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 »

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 »

The Giving Institute’s Eight Steps for Selecting Fundraising Counsel

Posted , by Erin Phillips, Marketing Director and Campaign Consultant. Topic: Fundraising, Nonprofit Management.

The Curtis Group has been a member of The Giving Institute for nearly five years. Established in 1935, The Giving Institute has been the thought leader membership organization for fundraising consultants and nonprofit services firms. One of the many resources they offer to nonprofit leaders is a list of the eight steps on how to… Read more »

Tracking the True Cost of Fundraising

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

Earlier this spring, The Giving Institute hosted an interesting webinar on “The Cost of Fundraising” presented by fellow Giving Institute member, Melissa Brown of Melissa Brown and Associates. Melissa began by pointing out the fact that there are a lot of gaps that exist in fundraising costs today. In fact, the majority of organizations only track… Read more »

Hopeful News for 2010 Fundraising

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Philanthropy Research & Events.

Over the last week,  two new reports about fundraising point toward the light at the end of the economic tunnel. In GuideStar’s annual Nonprofit Economic Survey, half of their respondents saw contributions decline over the first nine months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. No surprise there. But nearly two-thirds were hopeful about… Read more »

Emerging Trend: The Case for Growth Capital

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Vice President. Topic: Funds and Funders, Philanthropy Research & Events.

At The Giving Institute’s November board meeting, Rodney Christopher of the F.B. Heron Foundation and Richard Shaw of Youth Villages delivered a thought-provoking presentation on an emerging trend in philanthropy called growth capital. The basic premise the speakers suggested is that healthy organizations can achieve greater success through investments of growth capital. Foundations seeking measurable,… Read more »

Curtis Group Webinar Helps Spread the Word on Philanthropy

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Giving USA.

It struck me today as we presented our first Curtis Group-sponsored webinar to over 100 individuals from South Carolina all the way to New York and as far west as Indiana, about the ever-changing world in which we live. I began working as a fundraising consultant over 25 years ago and founded The Curtis Group… Read more »

Percentage-Based Compensation: Why Not?

Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Fundraising.

Three times in the last month I’ve been asked this question by nonprofit board members and leaders: Can we bring on a fundraising consultant and pay him or her a percentage of what’s raised? To someone in the business world, this results-based compensation approach may make sense. But in the world of fundraising, it’s highly unethical…. Read more »

4 traits successful campaigns have in common

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Campaigns & Campaign Planning.

What’s the secret to campaign success? True, it’s critical to start with a campaign planning study to create a blueprint and make sure you’ve set the right fundraising goal. But how likely are you to reach it? At a recent meeting, our team discussed fundraising campaigns over the last few years for which we had provided counsel…. Read more »

Positive trends seen in giving to community colleges

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Giving USA, Higher Education, Philanthropy Research & Events.

Good news for higher-ed advancement professionals—your hard work and investments in your fundraising program are paying off! As institutional budgets continue to shrink and the role of private philanthropy becomes more important than ever, it appears that your efforts are showing results. Last month, our president Keith Curtis, immediate past chair of Giving USA Foundation, shared with you the overall… Read more »