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April Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Advice to your younger-fundraising-self


blog carnivalI’m so honored to be hosting the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. When announcing April’s carnival theme in my April 4th Call for Submissions post, I was excited to see how the non-profit blogosphere would respond to this question: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?

I have made many mistakes over the last 20+ years of fundraising and non-profit management, and I love to share those teachable moments with younger professionals. However, the idea of learning from some of our sector’s greatest non-profit thinkers was fun and thrilling.

I challenged my fellow bloggers to incorporate time travel movie references into their posts. Having read all of the submissions, I think you won’t be disappointed. Not only did bloggers serve up some amazing advice, but in some cases bloggers included fun references to movies such as Back to the Future, Groundhog Day, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Howard the Duck, and much more.

I hope you enjoy this month’s virtual carnival rides and the sweet and savory posts chock-full of advice and tips!


time travelJoe Garecht at The Fundraising Authority blog reached out to some of the non-profit sector’s best consultants, speakers and authors and asked them to answer this month’s carnival question in his post If Famous Fundraisers Had to Start All Over Again… What They Wish they Had Known… Very entrepreneurial, Joe!   😉

I am never disappointed by what Jeff Brooks writes over at Future Fundraising Now, which is why I was so honored when he wrote something for this month’s carnival. As a young fundraiser, Jeff was prone to extreme fundraising approaches. If he could go back and advise himself, he’d tell that young extremist that moderation is a lot smarter. (Note: I think Jeff is being too hard on himself when he refers to his present-day-self as “a gray-haired, middle-aged codger.”) Click here to read his non-codger advice.

“It’s about sticking with what you know is right,” explains Claire Axelrad in her Clairification post titled The Meaning of Philanthropy, Not Fundraising – Part 1. And she always knew that she couldn’t take sole credit for money that was raised under her watch. But she wishes she had known how important it is to actively give others credit. While her younger-self understood this to a degree, she didn’t to the extent that she does today. It’s so important in fundraising to come from a place of love. Because, in essence, that’s what philanthropy means.

I had no idea that Ignited Fundraising blog’s Lori Jacobwith had worked on a U.S. Senate campaign back in the 1980s.  In her post Don’t Make My Fundraising Mistakes, Make New Ones, she would tell her younger-fundraising-self that if she’s counting on people, especially volunteers (and anyone who is NOT a fundraising professional is a volunteer!) to support her work in ANY way. . . she needs to treat them like her favorite and most special donors or customers.

bill murrayI love the fact that Bill Murray makes a cameo appearance in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival thanks to Empower Nonprofits‘ Jeremy Koch.  Jeremy will tell you everything Bill Murray taught him about how to free yourself from the fundraising time loop and improve your fundraising. Keep Calm and Chive On, Jeremy!

My longtime and dear friend, Dani Robbins over at Non Profit Evolution, went into overdrive this month and submitted two posts with tons of advice. In her first submission, she shares EIGHT Teachable Moments that she wishes someone had given her when she was younger. She adds another 23 things she learned along the way in her post Reflecting on my Pursuit of Social Justice. Simply amazing . . . Thanks for sharing, Dani!

Mary Cahalane at Hands On Fundraising blog won me over by referencing one of my favorite movies — Working Girl — as she talked about her fundraising career path. She wonders how things might have been different “if only . . .” While everyone will benefit from reading To my younger fundraising self – and maybe you, new fundraising professionals are simply going to LOVE this post!!!

Seth Rosen’s post over at Joan Garry Consulting‘s blog complements the previous submission regarding the keys to building a fundraising career for those just starting out in the field. If you are new to fundraising, you’ll want to read Fundraising Career Advice: What I Wish I Knew Then.

In Zach Hagopian’s first fundraising event that he hosted with his co-founder in 2014, they learned a valuable lesson: “To leave limitations behind and think bigger / outside the box.” Event coordinators won’t want to miss out on reading Accelevents’ Back to the (Fundraising) Future.

