Monthly Archives: November 2013

Is it Time to Change the Name of Nonprofits?

By |November 30th, 2013|

If an organization goes by the title of being a “nonprofit,” then why are they always seeking my profit? This continues to be a problem with language. That is why many are trying to shift the language and narrative to social sector or humanitarian enterprises or social businesses or patient capital or anything else expect for the term “nonprofit.” Yes, it is true that many nonprofits have multi-million and even billion dollar endowments – look no further than universities and hospitals. They may not be making a profit in the traditional business sense of the term of shareholder value, [...]

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Now This is The Way to Raise Money!

By |November 29th, 2013|

Just this morning landed on my desk an invitation to NOT attend a fundraising gala. This is not the first time I have experienced such an invitation from a public charity, but it is a very clever way to communicate to the heart of your donors while addressing real needs of your charity.


For clarity purposes, the card reads as follows: “WE’D LOVE TO HOST A FANCY CHRISTMAS GALA AND INVITE OUR DEAREST FRIENDS LIKE YOU. But we just don’t have the time or budget. We’re putting everything we have into meeting the immediate needs of homeless men, women and [...]

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How Diverse is Your Donor Base?

By |November 28th, 2013|

How diverse is your donor base? Do you only seek out white middle class Americans for funding? Do you intentionally target African Americans, Mexicans and Hispanics, Latin Americans, Asians, both the poor and the super wealthy or do you simply stick to the folks around your local community? College students, teenagers in high school and even elementary students can all actively participate in fundraising, volunteering and advocacy. If a person can speak, where a t-shirt, or give money, even if it is only a dollar or two, then they should be on your donor list. As a young child [...]

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Donors are Persons of Dignity, Value & Worth

By |November 27th, 2013|

I recently listened to a webinar on philanthropy and fundraising that stated donors wanted to feel good, loved, smart, needed and important. As true as this maybe, it falls short of who donors really are as people. It falls short because it only addresses the emotional side of donors. Donors are more than emotional beings reacting to requests to feel all happy and important. Rather donors are good people, loving, smart, needed and important. This shift in tense from feeling to being is critical in understanding the role and purpose of donors. They are important by default that they [...]

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Christians Continue to Create Poor Content at Giving Conferences

By |November 26th, 2013|

Only in Christian evangelical circles do people get asked to speak on topics they are not qualified to speak on. I am continually amazed at the type of speakers and presenters who speak on philanthropy, generosity, giving and charity that do not come from a depth of knowledge or wisdom from such topics. As a result, most attendees at such events get skewed insights at best and often left with simple emotionally charged pep talks. But if giving is ever going to mature to a level of wisdom, knowledge and real life case studies, then speakers and presenters truly [...]

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ECFA, Evangelical Christians & Giving Wisely

By |November 25th, 2013|

For those who lead nonprofits within the faith-based circles of America, does the ECFA (Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability) really mean anything of substance? I know too many cases whereby Christian philanthropists have given big money to many faith-based evangelical nonprofit public 501 (c) 3s, which have their seal of approval, yet the money never goes where the donor intended. And of course, when it comes to whistle-blowing or even filing a lawsuit, most generous Christians do not want to go down that ugly road, no matter how strong their case is. They simply, in the words of Jesus, [...]

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Don’t Take the Bait, Donors Aren’t Dumb!

By |November 24th, 2013|

Donors are not as dumb as you think. In fact the majority of people who are philanthropists on any economic level are rather wise about their giving and about solicitations. The other day I received a clever but useless email trying to get my attention (i.e. trying to get my financial business in some capacity). I received this letter from a man whom I have only met once. The letter quickly and clearly said that a donation had been made in my name and to click here. So I clicked there, and it took me to a year-end kind [...]

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Fundraising, Friendraising or Foeraising?

By |November 23rd, 2013|

When it comes to giving, the wealthy do not appreciate or like it when other people give out their contact information. If a wealthy person wants to contact a particular charitable organization, then most likely they will have the know-how on doing so. If they are smart enough to maintain their wealth, they will be smart enough to know how to contact you. And yet, one of the most often used fundraising strategies is asking friends to give out their friends’ contact information. If you want to lose a donor before you ever get a chance to have their [...]

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A Quick Look at Planned Giving

By |November 22nd, 2013|

When it comes to Planned Giving, this might be one of the stickiest subjects on the earth. People don’t want to think about their own death, much less how others will benefit from them dying. The majority of Americans don’t have wills and even those who do, tend to forget to keep them in-tune with the passing years. Relationships change, family dynamics change, and people’s values and priorities change. Thus, for those who do have estate plans in place, it is important that even those plans are maintained and properly managed.

But when it comes to asking people for money [...]

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Happy Holidays

By |November 21st, 2013|

People love to send and receive Christmas Cards, Holiday Cards, and Seasons Greetings Cards! Cards are about to go across the world. The season for giving is quickly approaching. And often people who never ever send a card will send one during the months of November and December. And of course, this is also the time when year-end giving occurs. For some families across America, they save each and every card they receive throughout this time of year. And even corporate America sends out cards to their clients. So, the question is, will your nonprofit also send a Holiday [...]

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