Blog Archives

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 Dan Rich


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 Dan Rich

Dan helps people . . . period. And he is “philanthropic” in many ways including his career path, his volunteer choices, and his charitable giving.

As the City of Elgin’s Public Works Superintendent, Dan’s work is people-centered. His work and the work of his team represents an investment in community every single day. When it snows, they clear the roads so the rest of us can get to work and help other people. When a water main breaks, they fix it. When the streets crumble and decay, they patch it.

President John F. Kennedy cast public service in a philanthropic light when he said the following in his 1961 State of the Union speech:

“I have pledged myself and my colleagues in the cabinet to a continuous encouragement of initiative, responsibility and energy in serving the public interest. Let every public servant know, whether his post is high or low, that a man’s rank and reputation in this Administration will be determined by the size of the job he does, and not by the size of his staff, his office or his budget. Let it be clear that this Administration recognizes the value of dissent and daring — that we greet healthy controversy as the hallmark of healthy change. Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: ‘I served the United States Government in that hour of our nation’s need.'”

Of course, Dan is much more than a public servant, and his philanthropic work is varied, deep and wide. The following is a brief summary of some of his contributions to the community:

  • When Dan was on the front line of the public works department, he volunteered as an executive officer of the local SEIU union chapter.
  • When Dan was confronted with an unfairness in his daughters school district, he ran for school board, won a seat and served.
  • Dan once sat on his local United Way board of directors, and he is currently a board volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club. In addition to attending board meetings, he has volunteered his time to work with kids after-school
  • Dan has rolled up his sleeves and helped plan, organize and implement special event fundraisers. He recently chaired an annual campaign pledge drive.
  • Dan makes charitable contributions to local charities.

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

Dan’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 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

Are you the future of philanthropy? Meet Stephen Taylor


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 Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor opened his non-profit consulting practice, Taylor Philanthropic Services, in early 2015,  but he has worked in the non-profit sector for a lifetime. Starting in 1976, he joined the Boy Scouts of America as a District Executive and worked his way up all the way up the org chart to council Scout Executive, which is where he served three councils in Mount Prospect, IL; Spartanburg, SC; and Alexandria, LA. After 36 years and retiring from the BSA in 2012, he had stops at Bell Fundraising Consultants and DayOneNetwork.

Stephen is a CFRE who loves philanthropy. He co-chaired the Fox West Philanthropy Network’s Philanthropy Day in 2013 and 2014.

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

Stephen’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

Nonprofit Blog Carnival call for submissions: You are the future of philanthropy


NPBlogCarnivalBannerI am thrilled to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival this May for the third year in a row. This year’s theme is inspired by a TED Talks video filmed in 2007 of Katherine Fulton talking about the “future of philanthropy“. I’ve seen this video countless times, and I’m always inspired by it, which is why I’m using it as a springboard for non-profit bloggers this month.

Throughout the years, I cannot count the number of times I’ve spoken with non-profit friends who openly worry about who will step-up as their community’s next philanthropic movers-and-shakers. They point to the impact of globalization and how it has transferred wealth and philanthropic decision-making away from Main Street.

Watching Katherine speak reminds me there are forces at work that will likely reshape the future of our work. She talks eloquently about the “democratization of philanthropy,” which always makes me think about how the resource development tools in our exist toolbox probably need to be re-thought or tweaked.

Of course, rushing to embrace these changes too soon is fraught with peril as some bloggers like Future Fundraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks has warned us about in so many wonderful posts throughout the years.

For this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival, I’m inviting non-profit bloggers to first click-through and view Katherine’s TED Talks video and then write something inspired by her words.

Katherine Fulton

The following are just a few ideas I can imagine non-profit bloggers seizing upon as inspiration for what I anticipate will be amazing submissions to this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival:

  • Moving from closed-small-slow-fragmented-short to open-big-fast-connected-long assumptions
  • A new generation of citizen leaders
  • The democratization of philanthropy
  • Mass collaboration
  • Online Philanthropy Marketplaces
  • Aggregated Giving
  • Innovation Competitions
  • Social Investing
  • The Social Singularity

If none of these topics are appealing, I invite bloggers to participate in the picture frame exercise at the end of Katherine’s presentation.

During the month of May, DonorDreams blog is dedicating every post to bringing you videos of non-profit leaders, donors and every day people like you participating in Katherine’s picture frame exercise. If you are not a blogger but want to videotape yourself participating in the picture frame exercise, I am happy to post your vlog on my blog platform. Simply videotape yourself, upload it to YouTube and email me the link with an explanation of who you are and what town you live in.

How bloggers should submit their work for consideration?

You 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, May 25, 2015:

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 May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Thursday, May 28, 2015 right here at DonorDreams blog.

