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Why your organization should worry about Haiti and Charleston, SC


In the last few days, there have been a confluence of blogs, emails and news stories that got me thinking about the state of donor confidence in the non-profit sector and the increasing importance of practicing stewardship. I’m going to use the rest of this blog post to share with you exactly what has me spooked. I will also end with a link to an awesome blog post by Marc Pitman talking about what you should do about all of this. So, sit back, relax and get ready to roll up your sleeves!

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

I am currently on the road visiting a client and couldn’t sleep a few nights ago. Whenever this happens, I’m usually dialed into Comedy Central watching late night shows like The Daily Show and The Nightly Show.

I was jolted awake when Larry Wilmore cut into the Red Cross for its $500 million Haiti earthquake relief fundraising efforts, which allegedly resulted in very little relief. If you missed the show, you might want to click-through to hulu and view this segment.

wilmore

I know your organization isn’t the Red Cross, but you should still be concerned. Donor confidence is kinda/sorta like consumer confidence. When consumer confidence sinks, every business suffers and the economy slumps. Similarly, when donor confidence wanes, all of our organizations are put under the spotlight and questioned by donors.

Charleston massacre

bbbAs I’ve already explained, I couldn’t sleep, and the Red Cross story by Larry Wilmore rattled me to my non-profit core.

So, I flipped over to a cable news channel only to discover somebody walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and opened fire with a gun killing nine Bible study participants.

It didn’t take 24 hours before the online fundraising solicitations started arriving in my inbox. The first one was a friend forwarding me U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ request to make a contribution directly to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in their time of need. It really was a nice appeal.

However, no sooner did I open the forwarded email from Sen. Sanders, when I received another email from Jasmine Turner at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance. Here is what the bulk of her email advised me to do with regards to funding requests pertaining to the “Charleston Massacre“:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to give thoughtfully and avoid those seeking to take advantage of the generosity of others. Here are BBB WGA’s tips for trusted giving:

1. Thoughtful Giving: Take the time to check out the charity to avoid wasting your generosity by donating to a questionable or poorly managed effort. The first request for a donation may not be the best choice. Be proactive and find trusted charities that are providing assistance.
2. State Government Registration: About 40 of the 50 states require charities to register with a state government agency (usually a division of the State Attorney General’s office) before they solicit for charitable gifts. If the charity is not registered, that may be a significant red flag.
3. Respecting Victims and Their Families: Organizations raising funds should get permission from the families to use either the names of the victims and/or any photographs of them. Some charities raising funds for the victims of previous shootings did not do this and were the subject of criticism from victims’ families.
4. How Will Donations Be Used? Watch out for vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, how will the donations help victims’ families? Also, unless told otherwise, donors will assume that funds collected quickly in the wake of a tragedy will be spent just as quickly. See if the appeal identifies when the collected funds will be used.
5. What if a Family Sets Up Its Own Assistance Fund? Some families may decide to set up their own assistance funds. Be mindful that such funds may not be set up as charities. Also, make sure that collected monies are received and administered by a third party such as a bank, CPA or lawyer. This will help provide oversight and ensure the collected funds are used appropriately (e.g., paying for funeral costs, counseling, and other tragedy-related needs.)
6. Advocacy Organizations: Tragedies that involve violent acts with firearms can also generate requests from a variety of advocacy organizations that address gun use. Donors can support these efforts as well but note that some of these advocacy groups are not tax exempt as charities. Also, watch out for newly created advocacy groups that will be difficult to check out.
7. Online Cautions: Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer. Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook, blogs or other social media have already been vetted.
8. Financial Transparency: After funds are raised for a tragedy, it is even more important for organizations to provide an accounting of how funds were spent. Transparent organizations will post this information on their websites so that anyone can find out and not have to wait until the audited financial statements are available sometime in the future.
9. Newly Created or Established Organizations: This is a personal giving choice, but an established charity will more likely have the experience to quickly address the circumstances and have a track record that can be evaluated. A newly formed organization may be well-meaning but will be difficult to check out and may not be well managed.
10. Tax Deductibility: Not all organizations collecting funds to assist this tragedy are tax exempt as charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors can support these other entities but keep this in mind if they want to take a deduction for federal income tax purposes. In addition, contributions that are donor-restricted to help a specific individual/family are not deductible as charitable donations, even if the recipient organization is a charity.

