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 »

Not another year-end appeal! 12 writing tips to stand out & inspire action

Posted , by Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Communication, Year-End Giving.

If you’ve worked in the nonprofit world more than a year, you might already be weary of the pressure to maximize year-end gifts. It’s not that different for your donors, who are often bombarded with requests as December 31 looms closer. The way you communicate your message is key to cutting through the clutter and… Read more »

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 »

Pledge to Give

Posted , by Kaitlin Robb, Consultant. Topic: Philanthropy Research & Events.

What would you say if someone asked you to give 50% of your net worth to charity? My guess is that most would gasp at the mere idea of it. However, with the desire to truly make a significant positive impact, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet started “The Giving Pledge.” Made public in… Read more »