The top five fears of development directors

Launching a campaign can seem daunting. Through the years, we’ve faced plenty of challenges that have the potential to derail campaigns and haunt development directors. Here are some of the top fears of development directors and how to overcome each: A Bad Donor Database: You don’t want to go to a cupboard you think is stocked only to find nothing on the shelves. Donors come and go, so your database must be equally fluid. An… Read more »

Giving is personal: Cookie-cutter approaches to fundraising don’t work

It typically starts something like this: Campaign leaders are talking strategy with their campaign manager about how to raise the necessary funds to meet their goal, when someone asks: “How many – take your pick: parishioners, members, donors – do we have?” Followed by: “How much money do we need to meet our goal?” Next comes a moment of silence as the person who started the conversation does some quick division. “That means if we… Read more »

In-kind support is just one way to fundraise outside the box

Nonprofit organizations face the constant and ongoing challenge of raising dollars to fund their missions. Oftentimes, donors complain that they are approached too often or that nonprofits should look to other sources in order to obtain support. While those closest to your organization will always be the strongest givers, there may be other opportunities worth considering. LOCAL BUSINESSES AND VENDORS Most nonprofits have a list of vendors with whom they work on a weekly, monthly… Read more »

Avoid losing touch with your donors by conducting a census

A common dilemma facing nonprofits prior to the start of a capital campaign or planning study is an out-of-date database. Despite the fact that the database is among an organization’s most valuable fundraising tools, it often goes neglected with thoughts of updating it ignored until a large stack of “return to sender” surveys or letters arrives in the mailbox. Such an approach can prove costly, not only in lost postage and materials, but more importantly,… Read more »

A different IRA conversation

Donors may be asking if the popular IRA Charitable Rollover will become available before the end of the year. The short answer? We don’t know. For the foreseeable future, this is a question your donors may have to ask on an annual basis, and you are wise to have an answer ready for them. Donors age 70½ and older will spend the next two months waiting to see if Congress will pass legislation allowing for… Read more »

Connect with your donors by sharing your organization’s story

I’ve always thought that a good story not shared is a missed opportunity to inform people about the good work your parish or organization does. I remember the wonderful stories about heroes that my parents told me as a child. I passed those stories on to my children – I hope they’ll do the same with theirs. Your organization – religious, community-based or social service – does good work. It helps people. That leaves you… Read more »