Building a fundraising board – advice from the ‘board whisperer’

first_imgImage via the Traditional Fundraiser’s Coloring BookBecause I’ve been posting a lot about the state of the fundraising field – and the critical role of boards in bettering it – I wanted to invite you to a free Network for Good webinar, Building a Strong Board for Fundraising Success. It’s next Tuesday, April 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern. (If you can’t make that time, register anyway, and we’ll send you a recording after the event.)Here’s a description of what we have in store.Nonprofits everywhere are challenged to engage board members to solicit support and donations but let’s be real, that’s a really hard thing to do! Arming your board with the right tools can make all the difference: clear understanding of the fundraising expectation, knowledge about your organization’s cause and mission, and the confidence to pull-off “the ask.”Board “whisperer,” Dick Walker, will join Network for Good for a Nonprofit 911 webinar to present resources and practices that will help you shape your board into a rockstar fundraising resource for your organization.Be sure to tune in to this free event on Tuesday, April 30th at 1 p.m. Eastern; you don’t want to miss this! Register now.last_img read more

Your guide to creating social habits for good

first_imgI co-presented a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, “Creating Habits for Social Good: Use Behavioral Insights to Get Your Audience Hooked on Your Web Experience.” If you missed it, now is your chance to hear it! I’m re-presenting it as a free webinar on May 14.Here is the description:The bar is higher. As a cause website, it’s no longer enough to just be informative. You have to engage and delight your users throughout their web experience. By applying insights from social psychology and neuroscience, companies like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook have created addictive user experiences and you can do the same. See3’s Allan Burstyn will join Network for Good’s Katya Andresen and together, they’ll explore these concepts and how they can be applied to your organization’s online efforts. They’ll cover how your organization can harness the hardwiring of the brain to achieve social good. If you’ve ever been stymied by unresponsive online constituents, this session is for you!Register here.last_img read more

Free Webinar: Get Help with Your Last-Minute Fundraising Appeals

first_imgNeed help with your final appeals of the year? There’s still time to register for our free webinar happening today.Here’s what I’ll cover in this session:— How many messages you need to send these last few weeks of the year— What you must include in your appeals to inspire giving— When to send your appeals for maximum impact— Examples of great appeals for you to copy— Plus, we’ll leave plenty of time for your questionsBonus: If you register for the webinar, you’ll not only get the recording and slides from the session, we’ll send you a free copy of our year-end appeal template to help you craft your final appeals. (Or, you can use it to check the messages you already have scheduled.)I hope to see you there!Free Webinar: Create Amazing Last-Minute Fundraising AppealsTODAY: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1pm ESTRegister Now(Can’t attend the live session? Register anyway and we’ll send the recording of the presentation, slides, and free appeal template straight to your inbox!)last_img read more

Charitable giving on the rebound, says Giving USA

first_imgYou can visit Giving USA for a free summary, or to purchase the full data set and reports.How do these stats line up with your own fundraising results? Chime in below and let us know how you use reports like Giving USA and what other data you’d like to see . The latest Giving USA report was released today, showing that total U.S. charitable giving increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. Overall giving grew 4.4% last year to an estimated $335.17 billion, with donations from individuals driving much of the growth that sees giving inching closer to pre-recession levels. Some highlights: Giving by individuals increased by 4.2%, while corporate giving declined by 1.9%.Individual giving made up 72% of total contributions in 2013.Donations to faith-based organizations were the biggest chunk of overall giving (31%) when segmented by organization type, although gifts to this segment were flat compared to 2012.last_img read more

Don’t Forget the Why

first_imgOn a recent family vacation, I loved seeing these stickers on trash cans along the boardwalk and on the beach. As part of Virginia Beach’s “Keep It Beachy Clean” campaign, messages like “Thanks for not littering! You just kept a pelican from making bad choices.” or “Thanks for not littering! You just made a whale want to come back next year.” added a bit of humor to a reminder of why the message mattered.It’s also a good reminder for all nonprofit marketers: when asking someone to do something—whether that’s making a donation, volunteering, or putting trash in its proper place—don’t forget to tie your ask to why it matters. Why should they care? Why will it make a difference? Connecting a simple anti-litter message to the easily identifiable wildlife that would benefit from that action kept the “why” top of mind for all beachgoers.How are you keeping the “why” front and center for your donors?last_img read more

