The Importance of Engaging (and Retaining) Volunteers

Posted , by Wesley Stanley, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Retention.

Last week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch interviewed Keith for an article addressing the surprisingly low volunteer rate in the Richmond,Virginia area. The article juxtaposes this reality against the fact that 2010 actually showed the highest growth rate in U.S. volunteerism since 2005, climbing to 63 million. So why is it that only 20.9% of Richmond-area residents volunteered… Read more »

Your Future Volunteer Fundraisers

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Boards of Directors.

After reading “Empowering Young Children Through Philanthropy,” in this month’s AFP magazine Advancing Philanthropy, I spent some time thinking about the possibility and power of this concept.  My Curtis Group colleagues and I do a lot of speaking to fundraising professionals, community leaders, and boards.  The most frequent questions we hear from these interactions are about fundraising leadership: “How do we… Read more »

Nonprofit Sector’s Impact on US Economy – What it Means for You

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Campaigns & Campaign Planning, Cases for Support, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy Research & Events.

A recently released study found nonprofits are the third largest workforce in the country behind only manufacturing and retail. According to the report Nonprofits: America’s Third Largest Workforce, from Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Economic Data Project, the nonprofit sector in America employs 11.9 million people.   As someone who has devoted my career to the nonprofit sector, this is… Read more »

How an independent school raised $2 million over their goal

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

With a history of educational excellence going back nearly 50 years, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy had a high bar to maintain when they set their sights on opening a second lower school campus—while expanding and enhancing their main campus. The independent school in Suffolk, Virginia, approached us in 2013, just before their 50th anniversary, and engaged us to conduct… Read more »

Giving has more than doubled since first National Philanthropy Day

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

A look at giving growth over last 30 years in Hampton Roads, where our firm is headquartered.   It seems ironic now—the decade most linked with materialism and excess consumption being the birthplace to a day of benevolence. Or perhaps it was perfect timing to refocus our priorities. President Reagan officially established National Philanthropy Day… 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 »

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 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 »