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Five tips for maximizing your year-end giving

By Steier Tips

The calendar turns to 2019 in a few weeks and wise directors of nonprofits are focused on making their year-end giving a smashing success. Ending the year on a strong note is important as research shows that 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December with 10 percent occurring in the final three days of the year. Many of your supporters have an incentive to give before the year ends for tax purposes. Looking over the stack of mailers I received last year, it’s clear to me that there is more competition than ever for donor dollars. To meet or…

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Positive attitude can go a long way in fundraising

By Steier Tips

Raising money is not an easy task, especially when you have to raise a lot of it. Conducting a capital campaign successfully requires careful planning, lots of consultation, widespread buy-in, strong leadership, a clear vision, a transparent communication plan, and a reliable and energetic corps of volunteers. But the best strategy and mechanics for executing an effort of this magnitude won’t get you very far without an indispensable disposition to support it all: a positive attitude. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” Teddy Roosevelt once quipped. Put another way, believe you can’t and you’ll never make it. Capital campaigns…

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Steier Group research highlighted by Association of Fundraising Professionals

By Steier Tips

During the Steier Group’s 21-year history, one thing has always stood out as we have raised money for nonprofits across the country: People give more when asked in person. That personal touch is key to fundraising success. In October 2017, we published our findings of a two-year research project that explored this. Our findings more than backed this up. The Steier Group research found that donors, when asked in person, give 54 percent of their requested amount. In comparison, donors gave 29 percent of the requested amount when approached by telephone and 33 percent when approached by mail. Now, this…

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Boost your planned giving program with these tips

By Steier Tips

Fall offers the perfect chance to take a look at your nonprofit’s planned giving program. Strong annual giving, strategically-planned special events, and professionally-run capital campaigns are the bedrock of any fundraising program. But a strong planned giving program will have a lasting impact for any nonprofit. Does your organization have a legacy society? Have you taken stock of all the deferred gifts your donors have planned? Here are four ways to improve your planned giving program: Honor your donors: Whenever a volunteer, donor or member of your organization passes away and leaves a gift from his or her estate plan,…

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Annual giving strategies that work

By Steier Tips

If you are looking for a fool-proof annual giving plan that works for every charitable organization, unfortunately it does not exist. Every nonprofit is unique in its mission and serves a specific community. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, here are seven key annual giving strategies that work. 1. Pay attention to the calendar: Timing is important. What might work for one organization, might not work for yours. While the end of the year is always a key time to engage supporters, you should also consider the following: The school year calendar. Appeals from other organizations that your constituents might…

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Capital campaign donor recognition opportunities

By Steier Tips

So, your campaign is a big hit. Your leaders and volunteers continue their hard work in securing gifts, donors are fulfilling commitments and an end-of-the campaign celebration is in the works. Now you can start planning that ribbon-cutting ceremony, right? Well, to quote former college football coach Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” Before you can even begin to smile over your success, you must take time to recognize those responsible for putting you in this enviable position. One cannot understate the importance of capital campaign donor recognition. Simply put: people like to hear the words thank you. And…

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Key strategies for a successful endowment campaign

By Steier Tips

The recent news of a $50 million gift to the University of St. Thomas’s new scholarship endowment initiative has a lot of executive directors thinking, “Is now the time to fund an endowment?” A healthy endowment is a boon to any size nonprofit and can ease the funding pressure of staff salaries, facilities or programs. Many development best practices that apply to any type of campaign also apply to an endowment campaign. But, when wondering “how to grow an endowment fund,” there are a few unique considerations to keep in mind: Develop a strong strategic vision: A well-funded endowment can…

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How to start a capital campaign

By Steier Tips

For most nonprofits, a capital campaign is the result of many months, if not years, of strategic planning and preparation. Typically, an organization has established some long-term goals and projects that are too large to be funded through normal operating revenue. Now, what are the next steps? How do I start a capital campaign? Here are the five key steps in transitioning from strategic planning to conducting a campaign: Identify your organization’s needs: Before moving forward with a capital campaign, you should be able to answer “yes” to this question: Is the need – as defined by leadership – real?…

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Capital campaign video can lead to fundraising success

By Steier Tips

What if I told you that fundraisers with video raise 70 percent more? That’s a big number – one that demands our attention. A capital campaign video is a strong way to convey a clear message and evoke passion about one’s cause. Most of our clients have found that the investment made in a professionally produced video is worth it. YouCaring, which assists organizations with online fundraising, states that fundraisers with videos raise 70 percent more on average. A professional video is among the capital campaign services offered by the Steier Group. The growing popularity of this service is due…

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Memorable thank-you letters set your organization apart

By Steier Tips

If you want to properly thank a donor, take your template thank-you letter and toss it out. Instead, write a quick note from the heart that acknowledges the gift and gives your donor a reason to support your organization again. Your goal is to make your letter (and the gift) memorable. Here are some suggestions: The thank-you letter It’s a given that you need to include the basic gift documentation. Once you’ve done that, look for ways to make the letter memorable: Never send the same letter to a donor twice. Change the content of your thank-you letter as often…

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