An email like this is surely proof that donor confidence is on the decline.

If I were on the front line running a non-profit, I’d be looking for ways to be proactive and inoculate my organization from this problem.

Invest in stewardship

respectRecently, I’ve become frustrated by the word “stewardship” because every time I say it, the conversation immediately veers in the direction of gift acknowledgement letters, annual reports, thank-a-thon events, etc. While these things are important and necessary, the fact of the matter is that recognition is only a part of stewardship.

So, I went digging in my toolbox and pulled out an old (and very dusty) training curriculum I previously used when I was an internal consultant working for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). In only the very first few PowerPoint slides, I came across the following definition of “stewardship“:

“Stewardship is process whereby a non-profit cares for and protects its philanthropic support – its gifts and the donors who give them – in a way that responds to the donor’s expectations and respects the act of giving.”

In addition to acknowledgement and recognition, the training curriculum went into other stewardship concepts like:

  • legal compliance (e.g. state registration, etc)
  • pledge/gift recordkeeping (including donor intent)
  • transparency & communication (e.g. demonstrating how gifts are used and if impact is being achieved)
  • policy development & organizational capacity (e.g. board engagement and governance)

The benefits of doing “stewardship” in its entirety, thoroughly and correctly are:

  • ensuring future support (aka maintaining high donor loyalty)
  • remaining in good legal standing (aka not running aground with the government)
  • supporting volunteers (aka no surprises builds confidence, improves solicitation and retains volunteers)
  • it is the morally and ethically right thing to do

Organizational exercise

marcI went looking online for other non-profit consultants and bloggers with ideas to share. So, I wasn’t surprised when I came across a similar post from Marc Pitman (otherwise known as The Fundraising Coach). He also talks about Haiti and the Red Cross, and at the end of his blog post he lays out an awesome 30 minute exercise you can facilitate in your boardroom or with your resource development committee.

Marc’s post is titled “The Red Cross and Glass Houses,” and it is definitely worth the click. Don’t just read it . . . DO THE EXERCISE!

Have you recently had an uncomfortable conversation with a donor or supporter? Are you getting questioned a little more about how you’re spending money and whether or not you’re getting the results you promised? If so, please scroll down and tell us what your organization is doing about it. We can all learn from each other.

On a somber note, I would be remiss if I didn’t end this post by expressing my condolences and sympathies to those families and friends who lost loved ones in yet another senseless act of domestic terrorism inspired by racism.

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

Looking for motivation? Show up for your non-monetary paydays


calgonLet’s face it. Working in the non-profit sector can feel like a grind. Compensation is typically less than what can be made in the for-profit sector. Clients can be challenging. Donors are awesome people, but getting them what they want and need can be difficult. Managing the day-to-day affairs of a resource strapped organization can leave you mumbling those words you learned from a bubble bath television commercial in the 1970s and 1980s, “Calgon, take me away!

When I was a young Boy Scout professional almost 20 years ago, I received some great advice from my boss. He urged me to always show up for non-monetary paydays, which he believed were Eagle Scout ceremonies. He said attending those events reminded him of why he does what he does, and they always wiped those gray skies away.

Truth be told, I thought he was full of it when shared that advice with me. However, I discovered that I was jaded and he was right. It is a lesson I will never forget.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago . . .

I received an invitation to this year’s Elgin Community College commencement ceremony from LaShaunda (Clark) Jordan, who was the 2001 Youth of the Year (YOY) recipient at Boys & Girls Clubs of Elgin, which is where I was the executive director from 2000-06.

Sitting in the ECC field house waiting for things to get started, I found myself taking a walk down memory lane with regards to LaShaunda. Here is some of what was rolling through my head:

I was a relatively new executive director, and LaShaunda was the first kid to receive the YOY honor on my watch. I had also decided to change our annual dinner format from a Steak-n-Burger dinner to a Distinguished Citizens theme, and our Youth of the Year was going to take the stage with other important and influential community leaders. So, I personally rolled up my sleeves and helped front line staff prepare LaShaunda for her big speech and memorable evening.

