Fundraising for Nonprofits

Inspiring Gifts that Transform

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Raising Change Conference materials now available online

Many of the workshop materials from last summer's amazing Raising Change Conference are now available for download on the Grassroots Fundraising Journal website. Recommended texts that can stand on their own without the actual training include:
  • Robert Weiner's Selecting the Right Donor Database
    The right donor database can help you identify, cultivate, solicit, thank, and steward your donors. The wrong one can drive you insane. How do you find the right database?
  • Madeline Stanionis' Raising Money with Email
    Loaded with practical advice and real world examples. Answers and recommendations about how your organization can make the most of your e-mail program.
  • Pat Bradshaw's Future of Boards
    Even with good intentions, many boards are not living up to basic expectations of governance and support. We need better ways to work with boards to generate leadership and contributions of time, expertise, and money.
  • Russell Roybal's Diving into Development Planning
    Learn the steps to creating a successful development plan. Assess your current situation, taking stock of outside factors, examining cash flow, assigning responsibility, and more.
Highlights of Kim Klein's plenary speech are also still posted on this blog.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Help the Foundation Center celebrate its 50th birthday

Wow, 50 years of service to the community, that's quite an accomplishment! In celebration the San Francisco branch of the Foundation Center is offering a series of educational programs on how philanthropy and fundraising have evolved and what changes are happening in the field today. This month's Development Executives Roundtable (DER) noon luncheon on November 10th, will be co-hosted by the Foundation Center and the San Francisco Business Times, as part of this series. The discussion topic will be "Trends in Bay Area Bank Philanthropy." Here's a little language from the PR blurb.
"In 2005, the San Francisco Business Times reported that the greater San Francisco Bay Area's top corporate philanthropists increased their giving to about $107 million in cash contributions. In its annual ranking of the Top Corporate Philanthropists in the Greater Bay Area, four of the top ten corporate philanthropists are banks. This panel, made up of local banks who were recognized at the San Francisco Business Times Corporate Philanthropy Summit in July, includes three from the Business Times top ten list as well as the bank that placed 11th. Representatives from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Union Bank of California will address current trends in how Bay Area financial service firms are selecting the organizations they support."
As always, I'll be at the door handling registration, so I hope to see you there. Please note that this is a special FREE event and is bound to sell out. So to reserve your space, please visit the Foundation Center website today.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The gentle art of teaching the joy of giving

4 million viewers and growing. Would have made Hank proud.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"LonelyGirl15" almost gets it right for poverty campaign

But Jeff Brooks at Donor Power Blog gets it right again:
"Give them credit for trying. The United Nations has enlisted Web phenom [sic] 'LonelyGirl15' to promote the anti-poverty Millennium Campaign. Or rather, their ad agency, Y&R enlisted her … But they don't quite pull it off … The main reason: LonelyGirl15 doesn't sound like her usually loopy, amusing self in this video. In fact, she sounds just like she's reading a script that's been kicked around by a committee of people with competing agendas and wooden ears."


Monday, October 23, 2006

Spinning the Noble Peace Prize from critique to panacea

Big props to Noble Peace Prize winner Doctor Muhammand Yunus of the Grameen Bank, who in the above video observed that "poverty is not caused by the poor people, poverty is the system we've built, poverty is caused by the policies we pursue."

Unfortunately, this message isn't getting through the political-media spin cycle. From Hillary Clinton to Paul Wolfowitz, from The New York Times to the blogosphere, the Grameen Bank's recent recognition isn't seen as a critique of capitalism, corporations and competition, but rather as a justification for its existence.

Only Walden Bello, writing in The Nation, questions this party line.
"The best way we can honor Muhammad Yunus is to say, Yes, he deserves the Nobel Prize for helping so many women cope with poverty. His boosters discredit this great honor and engage in hyperbole when they claim he has invented a new compassionate form of capitalism--social capitalism, or 'social entrepreneurship' -- that will be the magic bullet to end poverty and promote development."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Implement a planned giving program at your nonprofit in 16 easy steps

  1. Develop draft of a planned giving case statement.
  2. Form a planned giving committee able to meet about four times a year, with major focus on one-to-one meetings with prospects.
  3. Ask board members to approve case statement and make their own planned gift commitments.
  4. Make a motivational presentation to Board of Directors with volunteer/planned giver as main speaker.
  5. Set up system of technical support to allow you to provide information on the tax and financial consequences of charitable trusts, life estates, bargain sales and other gift strategies of a technical nature.
  6. Hold in-person conversations, preferably with volunteers involved, with planned giving prospects, inviting them to become members of Legacy Society and describing methods of joining.
  7. Make planned giving presentation to volunteer groups.
  8. Provide Planned Giving Committee and Board with an orientation to planned giving ethics and techniques.
  9. Begin publishing planned giving information, especially donor case histories.
  10. Develop planned giving Legacy Society recognition program.
  11. Explore possibility of estate planning seminars.
  12. Develop prospect list and set up one-to-one meetings.
  13. Present Committee and Board of Directors with planned giving activities and goals for the year.
  14. Review five-year donor patterns with committee.
  15. Survey a few other comparable institutions and ask what they’ve done that has promoted planned gifts successfully.
  16. Evaluate planned giving program: (a) Was the plan for the year implemented? (b) How many new members in Legacy Society?
These tips come from Planned Giving Coach Philip Murphy, who sold out Friday's Development Executive Roundtable's luncheon workshop held in San Francisco. He emphasized that you don't have to be an expert on all the various planned giving vehicles available to start your program, for the skills you already have as a fundraiser are 90% of what you need to know to be successful. The rest you can develop or rely on outside support.

