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Steier Tips

IRA Charitable Rollover – what you need to know

By Steier Tips

The IRA Charitable Rollover, a popular charitable giving tool for donors age 70½ and older, is available from now until the end of the year. On December 16, Congress passed legislation that included the IRA Charitable Rollover and the president is expected to sign it soon. However, this opportunity is only available through December 31, 2014. Donors age 70½ and older may transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified public charity. The transfer is free of federal income tax and the gift qualifies for the donor’s 2014 required minimum distribution (RMD). Unfortunately, time is short to take…

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Take note to write a letter relevant to your donors

By Steier Tips

In the age of constant contact and instant messaging, the art of letter writing can seem quite lost. At one time, writing a letter was the next best thing to a personal visit, as paper passed from the hands of the writer into the hands of the receiver. In efforts to increase delivery speed and reduce consumption, letters are delivered now via multiple channels. Whether in paper or electronic form, letters remain an essential component of business communication. Here at the Steier Group, we rely on letters to introduce, confirm and thank. Letters continue to be a feature of web…

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Social media has a campaign role, just don’t expect Ice Bucket Challenge level of success

By Steier Tips

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort represent philanthropic home runs. Employing social media platforms, both campaigns secured an unprecedented number of modest contributions from an international pool of donors and raised tens of millions of dollars. If you are tempted to replace personal visits with social media to secure gifts to your capital campaign, ask two practical questions: How many $10, $50 or $100 gifts do you need to fund your upcoming project? How long is the list of donors likely to give to your campaign? The ALS and Red Cross campaigns succeeded with…

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A few ideas for year-end planned gifts

By Steier Tips

It’s time. As we enter the homestretch of the year, charitable organizations are turning their focus to year-end giving strategies. Often overlooked during this time are opportunities to present specific (sometimes creative) charitable gift planning ideas. Your donors are making plans to review their estates with accountants, attorneys and financial advisors – now is the season to educate them and present opportunities for gifts in wills, charitable trusts, life insurance policies or other deferred giving methods. Here are some ideas to enhance the marketing of planned gifts as the year comes to a close: Send a Thanksgiving Day note of…

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Don’t forget the thank you note

By Steier Tips

The importance of a well-written thank you note is arguably best defined in this comment by Dale Carnegie: “Writing a sincere thank you note is one of the professional skills that can make a lasting, favorable impression.” Acts of compassion must be recognized. No matter the size of the donation or sacrifice, people appreciate being thanked. They want to be reminded they are making a difference. And in today’s web-driven world, an email, text or tweet does not make the same impact as an old fashion, handwritten thank you note arriving in the mail. When considering who should write the…

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Beware the bake sale

By Steier Tips

The building project has finally been approved and it’s time to raise funds to turn this long-awaited dream into a reality. You put your apron on because you know you’ll need to sell more than a few desserts to get where you want to go. After you, and countless others, have put in hours, days and weeks of planning and baking, you’re finally ready for the annual bake sale. When it’s all said and done, you netted $900 toward your multi-million dollar project. Sound familiar? I love a good piece of apple pie, but when your organization needs to raise…

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Capital campaign philosophy: people give to people, especially people they know

By Steier Tips

Let’s face it: People typically don’t enjoy asking their friends, neighbors and coworkers for money. At the Steier Group, this approach to fundraising has led to hundreds of successful capital campaigns for our clients. Our clients know our capital campaign philosophy is based on two simple premises: People give to people they know People give when asked Sometimes, our clients shy away from using personal visits as the staple in their campaigns. They would rather ask for support through group gatherings, telephone calls or direct mail. We know that our campaigns are most successful when prospective donors receive a personal…

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Three questions to ask when donors remember you in their will

By Steier Tips

When you learn your organization has been named in a donor’s will it can be a very exciting, but sometimes confusing, time. The planned gift may be from a faithful donor who is well known to you and your organization. But sometimes it’s from a donor who has no apparent connection to your organization, and you have no record of them in your database. In either case, you should ask three important questions after learning that someone has remembered your organization in his/her will: “Who is the personal representative?”: The personal representative (or executor) is the person named in the…

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Is this the right time for a capital campaign?

By Steier Tips

It’s often the first question I am asked when I sit down with a potential client, “Jim, are we ready for a campaign?” The question, in theory, should be a straight forward “yes” or “no.” But as anyone who works in development knows, there are far more factors to be considered before you can make an educated answer. As you begin to consider the possibility of a capital campaign, do a quick inventory and ask yourself a few questions, but make sure you give honest answers. It’s a simple and quick exercise that will benefit you in the long run….

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Communicating success to donors cultivates stronger bonds

By Steier Tips

Raising large sums of money can be a strenuous process. There must be a focused investment of time and resources in order to communicate your needs to donors and ultimately secure a gift. Oftentimes, organizations get so caught up in securing the actual commitment that they neglect one of the most important steps in donor cultivation: communicating your success. Donors want specifics. They want to know how their gift is being used to further your nonprofit’s mission. They want to believe that their sacrifice – however large or small – is making a difference. The responsibility of communicating this information…

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