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View More: http://ciccarelliphotography.pass.us/collinsgroupSince joining Collins Group five years ago, James Plourde has been instrumental in expanding the impact of several organizations, most notably in the fields of education, healthcare, arts and culture, and faith-based nonprofits. A long-time Tacoma resident, James continues to position Collins Group as the firm of choice in the South Sound region and is a member of the of AFP-South Sound Board of Directors. He has served as lead counsel for phenomenally successful campaigns for Friends of 88.5/KPLU, MultiCare, Catholic Community Services, and Bishop Blanchet High School (currently underway). And his contribution as a thought leader in our sector is substantial, insightful, and often a breath of fresh air. But what we love most about James is that he is a true “people person” – his clients (and colleagues!) feel cared for, listened to, and valued. Please join us in congratulating James for this much deserved step forward in his career!

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James Plourde <![CDATA[KPLU Makes Public Media History]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3134 2016-06-02T17:54:44Z 2016-06-01T19:07:57Z When the folks at KPLU called and asked if our firm would help them raise $7 million in six months to save the station from being sold, my first question […]

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KPLU campaign logoWhen the folks at KPLU called and asked if our firm would help them raise $7 million in six months to save the station from being sold, my first question was: “Do you have a refund system in place?”

In hindsight, not the most encouraging response, given that they exceeded their goal in all of 4.5 months. To the best of anyone’s recollection, this was a history making event: no public media outlet has raised that much money in that short of time.

For those outside the Pacific Northwest, KPLU is one of two powerhouse public radio stations serving the region. Owned by and partially located on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, it was in the process of being sold to the other powerhouse public radio station in the area, KUOW (owned by the University of Washington) for $7 million in cash and $1 million in underwriting support.

Loyal listeners balked at this plan and formed a separate 501c(3) organization, Friends of 88.5 FM. They set their sights on raising the $7 million on their own to purchase the station from the university and make the station a community licensee, and the SAVE KPLU campaign was (quickly!) born.

There was no time for the kinds of things you would normally do when you launch a campaign: no lead gift phase, no steering committee (though we tried to form one), no landing that big major gift before appealing to the public.

And no time to accept pledges! Every dollar of the $7 million had to be in the bank by June 30.

Instead, it was everything at once—public phase, major gift phase, corporation and foundation phase—you name it, we were in it. They did it in record fashion—surpassing the goal a full month and four days before the deadline.

Some lessons learned:

  • Urgency works. Successful campaigns have a mix of great volunteers, a compelling case, a pool of donors, and a sense of urgency. The last point can be the most difficult to demonstrate. For KPLU, the urgency was easy to understand: simply do or die.
  • Community works. The don’t call it PUBLIC media for nothing. The largest gift in this campaign was $250,000. A few came in at the $100,000 level, but most of the 24,000-plus contributions were relatively modest. If not for the sheer volume of gifts, Friends of 88.5 would never have reached the $7 million goal.
  • Challenges work. Challenges and public radio are like peas and carrots, to paraphrase Forest Gump. KPLU used them to full advantage, amassing a series of $500,000 challenges to pogo-stick their way to their final goal.
  • Crowdfunding works. GiveBIG, Washington’s annual giving day sponsored by Seattle Foundation, is what tipped the scales in this campaign. They will have to rename it “Give Gi-normous” in 2017, given that KPLU smashed all previous records by raising close to $1.5 million on this single day.
  • A simple but dogged plan works. The KPLU campaign overcame one obstacle after another. We stuck to a simple plan of using staff time to approach the top prospects, and keep contacting them until we got an answer. Most of the lead gifts were put into the challenge pool, which were then presented to the public, who gobbled them up like popcorn.

The coming months will be spent negotiating the sale agreement with PLU, seeking approval from the FCC, and forming a transition plan. From a development perspective, though, this is one for the record books, and something that other public media would do well to study for relevant takeaways.

 

 

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Tricia Brooks <![CDATA[Engaging the Elusive Tech Millennial Donor]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3118 2016-05-16T19:06:38Z 2016-05-16T19:04:58Z This post is part of our 2016 blog series, The Changing Faces of Philanthropy in the Northwest. All year long we’ll be exploring how the profound changes and contrasts in our […]

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People looking at phones-smallThis post is part of our 2016 blog series, The Changing Faces of Philanthropy in the Northwest. All year long we’ll be exploring how the profound changes and contrasts in our demographics, economy, and beliefs are impacting philanthropy in our region. Join the conversation!