Philip began his fundraising career in 1973, and since 1979 has been focusing on planned giving. He's simply the best at what he does, so if you want to build your planned giving program into the best it can be, check out his website for more resources, plus information about his services.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Stanford University announces record setting capital campaign

On Tuesday Stanford University officially kicked off a $4.3-billion capital campaign, which, if successful, would be the largest in higher-education history. Though publically just announced, the campaign is already about half way over, having raised $2.2-billion since 2004 during its quiet phase.

Now a project like this takes a lot of people, so if you're looking for a job, Stanford is hiring. Currently they have 18 open positions in their development offices.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

U.S. Dept of the Treasury anti-terrorist financing guidelines: Voluntary best practices for U.S.-based charities

Seems the "War on Dissent" is expanding every day.
"Upon issuance of Executive Order 13224, President George W. Bush directed the U.S. Department of the Treasury to work with other elements of the federal government and the international community to develop a comprehensive and sustained campaign against the sources and conduits of terrorist financing. Investigations have revealed terrorist abuse of charitable organizations, both in the United States and worldwide, to raise and move funds, provide logistical support, encourage terrorist recruitment or otherwise cultivate support for terrorist organizations and operations. This abuse threatens to undermine donor confidence and jeopardizes the integrity of the charitable sector, whose services are indispensable to both national and world communities."
On Charity Governance
"The voluntary best practices look like much of the Bush Administration’s overall approach to the criminal aspects of the War on Terror. The rules are intentionally vague, providing the Administration with maximum flexibility to engage in prosecution while not providing those subject to the rules clear safe harbors to guide their conduct."


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Link-up of fundraising tips, trends and topics

Top 10 things fundraisers should monitor
"The more you can lift your head out of the weeds, the more successful your fundraising program -- and you -- will be."

Traps to avoid in fundraising
"Linguist and progressive thinker George Lakoff has written an interesting piece titled '12 Traps That Keep Progressives From Winning.' With just a few revisions, the piece could be titled '12 Traps That Keep Nonprofits from Effective Marketing and Fundraising.'"

Giving Circles: Past, present and future
"[A recent survey identifies] 220 giving circles in 39 US states (although the actual number of circles may be many hundreds higher) and that 77 of those reported gave a combined total of $44M since 2000."

The future of community foundations and giving
"We are about to enter a major new era in community foundations, where community foundations will have to look outward as well for opportunities for growth and partnership, and that adjusting to this new era is not going to be easy."


Monday, October 09, 2006

Wealth Bondage is dead. Long live Wealth Bondage.

Quote of the week:
"Giving, from the gifted, which is art from the artist and philanthropy from the wealthy, and activism from the disenfranchised, and spirituality from those who are capable of it, such gifts channel grace, the living spirit of which we are the dim carriers. "


Saturday, October 07, 2006

3 leading Bay Area art groups secure $95,000,000-plus in donations in 1 week

This week champagne corks are popping on Nob Hill, as the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony and Stanford’s Music Program announced record setting gifts.
Stanford alums give $50 million to build concert hall
"Stanford University today announced a $50 million donation from alumnus Peter Bing and his wife Helen that will be used to construct a new concert hall."

Symphony gets $10 million grant
"San Francisco philanthropist Richard Goldman is giving the San Francisco Symphony a $10 million challenge grant aimed at increasing the company's current $180 million endowment … The Goldman Foundation, of which Richard Goldman is president, will add $500,000 to every $1 million contribution."

S.F. Opera patron donates $35 million

"Largest gift of its kind in the U.S. -- no strings attached $35 million from longtime patron and supporter Jeannik Méquet Littlefield, a donation believed to be the largest to an American opera company from a single benefactor."
Suddenly, big ticket philanthropy has become hip -- or you are lead to believe if you read the headlines -- so the recent launch the San Francisco based magazine, Benefits: The Lifestyle of Giving, comes as no surprise.

But anyone who works in this field knows that planned gifts like these don’t happen over night. Very few nonprofits have the stability, legacy and capacity to secure them. They take years of cultivation. You can be sure, beyond each of these newspaper headlines, there's a unsung story of a talented fundraiser.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Don't be a business in nonprofit's clothing

Rob Johnston of 4Nonprofits and I have the same pet peeve.
"This is a personal peeve, but I think there's an important issue behind it. While I argue at all times that nonprofits should be run as the most effective organizations they can, and I have supported the use of corporate titles (president, chief operating officer) by nonprofits, I believe doing the reverse can be underhanded, done to mislead potential customers. When businesses present themselves as nonprofits, they are exploiting the trust that people hold in social sector organizations."


Queer youth work too graphic for Macy's show

Article in the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter highlights the challenges faced when nonprofits and funders might not share the same values and mission.
"Content developed by queer youth from San Francisco's Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC) raised red flags for organizers of the annual 'Teen Night' at Macy's Passport show, an HIV prevention education event and fashion show held this week at Fort Mason Center. Now, LYRIC is claiming that LGBTQQ youth have been excluded from the event and its HIV prevention messages ...

Macy's spokeswoman Betsy Nelson told the Bay Area Reporter that ... 'We asked them to exclude [content materials] that were very graphic in nature ... This audience is a very diverse audience in terms of race, gender preference, everything ... It's free and we send busses all over to pick up thousands of kids from all over ... There is content about HIV and how you get HIV. Macy's specifically doesn't talk on the topic; we use other groups to do that...'

[LYRIC Executive Director] Schwartz said she has a hard time with the Macy's event billing itself as HIV 'education' without it also including frank discussions of many different kinds of sex, regardless of audience background or how many of the youth identify. Assumptions that heterosexual youth or teens from certain backgrounds don't engage in certain sexual practices, she said, are dangerous assumptions to make in the world of HIV prevention."

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