Are you a fan of “ripped from the headlines”? There’s a whole genre based on this… from crossword puzzles to Jay Leno’s old late night segments to plots for TV dramas. They always catch my attention. That’s why I wanted … Continue reading →
In previous posts, I’ve encouraged you to ditch the “Olympic medal” mentality and focus on creating corporate sponsorship benefits that meet the prospect’s goals. Here to echo the theme – and provide two really helpful phrases you can use right away Continue reading →
A recent LinkedIn discussion centered on how nonprofits celebrate when they win a grant. Turns out, many “do the happy dance!” One writer reported her organization rings a cow bell so that everyone hears the good news. Another indulges in small treats, such as a cupcake or a new e-book.
Or who? That’s right, the funder! After all, it takes two to tango, and even the Harlem Shake is no fun if you do it alone. If funded nonprofits want to talk about how they celebrate, so should funders. So let’s ask them.
In fact, let’s put it in a quick, five or six question survey that goes out with our sincere letter of thanks. Now, I’m not talking about the tax receipt telling your funder their check has been received. I’m talking about a personal letter – the old-fashioned, snail-mail kind – that shares your enthusiasm about how your organization will be able to provide better service, serve more people or do whatever your proposal promised. (If you don’t already have one, Pamela Grow offers a great template thank-you letter complete with a sample P.S. for the survey.)
The “Partnership Kick-Off Survey” might ask:
How do you prefer to be contacted (email, telephone, postal mail)?
How often do you want to hear about the program you’re funding?
What recognition do you find most meaningful? (Just as people are introverted or extroverted, funders may want public or private recognition. A plaque in the lobby is not a one-size-fits-all celebration.)
Can we announce your contribution in a news release, newsletter, or in other ways?
What should we use in program materials (your organization’s full name, logo, approved description, etc.)?
Can we have a copy of your report form now, so that we capture and track the details that are most important to you?
Then close it with another thank you: We look forward to continuing the conversation about how your funding helps create X, Y or Z.
Making the Connection: Who wants a thank-you letter from a dance party they weren’t invited to attend? Let’s start inviting our funders to help us celebrate by asking what kind of recognition is most meaningful to them.
Nonprofits that engage their board members in fundraising are more likely to reach their goals than those that don’t. In fact, 60 percent of organizations in which board members have helped with fundraising met their 2011 fundraising goals, according to a study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. That compares to just 53 percent of organizations without board involvement.
The university foundation where I serve on the board of directors is becoming more involved in supporting our fundraising staff. We’re mindfully building on our commitment to 100 percent giving (by itself an important goal and hallmark of an effective board). This past weekend, we voted to incorporate Six Simple Steps for Board Involvement in Fundraising into our new strategic plan.
How did we do it?
As chair of the development committee, I borrowed a story from a fellow consultant. My friend Chuck recalls being asked to lead his church facilities committee. Continue reading →
Training Hosted by the Association
of Fundraising Professionals/Minnesota Chapter
February 14, 2013
Moderator — Kim Polzin (Polzin Communications, LLC) Panelists — Mike Newman (Travelers Foundation) and Karen Smith (Verizon Wireless)
Looking for the perfect corporate funding match for your nonprofit? Even the best solution to society’s hot-button challenges sometimes have trouble finding the right corporate funders. In this session, you’ll learn about three different kinds of corporate funding (and who controls the budgets), and how to determine which companies have potential to be a match for your organization. After this session, you’ll be able to: Continue reading →
People have asked: what does a love of food and nutrition and a career in public relations have to do with fundraising? Well… just about everything.
Let’s back up a little. I started college (after carefully choosing the institution with a stellar reputation and top ranking in my chosen profession) with the idea of eventually running a large test kitchen. And then quickly realized that knowing if a particular nutrient is fat or water soluble was not going to sustain my interest for as long as I thought I might have to work. Continue reading →