Young tech talent is flocking to the Northwest from around the country and world. As Associate Consultant Anna Goren discussed in last month’s post about the fate of local faith-based nonprofits, thanks to the tech boom, our region is “now home to one of the highest concentrations of wealthy millennials in the nation, who are poised to have the largest buying power of any generation in the U.S. by 2017” (Millenial Impact Report). Seattle is now tied for having the fourth highest percentage of “superrich millennials” in the country (Seattle Times). In Portland, tech talent growth is outpacing Silicon Valley (Portland Business Journal).

With all that wealth, tech millennials have the potential to make a significant impact on our community, and the fundraising sector is all abuzz with talk of engagement strategies for this seemingly “elusive” population. As a millennial with many tech millennial friends, I can tell you that they are educated, savvy, smart, and community-minded. All you need is a common sense approach.

6 Ways to Engage Tech Millennials

  1. Take them seriously, as you would any potential significant donor. Assume they are knowledgeable and aware of issues facing the community.
  2. Hire millennials. One of the best ways to engage a particular group is to have a member of the group on staff who will bring first-hand knowledge of and insight into the population you’re targeting.
  3. Emphasize impact. Anna also said this last month but it bears repeating: According to the Millenial Impact Report, “78 percent of millennials were very likely or somewhat likely to stop donating if they didn’t know how the donation was making an impact.” I’d wager the percentage is even higher for tech millennials, who tend to be “investor donors.”
  4. Let them lead. Millennials are often overlooked for board positions since young people are presumed to have limited experience and connections. On the contrary, millennials—especially ones who work in tech and who live and breathe social media—are probably better connected than the rest of us!
  5. Develop an outreach strategy to attract them, including volunteer opportunities and targeted events. Newcomers are thirsty for opportunities to meet people, and tech millennials crave something more intellectually stimulating than the local club. Great example: “OMSI After Dark” (think science fair meets beer garden).
  6. Tap into their intellectual curiosity. Tech people are not just smart; they get truly excited about innovation and creativity. Think of ways to capture the attention of this group and scratch their intellectual itch. Ask your executive director to provide insight on a recent event in the news, or consider hosting a forum with leading experts on a particular mission-related topic.

Tech millennials should be an integral part of fueling your donor pipeline. Make your organization accessible to them, and it will pay off!

Join the conversation

Have a comment on this post or an idea for this blog series? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a suggestion in the comments below, or contact us at info@collinsgroup.com.

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Norea Hoeft <![CDATA[Collins Group Hiring Senior and Associate Consultants]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3110 2016-04-18T23:23:28Z 2016-04-18T23:23:28Z Job Openings We are currently hiring for the following positions: Senior Consultant Associate Consultant Please read the complete position descriptions for information on how to apply.  

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Job Openings

We are currently hiring for the following positions:

Senior Consultant
Associate Consultant

Please read the complete position descriptions for information on how to apply.

 

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Norea Hoeft <![CDATA[Collins’ partner YMCA of Snohomish County receives Eagle Award for Excellence in Fundraising]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3102 2016-04-11T13:10:00Z 2016-04-04T17:26:38Z April 6, 2016 Tomorrow evening, April 7, 2016, staff at YMCA of Snohomish County, Washington, will be honored at the Eagle Award Banquet at the NAYDO (North American YMCA Development […]

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April 6, 2016

Tomorrow evening, April 7, 2016, staff at YMCA of Snohomish County, Washington, will be honored at the Eagle Award Banquet at the NAYDO (North American YMCA Development Organization) Conference in Detroit. The award recognizes “associations who are integrating philanthropy into all aspects of YMCA work in North America.” Having partnered with the Y for the past five years, we at Collins are delighted (and not the least bit surprised) to see them receiving this distinction.

“This recognition is reflective of every aspect of our work at the Y and we want to recognize and congratulate each member of our team!” said Scott Washburn, President and CEO, when sharing the news with staff and supporters.