Of all the non-profit consultants I know, Pamela Grow has an inspirational journey line stories to share. I simply love how she tells the story about what happened when the board hired a new executive director for her organization. I won’t give away the surprise, but I guarantee you will love the advice she dispenses to her younger-self!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and all of that time travel. But if after consuming all of those sugary and sweet blog posts full of advice you still find yourself craving more, then you will want to check out five additional carnival posts that I wrote throughout April for the DonorDreams blog community. Here are links to those posts:


Craig Linton at Fundraising Detective blog will host the May 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme will be “Leadership in Fundraising: the best or worst boss you ever had. What did you learn? How was the experience? Tips for others.” Click here for more details and how to submit your blog entry for consideration.

As I say at the end of all my blog posts . . .

Here’s to your health! (and try not to eat too much cotton candy at this month’s carnival)

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

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Advice to my younger-fundraising-self about event management


blog carnivalThis month DonorDreams is hosting the nationally acclaimed Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and this month’s theme is: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?” In addition to asking other non-profit bloggers to submit posts for consideration, I am also focusing this month’s DonorDreams blog posts on the topic. The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is scheduled to go live on Thursday, April 28, 2016. So, mark your calendars because this month promises to be full of fun submissions.

Today’s time machine post involves a younger me who learned valuable lessons about inspiring and managing special event volunteers. Enjoy!


howard1As many readers know, I was once an executive director for a non-profit organization that ran a Duck Race fundraiser. For those of you who don’t know what a Duck Race is, it is simply a raffle where serial numbers on the bottom of little rubber ducks correspond to numbered adoption papers sold to donors. The first 10 ducks that cross a water raceway finish line win prizes. The challenge from a revenue perspective is essentially two-fold:

  1. Sell lots of sponsorships
  2. Sell lots of duck adoptions

The key to selling lots of duck adoptions is also simple. Organize as many volunteer teams as possible. Encourage them to sell to their friends, family and co-workers AND set up adoption tables in high foot traffic areas (e.g. outside of grocery stories, in malls, etc).

The big challenge from a non-profit fundraising professional’s perspective is:

  • inspiring volunteers to sell duck adoptions
  • creating a culture of fun
  • being creative with accountability
  • instilling a sense of urgency
  • keeping people focused on the goal

Being a young fundraising professional, I made the decision to use weekly update reports in an effort to inspire competition between duck adoption teams as well as foster a sense of accountability and urgency.

Of course, as we got closer and closer to the event and the duck adoption totals weren’t exponentially jumping, my weekly reports ended up doing the opposite as they were intended. Not only were volunteers uninspired, but some board members started whispering about whether or not I knew what I was doing.

<Sigh>

howard2In the 1986 box office flop Howard the Duck, Howard gets transported from his home world of “Duckworld” by a dimensional-jumping device. If I had access to that device today, I would totally transport myself to a place where I could share the following nuggets of advice with my younger-fundraising-self:

  • reporting can cut both ways with volunteers (esp. when falling short with goals)
  • always find good news to spotlight regardless of how small it may be
  • perceived negativity is like a flu virus (very catchy and spreads quickly)
  • “who” issues the report is important (peer-to-peer accountability is powerful and reports should come from the volunteer event chair and not staff)
  • positive incentives and fun recognition items are important to tie to a reporting tool

I would also put my arm around my younger-fundraising-self and tell me that using “reporting tools” to create accountability and “goal setting” to create urgency are best practices, but these tools must be used in conjunction with the following volunteer engagement strategies:

  • well run, in-person meetings
  • mission-focused messaging and activities
  • training
  • setting expectations upfront
  • helping people feel organized and being personally organized
  • celebrate success (both big and small successes early and often)

<Sigh>

Where is a dimensional-jumping device when you need one?   😉


If you are a non-profit blogger who wants to participate in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and submit a post for consideration on this month’s carnival theme, click here to read the “call for submissions” post I published a few weeks ago. It should answer all of your questions and clearly explain how to submit your entry. If not, then simply email me and I’ll be happy to help.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Advice to my younger-fundraising-self about about direct mail


blog carnivalThis month DonorDreams is hosting the nationally acclaimed Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and this month’s theme is: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?” As I’ve done each of the last three year’s when I’ve hosted the carnival, I plan on focusing this month’s DonorDreams blog posts on the topic as a way to help inspire other non-profit bloggers to submit posts for consideration. The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is scheduled to go live on Thursday, April 28, 2016. So, mark your calendars because you won’t want to miss what other non-profit bloggers have to say on this topic.

