Skeptical. Controlling. Underappreciated. Some descriptions of your donors can sound like a list of the Seven Dwarfs gone wrong.
Every nonprofit organization has a goal, or several goals, but in his book You’ve Gotta Have Heart, Cass Wheeler writes that to really make an impact an organization needs a breakthrough goal — a bold goal that challenges the organization in a way that it has not been challenged before.
Typical capital campaigns start out like an undercover operation. Fundraisers target a select donor group that can make heavyweight gifts and try to raise a majority of the financial goal before most donors even know there will be campaign.
Every community varies, and that includes religious communities, according to Sister Kathleen Lunsmann, director of development at the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scranton, Penn.
Being the boss is easy when things are going well. It’s like investing in the stock market during the 1990s while the Dow was surging past 10,000. Trying to invest in the market today, after the Dow shed a third of its value last year, is a whole other story. Running a nonprofit during these unprecedented economic times presents CEOs with challenges they may not have expected.
For some nonprofits, the data it collects about donors is its lifeline. But sometimes that data isn’t enough, or it at least can be improved.
Board members usually aren’t born fundraisers. They might have different reasons for accepting a board position, such as a personal connection to the cause, but board members should realize fundraising comes with the territory.
Your major donors have always been important to your organization. You should be cultivating major donors to stay with the mission and make their feel secure about their major gifts, according to Sarah Burdi, assistant vice president of Falls Church, Va. based InovaHealth System Foundation, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
People always have excuses for anything. Your significant other just forgot the dishes were in the sink. Your coworker always hits traffic Monday mornings. And your teenagers didn’t know 200 people would show up to a “small party” they threw the weekend you went away.
You might think of values when you are discussing family and politics. Values also have their role in the decision-making in your development office, according to Joel Zimmerman, director of consulting services CDR Fundraising Group in Bowie, Md.