keppra 750 mg cost feldene side effects 20 mg aciclovir tabletten ohne rezept kaufen ersatz für voltaren salbe cyklokapron ohne rezept pulmicort turbohaler preisvergleich metoclopramide 10 mg espanol lisinopril 10 mg alternative orthotropics calcium carbonate 450 mg and vitamin d 200iu topamax 25 mg preis prometrium 100 mg during pregnancy yasmin online kaufen alternative zu zyvoxid famvir 750 precio doxycycline alternatives lyme mobic 20 mg saw palmetto 450 mg dosage sildenafil preis kaufen l- tryptophan 250 plus bonusan apcalis jelly 20mg cialis generika baclofen kaufen spanien adalat 2015 may hyzaar 50 125 efectos secundarios tretinoin 500 mcg sinemet 10100 vs 25100 alternative motilium actos plus metformin 15850 cymbalta alternatives anxiety alternative zantac biaxin 200mg urispas 200 dosage septilin syrup 200ml rogaine 5 preis accutane 100mg cefadroxil 1000 mg low cost alternative lexapro lincocin jarabe 250 was bewirkt cialis bei frauen apcalis kaufen preis zyprexa leflunomid arava preis citalopram kaufen albenza 200 mg price arimidex alternatives steroids cardura 4 mg 20 tablet aciclovir tabletten ohne rezept liv 52 alternative tretinoin creme kaufen baclofen tabletten ohne rezept ashwagandha 10 uses alternative topamax alternative to bentyl colospa 200 cymbalta 90 mg vs 120 mg viagra alternative kamagra best alternative to lexapro alternative zu zyvoxid baclofen tabletten ohne rezept zetia 10 milligrams triamterene hydrochlorothiazide 75 50 acai bowl alternative yasmin le bon 2015 dulcolax preis österreich aciclovir lippenherpescreme preis allopurinol alternative medicine brahmi wo kaufen glucotrol 20 mg keppra 750 xr Blog – Collins Group Because Your Mission Matters 2016-02-01T19:35:59Z http://collinsgroup.com/feed/atom/ WordPress 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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James Plourde <![CDATA[Kill Your Tactics]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2967 2015-11-16T21:52:12Z 2015-11-16T20:16:52Z Anyone who’s been to journalism school knows the phrase “kill your darlings.” It means editing out the words and phrases that you’ve fallen in love with that drag down the […]

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Strategy_smallAnyone who’s been to journalism school knows the phrase “kill your darlings.” It means editing out the words and phrases that you’ve fallen in love with that drag down the clarity and power of your story.

In fundraising, nonprofits would do well to gather staff and key volunteers together annually to “kill your tactics.” Or at least some of them.

In my work both with fundraising professionals and as one myself, I find great propensity to fall in love with tactics. It’s the stuff we actually get to do, to take pride in accomplishment. There’s just one problem with this love affair – when tactics become so ingrained that they become synonymous with strategy.

For example, you may have decided at some point in the past to adopt this very sensible strategy: ensure 100 percent “stretch-level” board participation in the annual fund each fall to get the effort off to a strong start and show that leadership is “bought in.” Then you adopted this equally sensible tactic to achieve the strategy: task your board chair to solicit all fellow board members in September of each year.

But what if your chair’s idea of soliciting fellow board members is to hand out pledge forms at a board meeting, with the inspiring message of, “Just put something down so we can count you as a donor”?

Hmmm. Might be time to revisit your tactic here. We may be so committed to this being the chair’s job, that we fail to see that the tactic (which is nowhere engraved in stone) is actually sabotaging our greater strategy.

And the list goes on:

  • The event or gala that has outlived its useful lifespan
  • The “buy a brick” effort that costs more to implement than the revenue it brings in
  • The annual fund drive that has no clear purpose or direction
  • An “endowment building” effort with no case for how a stronger endowment will make your agency more effective at serving the community

Before you launch into your next strategic planning process, examine your tactics. Broaden your vision beyond “How can we make the gala better?” (i.e., improving a tactic), to “Is the gala the best way to bring people together to form community and raise awareness and funds for our mission?” (i.e., focusing on strategy).

