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Individual vs. Institutional Fundraising: the great divide – or not?

Individuals make funding decisions that correspond with deeply-held values, based on who asks them. Subject, of course, to their capacity to give and other pulls on their resources. Whether they base their decision more on linkage (to the asker) or interest (in the cause) is completely case-specific, although special events contributions tend to be more relationship-based and major donor gifts more cause-related, as a general rule of thumb.

While institutional funding sources weigh these three factors as well, the corporate sector is the closest to mimicking individual donors in terms of their “why.” 

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Posted on in Fundraising

Someone from the media’s on the phone? The executive director, usually the public face of the organization, speaks with the reporter and shares the ensuing article with board members, supporters, and the like. End of story.

But not always.

When the issue is controversial, behind the executive director must be the board. And it’s the job of the executive director to know when to reach out to the board to think through, as a group, what the organization’s response should be.

The CEO does not stand alone.

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Posted on in Fundraising

One million donors in, Ice Bucket Challenge versions 2.1 and 3.2 are hitting the web.

2.1 - Throwing ice cubes/water on your head and donating $100 to ALS plus $100 to Doctors Without Borders (or another medical charity) because others are suffering too.

3.2 – Throwing ice cubes/water on your head and skipping ALS because “they’ve already gotten way more than they know what to do with,” and simply giving to Doctors Without Borders (or another medical charity).

The underlying theme?

That combustible mixture of: i) social sharing; ii) participating in an “event” without a unifying place and time; and iii) the public practice of altruism.

None of which are unknown phenomena in the history of successful fundraising.

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Posted on in Fundraising

At Cause Effective, we often say “The most important day of a special event is the Day After.”

So, too, with #GivingTuesday.

Everybody's revved up to “perform” on #GivingTuesday. We've got our call lists, our social media messages, our ambassadors all suited up and ready to go.

But what about Wednesday, and the day after and week after and month after? Are we done, with a sigh of relief, until next year?

And if the answer is “We hope not” – how do we capture this adrenaline-of-the-day, this special excitement, into a sustained, everyday effort to promote our that offers as much meaning to our circle of ambassadors as it does to us on the inside?

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Posted on in Fundraising

The annual appeal. A well-crafted letter. Gathering lists. Begging board members to write personal notes and get them in the mail now, rather than waiting “till they have time.”

The same old, same old.

This year, we have the chance to spice-up our year-end a little, create some buzz, do something a little different.

We have…#GivingTuesday.

But how can we integrate it into our year-end fundraising campaign without cannibalizing our annual appeal returns?

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