I remembered pacing the back of the banquet hall as LaShaunda spoke to a room of 300 people. I was really nervous because we had all of the right people in the room, and LaShaunda’s big night was an equally big night for our organization.

And then it happened.

LaShaunda stopped talking. The electricity in the room brought people to their feet. Two or three incredibly influential community leaders and donors were wiping tears from their cheeks.

Our little known organization, which I just spent a difficult year managing, had arrived, and it did so thanks to its 16-year-old YOY recipient.

lashaunda2I thought that day back in 2001 was a huge non-monetary payday for me, but I realized how wrong I was while waiting for the ECC graduation event to get started. As the Class of 2015 filed into the gymnasium, LaShaunda took her seat on the main stage because she was the commencement speaker. Sitting among her proud family members, this is what I learned (much of which I knew but some I did not):

  • LaShaunda is an air force veteran
  • She met her husband, James, during her time in the air force and they are happily married
  • They have three beautiful children
  • Thanks to G.I. bill benefits, LaShaunda and James are in school pursuing college degrees and living the American dream.
  • LaShaunda is enrolled at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in the fall where she plans on completing work on a bachelor’s degree
  • While at ECC, LaShaunda was a student leader who was involved in the Black Students Association and was nominated as the 2014-15 Woman of the Year on campus
  • She just put her cancer in remission

It is the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Hindsight is 20/20, and the Distinguished Citizens Dinner wasn’t my non-monetary payday. It was the ECC graduation event.

LaShaunda was kind and gave me and the Club a little shout out from the podium. While that was awesome, what I really found motivational was learning that LaShaunda is reaching her full potential as a productive, caring, responsible citizen.

All of those tough days on the front line were worth it. At the end of the graduation ceremony, I actually found myself wondering when/if I might find my way back to the front line some day.

I want to use today’s DonorDreams blog platform to publicly thank LaShaunda for sharing her amazing day with an old friend. It meant more to me than she ever could possibly imagine.

I’m also hoping non-profit professionals who read this blog seek out their non-monetary paydays. They most likely exist all around you and occur more often than you think.

In my opinion, these types of opportunities are what motivates “Nonprofit Nation“.

By the way, if you think these mission-focused events are motivational for people who work for non-profit organizations, please trust me when I say they are equally impactful for donors.

Do you have a non-monetary payday that you’d like to share? Please scroll down and do so in the comment box below.

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 from experts on donor stewardship


stewardship task listA few weeks ago I received an email from NonProfitEasy blog asking me to provide some “expert advice” for non-profits on the topic of donor stewardship. They said it was for their blog. They flattered me a little bit. So, I did what they asked of me. I was very busy at the time and didn’t really spend very much time figuring out what they were doing or how my submission would be used.

And then I received a follow-up email today informing me that their post went live. I clicked through out of curiosity, and the first thing I saw was a big headline saying:

“Donor Stewardship Expert Advice from 29 Industry Leaders”

Oh my . . . that is a lot of “experts“. And, of course, I couldn’t resist clicking through to see who else had submitted advice. Upon clicking the link, I saw names like:

  • Tom Ahern
  • Kivi Leroux Miller
  • Craig Linton
  • Claire Axelrad
  • Joe Garecht
  • Marc Pitman

These are some of the non-profit sector’s biggest consulting names, and they are all people for whom I have tons of respect. The following is just a small taste of what industry leaders said:

KIVI LEROUX MILER, PRESIDENT OF NONPROFIT MARKETING GUIDE.COM, SAYS:

So many nonprofits send bad thank you letters – if they send them at all! Nonprofit thank you letters need to be thought of as a very important, highly strategic piece of communication.

A thank you is NOT just a tax receipt. It should look like a personal letter from one friend to another. Ditch the predictable openings like “Thank you for your gift of…” or “On behalf of our organization…” Draw in the donor immediately by placing them front and center. Something as simple as “You made my day…” is much better.