Killing your darlings isn’t easy, which is why so many remain on life support year after year. But the long-term benefit almost invariably outweighs the short-term pain.

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Kate Roosevelt <![CDATA[A Season of Groundbreaking]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2958 2015-10-29T20:39:37Z 2015-10-29T17:00:59Z With a lot of hard work and unprecedented levels of generosity, many Northwest nonprofits are planning, breaking ground for, and building facilities that will make our communities vibrant, safe, compassionate, […]

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groundbreakingWith a lot of hard work and unprecedented levels of generosity, many Northwest nonprofits are planning, breaking ground for, and building facilities that will make our communities vibrant, safe, compassionate, and creative. We would like to take a moment to celebrate the phenomenal success of campaigns we’ve had the privilege of being part of this year:

  • The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture’s vision for The New Burke received a huge boost in July when the Washington State legislature allocated $26 million for construction of the new museum. Along with generous private contributions, the Burke is now at 60 percent of its revenue goal.
  • Last March, El Centro de la Raza celebrated the groundbreaking of Plaza Roberto Maestas, a $45 million project that will bring affordable housing for families, expand early education programming, new small business opportunities and support, and a multicultural community center to a rapidly changing, diverse neighborhood. The campaign is in its community phase and is within $1 million of reaching its $3.5 million goal.
  • Nonprofit radio station KEXP broke ground on its New Home at Seattle Center last January, is in the final stage of its $15 million campaign, and is planning its first broadcast late this year. Located in the former Northwest Rooms, the new facility is breaking new ground with a 4,500-square-foot gathering space with a DJ booth and room for educational programs, in-studio performances open to the public for the first time, an Artist Oasis for visiting musicians, an expanded library, and much more that will break down barriers between listeners and their favorite artists.
  • Multiple significant lead gifts this year translate into Hopelink’s Campaign for Lasting Change being on track to reach its $18 million benchmark by spring 2016, when it will break ground on its new Redmond Integrated Service Center. Through this campaign, Hopelink will double the number of individuals receiving the tools to exit poverty and complete five capital projects.
  • The Museum of Flight’s Inspiration Begins Here made news recently with a combined $30 million gift from The Boeing Company and Bill and June Boeing, and another $1 million from Ann P. Wyckoff, bringing the campaign to 80 percent of its $77 million goal. This funding will establish the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, enhance facilities and exhibit spaces, improve the visitor experience, and ensure The Museum’s long-term viability.
  • NeighborCare Health’s Meridian Center Campaign recently received a $250,000 donation from a first-time individual donor. The new 44,000-square-foot facility will open late this fall and will double access to provide a healthcare home for at least 14,000 patients.
  • OMSI broke ground on its new Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, Oregon, last April and has exceeded its $10 million campaign goal. The Center, which will open next spring, will be a 20-acre outdoor year-round science camp and living laboratory that plans to serve 90,000 children and families over the next 20 years.
  • Seattle Humane Society has raised more than $22 million toward its $25 million goal for a first-in-the-region animal shelter, adoption center, and veterinary teaching hospital. The vision is simple and powerful: to ensure every pet has the chance for a loving lifetime home and for all animal people to welcome lifetime pets into their families. Seattle Humane recently launched an innovative Animal People Can awareness campaign, and raised a stunning $5 million at its Tuxes and Tails gala in May. Ground breaking is planned for next spring.