Go visit April’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival

In April, the carnival was hosted by Craig Linton at his blog — “Fundraising Detective”  The theme was “A Celebration Of SOFII – Will You Inspire Or Invest?” . He challenged bloggers to submit 100 new articles and exhibits for SOFII (Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration).

If you’re interested in seeing what some very smart and talented bloggers submitted, click here.

Miscellaneous details?

Click here to learn more about the Nonprofit Blog Carnival and sign-up for monthly reminders. If you want to view the archives, then you want to click here.

I am very much looking forward to see what you decide to do and where you decide to take this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival.

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

The 6 Questions Nonprofits Need to Ask Before Hiring an Event Manager


Lisa Green is an aspiring blogger who has graciously agreed to provide this amazing post while I am taking a much-needed vacation for the next few weeks. Thanks, Lisa!  ~Erik


lisa1An event hosted by a nonprofit is often fighting an uphill battle even before the first committee meeting is scheduled. A finite amount of funds and resources are often all that is available to these worthy causes, which makes raising money for cancer research or underprivileged children even more crucial. However, the lack of resources can leave those involved frustrated, overworked and unsure of how to make an event impactful while working under such budgetary conditions.

Even when working with such few resources, a fundraising event can be successful if a nonprofit organization has a high standard of excellence for any sponsor or company they work with rather than aiming for whoever offers the lowest price on the market. A prosperous nonprofit should instead look for sponsors, vendors and companies that can help provide excellent support and top-notch service as well as having experience working in the industry, all while being affordable.

One way to accomplish all of these goals for a fundraising party or dinner is to invest in an event manager. This might on the surface seem like an unnecessary expense, but a quality event management company will know how to make the most out of what is available as well as how to raise the most funds for a cause.

To ensure you are hiring a stellar event manager that will benefit you in the long run, you will need to do your research. In particular, you will need to know what specific questions to ask to help you determine exactly what you’re getting when you hire a company.

Do you know how to work with a nonprofit budget?

An event manager should never ask you to spend outside of your budget. Instead he or she should maximize the amount of funds you have and help you make your gathering look like it cost far more than it actually did.

Verifying that your event management company has worked in the industry previously and asking for specific references or companies they’ve worked with will let you know if they have this capability and if they can provide all that they claim.

What is your experience with fundraising and money collection?

A huge portion of a fundraising event is collecting and keeping track of donations. This can be a tricky business, particularly when working with promised amounts and personal information.

That’s why it is crucial for to verify that an event planning company has a clear plan on collecting funds from your supporters. Whether that is through a verified mobile bidding service that allows you to collect bids from around the globe or a paper-based system that focuses on the crowd in front of you, your event planners should have a sterling reputation with money as well as a clear plan for when you will receive your donations.

It is also important to verify that your event planners have certain connections and abilities to help save you money in the long run. For example, a smaller business might have to pay a large fee for your guests to pay with a certain credit card, but a company with a relationship with that particular card can save you from paying such a large charge.

How involved are you?

This is how you can determine if you are getting a day-of coordinator or a planning partner. An event company that gets involved from the beginning is preferable to one that comes in late in the game, as an involved planner will know your budget, help you craft a doable timeline and will care about your cause as much as you do.

lisa2How can you improve our donations?

Part of the appeal of hiring an event planner for a nonprofit fundraising event is the idea that if the event runs more smoothly and looks more enticing, donations will increase. The company you hire should be able to outline a clear way in which they can help you earn more for your cause, be it a specific marketing plan or an online payment method for auctions.

Do you have any guarantees on your technology?

Should the event planning company have any technology that they offer to employ for your event, be it a customized website or an online auction app, you will need a formal promise that the company has a back-up plan in case of an emergency. This guarantee should come in the form of a service-level agreement (SLA) that details specific ways the company will ensure that you do not lose money in case of a power outage or other disaster.

For example, with a mobile-bidding app, an event-planning company should plan in case of bad cell reception. A SLA would detail what would be done in this case, such as installing cell signal repeaters to ensure constant coverage.

How do you improve guest experience?

Earning money for a good cause is obviously the primary goal of any fundraising event, but it is also important to create an atmosphere that helps attendees enjoy themselves. These event planners should help you plan games or entertainment, as well as help ramp up competition on auctions to help increase donations and interaction among the attendees.

A great event planning company for a nonprofit should do more than just contact caterers or set up a silent auction. They should put the cause first and respect the needs of a nonprofit, ensuring that your charity earns the most donations possible to accomplish the true goal of this event – helping those in need.