A great thank you is the first step in creating a relationship with your donor that will inspire them to give again and again.”

MARC PITMAN, FUNDRAISING COACH AT THE NONPROFIT ACADEMY, SAYS:

One of the most important things to do in donor stewardship is connect the donor to the mission. We need to bring donors into what my friend, Shanon Doolittle, calls these ‘mission moments.’ We often overlook these because they’re things our nonprofit is doing on a regular basis. But these are exactly what the donor is investing in. And since they’re happening on a regular basis, it doesn’t take a lot of programming or organizational inconvenience to bring donors in.

The best part? When non-fundraising staff see donors get excited about their work, the non-fundraising staff start willingly helping with the fundraising!”

Here is what I shared and was lucky enough they published:

“Donors are not ATMs, they are people with wishes and dreams. Your job as a fundraising professional is to help people realize those dreams. You are not a mugger lurking in the shadows trying to snatch a donor’s wallet or purse. If there is one guiding principle that is paramount to all other fundraising best practices, it is treat your best donors like you would your childhood BFF.

  • Check-in with them from time-to-time.
  • Care about what is happening in their life.
  • Put their needs ahead of your own.
  • Spend time with them figuring out what they want their philanthropy to accomplish and then show them how your organization can help them accomplish their goals and dreams.

The more personal you can make your cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship interactions, the stronger your relationship will become. Philanthropy done right can be enriching for all parties involved!”

Honestly, I am humbled to be included in today’s post with so many other amazing experts. Thank you, NonProfitEasy blog!

Ready to hear the rest of the advice?  Head over to NonProfitEasy’s full blog post now!

If you have advice of your own — from the front lines — that you’d like to share, please scroll down and do so in the comment box below. Why? Because we can all learn from each other.      ;-)

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

A sample donor-centered communication


The non-profit community has heard lots about the merits of becoming more donor-centered over the last decade or so. This philosophy permeates everything in our resource development community including:

  • How we cultivate prospects
  • How we solicit prospects and donors
  • It especially speaks to the importance of stewardship and non-profit communications

While there is lots of talk-talk-talk on this subject, it is confounding to me that there are so few samples readily available. For example, I had a client ask me a year ago if I could find samples of “donor-centered gift acknowledgement letters“. After Googling for what seemed like hours and calling in all sorts of favors, I finally found one or two good examples.

So, last week I almost fell out of my chair when I received an email from a non-profit organization (e.g. I’m a periodic golf-a-thon or an endowment match donor) asking me WHAT and WHEN I want to receive from them. At its core, it might be one of the most donor-centered things ever sent me me by an organization.

Here is a copy of that email:

BGCB email sample

When I clicked the link, here is what that survey looked like:

BGCB email survey

All of this got me thinking . . . is your organization “donor-centered“? If so, how is it donor-centered? Do you have any samples that you’d like to share? If so, please email those samples to me and I’ll be happy to share them.  :-)

We don’t need to all re-create the wheel. Sharing is caring.  :-)

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

“Hangin’ with Henry” and talking about Determining Gift Capability


Good morning DonorDreams readers! As most of you know, the month of May was dedicated to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival, which took us out of our regular blog rhythm. So, when I checked the calendar this morning and saw that it is the first Thursday of the month, I realized it is that time again. Uh-huh! You guessed it. We’re “Hangin’ With Henry” today and talking about what goes into determining a donor’s gift capability.  

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 six minutes, I was struck by:

  • how well he hits the nail on the head with what considerations go into evaluating a prospect (he obviously has a lifetime of experience under his belt)
  • how many different methods and strategies I’ve used to help clients determine  a suggested ask amount for their annual campaign, major gifts program, and capital campaign donors

I used to be convinced there was a right way and a wrong way (or a better tool than another) when it came to prospect evaluation, but now that I’m a little older my opinion has changed. You will get to a good place for your campaign and your donors as long as you and your fundraising volunteers take into consideration the following principles that Henry talked about:

  • financial capacity
  • relationship / connectedness to your mission and organization
  • philanthropic orientation

As for tools and approaches that I’ve used, it typically depends on the client and their culture of philanthropy (or lack thereof) which dictates their level of comfort and willingness to engage in these discussions.  The following are just a few approaches and tools that I’ve found helpful.