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Kate Banta-Green <![CDATA[Why Human Services Organizations Should Ask Volunteers to Become Donors]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2935 2015-09-17T21:29:57Z 2015-09-16T22:14:16Z Do you know what tomorrow is? If you are in King or Pierce County and work at a human services organization, you probably are well aware that it is United […]

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Charity donation social services and volunteer white round buttons set isolated vector illustrationDo you know what tomorrow is? If you are in King or Pierce County and work at a human services organization, you probably are well aware that it is United Way’s Day of Caring.*

So what does this mean? The United Way Day of Caring, “…demonstrates the power generated by businesses and nonprofits working together to make a significant and lasting difference in our community. [United Way of King County] Day of Caring connects over 12,500 volunteers from 135 companies, making it the largest single-day mobilization of volunteers in King County.” This is significant because these volunteers might someday become donors to these organizations.

But many nonprofits do not believe that they should be asking volunteers to donate financially to their organizations. They believe it is selfish to ask any more of their volunteers than the time and energy they already give—but this belief is misguided, and here is why.

Three reasons why you should you ask volunteers to become donors:

1) Volunteers see and feel the impact of your work.

Human services organizations don’t have alumni or grateful patients; volunteers are the most natural pipeline to become major donors. They are the people most likely to understand, through volunteering, the impact of your work. They see the hungry people in the food bank line, they read to kids at the tutoring program, and they answer calls on the domestic abuse hotline. They witness firsthand how your work changes lives—you don’t need to convince them!

2) They know where their money is going—and they are happy to fund “overhead.”

Volunteers who also donate know that their money is going not only to a cause they believe in but also for the school supplies that they package, the rent for the building in which they stuff envelopes, and for the salary of John, the volunteer manager, whom they know and adore. Volunteers are familiar with the general running of the organization and are likely to trust that their money is being put to good use in moving the mission forward.

3) Studies show that volunteers donate significantly more than non-volunteers

People who volunteer are generally more philanthropic than those who do not volunteer, according to this 2009 Fidelity study on volunteerism and charitable giving:

  • On average, those who have volunteered in the last 12 months donate 10 times more money to charities than non-volunteers ($2,593/yr vs. $230/yr).
  • Two-thirds (67%) of those who have volunteered in the last 12 months say they donate to the same charities at which they volunteer.
  • These volunteers also say they are more likely to increase their charitable donations the following year (32% vs. 26% of non-volunteers).

And according to the Corporation for National & Community Service:

  • Volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers. Nearly 8 in 10 (79.2% of) volunteers donated to charity, compared to 4 in 10 (40.4%) of non-volunteers. Overall, half of all citizens (50.7%) donated at least $25 to charity in 2013.

The fundraising adage of “money follows engagement” is true. Your volunteers can be among your most beloved assets and advocates. Give them the opportunity to support you financially as well through time and expertise. You might be surprised by their increased investment.

Contact Us

Let us know if you’d like more of our best thinking on volunteer engagement.

 

*If you live or work in Snohomish County, WA, your Days of Caring were September 11-12; in Spokane County, WA, the United Way Day of Action was September 9.

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JoAnn Mills <![CDATA[Tip of the Spear: The Executive’s Role in Board Leadership]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2921 2015-08-28T22:57:36Z 2015-08-26T18:04:58Z BoardSource (www.boardsource.org) has been collecting and analyzing trends in nonprofit board practices since 1994, with a unique approach that surveys both chief executives and board chairs. The “Board report card” […]

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BoardSource (www.boardsource.org) has been collecting and analyzing trends in nonprofit board practices since 1994, with a unique approach that surveys both chief executives and board chairs. The “Board report card” is of note because it highlights the following three findings:

  • Performance is not that good! In spite of the fact that boards are made up of high-performing individuals, boards are performing at a so-so, B-minus level.
  • Mediocre board performance is not a surprise. The report confirms what we hear from nonprofit executives and board members alike—the need to “up the ante.”
  • Community Relations, Board Composition, and Fundraising are pulling down the score.

Why it matters.

Board composition is a strong demonstration of organizational values and a key indicator of an organization’s belief about who can lead.

