Posts Tagged "fund raising"

Philanthropy vs Deep Pockets

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

For the past eight years I have been privileged to work in the field of Philanthropy. I have filled many roles during that time as interim development director, development director, grant writer, and ED. During that time, if I had money for each occasion someone said to me, “we just need to find some folks with deep pockets…,” I could have retired by now! My initial reaction to this phrase and attitude is always the same…and I do my best to keep my temper. I am always tempted to say that it is that attitude that keeps people away! Philanthropy is about engaging people who want to change the world…you have the vehicle to help them reach THEIR goal! I view philanthropy as matchmaking.. My job is to find people who are passionate about the cause I am advocating…listening for what turned them on to this cause, and sharing the story of my organization. If I can tell that story so that it resonates with their heart, we have each found a sole mate who will become part of the mission. See…deep pockets aren’t...

Read More

Secret Ingredients of a Successful Fundraiser – Board Members

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Fund Raising, home slider

Board members are the nerve center and life blood of all nonprofit organizations. While the staff do the heavy lifting of day to day work, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving shelter to the homeless, Board members set the course for the organization. While it should always be with input from all stakeholders, none the less, the Board holds ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the organization. How then can you engage and support these valuable contributors? Training, Training, Training and it must start before they are confirmed. One of the most effective strategies to use is to have a job description that is part of the interview process for all prospective board members. This document spells out the expectations, including number of Board meetings per year and time frame; committee meetings that generally meet in the alternating months; fundraising responsibilities; the necessity for making a significant financial gift; and making this organization one of their top three charities for the duration of their tenure on the board. You will eliminate the most frequently heard complaints from Board members if this information is explained before you ask for the commitment. People can now make an informed decision. Once confirmed the training must continue. It is helpful to take 15 minutes at each Board meeting and educate members on the variety of ways that they can use their skills, talents, and influence to increase the visibility and financial security of the nonprofit. Not everyone is comfortable asking for a donation but board members should be assured that there are many ways that they can assist the fundraising process. An important role for board members is to introduce their friends to the organizations where they serve as a Board member. Your passion for the organization and the work being done by the nonprofit is one of the most important gifts you can share with anyone. Accompany the Executive Director or Development Director on an “ask.” You are there to lend support or influence but you need not do the asking. Use your influence in the business community to suggest possible event co-chairs, friends or colleagues that you know are philanthropic, and would be interested in sharing in the good working being done, by supporting this worthy cause. Denise Sheppard is a development consultant who loves helping organizations raise money for worthy causes. She provides mentoring for new development staff; grant writing; board development, and thrives on being part of a team that is organizing a fund raising event.  She can be reached at denisesheppard@comcast.net or...

Read More

Secret Ingredients of a Successful Fund Raiser – The Gala Event

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Fund Raising, Nonprofit

Spring is in the air and with it comes the onslaught of Gala events. I have found the following ingredients to be necessary in order to create a successful fund raising event. A dedicated committee… With a dedicated and passionate group of like minded folks, the sky is the limit on how much you can raise! Without a dedicated committee, fold your tent now. You will save your organization and yourself lots of aggravation. Make a budget and stick to it… but always include 10% as a contingency fee. Just like home projects, things always end up costing more than you planned! Guests to invite…while this may seem fairly obvious, it isn’t if you have ever sat at a Board meeting when members did not want to send pricey invitations to their friends, relatives and coworkers! Know your goal…is it “friend raiser” or “fund raiser?” While everyone who puts on an event desperately wants to cover their costs and raise money, some events have as their goal to expand organizational awareness in the community. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, that truly is a valid reason for an event! When your goal is “Fund Raising,” set a financial goal based on past experience and level of commitment of Board and Staff. Having a mutually agreed upon goal is the challenge that will bring out the best in everyone and have people stretching for those last dollars! Get your community involved through local corporate sponsorships and provide them recognition in your newsletter, on your website, and/or at your event. Show them that you really do understand “partnerships.” They are not ATM machines. Work your network, including Board & Community, to get as much donated goods and services as possible. This will keep your costs down significantly. Remember, it is not about you…it is about your donors and the work that you do on their behalf! Finally, the night of your event…have fun. It is too late to stress anyway and it will all work out in the end! Denise Sheppard is a development consultant who loves helping to raise money for worthy causes. She provides mentoring for new development staff; writes grants; and thrives on being part of a team who is organizing a fund raising event. She can be reached at denisesheppard@comcast.net or...

Read More