Today’s time machine post involves a younger me who learned valuable lessons about direct mail after a fateful experience with one of my first year-end holiday appeals. Enjoy!


rocky horrorAs a teenager, I was a Rocky Horror Picture Show groupie, which I bet you couldn’t have guessed, especially now that I routinely wear a tie and constantly talk about non-profit, fundraising and organizational development stuff. I’ve seen this cult movie more than 50 times in my life,

So, there you have it. LOL

I only mention this weird little personal fact about me because today is Tim Curry’s 70th birthday. For those who have experienced this movie, you understand that Curry’s Rocky Horror character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, is a time traveling transvestite from outer space. Of course, I only mention all of this because this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival is time travel related.

Speaking of going back in time, if I had the opportunity to do so, one place I might stop top give my younger-fundraising-self a little advice would be November 2001. I was a relatively new executive director, and I was grappling with how to bring the cost of my year-end holiday mail appeal down.

timewarpInstead of picking up the phone and talking to mail professionals, that 31-year-old executive director decided to engage a few friends and do a 12,000 piece mailer by himself. Uh-huh. I thought it would be easy to:

  • Print everything in-house
  • Fold
  • Stuff
  • Stamp (pre-paid nonprofit stamps)
  • Lick
  • Sort
  • Box
  • Deliver to the post office

I’m sure you have already guessed that my friends quickly abandon ship after the first few hours and figuring out the insanity of what I was asking.

But did you skip over the bullet point labeled “LICK“.

Ugh!

Somewhere after the first few hundred letters, I made the decision that the wet sponge was just too sloppy. So, instead of using less water, I made the horrible decision to lick every stamp and every envelope.

When I think back to that moment in time, I still get that HORRIBLE taste in my mouth I experienced at the end of that long weekend. <ick>

If time travel was possible, I would go back and provide the following advice to my younger-fundraising-self:

  1. Don’t quickly dismiss the idea of calling a mail house because they might have been able to save you money with CASS certification and bar code automation (e.g. you never know unless you ask . . . work smart)
  2. Don’t lick those stamps and envelopes (it won’t save you any more money . . . it won’t raise you more money . . . it might even make you sick)

If you are a non-profit blogger who wants to participate in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and submit a post for consideration on this month’s carnival theme, click here to read the “call for submissions” post I published last week. It should answer all of your questions and clearly explain how to submit your entry. If not, then simply email me and I’ll be happy to help.

Here’s to your health! (And Happy Birthday, Tim!)

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Advice to my younger-fundraising-self about delegation and collaboration


blog carnivalThis month DonorDreams is hosting the nationally acclaimed Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and this month’s theme is: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?” As I’ve done each of the last three year’s when I’ve hosted the carnival, I plan on focusing this month’s DonorDreams blog posts on the topic as a way to help inspire other non-profit bloggers to submit posts for consideration. The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is scheduled to go live on Thursday, April 28, 2016. So, mark your calendars because you won’t want to miss what other non-profit bloggers have to say on this topic.

Today’s time machine post involves a younger me who learned valuable lessons about how not to delegate and collaborate with others. Enjoy!


I am embarrassed to admit how many times I made the same mistake before finally learning how to effectively delegate and collaborate. In the following two sections, I will share examples where my younger-fundraising-self goofed up. In the final section, I will share with you what I’d tell my younger-self if I could go back in time with a few pieces of advice.

Annual campaign management

is anyone out thereAs a young Boy Scout professional in the 1990s, I was just starting to learn may way around fundraising principles and best practices. While I previously had helped out with a few special events and written a grant proposal for another organization, I never helped plan-organize-implement an annual campaign pledge drive, which is what I was being asked to do with a group of Friends of Scouting (FOS) volunteer within my district.

With the help of the council’s Finance Director, I easily plowed through the early deadlines in my backdating plan. I nailed the pre-campaign tasks such as volunteer recruitment, setting FOS unit presentation dates, identifying community donor prospects, running pledge cards, goal setting, etc. I remember thinking early on how easy it all seemed.