Last-Minute #GivingTuesday Tips & Help

first_imgIf you haven’t yet nailed down your #GivingTuesday plan, you might feel like it’s too late to have a successful campaign. Even if you have a campaign plan in place, you might feel a little stressed that #GivingTuesday is only 2 weeks away. Ok, maybe a lot stressed.There’s still time to join this international day of giving and get ready for your campaign, but you need to lock in on the essentials and get moving. Need some help? I’ve got your back.Here’s a quick list of the most important things you can do right now to get ready for December 1st. (Also in handy checklist form!)Craft a Great AppealDecide on your campaign’s focus and then use your theme and strongest stories to write a strong appeal. It’s important to do this sooner rather than later, because you’ll use this as a reference for updating the rest of your communications, social media profiles, and online assets, like your website and donation page.  Need help creating your fundraising appeal? We have a step-by-step guide just for you.Get Your Online Game in GearFeature your #GivingTuesday campaign and its main focus on your nonprofit’s home page, “Why Give” page, and donation page. All of your channels should reinforce your core message and include your campaign branding (such as any special logos or taglines) and story. Optimize your donation page to make sure it’s easy for donors to complete their gift and maximize donation size. (Don’t forget to update your Facebook page to point to your nonprofit’s donation page with these easy instructions.)Leverage Matching Funds and IncentivesMatching funds combined with the natural sense of urgency of any giving day can be a powerful motivator for donors to give. If you have matching funds or incentives for your donors, be sure to use them and communicate to your donors about them early and often. Network for Good has $100,000 in matching funds to match a percentage of donations for Network for Good customers, and we’re also giving our clients special challenge rewards for the top #GivingTuesday campaigns in three categories:  Most Dollars Raised, Most Donors, Most New Monthly Donors. NFG clients can compete for prizes in each category as follows:· $2,500 to the top campaign· $1,000 to the 1st runner-up· $500 to the 2nd runner-upIf you’re not a Network for Good client, you can still get on board and create an awesome campaign. We’ll provide tons of templates, resources and support, plus a free extra page to get started and everything you need to get it set up in time for December 1. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Seriously, what are you waiting for?Reach Out to Your NetworkIf you’re just now launching your campaign, you’ll need the extra boost that your community can give. Tap your board, volunteers, social media influencers and local businesses to help you spread the word. Don’t forget to create your staff plan to rally the troops and get everyone on board.Download these tips as a checklist! Editor’s note:  Our thoughts are with the victims of the attacks in Paris and their families, as well as with those suffering from recent violent events around the world. last_img read more

4 Strategic (and Successful) Ways to Manage Your Board’s Role in Fundraising

first_imgWhen it comes to boards, there’s a fine line between governance and management that can be hard to navigate. For smaller nonprofits, board members can play a more hands-on role in the organization’s operation. But as an organization grows, moving to a role focused on governance can be a big change for board members.Regardless of an organization’s size,  it is important to remember that sustainable and effective nonprofits are ones in which everyone, and I mean, everyone, understands the importance of philanthropy and does everything they can to support it.That leads us to boards and fundraising. It’s no secret that most board members rank fundraising as their least favorite activity. In a recent BoardSource study, CEOs graded their organizations’ board’s performance in the ten areas. Sixty-five percent of respondents gave their boards a C or D.  Then, we have the well-read UnderDeveloped report that found 30% of development professionals who were planning to resign from their positions cited problems between them and their boards as the key reason for their departures.So, how do nonprofits effectively involve their Boards in fundraising planning?  I recommend taking the following four steps:1. Have a candid discussion each year about your board’s role. Develop a menu of ways board members can engage, solicit, and thank donors and champion your organization. Then, ask them to commit to a few activities that they can complete that fiscal year. If nothing else, your board members play a critical role in retaining donors. According to the Donor-Centered Fundraising Study, if a donor received a thank you call from a board member within days of making a gift:93% of respondents said that they would “definitely or probably give again the next time they were asked.”84% said they would “make a larger gift.”74% would “continue giving indefinitely.”2. Present fundraising strategy to the board for feedback and approval. The key word here is strategy. You don’t need to share the full operational plan with all board members. In fact, you don’t want to do that because this blurs the line between operational and governance oversight. Share the highlights:What successes are you expecting?What changes or challenges do you anticipate?Are you piloting any new initiatives?3. Ensure fundraising planning is staff driven. Your nonprofit’s staff know the current and anticipated expenses best and revenue plans. Map out your costs and anticipated revenue and make sure your plan is clear and doesn’t paint projections that will be impossible to meet.  Then share the draft plan with your finance and development committees (or chairs) to get their feedback and buy in. Do they have a good sense of the full picture of what you resources (staff and funding) need to reach good outcomes? Is your Development Committee (if you have one) ready and able to roll up their sleeves and play an active role in donor engagement and stewardship?4. Show board members that fundraising goes beyond revenue raised. Throughout the year, empower your development committee (if you have one) and board to take on activities that support a culture of giving within your organization. This goes beyond tracking revenue raised, which keeps everyone’s sights on the transactional part of giving and getting money. An organization with strong culture of giving understands the deeper sense of donor engagement. In your board reports, continue to track revenue, but also highlight metrics that:Show donor retention: Are you keeping the donors you have?Monitor donor behavior: What is the average gift? Are your donors giving more? If yes, how do you build on that increased interest? If not, why not? Which of your donors have lapsed or decreased their giving?Reflect the board’s own fundraising investment: Are they all giving? Are they setting examples to your other donors through their gifts? Are they harnessing their networks to identify potential donors?In my experience, the more prepared staff are in their development planning, the less board members feel they need to get too in the weeds. Instead, they will feel confident that their work leading and building relationships with your donors will make a difference.last_img read more

