Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Donor Acknowledgement.

With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems appropriate to talk about the importance of thanking donors. Everyone likes to be thanked for a gift. When it’s a charitable gift, donors also appreciate knowing what their money helped accomplish. It’s important that development professionals and their board members are doing simple but powerful things like sending handwritten thank-you… Read more »

Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Planned Giving.

A client recently noted that since they didn’t have any wealthy constituents, planned giving probably wouldn’t work for their nonprofit. While the latest research shows that people who earn $100,000 and above are more likely to leave a charitable bequest, don’t forget about those loyal folks who have donated continuously—even small, annual gifts—to your organization. Frequency… Read more »

Posted , by Nancy Chapman. Topic: Uncategorized.

Just a quick note about some articles you might find helpful at these links: New York Times’ special section on giving The Wall Street Journal article, “What’s Wrong With Charitable Giving — and How to Fix It” Philanthropy Journal’s “‘Tis the Season to Engage Donors” by our own Keith Curtis.

Posted , by Nancy Chapman. Topic: Careers in Philanthropy.

It’s ironic that as the country prepares to celebrate National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15 (the local event is Nov. 12), CNN recently added “fundraiser” to its list of the “Top 15 Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly.” “No matter the cause,” the article reports, “asking people to part with their money is not easy. And it… Read more »

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Funds and Funders.

A new report just released by the Foundation Center says that in 2010, foundation giving will drop more than was predicted earlier this year. Half of 583 grantmakers surveyed said they will keep their giving steady at 2009’s reduced levels. Of the rest, 26 percent expect to decrease their giving, 17 percent will increase it, and… Read more »

Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Fundraising.

People who haven’t done major fundraising sometimes hold misconceptions about how the process works. We’ve had questions recently about whether we can guarantee fundraising results or bring our own list of potential donors to a new client. The answer to both questions is no, because both are unethical. As a member of the Giving Institute,… Read more »

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Giving USA.

Recovery in charitable giving might occur faster than it did in prior economic downturns, according to a new report from Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. In their latest “Giving USA Spotlight” issued this week, researchers note three factors that could make the difference: – Income is higher per capita… Read more »

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Major Gifts Programs, Making the Ask, Philanthropy Research & Events.

You know how we’re always saying you need to ask for major gifts in person? A new study by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy and Campbell & Company, “Significant Gifts: Where Donors Direct Their Largest Gifts and Why” proves us right. The study reports that donors who were asked to give in person (to secular… Read more »

Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Donor Communication, Year-End Giving.

With the economy improving, the good news is that end-of-year donations may be up over 2008. But don’t count on your year-end appeal to save you from a down year in fundraising. The Chronicle of Philanthropy just reported on how several charities are approaching fundraising season. One nonprofit director said that because their first year-end… Read more »

Posted , by Nancy Chapman. Topic: Cases for Support.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job with The Curtis Group is writing case statements for our clients, for two reasons. First, as a writer, it allows me to get lost in a project for a bit, to “zen” on it, as creative folks say. Suddenly the day is over and I don’t even… Read more »