Posts filed under ‘Fundraising’

Gift Architecture and the Donor Database

One of the most important aspects of implementing a new donor database or cleaning up an out of control database is selecting the proper gift architecture. (more…)


June 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Mission Moments

“Mission moments” is most often a term used within the church community to refer to connecting the work of individual members to the wider church organization. But let’s expand this meaning …

According to Lori Jacobwith a mission moment is defined as “any example of how your organization is making an impact. It’s an example about a real person, family, or human situation”. (more…)

May 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Are you struggling to get your board on board with Fundraising?

Most nonprofit boards hesitate when they are asked to become fundraisers on behalf of the organization. Many boards have a financial commitment requirement of board members with the philosophy, “if all board members give $XX then they don’t have to help us raise money.” Your board should be excited to build awareness and support for your organization.

According to Kelly Egolf with the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the greatest myth around Board Members becoming great fundraisers is in the equation:

If the equation is

Fundraising = Asking for Money = Resistance

Then change the equation!

Being an Ambassador = Introducing and Thanking (more…)

May 17, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Annual Planning: Importance of a Written Development Plan

Why do you raise money?

  • To support your mission.
  • To provide services.
  • To grow your organization.
  • To promote awareness of a particular cause/issue.
  • To build a stronger community.
  • To teach, educate and train. (more…)

May 7, 2011 at 1:29 AM

Stewardship: 10 Hard and Fast Rules to Writing a Thank You Letter

A donor writes:

“Dear Friend,” the thank you letter began… and it broke my heart. Don’t they know my name? I wondered. (more…)

May 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM 1 comment

Building Strong Fundraising Pyramids

Every fundraiser has seen a variety of giving pyramids that all have the same basic premise of giving levels. A fundraising pyramid represents the number of donors across the horizontal axis and the value or potential value of a donor on the vertical axis. The pyramid represents pools of donors and their propensity to give to specific fundraising initiatives. For example, the bottom level of the pyramid represents, one-time, first-time or occasional donors. These donors should make up the largest number of active donors in your donor database. The top level typically represents legacy donors and are the smallest number of donors with the largest potential giving. The following images are examples of different giving pyramids. (more…)

April 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Are your Development Goals in line with your Mission and Program Goals?

There are two distinct ways to analyze this question.

First, from a marketing stand-point the fundraising appeals that tend to bring in the most donor and advocacy support are those that tell real human stories about the way your agency has helped specific people, families, animals, communities, etc. However, often times from a legal stand-point these stories are confidential in nature and even alluding to the stories and using fictional names can cause legal and privacy issues. (more…)

April 5, 2011 at 1:12 AM

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About the Author

Susan Douglas is a non-profit advisor, social media consultant, educator and trainer, software and donor database implementation specialist and all around guru for the non-profit community. Susan has worked in non-profit development and management for 13 years and is currently an affiliated partner for Non-Profit Partners.

Although Susan has spent the majority of her professional career building traditional fundraising and awareness campaigns, Susan is most passionate and excited about emerging new media and how these tools can help foster and nurture real relationships with community advocates on behalf of the non-profit organizations she serves.