Beyond just acknowledging the actual dollars raised, award nominees were also evaluated in multiple categories recognized in the fundraising industry as crucial to successful development, including leadership involvement in fundraising, relationship building across the organization, board engagement with development, effective communications, and more.

“This is a team award and is representative of the importance of our significant Social Responsibility work,” said Scott Sadler, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

Collins’ partnership with YMCA of Snohomish County goes back to 2011, when we conducted a campaign planning study. Since then, 95% of the funds needs for the new Stanwood-Camano YMCA have been raised and the new facility will open early this fall. The new Everett YMCA secured its site last year and is preparing for groundbreaking in 2018.

“This award is awesome,” says Collins President & CEO, Aggie Sweeney, who serves as lead counsel to the Y. “The Y is really expanding its services and strengthening partnerships with the community. They have secured some of the largest gifts we have seen for any human services campaign this decade, and they are also reaching new goals with their annual campaign.”

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Anna Goren <![CDATA[Are faith-based nonprofits doomed in the Northwest?]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3098 2016-03-30T19:05:42Z 2016-03-29T22:15:23Z This post is part of our 2016 blog series, The Changing Faces of Philanthropy in the Northwest. All year long we’ll be exploring how the profound changes and contrasts in […]

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R.I.PThis post is part of our 2016 blog series, The Changing Faces of Philanthropy in the Northwest. All year long we’ll be exploring how the profound changes and contrasts in our demographics, economy, and beliefs are impacting philanthropy in our region. Join the conversation!


 

Shortly before World War I, a Methodist leader reportedly commented that the “air of the Northwest [is] too rare for prayer.”

Roughly a century later, the Pacific Northwest is still known for its unique brand of polite secularism. Research supports that ours is the most “unchurched” region in the United States, with 63 percent of individuals choosing not to participate in church, synagogue, mosque, or temple, according to Dr. Patricia Killen.

Thanks to our booming tech industry, the Northwest is also now home to one of the highest concentrations of wealthy millennials in the nation, who are poised to have the largest buying power of any generation in the U.S. by 2017. And millennials promise to take this secular trend to new heights. Now the fastest growing demographic in the country, millennials are twice as likely to be religiously unaffiliated as their parents and three times as likely as their grandparents, according to the Millennial Impact Report.

So, are religiously affiliated nonprofits doomed in the Northwest?

Hardly. While these numbers tell us that attendance at Sunday mass may be dwindling away, it’s hard to imagine the Northwest without many of its leading universities, hospitals, and human services organizations. Washington state’s largest local provider of assistance to poor and vulnerable people is Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. Seattle’s oldest refugee resettlement organization, in operation for 124 years, is Jewish Family Service. One of the largest charities in the country, Worldvision International, is an Evangelical Christian organization headquartered in Federal Way. The list goes on.

Creating a more broadly appealing case for faith-based nonprofits

Historically, faith-based organizations have seized natural opportunities to rally an already-assembled community around values-based causes. However, people often (and usually erroneously) perceive that faith-based orgs restrict their services to their own faith communities, and so secular donors may be less inclined to give.

There are a few things your faith-based nonprofit can do to better communicate your role in a secular society under the growing influence of millennial donors—without compromising your beliefs and values:

  1. Highlight issue expertise. While donors who are part of the religious community already have many opportunities to connect with faith-based organizations, secular donors sometimes have fewer natural entry points. If your organization has developed expertise over time in a certain issue, population, or program that is relevant to the public, make it known! Share your knowledge in networks that focus on these issues, positioning yourselves as community institutions and thought leaders.
  2. Highlight secular partnerships. Because of their longevity and permanence, faith-based organizations often provide government services through contracts and are well connected to other organizations. When you draw attention to these partnerships, you demonstrate your organization’s role as a key player in the wider nonprofit landscape and improve visibility in broader circles.
  3. Take the ‘humanist’ angle. A case built around religious motivations for giving can mobilize some while alienating others. Instead, focus on humanist language from your faith tradition, which will resonate with your religious base and help rally the wider community. For example, Seattle University, rated one of the top five colleges in Washington state, is a Jesuit institution with a diverse, multi-faith student body. It’s mission statement draws from Jesuit teachings, but articulates a much wider vision:
    Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.
  4. Emphasize impacts. The best ways to inspire donor confidence are communicating consistently and documenting measured impact. According to the Millenial Impact Report, 85 percent of millennials are motivated to give by a compelling mission or cause that speaks to them personally, not because of a workplace, religious, or celebrity endorsement. They are also more demanding as donors: 78 percent were very likely or somewhat likely to stop donating if they didn’t know how the donation was making an impact.
  5. Control perceptions. It’s easier to believe that “Jewish Family Service” is restricted to people of Jewish faith than to assume “Worldvision” only helps Christians. If changing your name is out of the question, clarify loudly and often that you serve the larger community. Highlight donor and impact stories that show the breadth of your impact, and publicize statements like this website FAQ from Catholic Community Services:
    Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services help all people regardless of their religious affiliation. We don’t ask about people’s beliefs, we ask how we can help.