And then the official “kickoff meeting” happened . . .

All of my volunteers gathered before work for an early morning meeting I sold as the “FOS Kickoff”. For slightly more than an hour over coffee and donuts, I walked my team of fundraising volunteers through training, review of materials, and even prospect assignment exercises. Everyone walked away from that meeting knowing the who, what, where, when and why.

Or so I thought.

Four weeks after the kickoff, nothing was happening. The signed pledge cards weren’t coming back to me with pledge amounts. Six weeks passed . . . still nothing was occurring and no one was returning my phone calls. Finally, I started panicking at the eight week mark because there was only one month remaining before the end of the campaign. It didn’t look like we’d come anywhere close to hitting our overall goal.

What I didn’t understand was that while I might have delegated all of those fundraising solicitations to volunteers, I still owned all of those tasks even though someone else had agreed to do them.

Grant reporting

deadlineFast forward a number of years into the future when I was a first-time executive director for a Boys & Girls Club.

After the resource development director, who I had inherited from the previous CEO, had resigned, I hired a replacement who had good pledge drive and event planning skills. Unfortunately, he lacked grant writing experience. I quickly concluded that I was the organization’s best writer, and I took over grant writing responsibilities.

As a former newspaper editor in a previous life, I knew how to write and took to grant writing like a baby duck takes to water. In short order, I fell into the routine of “research, cultivate, write” (aka rinse, later, repeat). And when we received funding, I turned everything over to one of my direct reports who was responsible for operations.

Whenever I handed over a grant, I always sat down with the operations director and reviewed the grant deliverables. I clearly explained what needed to be done (e.g. hiring, program planning, scheduling, kid recruiting, program promotion, outcomes measurement, etc). I also shared reporting deadlines from the funding partner.

As with the aforementioned annual campaign story, I walked away from those meetings knowing the who, what, where, when and why were as clear as possible. Everyone knew what needed to happen and by when.

Or so I thought.

I’ll never forget the first time a funder called me asking where our close-out report was and why we had missed the last few quarterly deadlines.

Even though it had been a few years between the lesson I had learned with my annual campaign volunteers and the staff supervision story pertaining to grant management and reporting, I still had obviously not learned the simple truism that delegating action items doesn’t mean I’m allowed to wash my hands of them.

Where is that time machine when you really need it?

delorean time machineSometimes when I daydream, I see myself standing outside my house in the street with Dr. Emmitt Brown (aka Christopher Lloyd’s character in Back to the Future), waiting for the lighting storm so I can jump into that DeLorean Time Machine. I know exactly where in the past I would first point myself.

It would be either immediately before my first FOS annual campaign kickoff meeting. Or it would be right before one of the staff meetings when I handed off grant materials to the operations director. <sigh>

I also know exactly what I’d say to my younger-fundraising-self if I had the opportunity:

  • Never remove deadlines from your calendar even though you might delegated reporting to others
  • Use your Microsoft Outlook task list and set future reminders to yourself about checking-in with employees who were tasked with reporting
  • Include campaign goal amounts + deadlines + meeting dates/times in the campaign volunteer description to help set expectations during the recruitment process in order to help volunteers determine whether or not they are able to do what you’re asking them to do
  • Schedule in-person “report meetings” every few weeks throughout the annual campaign where volunteers are asked to share their progress (or lack thereof) with each other
  • Email campaign reports illustrating how the overall campaign is performing as well as how individuals are doing compared to each other

<Sigh> If I only knew then what I know now.  😉


If you are a non-profit blogger who wants to participate in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and submit a post for consideration on this month’s carnival theme, click here to read the “call for submissions” post I published last week. It should answer all of your questions and clearly explain how to submit your entry. If not, then simply email me and I’ll be happy to help.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Advice to my younger-fundraising-self about email usage


blog carnivalThis month DonorDreams is hosting the nationally acclaimed Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and this month’s theme is: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?” As I’ve done each of the last three year’s when I’ve hosted the carnival, I plan on focusing this month’s DonorDreams blog posts on the topic as a way to help inspire other non-profit bloggers to submit posts for consideration. The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is scheduled to go live on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Today’s time machine post involves a younger me who learned a valuable lesson about how not to use email. Enjoy!


emailAhhhh, yes. I remember this embarrassing lesson very well. It occurred in the late 1990s when I was a young Boy Scout professional who was responsible for membership management, district-wide programming, local unit support and fundraising for a small suburban district in the Northwest Chicago suburbs. It was the 20th Century and the idea of email was new and evolving as a way to communicate with non-profit volunteers.

