"Let's Talk Nonprofit" is a blog by Third Sector Consulting that addresses common questions that nonprofits have. Questions about fundraising. Questions about boards. Questions about what's going on in the nonprofit sector today. Ready? Let's Talk Nonprofit.

2018 Blog PostsLet's Talk Nonprofit Blog RSS Feed

A Look Inside a Grantmaker's Decision Process
There's a saying, "If you've met one foundation, you've met one foundation." It's true. Funders have different priorities. They're different sizes. They all have different trustees and different sized staffs. They also have different ways of making decisions. Yet one thing that all funders have in common is this: there's usually a method to the madness when it comes to their decision-making. Understanding the process from a funders' perspective can help you in your overall grantseeking process. (read more)

Avoid 'Fact Traps' When Writing Grant Proposals
How often do you fall into the "fact trap" when writing grant proposals? Do you even know when you're in it? Learn what the "fact trap" is and why you want to avoid it when writing grant proposals. (read more)

9 Measures of Fundraising Success Beyond The Bottom Line
The start of a nonprofit's new (fiscal) year is always an exciting time, with new fundraising goals to meet or exceed. Yet far too many nonprofit leaders rely on the budget - the bottom line - to measure annual success. In fact, there are many ways (and reasons) to measure various components of your fundraising campaigns. This post explores 9 essential metrics and offers tools to help you calculate and track them - so your fundraising stays on track all year long. (read more)

5 Takeaways from the Giving USA Report and What They Mean To You
Charitable giving in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2017, crossing the $400 billion mark. (Yes, billion with a "b.") This is one of the findings from the most recent Giving USA report, which tracks annual giving trends. Here are five highlights from the Giving USA 2018 report and why these takeaways matter to you. (read more)

4 Do's and Don'ts for Donor Acknowledgment
Your nonprofit relies on donations from individual donors. And, chances are, you're a donor to other nonprofits as well. Do you pay attention to how different organizations thank you when you make a donation? I sure do. Recently, I made modest, but equal, gifts to a dozen nonprofits. What happened next inspired this post. (read more)

There's More Than One Way to Measure Success
For a lot of nonprofits, June 30 marks the end of the fiscal year. Most nonprofits use their bottom line as the primary measure of success. And many will use it as the only way to measure the success of their fundraising program. The thing is, meeting your budget numbers shouldn't be your only fundraising goal. (read more)

What To Do After You've Written a Grant
There's more to grant writing than just "writing." A lot more. At its core, grant writing has three steps that I call the 3Rs: Research, wRiting, and Review. In a previous post, I shared the importance of doing your research before starting to write a grant. This post will offer tips on reviewing what you write, before you submit your proposal to a foundation. (read more)

PowerPoint For Good 4 Tips For Trainers
PowerPoint presentations are a staple at most conferences. And as the title of this post suggests, PowerPoint seems to be here for good - or at least for the foreseeable future. If you're a trainer, and you use PowerPoint, you need to learn to use well, so you can help people learn. (read more)

The Most Overlooked Part of Grant Writing
Here's a secret: there's more to grant writing than just "writing." A lot more. Successful grant writing always starts with thorough research, and it ends with a thoughtful review. This post focuses on research - the most overlooked part of grant writing. (read more)

Foundation Tax Forms as a Free Research Tool
Unless you're an accountant, you probably don't like tax forms. But if you're a nonprofit (and especially if you're a grant seeker), you should love them. That's because tax forms - specifically the 990-PF - are a terrific, free research tool. Tax forms are a treasure trove of information. You can learn about a foundation's giving guidelines, how much they give, who they've given to recently, and so much more. (read more)

The State of Grant Seeking Today
If you're new to grant writing, or even if you've been at it for a while, you might have questions like, How long does it usually take to get a grant? How much is a typical award? If I apply for 2 or 3 grants, will I get at least one? Each year, the State of Grant Seeking Report answers these questions and many more. Here's a summary of the latest data. (read more)

What Nonprofits Can Learn from Cross-Country Skiers
Every four years, the Olympics showcase the best of the best athletes on the world's biggest stage. This year, we'll see new stars, even new sports (mixed doubles curling, anyone?) This fundraising lesson comes from a timeless and classic winter sport. And, as a bonus, you'll find a fundraising effectiveness exercise. What's working? What's not? And what could you do differently? This post will help change the way you think about raising money. (read more)

What Fundraising Metrics Are Worth Measuring
The new year is a great time to set new goals for your organization. Even if it's the midway point in your fiscal year, you can still set goals - for the fiscal year or this calendar year. Just don't wait until the end of the year to measure your success! Check out these 10 fundraising metrics you might consider tracking and reporting, to help you reach your year-end goals. (And don't miss the 2 metrics that no nonprofit can afford to ignore!) (read more)

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