Your organization needs credibility for successful community relations. How your organization shows up to the rest of the world is reinforced by how individual board members engage and with whom. Spreading the word of the worthiness of your mission and your organization’s ability to serve that mission effectively is fundamental to your relevance.

If your organization’s survival depends to any degree on convincing others to contribute money, then successful fundraising is vitally important as well. The impact of recruiting and engaging the right board to demonstrate your values and strengthen your organization’s relevance provides the strongest platform for successful fundraising.

How to get there.

This post speaks to the Executive. Are you the tip of the spear or are you driving a snow plow?

Many executives try to “push” the board forward as an entity in the misguided assumption that the board should and can lead strategic direction. But, as the chief executive, you are the world’s leading expert on your organization—its context, position, direction, long-range objectives, and ultimate value to the community. Your expertise is critical to the forward movement of your organization. Get out in front with it.

Bring your board critical information about everything that affects the vitality of the organization—marketplace trends, program and business innovations in the sector, community needs, shifts in political climate, stakeholder perceptions, partner expectations, and whether or not donors perceive the organization as a worthy investment for their contributions.

Engage your well-informed board as the key intelligence network it should be by asking them to provide their best thinking on the most pressing strategic challenges you as a leader and your organization face. As you guide a “best thinking” iterative process, you help the board shape a shared perspective on critical issues as they help you refine your thinking. Best-thinking collaboration provides the strongest platform for you and the executive committee to shape recommendations for important decisions and actions the board will be asked to take.

Help board members tap the value of their social networks. The board is made up of individuals who represent hubs of relationship networks. The value of social networks is in the number and quality of conversations individuals are having inside their networks and how many conversations overlap. Board members are asked relentlessly to perform transactional activities as ambassadors and fundraisers—painful to engage in and results are poor. Help each board member activate transformational conversations rooted in the “why” of your mission more than the “what and how.” Give your most important ambassadors a better story to tell and help them tell it better to the right people.

Slow down to speed up. Work collaboratively with each board member to identify key relationships and see how they can activate those relationships on behalf of your organization.  Get to know each board member personally. Be able to tell each of them exactly what difference they are making to the organization, and what you value them for. Bring every board member your best idea of how s/he can add even more value. The board will perform better as a whole if each individual understands his/her most important contributions.

As the chief executive and the world’s leading expert on your organization, only you can take the lead to help the board engage in best thinking, bring out the best contributions from each individual member, and deliver finer results as a collaborative team. Investing your time and energy in each and every board member’s current and potential value to your organization will help you and the executive committee identify how to build the reach, quality, and impact of one of your most important networks.

Contact Us

The quality of leadership is fundamental to fundraising success. Let us know if you’d like more of our best thinking on leadership challenges.

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James Plourde <![CDATA[Anatomy of a $30 million donation]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2890 2015-07-27T22:15:02Z 2015-07-27T22:12:41Z When a museum announces a combined $30 million donation, that’s big news. The Museum of Flight in Seattle did just that on July 23, and we couldn’t be happier for […]

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When a museum announces a combined $30 million donation, that’s big news.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle did just that on July 23, and we couldn’t be happier for our client’s success and how they plan to use this investment to benefit the community.

I was at the Museum when Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Mrs. June Boeing made the big announcement: $15 million from The Boeing Company, and $15 million from June and the late William (Bill) E. Boeing, Jr., who passed away in January at the age of 92; Bill is the son of company founder William E. Boeing.

Behind all the excitement, the applause, and the barrage of paper airplanes thrown by the 150 or so children on hand, was a considerable amount of work and tenacity that goes into making a combined $30 million donation “happen.”

A few takeaways from the events leading up to this particular “mega-gift” that all fundraisers should consider:

Take the long view. Both the Boeing Co. and Mr. and Mrs. Boeing have relationships with the Museum dating back to its founding 50 years ago. Most of the people affiliated with the Museum during those years have moved on and will never get the public “credit” for this gift, though their work was critical to its success. (Our work is called “development” for a reason!)