Peer review

peer reviewThis is as simple as sitting down with a group of volunteers and talking about your pool of prospects. One simple tool that I’ve use is something I call an “A-B-C-1-2-3 worksheet“.

Using this tool, volunteers first assign every prospect an A, B or C rating that relates to their willingness to give to your organization (e.g. are their a hot, warm or cold prospect). Then volunteers do the same thing with a 1, 2 or 3 rating which simply assigns a prospect to a specific level on your campaign range of gift chart (of course there are likely more than three gift levels on your ROG and you’ll add as many numbers as there are levels).

Staff aggregate everyone’s worksheets, use giving history to set preliminary ask amounts and facilitate consensus building discussions with fundraising volunteers.

Moves Management

moves managementMajor gifts work is usually more in-depth and the tools change a little (e.g. nine cell grid, individual prospect cultivation plans, Moves Management tools, etc). Prospect evaluation typically is done in small teams that include the following individuals:

  • Natural Partner (someone close to you, knows prospect well, and has the ability to open that door)
  • Primary Player (might be the prospect’s BFF, but someone with whom they definitely have a hard time saying NO)
  • Relationship Manager (this is a staff person who helps with Moves Management, strategy, tracking and accountability)

There are lots of different tools involved in this process. Bill Sturtevant is one of the most well-respected experts in this area. You’ll want to definitely read his book “The Artful Journey“. You can also sneak a peak at some of the tools I’m referencing by checking out Bill’s presentation handouts from a Minnesota Planned Giving Council conference in 2009.

Another expert with great tools is our featured guest this morning — Henry Freeman. You might want to check out his website for interesting resources.

Data Driven Prospect Research

prospect researchI’m sometimes frightened by how much data is available out there on each of us. I’ve personally used all of the following tools for prospect research:

  • Google (OMG … there is tons of data you can find with a simple search)
  • 411.com (I go here to find contact info and confirm family relationships)
  • Facebook (I check-in here to see if their privacy settings are turned off. It is amazing what you can learn about someone’s family, social network, interests, etc from this social media site)
  • LinkedIn (I look around this site for work info, professional network, etc. I also use it to help me create prospect lists of natural partner, primary players and campaign volunteers/solicitors)
  • A variety of pay-for-service data providers like WealthEngine or Blackbaud’s Target Analytics (and this is where your mind gets blown with all of the info you can get)

If your organization engages in prospect research, please scroll down to the comment box and answer one of the following questions:

  • what methods have you used to determine your donors’ gift capability?
  • what tools have you use and which ones did you like?
  • if you’ve used pay-for-service providers like WealthEngine, what advice do you have for others?

Please take a minute to share your thoughts and experiences. We can all learn from each other!

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

Photo essay of charity auction fundraising best practices


CoverA few months ago, my husband and I attended the Community Crisis Center’s 28th annual benefit auction. I’ve only attended this event a few times, but it ranks up there as one of my favorite non-profit special events for the following reasons:

  1. The mission of this organization is powerful
  2. Gretchen Vapnar, who has been the executive director for decades, is an extraordinary visionary, strong non-profit leader with a fun innovation streak
  3. This benefit auction is the “granddaddy” of them all in our community. It was the first charity auction event that raised significant money and became what resource development professionals would call a “signature special event

Every time I attend this event I’m impressed with all of the things they do right. So, this time I decided to take pictures of things that I consider important to the success of such an event and share them with you.

Enjoy!


Meet Karen Fox

KarenKaren and her husband Dan are the co-chairs of this event. They have volunteered and co-chaired for countless years. The following are just a few reasons I decided to include Karen’s picture as photo evidence of a best practice:

  • Recruiting the right volunteers for your event is important. You need people with time, energy, vision and a desire to succeed.
  • Karen and Dan’s social network is large, which makes them ideal co-chairs because it provides them with a fertile environment from which to recruit other volunteers, sponsors, in-kind auction item donors, and event participants.
  • Karen and Dan’s long-term commitment to this event brings continuity and stability.