LisaGreen

“Hangin’ with Henry” and talking about group solicitation strategies


It is the first Thursday of the month, which can only mean one thing at DonorDreams blog. We’re “Hangin’ With Henry” today and talking about fundraising shortcuts like the group solicitation.  

For those of you who subscribe to DonorDreams blog and get notices by email, you will want to click this link to view this month’s featured YouTube video. If you got here via your web browser, then you can click on the video graphic below.

After listening to Henry for the last 6 minutes, I was transported back in time to my earliest fundraising solicitations as a District Executive working for Boy Scouts of America’s Northwest Suburban Council. While part of their Friends of Scouting annual campaign pledge drive model was based on in-person, one-on-one, face-to-face solicitation, the bigger part of it was group solicitations in front of gatherings of parents at Cub Scout Pack Nights and Boy Scout Court of Honor events.

I honestly don’t miss dragging the old slide projector and screen all of the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. LOL

As I listened to Henry, everything rang true. I learned the hard way that highly capable donors lowered their philanthropic sights when solicited in a group setting.

I also remember learning that the smallest dollar amount mentioned during my presentation usually resulted in scads of pledge cards with that number on it. It was with this lesson that I re-trained myself to do the following during my group asks:

  • Stop saying: “Even a gift of $25 makes a difference.”
  • Start saying: “People who pledge $150 tonight will walk out with a complimentary Norman Rockwell coffee mug.”
  • Bring a box of donated chotskies (e.g. yo-yo’s, baseball cards, etc) and tell parents their kids were welcome to a free gift if they allowed them to bring their pledge cards to the front of the room.

Ahhhhh, those were fun days when fundraising was new to me and every day brought a new lesson.  :-)

(Note: Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m not very proud of some of the group solicitation tactics I employed even though I became one lean, mean group solicitation machine compared to my fellow co-workers. Needless to say, I was nothing more than a transactional fundraiser who couldn’t say “donor-centered” if I tried.)

Henry did indicate there can be an appropriate time and place for your organization to employ a group solicitation strategy. For example, some non-profit organizations are very successful with Terry Axelrod’s annual campaign model that you might know as Benevon.

If your organization uses a group solicitation fundraising strategy, please scroll down to the comment box and answer one of the following questions:

  • under what circumstances do you use a group solicitation?
  • what are a few “lessons learned” that you feel comfortable sharing?
  • how do you ensure that larger donors aren’t lost in the shuffle and contribute less?
  • how do you create a sense of urgency for donors to ink their pledge cards on the spot?
  • what post-solicitation follow-up strategies do you use with pledge cards that walked out the door?
  • what pre-solicitation cultivation strategies and post-solicitation stewardship strategies work best for you?

Please take a minute to share your thoughts and experiences.

If you want to purchase a complete set of videos or other fundraising resources from Henry Freeman, you can do so by visiting the online store at H. Freeman Associates LLC. You can also sign-up for quarterly emails with a FREE online video and discussion guide by clicking here.

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

Do you want to improve your fundraising event?


Kari Kiel of DoJiggy reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d be willing to let her periodically guest blog on my site. As I have done from the start, I’m  thrilled to allow other voices access to this space such as Marissa Garza, John Greco, Dani Robbins, Mike Johnson as well as others. I’ve always received rave reviews from those of you who I know about our guest bloggers. I’m confident you’ll love Kari as much as you have the others. Enjoy!    ~Erik

6 Tips to Help Your Nonprofit Achieve Better Results at Your Next Fundraiser

By Kari Kiel of DoJiggy 
Guest blogger

In order to be successful in your fundraising efforts, it’s important to create a solid fundraising plan. Fundraising is not just about sending a donation request letter to your donor database and then waiting for donations to come to you. It’s much more strategic. It’s about effective communication, planning and leadership, managing time and resources efficiently, integrating new ways of reaching out to existing supporters and tapping into new potential supporters.

kari1

Below we share six tips to help your organization achieve better fundraising results through strategic planning:

  1.  Choose Your Campaign Wisely

Before you get started planning a fundraising event, you must choose your campaign. Of utmost importance is making sure the campaign theme and type of fundraiser makes sense for your cause. Explore a variety of fundraising event ideas to find the perfect one for your organization.

Consider the following:

  • Mission alignment: does the chosen campaign communicate your mission and/or cause? if you are an organization promoting health and wellness, perhaps your campaign should mirror that mission by offering a walk-a-thon or fundraising campaign that promotes well-being in addition to raising funds
  • External factors: what time of year is it? Are people anxious to get outside where a walk-a-thon or golf tournament might be the right fit? What’s the state of the economy like? Are budgets tight? if so, consider seeking smaller investment amounts from a larger pool of donors rather than hosting an extravagant gala event.
  1. Setting & Monitoring Goals

kari2What goals do you hope to achieve with your fundraising campaign? In addition to raising funds, what else do you hope to accomplish: spread awareness, gain new supporters, strengthen relationships, etc. Jot down your goals as this will shed light on the activities that will follow.