Double Feature: Thank You Wednesday Webinar + Donor Retention eBook

first_imgWe’re serving up a double helping of proven strategies for creating donor relationships that stand the test of time and memorable experiences for the people who support your cause. Grab a seat for our free Thank You Wednesday webinar and Donor Retention eBook.Partner Webinar: Thank You Wednesday—It’s Just the BeginningWednesday, January 31,10am PST/1pm ESTCyber Monday, #GivingTuesday—and now the week continues with Thank You Wednesday. Join Network for Good and special guest Jamie McDonald, representing the 92nd Street Y (founders of #GivingTuesday), to find out how your nonprofits thank you message is just the first step in stewarding lasting donor relationships, boosting your donor retention rate, and creating memorable donor experiences.This webinar is a great chance to learn strategies firsthand from longtime #GivingTuesday expert Jamie McDonald, who’s led three major campaigns that cumulatively raised $20 million, including Baltimore’s #BMoreGivesCampaign in 2013. Today, Jamie works with the 92nd Street Y’s Belfer Center of Innovation and Social Impact, supporting nearly 100 community leaders on their own #GivingTuesday campaigns.Here’s a sample of what’s on the menu for this special webinar event:Donor experience best practicesHow to engage your board in retention effortsHow to leverage social media to create frictionless donor experiencesTechnology that supports your donor retention efforts Free eGuide on Donor RetentionThe perfect complement to our Thank You Wednesday webinar is the Donor Retention eGuide. Our downloadable eGuide is chock-full of ways your donor management system can help you grow strong, long-lasting donor relationships. It goes beyond the basics to share advanced strategies for segmenting donor data and putting it to smart use from the very first time a donor makes a gift.There’s a ton of valuable information in your donor management system. Dig into our eGuide to learn how to calculate your different donor giving rates to help support your fundraising strategy and keep your donors coming back year after year. Here’s a bit of what you’ll find:Quick tips for evaluating your donor management systemFundraising CalculatorsSegmenting your database to build strong donor connections3 commonly overlooked (but powerful) donor segments5 principles of growing donor relationshipsBonus Checklist: Year-round data-driven communications planTake the next steps in connecting with your donors: Register now to save your spot in the Thank You Wednesday webinar and download our free Donor Retention eGuide.last_img read more