As a young GenX non-profit professional, I took to email like a duck takes to water. At the time, I thought this technology must have been sent from heaven because it was a solution to all of my volunteer management.

  • Snail mail was too slow when it came to getting fundraising volunteers annual campaign progress reports
  • FAX transmissions were only available to some volunteers, if their office had a FAX machine, and it wasn’t always acceptable to send someone something “not business-related” to their workplace
  • Phone calls to check-in on fundraising volunteers took lots of time and the amount of “phone tag” was maddening
  • Face-to-face meetings were great for doing collaborative work (e.g. planning, prospect evaluation, prospect assignment, etc), but . . .  if the agenda didn’t seem important or substantive enough, and only included updates, then many people wouldn’t show up

So, it felt like email solved a lot of issues facing my younger-fundraising-self.

  • I sent out annual campaign update reports via email
  • I sent out meeting notices via email
  • I asked volunteers for information via email
  • I would even drop volunteers notes with reminders or requests via email

The more I used email, the more it felt like a “communications tool“. What I failed to understand was email is only an “information technology” tool.

email graphicTo better understand what I just said, I will use a simple analogy . . .

Email is akin to the the envelope that you put a letter into. It is a vehicle to deliver a letter, report, etc. Email is NOT akin to the actual letter that you place inside of an envelope.

If I could go back in time and give my younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, it would be . . . DO NOT use email to have conversations with volunteers about things that are better done in-person or on the phone.

As I write these words, I am remembering an email I sent a volunteer. She was a great volunteer, but she and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on the need to start a second Cub Scout Pack at an elementary school to alleviate overcrowding at the existing unit. It got to the point where she simply stopped returning my calls, which is when I started sending emails.

I won’t go into details because they are embarrassing. As you can imagine:

  • I tried to be clear with my reasons, but I came across as lecturing
  • I referenced our previous discussions and tackled her objections, but I came across as confrontational
  • I explained how this impacted my annual performance plan, which made it personal and cast me in the role of a selfish person rather than a mission-focused professional

You get the picture. <sigh> It was your basic email nightmare. And a few minutes after clicking the send button, I then learned the “recall email” function on the 20th Century version of dial-up AOL was a joke and didn’t work the way I thought it did.

The volunteer didn’t receive the email very well. I can’t imagine that anyone would. While she didn’t respond, she did resign her volunteer position. She never spoke to me again, but she did share the story with any volunteer who would listen. She also spoke to my executive director and forwarded the email to him. <ouch>

To this day, I have a hard time telling this story. It was a painful lesson to learn, and I sometimes find myself re-learning the same lesson with friends when I become careless and thoughtless with email threads and forget that “tone” cannot be heard in emails.

terminator time travelSometimes, when I’m daydreaming, I imagine myself in a time machine going back to 1999 to have a serious conversation about email usage with my younger-fundraising-self. I also sometimes wonder if it would be helpful to take a page out of the Arnold Shwarzenegger Terminator movies by traveling back in time to sabotage the work of the person who created email.  😉

Do you have a story/experience with email that you’d be willing to share? Are there tips or guidelines you personally use to guide your decision-making around email vs. phone vs. meeting? If so, then please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences. Why? Because we can all learn from each other.

(Note: You might also want to check out a post titled “Email vs. Phone Call vs. Face-to-Face” on the Leader Impact blog and all of the great links to other online articles embedded in that post.)