Put the community, not the organization, front and center. The Museum has successfully positioned itself as a catalyst for education and inspiration for the community, with an emphasis on young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The new Boeing Academy for STEM Learning will more than double the number of young people able to take part in the panoply of the Museum’s already successful educational programs by 2019, and become a preferred provider of professional development for STEM educators across the state.

Leaders. Leaders. Leaders. The Museum of Flight is gifted with strong staff and volunteer leadership who were willing to both shape a compelling vision and leverage their connections, political capital, and good will to make these gifts a reality. It was not an always-smooth path from conception to completion for either of these gifts, but at no point did the leadership flag in its determination.

Leverage yes; assume no. Yes, The Museum of Flight, the Boeing Company, and Bill and June Boeing all have a natural affinity. But these gifts were hardly a slam dunk. There are many worthy causes that both the Boeings and the Boeing Co. support. The Museum of Flight did a masterful job of leveraging its connection with these donors, but they also never assumed that the connection they share with aviation history would be enough to win the day. As a matter of fact, the educational component of the Museum’s mission played a much larger role in securing these gifts.

With this combined donation, the Museum is well positioned to announce its Inspiration Begins Here! campaign more broadly in early August. It will continue to take a lot of hard work and focus to bring the campaign to a successful conclusion by June of 2016. But, for one day at least, the Museum of Flight had a once-in-a-lifetime, “stop and smell the roses” moment to savor.

 

Read more about Collins Group’s work with The Museum of Flight.

Contact Us for more information about how we can help with your organization’s campaign.

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Aggie Sweeney <![CDATA[Giving Growing Faster than the GDP]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2873 2015-06-24T19:34:58Z 2015-06-24T19:04:47Z The numbers are out and the news is all good. Giving USA 2015* reported giving last year was the highest ever: an estimated $358 billion, surpassing pre-Great Recession levels. With […]

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The numbers are out and the news is all good. Giving USA 2015* reported giving last year was the highest ever: an estimated $358 billion, surpassing pre-Great Recession levels. With a growth rate of 5.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars, giving grew at a faster rate than the 2.2% increase in national GDP, 4% increase in personal income, and 3.8% increase in individual disposable income.

The annual Giving USA report is just one of several trusted resources we follow to monitor giving trends:

Released in February, The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2015 Philanthropy 50 highlighted America’s 50 most generous donors and reported they increased their giving by 33% last year—powered in large part by a $1.9-billion gift from Bill and Melinda Gates and a stunning rise in the number of tech entrepreneurs under 40, three of whom gave more than $500 million each.

This giving research is corroborated by Giving USA 2015, which reported that giving by individuals accounted for 72% of all giving last year, half of which was given by high net worth donors with incomes of $200,000 or higher and assets of $1 million or more.

The 2015 Philanthropy 400 report promises to be fascinating, but it won’t be released until October. This annual report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy profiles the nation’s charities that raise the most private support. The 2014 report stated that giving to these large and elite organizations grew by more than 10% in 2013, fueled largely by affluent donors. This rate of growth is three times the growth experienced by all charities.

Four of the ten charities at the top of the 2015 Philanthropy 400 are organizations that raise money mostly from the wealthy by offering donor-advised funds, including Fidelity Charitable (No. 2), which is less than $200 million shy of ousting United Way Worldwide from the top of the list. Increases in giving to donor-advised funds have continued into 2014, but the rate of growth has evened out.

So, what does this all mean for you and your organization here in the Northwest? Translating all the giving trend data into actionable steps can be a challenge. We discussed many of the implications for our region in a recent webinar. Here are also some of my personal recommendations:

  • Be bold and be confident. Convey your vision clearly and with passion. Your supporters likely have the capacity to give more to you than they give today. Convince them of the difference you will make, and let them know how you deliver on your promises.
  • Convey urgency. Many donors have set funds aside for giving, whether in their annual budgets or a donor-advised fund. Convey why giving now is important.
  • Maintain regular and impactful communications. Keeping your donors is paramount! Ensure your communications are honest, convey impact, and engage!