Nonprofit Customer Profile: Maple Farm Sanctuary

first_imgJen Wyglinski proves how essential volunteers are to nonprofits. A freelance writer whose first job was with an international animal welfare group, Jen has been interested in animal welfare and rights for as long as she can remember. When she moved to central Massachusetts, she wanted to get involved with a farm animal sanctuary, and found Maple Farm Sanctuary. She started attending meetings six years ago, worked up to a larger volunteer role, and currently runs all of MFS’s communications; including their fundraising, website, and newsletter.Q&A with Featured Fundraiser, Jen WyglinskiHow did Maple Farm Sanctuary start?We have a really interesting and inspiring origin story. The sanctuary was started by a married couple, Cheri Ezell-Vandersluis and Jim Vandersluis. Jim is a third generation dairy farmer, and Cheri was working as a goat milk farmer when they met. They farmed animals for a couple of years before having a complete change of heart. They couldn’t stand to see what happened to animals in the farming industry. In the dairy industry, in particular, baby cows and goats are taken from their mothers right after birth. Cheri and Jim realized they wanted to save animals instead of exploit them. It took a couple more years, but they turned their property into a sanctuary for animals.What is the mission of Maple Farm Sanctuary?Maple Farm Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe and lifelong home to abused, abandoned, and unwanted farmed animals while also promoting veganism and respect for all life through public education and outreach.What has been the organization’s greatest obstacle?That’s a really good question. We’ve had a lot of challenges. On the one hand, raising money for farm animal sanctuaries is not that hard because you have a really good subject. Of course, the difficult part is the fact that farm animals have a huge amount of expenses. Getting our fundraising program in place was a challenge, but it’s one of the areas where we now show a lot of success. We’ve worked really hard to build it up. We’ve worked really hard to get our name out there and people are starting to know us. We run a big annual campaign, and we have a number of events throughout the year. We also have a lot of success with our tour program, which brings visitors to the farm every weekend from May through November. We regularly sell out for every tour that we run during that time.It sounds like you do a lot of community engagement and outreach.Definitely. My background is in donor communications and stewardship, so we work hard to make our donors feel appreciated. We have a good thank you process in place, and we regularly communicate with our donors.  We value them and want them to know that.How do you use Network for Good’s donor management system?Network for Good donor management system has been a huge help to us. We used to have a basic database program that wasn’t easy to use. I couldn’t do a lot of tasks on my own, and actually needed to consult my sister, who’s a database expert. Part of the reason why we switched to Network for Good is because of how user-friendly it is. I’m not only been able to do my work, but I’ve learned about running a database by using it. We love the email platform, which is not something we had before. It makes it easy to communicate with our donors on a regular basis. The donation pages allow us to create good-looking appeals and run our event tickets directly through the DMS.How often do you email supporters?Our supporters receive up to three emails per month, depending on what’s going on. We send out a monthly newsletter, six or seven fundraising appeals over the course of the year, plus any events we need to promote.  We also use the DMS to email people within a couple of days after they take a tour, inviting them to complete a survey about their experience. We use it as a stewardship mechanism, but also as a way to get feedback and improve our tours.How did the “three little pigs”—Chester, Harriet, and Jack—come to MFS?We first found out about the pigs much the same way we find out about our other animals, which is through a phone call asking for help. This was actually two separate rescues, so two calls from different people around the same time. In both cases, it was the owners who could no longer take care of the pigs. Breeders tell people that potbellied pigs are only going to grow to a small size, but that’s a complete lie. So people buy them thinking they’re going to be this great little house pet, and when the pigs get big they can no longer take care of them or house them. We receive calls to take potbellied pigs almost weekly.In this case, Jack and Harriet came together, and then a couple of days later, Chester arrived. Luckily we were able to put all three pigs together, and give them all a home.The “Three Little Pigs” appeal was launched in order to create a dedicated space for them. We set a specific goal for the cost of materials and asked for donations to help fix up an old shelter we had, as well as build a gated enclosure for them.And how are the pigs doing?They’re great! It’s taken a little longer than anticipated to fix up the new area, but we’re in the process of completing it. In the meantime, the pigs have a comfortable area where they all live together, and get plenty of air. We’re looking forward to moving them to an area where they have more outdoor access and tour guests can interact with them because they’re very friendly.They have very distinct, unique personalities. You quickly learn who is who. Harriet sits on command, like a dog. Jack can be a bit of a funny grouch; especially when people try to pet him, something most pigs love. Chester is the only one of the three with tusks, but he’s so gentle he never wants to use them.Once in a while, when we have a small tour, we’ll let them roam around, but they come right back when we call them. We hope to have their new area finished in the next couple of weeks. And we’ll definitely be updating all of our donors and make sure they see the new home they funded.What’s next for Maple Farm Sanctuary?We have an amazingly supportive community. We have volunteers who come every week and do heavy-duty farm chores. They’re really the reason we’re able to keep running.  We’re currently in the process of implementing a better volunteer management program. The first step is putting all of our volunteers’ information in our DMS. We recently used one of the forms in the DMS to update our volunteer applications and that’s worked great. We now have all the information right there.Are you a Network for Good customer? Know someone in your organization who should be a Featured Fundraiser on our blog? Contact Content Manager, Linda Lombardi, at [email protected] to find out more.last_img read more

