Fundraising Guru

Nonprofit Leadership

Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with nonprofit leadership. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fundraisers

We asked a number of fund-raising professionals and experienced volunteers what they thought were the most important traits an individual/group should possess to be successful at fund-raising. Here's their list, which we found coincides nicely with Stephen Covey' well known theories detailed in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Fraud? Say It Isn't So!

Did you know that the average fraud scheme goes undetected for 18 months? Or, that 93 percent of frauds are by first-time perpetrators? How about this? Dozens of parent organizations were victims of embezzlement by dishonest volunteers last year.
It's hard to swallow. But sometimes volunteers - people whom you may have known for years, people you trust - do not always have the best of intentions when it comes to safeguarding your non-profit group's assets.

The Truth About Board Members

In the field of non-profit Board development, the hoariest of old saws is that Board members must possess three W's - Wealth, Wisdom, and Wit. I've also heard and said that non-profit Board members need to bring one or more of these things: money, contacts, clout, and expertise - and in that order. Here's my unofficial ranking of Board members, based on my many years working with Boards and many conversations with colleagues.

Position Your Nonprofit Leader as an Expert

Positioning your nonprofit's executive director as the local expert on your key issue helps build valuable credibility for your organization among stakeholders.
Start that process by making sure that if your leader isn't already an expert, he or she is taking steps to become one. This is one of those situations where you don't want to use smoke and mirrors.

What to Look for In a Fundraising Agreement

Ancient Romans called it a "pact." Webster's says it's "a binding agreement." Roget's Thesaurus offers a dozen alternatives - "deal", "arrangement", "understanding", "covenant", or "promise" to name a few. But to Shiree Lynch, Georgia State PTA President, it means only one thing: "A contract is a contract." And, when it comes to fundraising, she says parent groups should not do business without one. "Written agreements between fundraising companies and parent groups are absolutely vital," Lynch says. "They spell out for everyone exactly what the expectations are of the other."

Fundraising Idea of the Month: Killer Communications

All organisations, no matter what their nature, succeed or fail mainly due to their ability to communicate. If they fail to let you know that they exist, why they exist and how you will benefit from their existence then their future may not be a rosy one nor very profitable. There are certain fundamental laws on what makes a successful organisation and this is one of them.

FAQ About Nonprofit Newsletter Publishing

Question: Can we loose our nonprofit status if we have too much advertising sales success?
Generally speaking, your organization’s tax exemption covers any activity that is substantially related to the charitable, educational or other purpose that forms the basis upon which the IRS granted the exemption, even if the activity is a business activity. However, if the organization regularly carries on a business that’s not substantially related to its exempt purpose, the organization is subject to income tax on any profits from that activity.

Newsletters: Writing Columns

What is a column? A column is not a news article, but it is news. It generally answers why and how. It often is personal, using the first and second person (I and you). A column often states an opinion. It is said to be like writing an open letter. A column also has a standard head, called a title, and a by-line (name) at the top. These identify you and your column for the reader.

Newsletters, Part 1: Information Vehicle or Marketing Tool?

Millions of companies and corporations annually distribute billions of newsletters to their customers/clients. Most deal, in whole or in part, with industry-specific issues. Many of these vendor-to-customer newsletters have been around for a decade or longer. Smart marketers have discovered that distributing a high quality newsletter can be an effective tool for reaching their target markets. Compared to other marketing mediums (TV, radio, or print media such as magazine ads), newsletters are very cost effective.

Newsletters, Part 2: Keeping Publication Costs Under Control

It is easy to get carried away and spend a bundle of money on newsletters. To help contain the high costs often associated with this type of printed product, there are several expense reduction concepts you can employ.
Most newsletters are designed to deliver the same basic look each month. The contents may change (each quarter, month, etc.) but the design usually remains about the same - and for good reason: It establishes a certain look that your client/customers hopefully will recognize and anticipate receiving on a regular basis.

Five Tips for Eradicating Writer’s Block

Several factors can bring about writer’s block: lack of a clear writing plan, too little research, anxiety and even boredom. Follow these steps to wipe out writer’s block:

How to Do a Newsletter That Gets Read

A newsletter can be a wonderful means of communication. Research consistently shows people like newsletters. People like to get timely information tailored to their interests — information that is quick and easy to read.
But to communicate, a newsletter must get read. It can't get thrown away before being opened, or banished to the to-be-read pile.
You want your newsletter to be a vital piece of communication that people look forward to receiving. This only happens through planning and commitment.