 

*Public release of the Giving USA 2015 Report was published at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. To purchase the report and other Giving USA products, please visit www.givingusa.org and use code 3015GI to receive 30% off.

Questions? Please contact us. We are happy to further discuss these findings with you.

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Anne Clark <![CDATA[Is a wealth screening a worthwhile investment?]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2856 2015-06-16T23:15:31Z 2015-06-16T23:10:04Z “We have this donor database, and it is filled with names of people about whom we know very little. I just know that there are people in there who have the […]

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Finding right prospects 2014“We have this donor database, and it is filled with names of people about whom we know very little. I just know that there are people in there who have the capacity to give more, if only we could find out who they are and how best to build a meaningful relationship with them. But wealth screenings are expensive, and they seem so—cold and impersonal. Are they really worth it?”

I get asked some version of this question almost daily—and if you work at a nonprofit, you have either heard it or asked it yourself at some point.

Allow me to admit right here that I have a bias toward answering this question with an emphatic, “Of course!” I am a prospect researcher, and one of my jobs is to analyze donor data to help my clients uncover potential capacity and segment donors for successful cultivation activities. Wealth screenings make my job infinitely easier, and I have seen them help organizations fundraise more effectively and efficiently time and again.

However, there are some caveats. A wealth screening does not accomplish anything in and unto itself. You actually have to do something with the data. Unless your organization has a clear sense of what you are trying to accomplish and a strategy and plan for how to interpret and implement the screening results, it’s a complete waste of money and resources. While I can list out some very real benefits, the real question is, “Is it worth it for us—right now?”

Here are some questions to get you started with your staff and board:

  • What are we hoping to accomplish?
    • New donors?
    • Capacity for a campaign?
    • Figuring out if we’re making asks for the right amount?
  • Are we internally ready?
    • Do we have any data integrity issues? Do we need to clean up any records in our database?
    • Do we have the staffing bandwidth to review, implement, and act on the results in terms of prtfolio reassessments and cultivation meetings?
    • Do we have the resources and time to review and verify results?

If, after you go through this process, you feel confident about moving forward, below are the incredible benefits you will reap:

Benefits of a (well-timed) wealth screening (with a great implementation strategy to make it worthwhile!):

  • If nothing else, it gives you a sense of how much capacity your donors have.
  • If you are moving into a campaign, it helps determine if your campaign goal is feasible and realistic.
  • It gives you a starting point to work on building your pipeline and with donor cultivation activities.
  • It helps your development team know if they’re spending their time on the right prospects.
  • It tells you where to segment. Sometimes clients get so much data on their donors that they don’t know where to begin. Screening results help you segment donors into lists that are actionable and implementable.
  • You find out who else your donors give to—which gives you invaluable insight into your donors’ priorities and values.
  • You uncover board and foundation affiliations. If a donor serves on the same board as one of your volunteers, it provides a natural partner to bring that donor closer to your organization.

Discovering unknown capacity in your database is a terrific way to boost excitement among your development staff. Make the exercise meaningful buy using it to inform your cultivation activities and build your relationships with your donors.

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Barb Maduell <![CDATA[Understanding Donor Motivation, One Person at a Time]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2835 2015-05-19T14:41:04Z 2015-05-18T16:36:15Z The classic book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” gave a cultural tagline to the notion of a vast and insurmountable psychological divide between genders. Though not as […]

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The classic book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” gave a cultural tagline to the notion of a vast and insurmountable psychological divide between genders. Though not as dramatic, a recent study by Stanford University examined the motivations of male and female donors. The study found that men were more motivated by appeals that explained how a donation would benefit them, rather than others, especially when it came to missions addressing society’s neediest members.