Faith-based nonprofits are an integral piece of the social safety net and civic fabric of our community. Millennials are rapidly becoming the high-capacity philanthropists of tomorrow. With a little bit of shared understanding, these two groups can have a long and bright future together.

Join the conversation

Have an idea for this blog series? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a suggestion in the comments below, or contact us at info@collinsgroup.com.

 

 

 

 

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Julie Bianchi <![CDATA[The Changing Faces of Philanthropy in the Northwest: Our 2016 Blog Series]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3073 2016-03-02T18:30:01Z 2016-03-02T18:04:11Z Here in the Northwest, we live at the intersection of rapid change and extreme contrast. We have tent cities in the shadows of sparkling new office towers; opulent suburban homes […]

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A wall clock with the red text "Time For Change" on the white wall.Here in the Northwest, we live at the intersection of rapid change and extreme contrast.

We have tent cities in the shadows of sparkling new office towers; opulent suburban homes on the same street where a family lives in its car. Our regional map is dotted with the “whitest city in America” (Portland) and the some of the most diverse zip codes in the country.

Boomtown, aka Seattle, is the fastest growing big city in the U.S. This land of opportunity is a gateway for immigrants, who are reshaping our religious and cultural makeup. It’s also a destination for California tech workers “fleeing” the spendy Bay Area in search of (relatively) less expensive housing and a desk at Amazon. Yet drive a few miles in any direction and you will find rural areas in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho that have yet to emerge from the Great Recession. And even with this influx of new residents, populations in both Washington and Oregon are growing older.

As Northwest natives, we at Collins Group experience these changes and contrasts alongside our nonprofit partners and their communities and donors. After all, philanthropy is part of our region’s DNA. If our communities are evolving, our philanthropy must be as well.

So, how are the profound changes and contrasts in our demographics, economy, and beliefs impacting philanthropy in the Northwest?

It’s not a simple answer, and it’s not one we can address in just one blog post. Our team has decided to spend the whole year reflecting on this big question—in the context of the work we do every day with the nonprofit community.

A Fresh Look at Philanthropy in Our Region

This exploration will be driven by local knowledge, experience, and insight developed through working with hundreds of Northwest organizations, and informed by the latest research and data on giving trends we can find, including Money for Good 2015 being presented at AFP Advancement Northwest’s Forum on Strategic Fundraising in June. We hope you’ll join the conversation by posting your thoughts, comments, and experiences from your own work and communities. Here’s a sample of the kinds of questions we’ll tackle this year:

  • Growing Wealth Inequality: How is philanthropy responding to the growing wealth inequality in our region? What is philanthropy’s role in making our region more equitable and inclusive?
  • Aging Population: What impact will the aging population have on philanthropic investment in our region, now and in the future? Who are the next generation of philanthropists in this region?
  • Evolving Economy: How is the rise of young tech workers changing philanthropy in the Northwest? How is the influx of foreign investors impacting philanthropy?
  • Shifting Beliefs: How are new people from other areas of the country and world changing our region’s religious make-up—and faith-based giving?

 

Join the conversation

Have an idea for this blog series? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a suggestion in the comments below, or contact us at info@collinsgroup.com.