Here are some examples of goal setting:

  • If you wish to spread awareness of your cause and gain new followers, then perhaps an online fundraising campaign is right for you. With a crowdfunding initiative (or peer-to-peer fundraising campaign), you engage participants to help spread the word through their networks via numerous social channels. This attracts funds from a much larger pool of potential donors by spreading your message beyond typical channels.
  • Perhaps your goals are more focused on strengthening relationships with existing donors. If this is the case, maybe a gala fundraising event or celebrity golf tournament is a better choice. You invite select VIPs and treat them to a night of entertainment and appreciation. Money can be raised through ticket sales, a silent auction, contests, and more.

Another part of goal-setting is monitoring progress. You should consistently be aware of where you are relative to your goal. When using fundraising software, fundraising thermometers can help you see where you are relative to your goals and also give you an opportunity to highlight top performers, thus motivating others.

  1. Budget & Resources

Be sure to choose a fundraising campaign that’s within your means. What budget do you have for planning your campaign? If it’s pretty small, perhaps an online donation drive or charity auction might be the perfect fit, as these have lower associated costs.

What about resources? How many people will be working on the fundraiser? Do you have a leadership team to help plan and manage or is it left to just one or two people? Consider your network and your board of directors. Are there any ties to local businesses that might be interested in sponsoring the event? Consider any way you might be able to creatively minimize expenses: Use volunteers whenever possible, use online channels to spread the word (rather than paying postage), and seek donated items for raffle prizes or charity auctions. You may also wish to ask businesses to donate items that typically cost you money (i.e. printing, signage, or decorations) In exchange, you can offer them exposure at the event.

  1. Outreach

kari3Who is your target market and where can you find them? Are they active online? If so, make sure you have a fundraising website that’s attractive and easy to navigate. Then not only will you want to make sure your message gets broadcast through online channels, but also make sure it’s easy for people to share your message. Use social sharing widgets & post cool imagery and videos that draw people in. Give people an incentive to help you spread the word. Award people who raise the most funds or drive the most traffic to your website. Look to relevant social media groups that are already invested in your cause and may be more likely to give back. Don’t forget about online channels such as online community groups, local email lists, online calendar of events listings, etc. Leverage existing connections by asking them to tap into their networks.

If your event is a local attraction (such as a charity golf tournament or local fundraising event) seek local media coverage. Invite media to attend the event and you’ll get some free press and increased awareness. You may also want to put posters up in local stores, mass transport or community centers. Don’t forget about pitching local businesses for sponsorship. They love the opportunity to get their products and services out in front of a receptive local community and in exchange, you can raise money through sponsorship fees and take advantage of their help promoting the event.

  1. Be Organized.

Of utmost importance is being prepared. Create a fundraising calendar and checklist to make sure you are staying on track. Most fundraisers require starting at least 6 months out! By planning ahead, you can ensure sufficient lead time for publicizing and preparing for these events. Situations change, so remaining flexible is essential; however, by scheduling events well in advance you can be certain that everything is in place and ready to help make your fundraising activities successful.

Use fundraising software! There’s no need to create excel spreadsheets and file folders of all your to-do items. With fundraising software, your planning team can use a back-end administration area to manage all the details of the event. They can publish and update information, post announcements, and generate numerous reports. Your organization becomes much more efficient by using a software service. Instead of manually taking registration cards, participants can sign up online and automatically get added to your database and communication list. You can also collect online donations with credit cards instead of manually dealing with cash. Progress is tracked in real-time; as each donation is made your fundraising thermometer rises.

  1. Evaluation

Keep comprehensive records of the entire planning process. See what you did right and what could be improved on. By maintaining records of each contact with potential donors and the work that has been done in your fundraising efforts, you can ensure that you are not duplicating efforts or neglecting to follow up with interested donors. You may want to survey those who were involved. Find out what participants liked about the process. If you utilized fundraising software, did they find the website user-friendly? Did you see donations increase with the ability to accept contributions online? Make use of Google Analtyics®. Your fundraising website can show you were traffic came from. This can help you see which social channels were most effective, or if you received leads from a particular partner or media channel.

In Summary

Strategic fundraising can help your organization be more efficient in your planning efforts. It can also help you maintain a solid reputation in the eyes of your supporters. By managing your fundraising strategy effectively, you can ensure greater financial stability while hosting more lucrative fundraising campaigns.
kari blog sig

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,517 other followers

%d bloggers like this: