Volunteers are key to fundraising success; don’t be afraid to ask for help

Sometimes, you simply must ask. We all know that volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. We ask them to pitch in at events, to stuff envelopes and to help clean our facilities. But when it comes to recruiting volunteers to assist with capital campaigns, organizational leaders sometimes get cold feet. They create reasons for not asking: She’s too busy. We rely on him for too many other important roles. She may not want to… Read more »

Capital campaigns bolster annual giving programs

As Steier Group clients prepare to embark upon major capital campaigns, the fears that they express most often are related to increased workloads for their staff members and the worry that a campaign may negatively impact the organization’s annual giving program. At every development and fundraising conference I have attended during the past 25 years – and within the pages of every capital campaign book or manual I have ever read – experts claim that… Read more »

Keep a successful annual appeal separate from capital campaigns

Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to an annual appeal the answer is “yes.” The Steier Group works often with nonprofits that pushed too hard and too fast on their annual appeals. “Our annual appeal brings in great returns. Let’s make it into a campaign by increasing the goals and the amount we request. We will have even bigger success!” That’s usually how the thinking goes. Unfortunately for organizations… Read more »

New Year’s resolutions that could hinder your nonprofit’s fundraising

In the last twenty years, I have seen many New Year’s resolutions drafted by nonprofit leaders — some were achieved and others were forgotten. As you plan for the future, here are a few resolutions to avoid, as they could do serious harm to your organization’s mission: This year, we’ll rely on our staff. Managing volunteers is just too messy. At first, it may seem wise to leave the fulfillment of your mission to trained… Read more »

Donor recognition is key to capital campaign success

What donor wouldn’t want his or her name on a building? There are many ways to recognize a donor, from the simple, like thank you notes, to the complex, like naming opportunities. Done correctly, a donor recognition program can help you dramatically increase the success of your capital campaign. Because of a successful naming opportunity, a recent Steier Group client was able to secure the first of many $1 million dollar gifts. The right opportunity… Read more »

Five key steps to launching a planned giving program

According to the Center on Philanthropy, donors that make planned gifts also increase their current giving. Planned giving provides short- and long-term benefits to your organization. Starting a planned giving program is a vital step in securing a strong financial future for your organization. Here are five key steps to beginning your planned giving program: Educate your constituents: Between half and two-thirds of Americans do not have an estate plan in place. Encouraging your donors… Read more »