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What Nonprofits Can Learn From Cross-Country Skiers

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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?

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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)

Meeting Your Fundraising Goals - This Year and Next

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Meeting Your Fundraising Goal - This Year and Next
There's been a lot of talk lately about the President's proposed budget for 2018, which seeks to reduce or eliminate hundreds of programs. The key word is "proposed." The proposed cuts may or may not happen. Regardless, what the President has proposed should serve as a reminder to all nonprofits that it's important to create and keep a diverse revenue stream. And it all starts with your fundraising plan. (read more)

How to "Be Your Donor," and Why

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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

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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)

5 Fundraising Lessons from Give Big 2016

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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)

Raise More Money in the Last Four Weeks of the Year

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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)

21 Tips for Your Next Fundraising Appeal

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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)

How To Plan Your First Big Fundraising Campaign

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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)

How One Small Community Raised $240,000 In 24 Hours

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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

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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)

Fundraising vs. Grant Writing: What's Right For My Nonprofit?

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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)

What You Need To Know About #GivingTuesday and Give Local America

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What You Need To Know About GivingTuesday and GiveBIG Days
#GivingTuesday is the unofficial start to the year-end giving season. Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it follows one day of giving thanks, and two days of getting deals. #GivingTuesday started in 2012, and it's one of two national days of giving. #GiveLocal (or #GiveBig) started in 2014 and is held on the first Tuesday in May. These giving days are growing in size and momentum. And here's how to get your organization ready to participate. (read more)

3 Statistical Facts That Will Improve Your Fundraising

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3 Statistical Facts That Will Improve Your Fundraising
The good folks at npENGAGE compiled a list of 50 Fascinating Nonprofit Statistics that covers the gamut -- from how many nonprofits there are in the U.S. (1.4 million) to how much is donated to them ($316 billion in 2012), by whom (Boomers give to more charities than Millennials) and how (online giving is growing). Here are 3 statistics that will surprise you. (read more)

SHIFT The Way You Think About Fundraising

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SHIFT The Way You Think About Fundraising
Last week was the 51st Annual International Conference of the Association of Professional Fundraisers. The theme was SHIFT, as in "shift your perspective and get a whole new focus on fundraising." Dozens of nonprofit thought leaders (including Tom Ahern, Penelope Burk, Simone Joyaux and Beth Kanter) shared ideas that inspired the nearly 3,000 of us fundraisers who were in attendance. Here are a few takeaways. (read more)

Are You Ready to Ask for (and Receive) Year-End Donations?

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Are You Ready to Ask for and Receive Year-End Donations
Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. It's a day that encourages us to give to charity. And it's particularly timely since 'tis the season...the end-of-year fundraising season, that is. And, in order to get people to give, you need to ask. It's as simple as that. Here are some tips for reaching out by direct mail and by email, and also tips to getting your website ready to receive online donations. (read more)
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