If you are a non-profit blogger who wants to participate in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and submit a post for consideration on this month’s carnival theme, click here to read the “call for submissions” post I published last week. It should answer all of your questions and clearly explain how to submit your entry. If not, then simply email me and I’ll be happy to help.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Nonprofit Blog Carnival call for submissions: Advice to your younger-fundraising-self


blog carnivalIn a nutshell, the Nonprofit Blog Carnival is an online traveling show of non-profit bloggers. Each month one blogger hosts the carnival and asks their fellow non-profit bloggers to submit a published post from their blog focused on a particular topic. The benefit to this approach is that readers are able to get a large concentration of advice and resources from a variety of non-profit thought-leaders all in one place.

I am honored and privileged to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival for a fourth year in a row.

As has been the tradition ever since Kivi Leroux Miller founded the Carnival in 2006, the host publishes a “Call for submissions” at the beginning of the month. In that post, the following is explained:

  • theme
  • deadlines
  • fun or special rules in order to be considered for inclusion
  • deadlines
  • how and what to submit

In the space below, I will walk you through all of these things for the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. Now please excuse me, while I step up to the online carnival main stage and proclaim to the world:

Step right up! The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is live and we’re gonna do the time warp again!

If you are looking for a link to last month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival hosted by Allyson Kapin at RAD Campaign, click here to read more about what the non-profit blogosphere had to say about “Reaching Millennials And Beyond“.

I hope you are ready for a fun Nonprofit Blog Carnival in April. If so, please keep reading to learn more.  😉


If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?

back to futureA few months ago I was onsite with a client and found myself working with a young fundraising professional. They hadn’t been on the job for long. In fact, their background wasn’t even in resource development. If my memory serves me well, then I think they had a college degree and an internship’s worth of experience in marketing or public relations.

My work with this organization was focused on a particular fundraising campaign, and the “issue of the hour” had to do with the level of engagement (or lack thereof) of their campaign volunteers. After spending a little time with this new fundraising professional, I discovered their love of email to communicate with volunteers. So, I spent much of my time talking about the value of report meetings, rallies, update reports and phone calls instead of a constant stream of emails.

back to future2Later that evening, I was working from the hotel room with the television chirping away in the background. One of the “Back to the Future” movies was the evening feature. Ignoring Michael J. Fox and focusing instead on my work from earlier in the day, I started thinking about all of the fundraising mistakes I had made (and hopefully learned from) when I was younger.

And then something spectacular happened both on the television set as well as in my head. Christopher Lloyd’s character, Dr. Emmett Brown, successfully completed one of his time travel experiments and I found myself thinking:

If only time travel was possible. There are so many things I would tell my younger-fundraising-self!

My very next thought was . . . “Holy cow! THAT would be an awesome topic for a Nonprofit Blog Carnival. I would LOVE to read what some of the blogosphere’s best non-profit bloggers (e.g. Pamela Grow, Marc Pitman, Jeff Brooks, Gail Perry, etc) would go back in time to tell their younger-fundraising-selves.

So, there you have it bloggers!

The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival theme is all about:

“What one piece of advice would you give your younger-fundraising-self if time travel was possible?”

If you aren’t a fundraising blogger, you are welcome to adjust the theme to what one piece of advice would you give your younger-nonprofit-self”.

I encourage bloggers to be specific. Perhaps, you could consider telling us about a situation from your early days as a fundraiser or non-profit professional that was challenging and what you would travel back in time to tell yourself that would’ve made a difference.

Obviously, it is your blog and you may do whatever you please within the parameters of this month’s theme.

Special rules in place for April submissions

bill and tedLet’s have a little fun with this topic. It lends itself nicely to it. Right?  😉

It hasn’t been unusual for me in the past to get a ton of submissions for consideration. On a few occasions, I had to exclude some bloggers because there were too many posts from which to choose.

In order to stimulate a little creativity this month, I will give “special bonus points” to bloggers who include a reference to a time travel movie or build their entire post around such a motion picture.

terminator time travelThere are literally tons of movies from which you could choose. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Back to the Future
  • Terminator
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures
  • Star Trek
  • Hot Tube Time Machine
  • Austin Powers

And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Since this topic is very broad, I encourage you to focus on a time when you were young and working on a project such as writing a resource development plan, capital campaigns, annual campaigns, special events, planned giving, board development, marketing, program development/implementation, grant writing. Or you could drill even deeper by talking about micro-topics such as developing a case for support, prospect identification/evaluation, stewardship/retention, donor database selection, year-end board member evaluation, etc. Simply tell us about the project, your experience, the result and what you would choose to go back in a time machine and tell yourself in order to get a different result.

