Posted on in Fundraising

It’s impossible, in most nonprofit jobs, to get everything on your plate completed.

Efficiency issues aside, most nonprofits are staffed under a scarcity model – not enough resources to hire all the people needed to do the job right, so each nonprofit worker wears three hats and takes on multiple assignments that, collectively, assume 36 hours in a day to get it all done.

That’s old news. And there’s plenty of literature around about self-care for nonprofit staff, the importance of work-life balance, etc.

But what about now, when events outside our office door are riveting, whipsawing, compelling and pulling us even further away from getting our “day job” done? 

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Hours of finding just the right verb.

Anecdotes, photos, graphics, charts.

The compellingly-presented need. The dramatic longitudinal impact, obtained through impeccable research.

All produced, of course, in color, branded, visually-appealing.

A well-done case statement is indeed a great thing. It walks your organization right in the door, often before you yourself can get there. It intrigues, it impresses, it grabs one by the throat and demands a hearing.

But while a well-done case statement certainly sells, it doesn’t create a market.

And therein lies the rub.

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Posted on in Fundraising

Fall event. Spring gala. Annual Appeal in between.

Once you wind down from one, you’re gearing up for the next. Continuous fundraising momentum, right?

But if your board – and staff – lurch from headliner to headliner, it can feel like you’re always asking.

Well – you are.

And no, that’s not the most effective fundraising strategy, unless your goal is to burn out donors (and askers).

Instead, try relationship-building: a two-way street of listening, sharing, and ongoing dialogue.

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Posted on in Fundraising

Tis the time of year for gift-giving. For family, friends, colleagues (Secret Santa, anyone?), and even – especially – for service providers.

Which means: It’s a time to remember just how interconnected we are. How dependent – on couriers knowing where to leave our urgent package of warm winter socks, or baristas remembering how many dollops of whipped cream we like in our mocha-caramel swirl.

How much our smoothly-running universe depends on the sensitivity and professionalism of others.

And to express that acknowledgement with generosity.

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Posted on in Fundraising

It’s that time of year – when all good nonprofits get out their end-of-year appeal.

Carefully crafted, visually appealing, lift notes written on top (hopefully) by the person who knows the donor best.

Cajoling done, we’ve collected contact information from board members, made sure to mail-merge and personalize each letter.

Package complete with reply card, self-addressed envelope, perhaps a brochure or fact sheet.

And then… into the mail (with a first class stamp) it goes.

Holding our breath, we wait.

But maybe, this year, there’s more to be done.

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