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Aggie Sweeney <![CDATA[Early Returns: Giving increased again in 2015]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3059 2016-02-29T20:48:54Z 2016-02-29T20:42:46Z We often get asked, “What changes are you seeing in giving in the Northwest?” Behind the question is inevitably a concern regarding how global economic uncertainty, national issues spotlighted in […]

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Symbol of rising interest rates on white background. Financial conceptWe often get asked, “What changes are you seeing in giving in the Northwest?” Behind the question is inevitably a concern regarding how global economic uncertainty, national issues spotlighted in the Presidential campaign, widening income inequality, and a host of other issues will impact my nonprofit’s capacity to raise more money and advance its mission.

While you can’t control all the critical issues of our times, you can stay focused on conveying your impact and your vision for doing more good.

This message hit home as I reviewed 2015 giving results released in the past few weeks.

The 50 most generous donors in America last year gave nearly $7 billion, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The top 50 list included four from the Northwest.  Billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates (ranked #6) and Paul Allen
(ranked #17) made the list again, as they have for several years. Their generosity has helped to transform our region and world over the past two decades and continues to drive change for good. The two other Northwest donors making this year’s top 50 list left surprises for the charities named in their estates. Myrtle Woldson, age 104, left the bulk of her $55+ million estate to Gonzaga University. Living in the same city but never attending the university, she was known to Gonzaga’s leaders, but even they were surprised by the level of her generosity. Seattle’s Donald Sirkin, age 86, had never given to Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (San Francisco) when he was alive, but he left his $125 million estate to the organization.  Their stories of philanthropy are heart-warming and showcase the Northwest’s strong culture of philanthropy.

While the largest gifts capture headlines, changing philanthropic trends are most noticeable when we look at all giving: where it’s going, and how. Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2015 includes overall giving data from 5,379 nonprofits representing $18.2 billion in total fundraising.  While total giving numbers for 2015 won’t be released by Giving USA until June 14, this sample likely represents 15-20% of all giving—enough to draw some pretty safe conclusions:

  • Giving is still on this rise, but slowing. The Blackbaud report’s key findings indicate that overall giving grew approximately 1.6%.
  • The internet is making a significant impact on philanthropy.
    • Online giving increased 9.2%.
    • 14% of online gifts were made on a mobile device.
    • #GivingTuesday 2015 was on December 1, and its 52% increase in online donations helped giving in December increase to 17.4% of total giving for the year.

These trends are consistent with many nonprofits’ experience in the Northwest. Giving has recovered from the recession and is increasing, but year-over-year growth rates for annual giving is showing signs of slowing. At Collins, we are being asked more and more to provide thought leadership and counsel around online giving and strategies for events like #GivingTuesday and GiveBIG.

So what should you do differently, if anything?

Invest in your online giving program. While crowdsourced funding is still no substitute—and probably never will be except in highly unusual cases—for a robust major gifts program, you are leaving money on the table (and younger donors out of your pipeline) by neglecting your online presence or failing to leverage online giving days.

Get into campaign mode—even if you are not in a campaign. Our clients who are in campaigns, because they are highly focused on conveying mission and impact, are seeing the biggest gains at all giving levels. As one director of development reported on why their annual giving is up, “Because of our capital campaigns, we are doing a better job engaging our donors and conveying the difference we are making. We have also stepped up our marketing efforts and are keeping our brand front of mind.”

And you never know whose mind you are on, as Myrtle Woldson and Donald Sirkin would no doubt affirm!

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Kate Banta-Green <![CDATA[Will Your Nonprofit Accept Money from a Marijuana Business?]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3043 2016-02-22T19:53:31Z 2016-02-22T18:10:36Z What would you do if a marijuana business approached your nonprofit and offered to donate a percentage of its proceeds to your organization? What if that business wants to put your […]

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What would you do if a marijuana business approached your nonprofit and offered to donate a percentage of its proceeds to your organization? What if that business wants to put your organization’s logo on its marketing materials or asks you to do the same? Or what if an individual who owns a marijuana retail store wants to contribute a major gift to your campaign? According to a recent Seattle Times article, Uncle Ike’s marijuana shop sells $45,000 worth of product a day.

Until recently, nonprofits didn’t have to ask themselves these questions—marijuana was outlawed in the U.S. in the 1930s. But in 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, soon to be followed by California, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. So do nonprofits in those states now have the green light to accept donations from this industry?

The answer is, in a word, complicated. Buying and selling marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and even in states where it is legal, stigma persists. My advice to you:

Don’t wait until someone writes your organization a check to explore this issue!