If you want to read more about the growing importance of volunteerism and some of the best practices involved with recruitment and retention, then you want to check out the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s article “The New Volunteer Workforce“.

Live auction and silent auction

LiveCharity auctions are funny and quirky events. There is a weird “bargain hunter” mentality that is pervasive. I am a firm believe that you need to offer donors more than just a simple silent auction opportunity.

As the old saying goes . . . “Go BIG or go home,” which is why I think a live auction needs to accompany your silent auction.

guitarThe following are just a few tips you might want to consider:

  • Remember that donors can buy most of the stuff you’re auctioning off at the store or online. So, don’t try to sell them stuff . . . ask them to bid on “one-of-a-kind experiences” and things that are difficult to find and purchase. In other words, don’t auction off tickets to a sporting event. Package those tickets with luxury transportation, unique dinning, a meet-n-greet with people close to the team, special tours of locker rooms or behind the scenes stadium spaces.
  • Room set-up is critical. You want to get as much as you can all in one room because people will want to get up periodically from their dinner table and check on their bids. If they need to leave the room, then they are less likely to get up and monitor their bids.
  • Be smart when establishing your opening bids and incremental bid increases. Make sure to value the auction item and set the opening bid at 50% of the items value.
  • bid formI love the idea of adding a “guaranteed winning bid” to the bid form. You need to be careful about where you set that number, but I suggest setting it around 50% above fair market value.
  • I didn’t get a picture of Terry Dunning, who was the live auctioneer at the event, but it is important that you recruit someone who knows what they are doing. Terry is retired, but back in the day he was a professional auctioneer. He is a pro and knows how to maximize bids (aka donations to your organization).
  • The silent auction is typically big (however I encourage you to keep it reasonable and at an appropriate scale for how many people you have in your room), which is why you want to divide auction items into sections (e.,g. sports, home improvement, entertainment, etc). Consider closing down bidding one section at a time with 10 to 15 minutes in between closings. This strategy allows donors who lose their bids to get more aggressive with other competitive and open bids. Don’t forget to use a “countdown” to give donors notice and an opportunity to sneak in last minute bids.
  • Don’t wait to the last minute to secure silent and live auction items. Give yourself many months (maybe even as many as 12 months) to secure fun and unique items. You also want to circle back around to donors who were active in your auction and ask their thoughts about what they want to see in next year’s auction. It only makes sense, right?

 Don’t leave money on the table

pledge formWhen running a charity auction, there are always winners and losers at the end of the evening. There are donors who want to support your mission but couldn’t because they were outbid. Of course, the Community Crisis Center had a solution for this. They placed pledge cards in the middle of every table.

However, please note . . . it is NOT good enough to simply put the pledge cards on the table and wink at your donors.

The organizers of this event put together a powerful mission-focused video presentation and a group solicitation was made from the podium. As is the case with all fundraising appeals, you need to “make the ask” if you expect people to give.

Well organized checkout process

checkoutNothing is worse than having to stand in long lines at the end of the evening to figure out what you won, pay your bill and collect your winnings. I just love how this organization does their checkout.

  • It is computerized
  • There many different checkout stations which keeps lines short
  • They take credit cards (I can’t remember if I gave them my card info in advance, but I think pre-registration is always a great idea because it speeds things up at the end of the evening)

I could go on and on, but I will stop here; however, I will include just a few more pictures after my signature block without any explanations. Let’s see if you can guess why I took the pictures and what makes it a best practice for your charity auction.   ;-)    Please share your thoughts in the comment box below because we can all learn from each other.

PS — I just got off the phone with Pamela Grow and she reminded me of how important it is for organizations to measure the “true return on investment” after every special event. This reminded me of an awesome tool that my former employer — Boys & Girls Clubs of America — developed for their local affiliates. It is an Excel spreadsheet that helps calculate ROI. You can check it out 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

booze

 

descriptions

 

raffle

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

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