The sky is obviously the limit . . . so let’s get creative and have some fun!

Of course, if you aren’t into movies, that is fine. Please feel free to submit anything, and you have my assurance that I’ll include your post if there is space and if it is on topic.

How bloggers should submit their work for consideration?

austin powers time travelYou are welcome to write your blog post anytime during the month of May (or even submit a post you may have previously published); however, I must receive your submission by the end of the day on Monday, April 25, 2016:

How do you submit? Simply email the following information to nonprofitcarnival[at]gmail[dot]com:

  • Your name
  • The URL of your post
  • A two of three sentence summary of your post

We will publish the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Thursday, April 28, 2016 right here at DonorDreams blog.

May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival — You Are the Future of Philanthropy


I am so honored and privileged to be hosting my third Nonprofit Blog Carnival. On May 4th, I published a “call for submissions” aimed at non-profit and fundraising bloggers that piggybacked on Katherine Fulton’s 2007 TED Talks presentation titled “You Are the future of philanthropy“. You are invited to click-through to view that presentation before checking out what this month’s bloggers submitted (this would be like going to the cotton candy stand before getting on the roller coaster at your local carnival. LOL).

Katherine Fulton

 

If you didn’t have time to watch Katherine Fulton’s video (and you’re trying to skip through to the “good stuff”), then just know that she covered lots and lots of ground with regard to the future of philanthropy including:

  • A new generation of citizen leaders
  • The democratization of philanthropy
  • Mass collaboration
  • Online Philanthropy Marketplaces
  • Aggregated Giving
  • Innovation Competitions
  • Social Investing
  • The Social Singularity

With such a diversity of topics to tackle, submissions to this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival covered lots of ground. The following 14 bloggers all paint an interesting vision of the future, and they put a resounding exclamation mark on Katherine Fulton’s point that we’re all the future of philanthropy albeit in a multitude of ways.

I hope you enjoy this month’s carnival!


NPBlogCarnivalBanner

Move over Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y donors, here comes Gen Z.  Beth Kanter highlights this school-aged generation in Beth’s Blog and challenges some assumptions that this generation is decades away from being philanthropically engaged. I especially love some of the examples of “PhilanthroKids” and their crowdfunding projects.

Jay Love is the co-founder and CEO at Bloomerang as well as the chairman of the AFP Ethics Committee. He blogs about “5 Reasons Why Nonprofits Need Incubators Too,” which speaks to the of democratization of philanthropy and mass collaboration at an organizational level (Many thought-leaders approach this topic from a donor perspective, but Jay adds an interesting angle on this subject by coming at it from an organizational perspective. Very thought provoking!)

Ve Le is the blogger at Nonprofit With Balls and his post “Winter is coming, and the donor-centric fundraising model must evolve” will get people talking this month. He opines that the donor-centric model is great, but there is a danger in focusing too much on donors. We risk underestimating our donors, elevating them and our individual non-profits at the cost of focusing on the community as a whole. The non-profit sector must move from the donor-centric model to the community-centric model unless it wants to freeze and starve to death.

Ever since the #IceBucketChallenge, many donors and non-profits are now trying to integrate social media into their fundraising plans (need we even mention #RedNoseDay?!?). The CauseVox Blog‘s Kat Kuehl provides tips on developing the perfect hashtag for your crowdfunding campaign because you aren’t going viral without an awesome-catchy-unique hashtag. It only feels appropriate to end this summary by saying #AwesomeSauce.

Randy Hawthorne explains to us over at Nonprofit Hub that what’s new in the world of philanthropy is what was once considered old. It’s what we always should be doing for donors—building our tribes (A special thanks to Seth Godin for re-introducing many of us to a tribal way of thinking).

On the Wild Apricot Blog, Lori Halley tells us that philanthropy is changing and change can be hard. But she believes there is a willingness to change and is hopeful that “the new generation of citizen leaders” can optimize the “convergence of forces” to ensure a bright future for philanthropy.

