"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.

2015 Blog PostsLet's Talk Nonprofit Blog RSS Feed

Last-Minute Tips for Year-End Fundraising
Whether your nonprofit operates on a calendar year or fiscal year, what happens in December is critically important to your annual fundraising success. Giving spikes at the end of the year and fully one-third of December's gifts occur on December 31. So, how can you raise more money in the last four weeks of the year? Here are 4 actions you can take now to raise more money in the next 4 weeks. (read more)

10 Essential Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
Did you know that "Board" and "Board Members" are not interchangeable terms? The board is the collective group of individual board members. Individuals have responsibilities, just as the group has responsibilities. Every nonprofit board, as the governing body of the nonprofit, has 10 fundamental responsibilities. Do your individual board members understand what the board is charged with? (read more)

21 Tips for Your Year-End Fundraising Appeal
When it comes to fundraising, what do you need to know? First, abandon the idea of a single "annual appeal." Asking for money is no longer a once-a-year activity. In fact, donors expect you to ask more often (and they respond when you do!), so don't wait until this time next year to ask again. Second, the primary focus of your appeal should be to keep your current donors – not attract new ones. Lastly, here are 21 tips and tricks to a better appeal, every time. (read more)

Before You Start Planning Your Next Fundraising Campaign
So, you want to raise money. A lot of money. But you don't know where to start. Well, you're not alone. Here's the good news. You can raise more money. But first, you need a plan. A recently released study of small nonprofits (less than $2 million budgets) found that, when it comes to fundraising results, "the ONLY thing that matters is whether your organization has a fundraising plan." Okay. So, where do you begin? (read more)

Do You Have An Attitude of Gratitude
Do your donors feel special? I do, and it's thanks to some tremendous work by nonprofits in my adopted hometown of Bozeman, MT. I made 10 modest gifts to 10 nonprofits on Give Big Day and watched to see what would happen. Wow! Here are some of the ways that I've been thanked for those donations over the last 90 days. Steal these ideas and you'll make your donor's day! (read more)

What You Need To Know From the Giving USA 2015 Report
This is the time of year that many nonprofits start the cycle again: new budget, new board members, new goals. It's also a time to look back and see what we can learn from the past. Why now, you ask? Each June, the annual Giving USA report is released, providing us with trends and insights from the previous year's giving trends. This information can help your nonprofit plan for the year ahead. Here are some of the report's findings from 2014 giving. (read more)

Whats In Your Writing Toolbox
Grant writing is a skill that you hone over time. And just like a good craftsman, you need a good set of tools if you want to do the job well. Maybe you have an APA style guide. If you're old school, you might even have Mr. Webster's work sitting nearby. When it comes to proofreading and review, I'll bet you're probably using your word processor's spell check and grammar check features. And that's good. But there's more. (read more)

How One Small Community Raised 240,000 In 24 Hours
Organizers expected Give Big Day 2015 would raise $100 million nationwide. I want to give a shout out to my friend Bridget and all those who made the first #GiveBigGallatinValley event such a success. Their efforts raised nearly $240,000 in 24 hours. This month, I'm sharing some of the things Bridget did and ideas you can use when planning your next online giving event. (read more)

Every Board Member Can Be A Fundraiser
Today is April Fools' Day, but this is no joke. Every member of your board CAN be an effective fundraiser. And when every board member is involved in fundraising, you will raise more money for your nonprofit. I recently facilitated a half-day fundraising training for a nonprofit board. At one point, a board member had that "aha!" moment and announced gleefully, "I can do that!" And she can. Every board member can. Read on and learn how to get your board "on board" with fundraising. (read more)

Proofreading vs Editing Whats The Difference
It's called grant writing. Alas, there's so much more to grant writing than just "writing." Grant writing always starts with comprehensive and thorough research, and it always ends with a careful and thoughtful review. Your review should be a combination of proofreading and editing. What's the difference, you ask? Read on, dear reader. (read more)

Improve Your Writing Tips for Writing for Older Donors
This month's musing was inspired by a fabulous presentation that I attended at the Fundraising Summit last month. The session on Bequest Marketing was presented by the equally fabulous Leah Eustace, ACFRE. Leah's presentation got me thinking about older donors in general and their importance to your organization. So, this month, I'll share some thoughts about older donors and tips writing to them -- just the way they want to read it. (read more)

Fundraising vs Grant Writing Whats Right For My Nonprofit
The start of the new year is the perfect time for you to think about your nonprofit's fundraising objectives and strategies. Do you need to raise money? Of course! Should you be writing grants? Maybe. Grants are just one piece of the funding puzzle, and they aren't the only way for your nonprofit to bring in money. Learn how grant writing can fit in your broader development plan. (read more)

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