From the Funder’s Mouth: Red Flags When Approaching Foundations

Posted , by Wesley Stanley, Marketing Director. Topic: Funds and Funders.

As a follow-up to last week’s post in which we offered some general advice from “real world” funders on how nonprofits should operate, this week we’d like to share with you some red flags that funders see when it comes to requests. The following are a list of no-no’s when it comes to putting together… Read more »

The Right Approach to Board Solicitation

Posted , by Keith Curtis, President. Topic: Boards of Directors, Fundraising.

Recently, we’ve had a lot of people ask about the best way to solicit leadership gifts from board members. As with any major gift solicitation (because that’s what you’re aiming for, right?), it’s always best to make an in-person ask. Having a board member solicit another board member in-person, is hands-down the most effective way… Read more »

Rethinking Your Annual Giving Approach

Posted , by Natalie McGaughey, Development Coordinator. Topic: Fundraising.

Last week Wendy and I attended an interesting presentation on annual giving at our Hampton Roads AFP chapter meeting. Kim Sperling, Director of Development at the Mason School of Business at William and Mary, revealed “Ten Truths and a Myth about Annual Giving,” which reiterated much of the advice we’ve been giving recently around the… Read more »

Q&A: How to choose a consultant for your planning study

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President, and Victoria Dietz, Vice President. Topic: Preparing for a Campaign.

Your organization has decided to conduct a planning study before embarking on a campaign—you’ve already made the first smart choice!  A campaign planning study, also known as a feasibility study, will tell you whether or not a campaign is advisable, how much money you could realistically raise and what your strategy would be to raise that… Read more »

Key takeaways from our client who just raised $8.5 million

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Capital Campaigns, Higher Education.

While mistakes can be valuable learning opportunities, this is a case where the client did everything right. Blue Ridge Community College followed our advice to the letter—and the results speak for themselves. Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge Community College offers comprehensive programs of instruction including associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in occupational/technical and college/university transfer… Read more »

7 mistakes to avoid in your year-end fundraising

Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Vice President. Topic: Year-End Giving.

It’s fall, so if you haven’t started planning your year-end appeals, you’re late—but not too late! Over 40% of giving occurs in last four months of year. But Google has found that donors begin their research in August, and that online donation-related searches increase 30% from August to September. Of course, December is still king for when… Read more »

Understanding Prospect Research, Part II

Posted , by Ryan Woroniecki, Guest Writer | DonorSearch Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.. Topic: Donor Prospects.

When trying to implement prospect research at your nonprofit, you first must get a handle on the benefits, targets and methods of prospect research. 1. What types of donors can prospect research identify? The top donors for targeting your prospect research are: Major gift donors By ranking prospects according to their ability and affinity to… Read more »

Understanding Prospect Research, Part I

Posted , by Ryan Woroniecki, Guest Writer | DonorSearch Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Topic: Donor Prospects.

Maybe you’re just breaking into the nonprofit world, or you’re a seasoned fundraising fiend. Either way, taking the time to learn or review prospect research is key to keeping your nonprofit aimed toward success. Are you looking to get more out of your current donors? Are you looking for new donors? Maybe you’re looking to… Read more »

Key giving trends for arts & culture institutions: A sector-specific look at GIVING USA

Posted , by Michael Marks, Consultant. Topic: Arts & Culture, Giving USA.

It’s a good time to work in the arts. Charitable donations to this sector reached their highest level ever—an estimated $17.07 billion—last year, thumb according to Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, which was released June 14. Last month, our president Keith Curtis, immediate past chair of Giving USA… Read more »

5 ways to make your major gifts program a major success

Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Consultant. Topic: Major Gifts Programs.

Putting a major gifts process in place doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a strategic cultivation plan tailored to each potential donor. But as we’ve seen time and again, the result is always worth the effort. Here are five important ways to improve your chances for success: 1. Know your “rights.” Is it bad timing? Am… Read more »