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Posted on in Fundraising

Janet’s been a reading tutor in Sunrise Community Center’s Book Buddies program for a few years now. She recently did a terrific job organizing a fundraiser to raise some extra cash for the program. She makes her own donation to Book Buddies each year, and seems pretty reliable and involved.

Let’s ask her onto the Sunrise Community Center’s board!

Well, yes, but…

There’s a long journey from program volunteer to organizational board member, and Janet’s board orientation – and training through the whole first year – will need to help her to make that leap. 

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Posted on in Board Development

There’s no substitute for first-hand experience.

A board member, executive director and director of development agreed, at last week’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards Panel produced by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York on Excellence in Fundraising and Resource Development, with this Steve Jobs quote: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Rather than asking cold – for board members, for donations, for resources – the answer, for panelists from New York Common Pantry and Red Hook Initiative, is to involve people in the organization as volunteers.

To show them, by proximity, the important work (and the recipients of the services) – in order to sell them on the mission. 


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Posted on in Fundraising

#GivingTuesday – a day to give back, to encourage altruism, to remind us of our responsibility for the common good.

All important messages – when it works and doesn’t result in donor fatigue.

Like any fundraising framework used by multiple nonprofits, the accumulated weight of receiving 10, 20, 40 #GivingTuesday exhortations on the very same day, can lead quite quickly to donor tune-out.

Last year I got 26 #GivingTuesday e-appeals – all from groups I care about. And this year, I expect even more.

My reaction? Intrigue on the first couple, eyes glazing over on the next several, and pure ignoring by the last dozen or so.

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