Boards and development departments should proactively discuss the ethical, logistical, and legal implications of taking sponsorship or donated dollars from a marijuana business—sooner than later. Discussions about the right thing to do can be harder when there is a large check dangling in front of your organization than if you are theoretically discussing the issue.

5 questions to consider before accepting support from the marijuana industry:

Does it align with our mission and values? If you are an organization that helps people out of homelessness by connecting them to treatment for addiction, does taking money from a business that sells potentially addictive substances conflict with your mission? (This may seem like an obvious example, but I would not be surprised to find that many such organizations have yet to sit down with their leadership to discuss this issue.) Or perhaps you decide that for your organization, there is no conflict, and that these businesses and their employees should be allowed to give back to their communities through philanthropy.

Does our Gift Acceptance Policy (GAP) address this? Many organizations already have guidelines around accepting money from the alcohol or tobacco industries. Should you include the marijuana industry in that policy? Does the policy only apply to marijuana businesses, or to their employees and owners as well?

How would we recognize donors and sponsors? If you decide that you will accept a gift or sponsorship from the marijuana industry, what sort of recognition, if any, are you willing to provide?

Will it jeopardize our federal funding? If your organization receives federal dollars, then accepting a donation from the marijuana industry may put you at risk for losing those funds. Check with your program officer in the federal government.

Could we get in trouble with the Fed? The U.S. Department of Justice has said that it will focus its efforts on drug trafficking and keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors. In other words, the Fed is not actively prosecuting individuals who follow state laws. It follows that the chances are slim the Fed will go after nonprofits that accept funds from marijuana businesses, especially in Washington and Oregon where marijuana is legal. Still, no one can say the chances are zero; your board needs to determine if your nonprofit is willing to accept any level of risk, however small.

As with all things complicated, seek the advice of experts. Your accountant, CPA, and lawyer will be able to give you advice specific to your situation. And as with all things fundraising, it is better to be strategic and proactive than it is to be reactive. Accepting marijuana industry money is no different.

Contact Us

Let us know if you’d like more of our best thinking on gift acceptance and recognition.
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James Plourde <![CDATA[Campaigns, Campaigns, Everywhere]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=3036 2016-01-21T00:42:12Z 2016-01-20T18:29:49Z Does it seem like everywhere you look, there’s a fundraising campaign in one stage of planning, execution, or completion? It’s not your imagination. A recent study by the Nonprofit Research […]

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searching for love health and money concepts sketched on blackboardDoes it seem like everywhere you look, there’s a fundraising campaign in one stage of planning, execution, or completion?

It’s not your imagination. A recent study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative shows nearly half of all nonprofits surveyed in the US and Canada are in some type of campaign (27 percent in traditional capital campaigns; 19 percent in “special” campaigns).

The last time this survey was conducted in summer 2011, 12 percent reported being in a campaign. Even taking into account that 2011 was very much in the aftermath of the Great Recession, that is a significant increase.

A few other notable findings:

  • Capital campaigns last, on average, 4.72 years; special campaigns last 2.23 years
  • $45 million is the average capital campaign goal; $3 million for special campaigns
  • Education is the leading sector benefiting from this campaign activity
  • Revenue from major gifts rose by 55 percent among the surveyed organizations, regardless of their campaign status

What does all this mean to you and your development planning?

The recession is finally over, not just as a data point, but in the collective psyche. Because the last economic dip was more like a crater caused by a nuclear bomb, it’s easy to forget that we have been out of recession for some time. In fact, we are in one of the longest periods ever between recessions, which means the next one likely isn’t too far off.

If you are thinking about a campaign, it might be time to shift into active planning and implementation mode. If that is not in the cards, then look at a quicker, more focused special campaign to raise major gift money for an initiative or program enhancement.

Use this information to motivate your volunteers. Your fellow nonprofits are reaping the benefits of the current good times; why not yours?

Lastly, don’t use this information as a de-motivator: i.e., don’t think that the philanthropic marketplace is cluttered with too much competition. It’s always cluttered. That would be like refusing to dip your hook into a hot fishing hole because so many other anglers are landing big fish there.

Bottom line: Get a plan together and get out there with the others before the fish stop biting.

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