The study gave several possible explanations for this so-called “empathy gap,” and it got me thinking about a client organization that serves young victims of abuse or neglect. Not only are most of their volunteer fundraising leaders men, but their motivations for giving are diverse; they range from being inspired by new science demonstrating that young brains can be wired for resilience, to the emotional connection of a century-long family legacy of involvement, to (here’s the one the study would validate) the long-term economic benefits of early intervention.

Try this “test” within your own organization. It’s a good reminder that while patterns of donor behavior do help us prioritize our time, donors don’t give, a donor gives. And—perhaps most importantly—each donor’s motivations may, and probably will, change over time.

Here are five simple steps to discover what motivates individual donors, regardless of their gender:

  • After a first gift, add one question to a personal thank you call: what inspired you to give? Was it a friend who invited them to an event, a specific appeal letter, or the ease of navigating your website?
  • After a second gift, revise the question slightly: what inspired you to give again? Was it a meeting with the CEO, a compelling impact report, or a note from a board member?
  • When preparing for a meeting with a major gifts prospect, take stock of what you already know, and what you want to know. You may know they care about homelessness; you may not know that they’ve grown to care deeply about addiction issues. Likewise, you may know all the arts organizations they support; you may not know they also support medical research for a condition affecting a family member.
  • Invite loyal donors of all giving levels to share why they’ve continued to make your organization a philanthropic priority. Despite shifts and changes in the needs you are meeting, what has been the consistent value your mission enables them to live out more fully?
  • Dedicate regular time at staff and board meetings for individual members to share why they continue to dedicate time, talent, and resources. Understanding why your closest stakeholders chose to serve your mission—and why they continue to do so—is one of the best ways you can honor their work.

Research on donor behavior can and should always inform our work. See trends as a starting point for the real work of stewardship: understanding the very personal motivations of each donor who supports your mission.

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Norea Hoeft <![CDATA[Is My Nonprofit’s Website Mobile-Friendly?]]> http://collinsgroup.com/?p=2822 2015-04-29T16:27:57Z 2015-04-29T16:26:19Z Google is rewarding sites it deems “mobile-friendly” and penalizing those that are not. As of Tuesday, April 21, sites that are not compliant with Google’s Mobile Optimization Guidelines will not […]

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Google is rewarding sites it deems “mobile-friendly” and penalizing those that are not. As of Tuesday, April 21, sites that are not compliant with Google’s Mobile Optimization Guidelines will not rank as high in Google’s mobile search.

Why does mobile-friendly matter?

With mobile search continuing to grow (60% of online traffic is from mobile, according to ComScore), the importance of reaching your donors and constituency through mobile is essential. However, this change could mean that when someone tries to find your organization’s website using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, it may be harder to find.

What does mobile-friendly mean?

While there is plenty of disagreement on what exact technical specifications make a website mobile-friendly, there are three basic premises:

  • Pages should load quickly
  • Common tasks, like making an online donation, should be simple and easy
  • The webpages should be designed for mobile, whether through “responsive web design” (it looks good when viewed on screens of different sizes) or through a mobile-only, dedicated version of your site

How can we tell if our site is mobile-friendly?

Google has devised an easy and free Mobile-Friendly Test to find out if your organization’s site is in danger of being demoted. All you do is type in your organization’s url, and it spits out a yes or no judgment.

How do we fix it?

If you learn that your site is not mobile-friendly, don’t panic! There is a lot you can do to make your pages load faster, function more smoothly, and improve the mobile user experience. Google provides several resources to get you started, although if you do not have a web designer and/or IT support to help you sort through the recommendations, you may need outside help. Our firm has a team focused on and dedicated to advancing your organization’s online presence, with the added value of special insight into the donor’s online experience and the kinds of challenges that are unique to nonprofits. Please contact us for more information.

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