How to Ask for Monthly Gifts at Your Gala Event

Posted by on Feb 3, 2018 in Case Studies, General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

A colleague consultant asked me this question last week, and I was discussing this very same thing with another organization myself. Great timing! A nonprofit in the process of launching its monthly donor program has its annual gala coming up this spring. It’s a fancy event—heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction, including a “fund-a-need” focused on something they need for their program. Donors typically pay $100 to $150 for a...

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Get Rid of Silos for Your (Monthly) Donor’s Sake!

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Case Studies, General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Hard to believe, but it’s been almost 25 years since I became a fundraiser, working for a large nonprofit, managing its monthly donor program. At the time, the development department consisted of someone responsible for donor appeals, another for acquisition of new donors and someone for major donors. Everybody was responsible to raise a certain amount a year. In those days, monthly donors “touched” the other departments, as we were only...

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Don’t Forget to Test Before You Send

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great time with my family, the turkey and all the trimmings. On Black Friday, I sat down behind my computer and made donations to some 20 organizations. The same amount for each. Some I already donate to monthly, and some I only give to this time of year. To process the 20 donations, four used PayPal, and two used Stripe, NetCommunity, Donor Perfect Weblink, Classy or Network for Good. Then...

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What Would St. Nick Say?

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

St. Nick (or Sinterklaas as we called him) was part of my tradition growing up in Holland. Dec. 5 was when we received our gifts as kids. The night before, we’d put our shoe with some straw and carrots for St. Nick’s white horse in the corner of our living room. And he and his little helper black Pete would come and drop our gifts near our shoes. Here are two links to the explanation of this tradition. here or here. As we got older, we’d draw...

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Nothing Is Impossible If You Just Believe

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

  Every year, the military base theater near us (Joint Base Cape Cod) organizes the annual Christmas tree lighting. It’s a fun event, with hot cocoa, peppermint sticks and a short visit of Santa, of course! As a military spouse myself (married to a 32-year Airforce veteran), we love our little theater, and this event is always a lot of fun. It’s so wonderful to see the little kids and adults enjoy themselves. The tree lighting is followed...

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Warning: Minimal Stress Involved

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Yes, it’s true! Prime giving season is here. Everybody is on high alert. Printers are buzzing. Letter shops are stuffing appeals in overtime. Email drafts for #GivingTuesday and December are flying left and right. You’re pushing board members to commit to calling at least a few donors to say “thank you.” Some have said they’d be willing to come in and write personal notes on some of your appeal letters. And it all has to drop by Thanksgiving!...

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Should You Use a ‘Tchotchke’ for Monthly Giving?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

  This is an interesting question. The first answer is that this depends very much on what you’re currently using in your appeals and messaging. The second answer is that you will never know until you test it. If your donors are used to receiving something “in exchange for a donation,” using a tchotchke or premium as a “thank you” for joining a monthly giving program may be the way to go. For example, if you’re sending out upfront premiums...

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Monthly donors, your ‘insurance policy’ during disasters

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Annual appeals, Recurring giving |

As part of the country is cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew and others are bracing themselves for it, I was thinking about disasters and the tremendous impact on fundraising, especially in prime giving season. For example, if you’re local, based in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina and your donors have to evacuate in the middle of your busy appeal season, that will definitely have an impact! Just think back what happened with Katrina...

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Fundraising is Good, but Compliance is Better!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in General Interest |

When I start working with new clients or talk to nonprofits, the following issue comes up every now and then. Thank you to James Gilmer of Harbor Compliance for his guest blog on this important issue! Fundraising is Good, but Compliance is better! Fundraising is the lifeblood of most nonprofits. Whether it’s by monthly, annual, or one-time gifts, few organizations can survive without critical donations. While your organization may be going to...

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