Implementation Science to Improve Maternal Health Research and Programs: The Power of Partnerships

first_imgPosted on May 16, 2017May 16, 2017By: Emily Peca, Technical Advisor, Translating Research into Action (TRAction), University Research Co. LLC; Laura Reichenbach, Senior Associate and Deputy Technical Director, The Evidence ProjectClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Despite a large body of evidence describing proven strategies for improving health outcomes, replicating interventions in new settings or scaling them up is a serious challenge. Much of the evidence on health interventions is generated in controlled research settings and requires careful adaptation to reflect the complexity and diversity in different contexts.By breaking down the walls between the controlled world of traditional research studies and the “messy” realities of programs and policy, Implementation Science (IS) provides an opportunity to close the “know-do” gap. IS strategies can help generate evidence that is relevant and useful to decision-makers, resulting in practical, positive changes on the ground. While the terminology and exact definition of IS remains a topic of debate (there are multiple definitions in use), its potential and demand is becoming increasingly clear.The Evidence Project, in conjunction with the TRAction Project, FHI360 and colleagues from the East, Central, Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) and the Kenya Ministry of Health (MoH), gathered researchers, implementers and policymakers for a webinar titled, “Generating Evidence and Impact Through Implementation Science: Perspectives from FP, RH and MCH Researchers and Policymakers,” held in January 2017. Participants shared specific examples of how IS approaches have informed policies and programs related to reproductive, maternal and neonatal health.Partnerships between researchers, implementers and policymakersStrong partnerships between researchers, implementers and policymakers are key to ensure the success of IS projects. Implementation research studies should be informed by policy and practice needs, which requires the participation of decision-makers and policymakers from the start, and should be designed to respond to real world contexts. This means, among other things, taking decision-maker priorities and challenges into account when designing research questions, soliciting input into the selection of study sites or other aspects of study design and identifying and partnering with organizations that understand issues on the ground and that can inform policy change. It also means continuous engagement through regular meetings with policymakers and other key stakeholders throughout the study process. After all, even the strongest evidence will not result in actual policy or program change without partners who are willing and eager to use it.Implementation science and the case of respectful maternity careThe quick progression of respectful maternity care exemplifies the value of strategic engagement of IS partners. Researchers often embark on their work in isolation and then expect advocates and decision-makers to become interested and involved at the very end of the evidence generation process, rather than investing the time early on to explain their work, solicit feedback and seek engagement from these key partners. This results in long lapses of time between the start of research and the point at which any action could be taken. What distinguished the global respectful maternity care effort and fueled its unusually speedy results was that it intentionally launched both evidence generation in specific countries and awareness-raising activities by the White Ribbon Alliance and others from the beginning.A further catalyst was the engagement of partners at the national and regional levels. For example, at the national level in Kenya, the right mix of partners and strategic engagement was critical to success. As described by Dr. Muthigani during the webinar, the MoH of Kenya, along with the National Nurses Association of Kenya and National Federation for Women’s Lawyers, was involved at from the beginning and maintained a central role in the IS research undertaken by Population Council Kenya to test solutions that mitigate disrespect and abuse and advance respectful maternity care. As Dr. Muthigani highlighted, this continuous engagement ensured that by the end of the IS study, the MoH of Kenya was informed and prepared to make policy and programmatic changes. At the regional level, partners like the ECSA-HC provided a platform for sharing respectful care evidence and continuing to raise awareness among ministerial level decision-makers in the region.The respectful maternity care movement illustrates a hallmark of successful IS initiatives: committed partnerships among researchers, implementers and policymakers at all levels to address appropriate implementation questions, generate demand for evidence and translate that evidence into practice. The pairing of the IS research results from Kenya, underpinned by engagement with local partners and the ongoing global advocacy led to local change and to global action. That is the power of IS.Are you using IS in your work to improve maternal newborn health? We want to hear from you!—Download presentations from the webinar.Read another post about improvement science for maternal health on the MHTF blog.Learn more about respectful maternity care.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more