ticket, telling all their friends they were going, posting about the event on Facebook and getting even more pleasure from bidding competitively at the auction and giving generously to the solicitation.
Today’s guest, Abra Annes, came to fundraising through the cruise-line industry. As an assistant cruise director for Carnival Cruises, she learned the art of keeping guests entertained and happy about spending money for additional services and products once on the ship.
When her last cruise docked and she ended the hospitality phase of her career, Abra transitioned to professional fundraising – eventually running a $17 million annual campaign for a prominent Jewish organization.
But squeezing the most money from special events - without guests feeling squeezed - remained her passion. Consequently, she has learned the most effective techniques for generating big money through special event fundraising during her very successful fundraising career.
If you’re tired of spending way too much time and effort to produce an event that nets too little money, you need to hear this episode with Abra Annes. During our featured conversations, she shared many proven and effective techniques for helping your event guests feel happy about giving your organization even more money.
In this episode, we discuss:
From the moment we get up in the morning until our eyes close at night, we are bombarded with marketing messages. Today we get marketing messages through our phone’s apps, online, via email, on the radio, on tv, and through the old fashioned postal mail.
Is it any wonder that traditional marketing messages aren’t working? After all, we have to cut through a very cluttered marketing environment in order to reach our nonprofit’s prospective volunteers, advocates, and donors.
This is why many nonprofits are turning to a content marketing approach that creates and distributes content that is relevant and valuable to our target audience. To help explore content marketing for your nonprofit, we spoke with Robert McGuire. Robert has decades of experience in journalism and marketing, and his firm McGuire Editorial is a recognized leader in content marketing.
Our conversation covered a lot, including:
About Successful Nonprofits Host Dolph Ward Goldenburg
I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately after reading an incredible book titled: The Story Telling Nonprofit by Vanessa Chase Lockshin. This is a practical guide to telling stories that raise money and awareness, and the Amazon reviews for this book are incredible.
Readers said things like:
I found the book useful, and felt strongly that the principles Vanessa lays out in the book can be used whether you are in the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors.
Our conversation with Vanessa Chase Lockshin includes:
And more! Be certain to download this episode and start writing more compelling stories for your nonprofit!
Link to purchase her book The Story Telling Nonprofit (click book cover):
Contact information for Vanessa Chase Lockshin:
About Successful Nonprofits Host Dolph Ward Goldenburg
With Christmas and New Year right around the corner, you are hopefully being flooded with year-end individual donations. In fact, the final three months of the year is especially critical for organizations that rely on individual donors for 30%, 60%, or in some rare cases even 90% of their budget.
Regardless of where your organization falls on this spectrum, wouldn’t you love to get data about individual donors at a broad range of other organizations? Would it be helpful to know the average percentage of individual donors who give online, or the average ratio between major donor and everyday donor? Would it be helpful if you could predict the return on investment in fundraising planning, development staff, or CRM?
Back in 2010, Heather Yandow saw a need for this kind of data and used her math degree and decade of development experience to launch the Individual Donor Benchmark Project. The project consists of an annual survey of nonprofits to learn more about their individual donor strategies and achievements. Each year, her consulting firm Third Space Studio, produces a well-designed and easily understand Individual Donor Benchmark Report.
This self-described data nerd has developed an incredibly useful body of data that you can use to evaluate your current fundraising program, inform your planning process, and advocate for additional resources with boards and funders.
We explored some of the high points from the past five Individual Donor Benchmark reports, including:
Heather Yandow’s Contact Information:
Register to take the 2017 Individual Donor Benchmark Survey here:
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It’s the week after Thanksgiving for the podcast listeners in America, and you know what that means. Christmas trees, menorahs, stockings, and dreidels seem to be everywhere. The malls are full of shoppers, charities are sending their holiday fundraising appeals, and media outlets everywhere are looking for those heartwarming holiday stories.
We’ll soon see lots of newspaper, magazine, and television features about lives changed for the better. Each of these stories will directly or indirectly highlight the work of nonprofit organizations, and almost all of them will have been pitched by a nonprofit.
Every year, board members and executive directors wonder “how can we get our good work in the New York Times, the Wiregrass Gazette, or the Portland Tribune?“
To help you solve this puzzle, we invited media strategist Peter Panepento to join us. Peter is the principal at Panepento Strategies, a full-service content, digital, and social-media strategy consultancy serving many prominent nonprofit clients: Guidestar, National Center for Family Philanthropy, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Before launching the practice, Peter spent more than a decade covering the nonprofit and foundation world at The Chronicle of Philanthropy — first as a contributing writer and most recently as the editor who managed its online and social media presence, as well as its research and data projects, webinars and new products.
Peter shared the steps for successfully garnering media attention this holiday season, including how to:
With the valuable information Peter shared, your organization can pitch its own heart-warming holiday story to the local media. Peter noted it’s not too late to get holiday media coverage, but you’ll need to act quickly to make the holiday news cycle.
Peter Panepeto’s Contact Information:
Links mentioned in the show:
This week on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol.
Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Those taking the survey included very small organizations to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Shockingly, the median organizational score on the Leaky Bucket Assessment was a C-minus.
To find out how organizations be more effective at fundraising, our conversation focused on three important factors for fundraising:
Hiring and supporting dedicated fundraising staff is one of the key indicators for fundraising success. Bristol notes that organizations with no dedicated fundraising staff only meet their fundraising objectives 39% of the time. For this reason, we discussed:
In addition to using paid staff, the organizations that are most successful at fundraising also utilize volunteers. In our conversation, Bristol recommended providing volunteers:
We finished the conversation with a summary of the four laws of performance management, and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get these golden gems!
Ellen Bristol reminded listeners that their organization can take the Leaky Bucket Assessment by visiting http://www.bristolstrategygroup.com/resources/the-leaky-bucket-for-nonprofit-fundraising. When taking the Leaky Bucket Assessment, your organization will be able to compare your fundraising to global averages and get an hour of private review with Bristol or another facilitator.
Links for Bristol Strategy Group:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BristolStrategyGroup
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenbristol
Phone number: 305-935-6676
Buy the “The Leaky Bucket: What’s wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it” on Amazon.
The case for support isn’t just a tool for capital campaigns. As fundraising expert Linda Lysakowski notes, the case for support is an essential tool that ensures consistency among all fundraising and marketing efforts.
Linda, who has trained over 30,000 fundraising professionals through her seminars and authored over a dozen books on the topic, shares her insight and expertise on developing and using the case for support.
A few highlights of the conversation included:
We had an amazing conversation with extraordinary development professional Chris Haley! Chris’ impressive fundraising bio includes significant major donor cultivation and solicitation in several large U.S. cities.
In the 40-minute interview, Chris guides us through the major gift process of:
In explaining each of these steps of the major gift process, he also offers helpful hints and tips such as, The “Three A’s” of qualifying a prospective major donor. The number of prospects you need for every major gift you receive. The impact that Dunbar’s Number has on building relationships with donors. Substitutional ways a major donor can give.
Want to know more? You’ll have to listen to our Featured Conversation with Chris Haley.
Article of the Week Denise Spivak
In her role as its Senior Director of Programs and Outreach with CenterLink, Denise Spivak is constantly on the lookout for ideas and resources for the more than 150 LGBT centers across the country that CenterLink serves. We were fortunate to have her share one of these articles with us: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour. Denise shared some of the ways their member organizations have used donor cultivation tours, and Dolph talked about an incredible donor cultivation tour he participated in while in Dehli, India (at an organization called Salaam Balaak Trust).
Gail Perry Article: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour:
Information on the Salaam Baalak Trust tour:
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