Fundraising How To: Wealth and Giving

Here are six ways that one donor and fundraiser (yes, Howard) thinks about wealth and the implications for getting to giving.

1. Wealth is an instrument of choice. People who are wealthy have lots of opportunities to give. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean that they will give to you. How can you differentiate yourself from other causes, especially similar ones? Read More

Fundraising Q&A: How can we increase our corporate support?

There typically are three drivers of corporate giving: the CEO, HR and/or Marketing. Sometimes, it’s essentially individual giving; the CEO decides how much and who to give to. That is often critiqued by employees and snubbed gift recipients. As a fundraiser, getting access to and understanding the giving priorities of the CEO are the keys. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: How can I apply your approach to my church fundraising?

To start, “no margin, no mission” applies to every organization. In fact, it was a nun in charge of a church-run hospital who introduced me to that truth. What is your economic model? Then, what do you stand for, why is it important, and who might be interested? Finally, don’t forget the bricks and mortar. Read More

What fundraising challenges are you seeing out in the field these days?

Through my own board work, requests for advice from friends and colleagues, and the G2G community, I get to see a wide range of organizations. These are challenging times for most everyone, I must say. Here is my take on the top five issues facing fundraising leadership today. Read More

How-to: A “cheat sheet” for getting to giving

When it comes to raising significant gifts, you’re usually not talking about a day trip; you’re talking about a lengthy journey. You choose your travel companions, and plan your itinerary. Then, off you go!

To help you on your way, here’s a checklist summarizing the key steps involved: engage a prospect, make a proposal, formalize the gift, and nurture the relationship. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: How can we make nonprofits more efficient?

At one level, the answer is Management 101. Leadership needs to pay attention to its economic model and cost structure. At another level, it’s a systemic problem. The sheer number of nonprofits – many quite small – breeds inefficiencies. Overhead is duplicated, and services overlap. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: “Youth philanthropy” seems to be a new buzzword. Do you have any experience with or thoughts about it?

I am a strong believer in raising children to feel a sense of responsibility to the community. That’s how I was raised, and that’s an attitude and behavior that I have tried to model for my children. It can start early, in small ways. Read More

The Fenn School: A Youth In Philanthropy Case Study

The Fenn School, located in Concord MA, is a private, independent day school for boys in grades 4-9. In 2006, the Foundation for MetroWest brought its signature Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program to the Fenn School. (Prior to that, it had been running a privately-funded giving program.) Read More

Fundraising Q&A: Do you have any suggestions for raising funds to build a new charter school in a low income area?

I will be doing some private fundraising for a tax supported charter school in a low income area. Do you have any suggestions as to our best approach to potential donors including foundations? The primary objective is to build a new neighborhood school, for which about $3M in private funds will be required.
I should start by saying that I don’t think foundations are a good target. Many don’t like capital projects because they don’t directly serve a nonprofit’s purpose. Read More

How-to: Questions for fundraising leadership

Why do it and how can you do it better? In our experience, fundraising can be an extremely rewarding – yes, even fun! – experience. So, how can you do it better? Making sure you can answer the “four big questions” is essential, but so are donor-centered and entrepreneurial perspective, and attention to fundraising leadership. Read More