Believe like a nonprofit. Behave like a business.

Posted , by Kaitlin Padden Robb, Consultant. Topic: Nonprofit Management.

Too many nonprofits are rewarded for how little they spend, rather than for what they get done. This is the double standard that author, activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta called out during his recent visit to Hampton Roads. (I highly recommend watching his TED talk). His presentation about “The Overhead Myth” got our sector buzzing…… Read more »

Funders Agree: Nonprofits Must Operate Like a Business

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Vice President. Topic: Funds and Funders, Nonprofit Management.

Today, for the fourth year in a row, Keith moderated VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads’ Annual Funders Forum. This event, which brings together funders from across Hampton Roads, always produces a variety of interesting takeaways. An underlying theme of the funders’ comments from this year’s forum was the importance of a nonprofit operating like a business. The… Read more »

Before the Campaign Planning Study There’s the Business Plan

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Vice President. Topic: Nonprofit Management, Preparing for a Campaign.

Last week, as a result of our webinar on “What Makes an Effective Capital Campaign?” a question arose that we thought was worth addressing. One participant asked us to further explain the need for the business plan that we often recommend developing before moving into any type of campaign. The simple answer is this: a campaign… 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 »

Clients v. Donors: How to write without making a wrong

Posted , by Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Communication.

While we hate to disillusion anyone right after the holidays, I need to set the record straight about a certain mythical figure. You might have been sending letters to it for years. But unfortunately, there’s no such thing as… the General Public. All too often, nonprofit communications are written for this “audience,” and the message… Read more »

UNDERDOG SUCCESS STORY: How a small, rural museum raised $3 million

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Nonprofit Management, Preparing for a Campaign.

To Virginia’s secluded Eastern Shore community, the Barrier Islands Center is more than a museum, education center and tourist attraction—it’s a cherished gathering place. Founded in 1996, the Barrier Islands Center introduces visitors to the history of the islands and surrounds them in the rich history of the Eastern Shore. In 2009, the Barrier Islands Center… 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 »

Giving trends help nonprofits be strategic

Posted , by By Keith Curtis, President. Topic: Giving USA, National Philanthropy Day.

Many holidays celebrate gift-giving… National Philanthropy Day celebrates those who give back. As we honor the individuals and organizations who set the standard for charitable investment, we have an opportunity not only to thank them but to learn from them. I hope many will follow their stories—and follow their examples. Americans reached a charitable-giving milestone… Read more »