"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.

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Foundation Tax Forms as a Free Research Tool

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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)

How to Calculate Overhead Expenses

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Overhead Its Not A Bad Thing
There's a new school of thinking is that overhead isn't a bad thing, especially when those expenses are being used for growth. I like Peter Drury's metaphor - that overhead is like cholesterol. There's good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Just because your number is high, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Do you know your number? (read more)

Anatomy of a Stellar Thank You Letter

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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)

How To Have Better Board Meetings

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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?

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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)

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)

Do You Have An Attitude of Gratitude?

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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)

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)
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