"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.

2016 Blog PostsLet's Talk Nonprofit Blog RSS Feed

The Real Value of Your Volunteers
Chances are, you missed International Volunteer Day on December 5. And that's understandable. This time of year, most nonprofits are focusing their attention on donors and year-end giving. At the same time, let's not forget the volunteers who make great things happen all year long. Volunteers add a lot of value to your organization – as both human and financial resources. Here are some tips on how you can assign value and show your appreciation to your volunteers. (read more)

How to Get Donors to Like You and Give More
Dale Carnegie's seminal book, "How To Win Friends and Influence People," was published 80 years ago. It's an oldie...and a goodie. It wasn't written for fundraisers. However, there are many lessons you can apply when you want to raise more money for your nonprofit. Use what you learn here to build relationships, make stronger appeals, and show appreciation to your donors. Then, you'll raise more money. (read more)

How to Be Your Donor, and Why
"Be Your Donor Day." Have you heard of it? It's not a traditional holiday and it gets little fanfare. However, this simple concept has big implications for your nonprofit. Think of "Be Your Donor Day" as a time to measure your donors' giving experience. From testing your donation system to tracking your back office process, you want to make sure every donor's experience is a great one. (read more)

10 Tips for Year-End Fundraising Success
It's back-to-school time. And if you have kids - whether they're in kindergarten or starting college - you make a plan for getting ready for that all-important first day. What about your nonprofit? Are you getting ready for the most important time of your year? December can be make-or-break for your organization's annual budget. If you haven't started planning your year-end fundraising campaign, now's the time to start. And here are a few ideas to get you going. (read more)

Anatomy of a Stellar Thank You Letter
Here are some simple truths: When you give someone a gift, you expect them to say "thank you." And when a donor makes a contribution to your nonprofit, you should always say thank you. In writing. It doesn't have to be handwritten. It could be a typed letter. Or even email. Whatever medium you choose, your "thank you" should have some basic elements. Follow these four simple steps and you'll take your thank you letters from average to All Star! (read more)

15 Fun Facts from the Giving USA 2016 Report
For more than 60 years, the Giving USA report has provided insights into the sector. This annual report tells us about U.S. giving trends from the last year. It gives us a benchmark for philanthropy and helps us understand who's giving - and to whom. This year's headline read "2015 Was America's Most-Generous Year Ever." And that's good news for the nonprofit sector. And that's not all the good news. Read on for 15 giving facts that you need to know. (read more)

5 Fundraising Lessons from Give Big 2016
Give Big Day had its challenges in 2015. One major fundraising platform crashed, making the system unavailable to donors for most of the day. Yet the Gallatin Valley (Bozeman, MT) crushed its $300,000 giving goal and raised more than $420,000 using what they called Plan B. Here's what they did. And, just like Bozeman, you can raise more money when you apply these five overarching themes to your fundraising. (read more)

How You Should Be Talking To Your Donors
Penelope Burk literally wrote the book on "Donor Centered Fundraising" in 2003. So, the idea of donor-centricity isn't new. What's donor-centricity, you ask? It's organizing everything you do around the wants and needs of your donor. And in nonprofit communications, there's nothing more important than making the message about your donor. Here are some examples of how a lot of nonprofits talk to their donors...and how you should be talking to your donors. (read more)

Cool Google Tools and How Your Nonprofit Can Use Them
Google. Can you imagine life without it? We use it every single day and in so many ways. There's Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Hangouts, Maps and more. And we can't forget where it all started: good old-fashioned Search. And as much as you use Google, I'd bet there are tools and programs that you're not using...and that could benefit your nonprofit. Here are five of them. (read more)

How To Have Better Board Meetings
Do your board meetings feel like a necessary evil? Well, there's hope. You can have better board meetings. Great board meetings are possible, but they don't just happen. They take planning, preparation and a commitment from everyone, from the board officers to each and every board member. Here are 14 tips for better board meetings, with specific suggestions for your board chair, treasurer, secretary and the individual board members. (read more)

Do You Have Board Members or Bored Members
You know those conference name badges with the colorful ribbons that say "Speaker," "Sponsor" and the like? I attended a conference recently where some attendees were wearing strips that said "Bored Member." (They were tchotchkes from the exhibitor's hall, and they were the hottest item there.) Silly as it seems, it does make you think. Does your nonprofit have "bored members?" Are you one yourself? If you answered yes, here's how you can change that. (read more)

Do You Have Too Many Competing Priorities
The new year. It's a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. It's a time for plans...and priorities. If you're like most people, you probably feel like you have too many things to do. And you wonder how you'll get them all done. There's no doubt that most nonprofit employees are charged with doing a lot of different tasks. So, I ask you, what's your top priority? And what would happen if you focused your time, energy and resources on that single most important thing? (read more)

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