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The 10 Steps to a Successful Fundraising Event

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Charity events are a popular form of fundraising. While they can be great moneymakers for an organization, they can also be time-consuming and expensive. The success of charity events depends on careful planning. To help you ensure that your fundraising event is a winner, here are ten major components that you must incorporate into your […]

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Two Qualities Donors Need To See Before They Invest Big

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As fundraisers, we often focus on planning and tactics: what five things are we going to do to raise $200,000 this year?  How are we going to shift our direct mail strategy to find more mid-level donors?  What’s our social media fundraising plan? Tactics are important.  Strategy is important.  We can’t ignore them: that’s why much of our article […]

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Fundraiser vs. Friendraiser vs. Waste of Time

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Last night, I was watching an old episode of The Office (US version) that brought a common non-profit problem to mind. In this episode, Michael is getting chided (over the phone) by the corporate office for spending too much money holding office parties.  After listing a number of events the Scranton branch has hosted over […]

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3 Quick Ways to Double Your Online Fundraising Revenue

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In Mastering Online Fundraising, our class for non-profit fundraisers, we talk a lot about how small changes to your online fundraising strategy can result in major returns, including new prospects, new event attendees, and of course, new donors. Today, I want to present three quick and easy tactics you can immediately implement in your online […]

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Holding an Event is NOT Your Whole Fundraising Strategy

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I like fundraising events.  I’ve managed (literally) hundreds of them during my fundraising career, from $500,000 galas to $10,000 hosted events and everything in between.  Heck, I’ve even written a handbook on a certain kind of fundraising event.  So… I’m not one of those “fundraising events aren’t worth the effort” snobs. Still, it makes me […]

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Developing a Tactical Fundraising Calendar for Your Organization

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The tactical strategy for your fundraising should not be random, and it shouldn’t be based on a “we’ll figure this out as we go along” mentality. Your best bet to ensure maximum revenue is to lay out a tactical fundraising calendar as part of your overall fundraising plan. A tactical calendar, as its name suggests, […]

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The Best Place to Find New Donor Prospects for Your Non-Profit

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Almost every non-profit organization wants to find new prospects to keep their donor funnel full.  Without new prospects coming into the pipeline, there won’t be anybody to cultivate, you won’t be able to make any asks, and ultimately, your events, direct mail, and fundraising campaigns will fail. Simply put, your organization needs to be constantly […]

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Steal this E-Mail! A Sample Year-End Fundraising E-Mail for Your Non-Profit

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It’s almost the year-end giving season, and most non-profits I know are getting ready to reach out to their donors to ask for one more donation before the end of the year.  As well they should… a very high percentage of all charitable gifts are made during the year-end fundraising cycle. If you want to know […]

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Stay Focused, Fundraiser!

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Recently, I’ve encountered a phenomenon among development staffs and non-profit executive directors that seems to effect organizations both large and small.  It causes non-profits to raise less money than they could, while expending far more energy and effort than necessary.  Likewise, it wastes precious dollars in the fundraising budget in return for very little gain. […]

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How to Do Year-End Fundraising the Right Way (Part III)

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Welcome to the third and final article in our three-part series on year-end fundraising. In our first post, we took a look at why so many donors give during the final 4-6 weeks of the year.  In the second post, we reviewed the five rules for supercharged year-end fundraising.  Today, we’re going to look at […]

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What to Do When a Major Donor Prospect Says No

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Is there any more depressing word in the fundraiser’s lexicon than “no”?  It means all of your efforts, research, and cultivation will not be resulting in a gift from this prospect.  Often, it means explaining to your boss, or to a referring board member, that no, you were not able to secure a donation, and […]

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Making the Most of Year End Fundraising Appeals

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The end of the calendar year can (and should) be a bonanza for non-profit organizations looking to raised small and medium-sized gifts to round out their fundraising numbers.  Whether your non-profit works on a fiscal or a calendar year, most “regular folks” in the work-a-day world work on a calendar year, and make a significant […]

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How to Do Year-End Fundraising the Right Way (Part II)

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Last week, we started a three article series on year-end fundraising.  The first part described why donors give during the year-end giving season.  In this post, I want to talk about the strategy behind raising more money during the final 4-6 weeks of the year.  In our next post, we’ll go over a step-by-step plan […]

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How to Do Year-End Fundraising the Right Way (Part I)

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We all know how important the final 4-6 weeks of the calendar year are for non-profit fundraising.  According to Charity Navigator, mid-sized non-profits may see up to 40% of their total yearly contributions come in between the Thanksgiving Holiday (in the US) and the New Year! You may have seen my post about #GivingTuesday, where […]

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Why Your Non-Profit Should Avoid #GivingTuesday Like the Plague

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Have you heard about Giving Tuesday (or, as most people write it, #GivingTuesday)?  It’s a noble effort by those in our profession to transform the holiday season from take, take, take to take, take, give.  (For some of the hoopla, see here, here and here) The idea is that everyone shops in person on Black […]

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Getting Serious About Your Fundraising Efforts

How serious is your non-profit about your fundraising efforts?  Depending on the size of your organization, here are some things to think about: For Small Non-Profits… If you run a small non-profit organization (many churches and schools also fit this category), how much time, per week, is your staff dedicating to fundraising?  Are you out […]

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