Tony Martignetti, host of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio, interviewed Maria Semple of The Prospect Finder on the growing popularity and value of giving circles and how to tap into them in your community.

Nonprofit Evolution‘s Dani Robbins writes that we are each the future of philanthropy and can all be philanthropists. New technology brings new opportunities, yet relationship building still rules the day.  Engage. Ask. Receive. Repeat.

In the digital age, with the pace of change accelerated, Claire Axelrad at Clairification tell us that leadership is about embracing creativity and partnering to solve problems that can’t be solved in silos. This means inspiring others to take a chance with you and, sometimes, transforming your modus operandi.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This quotation is what Ken Goldstein at The Nonprofit Consultant Blog wrestles with as he dissects Katherine Fulton’s TED Talks presentation. At the end of his post, Ken shares four interesting predictions about the future.

It’s tempting for nonprofit organizations to latch on to the latest craze. But sometimes we need to take a step back. Ann Green reports in Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog that you can find success by giving your donors the personal touch and good old-fashioned relationship building. The future of philanthropy is already here and it is found in how you build your relationships.

American City Bureau (ACB) is one of the country’s oldest fundraising firms, and Daniel Mollsen’s interview with Bob Hotz  at “Take Five” reminds fundraising professionals the more that changes (e.g. smart phones, emails, voicemails, virtual meetings, etc) in our field of work, the more we need to work at striving for balance.

Arroyo Fundraising Fluency‘s Kathie Kramer Ryan shares her vision of the future which is focused on major donors and major gifts.

Per my promise to DonorDreams blog subscribers, I focused all of our posts in May on this carnival topic. We videotaped fundraising professionals and donors talking about Katherine Fulton’s vision of the future. Some participants even took part in the “empty picture frame exercise” at the end of Katherine’s presentation. If you have a few additional minutes, I encourage you to click-through and see/hear these touching “from the heart” testimonials:

I need to thank Marissa Garza for videotaping these individuals, and I especially appreciate those who took time out of their busy schedules to work with Marissa on this project. Thank you!!!

Lori Halley at Wild Apricot blog will be next month’s host of the next Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme will be “Motivation for the Nonprofit Nation“. She’ll be looking for any posts from bloggers with ideas, stories or tips for motivating non-profit donors, supporters, boards, volunteers, or staff. Click here for more details and how to submit your blog entry for consideration.

As I say at the end of all my blog posts . . .

Here’s to your health! (and try not to eat too much funnel cake at this month’s carnival)

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Marissa Garza


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Marissa Garza

Marissa Garza works as and volunteers for:

Being a “child of philanthropy” (e.g. Marissa’s mom has worked for a local non-profit — Marklund), Marissa has enjoyed volunteering for everything from direct care to helping with special events. She has filled her life with volunteer opportunities and other little opportunities when and where she can.

For all of these reasons, we  ask Marissa to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Marissa’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Becky Hardekopf


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Becky Hardekopf

Becky Hardekopf, Chief Relationship Officer for Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois and Founder and Past Chair of Elgin Young Professional Network, has worked in the non-profit field for over 10 years and spent another five in the for-profit sector. This helped shape her exceptional relationship building, presenting and training skills which she uses in the workplace to innovate, build teams and manage projects all in the interest of advancing philanthropy.

For all of these reasons, we thought we’d ask Becky to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Becky’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are you the future of philanthropy? Meet Danielle Ward


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Danielle Ward

Danielle Ward opened her non-profit consulting practice, DMW13 Consulting, in late 2014. Prior to this undertaking she worked or volunteered for the following non-profit organizations or consulting firms:

  • Marklund
  • Meyer Partners
  • Lake Forest Symphony Association
  • Association of Lutheran Development Executives
  • Toast of the Fox Toastmasters
  • The Renewal Center

Danielle is a CFRE who loves philanthropy. She recently joined the Fox West Philanthropy Network’s board of directors. On her LinkedIn page, she announces to the world that she proudly supports the following organizations:

For all of these reasons, we thought we’d ask her to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Danielle’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

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