#GIVINGTUESDAY: BOOST DONATIONS, STRENGTHEN THE INDUSTRY

By James D’Ambrosio

JamesProfile1TwitterThe second annual #GivingTuesday — a movement celebrating and encouraging charitable activities that support nonprofits and representing a national day of giving jump starting the giving season — takes place Tuesday, December 3, just after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. #GivingTuesday was initiated in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City with the United Nations Foundation as a partner. The concept was refined with input from a team of esteemed professionals: Andrew Watt, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising professionals; Robert Reich, professor at Stanford; and Eileen Heisman, president and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, to name a few.

2012 RESULTS

Last year some 2,500+ #GivingTuesday partners from all 50 states resulted in some impressive results. For example: Blackbaud, developers of software and services for nonprofits, generated $10 million in online donations, up 53 percent from 2012; DonorPerfect, online nonprofit fundraising software from SofterWare, realized a 46 percent increase in donations with average gifts up 25 percent; and 50 million+ people worldwide spreading the message via social media, resulting in milestone ‘trending’ on Twitter.

GETTING INVOLVED: ELIGIBILITY AND PARTICIPATION

To become a partner, you must be a registered 501(c)(3) U.S. nonprofit with a specific #GivingTuesday project, OR a private business, school or religious group involved in a project benefiting at least one registered 501 (c)(3) U.S. charity or nonprofit. #GivingTuesday is NOT an organization and does not accept/distribute donations. Rather, it’s a movement — donations are made through partner Web sites (official partners manage their own fundraising projects.) Partners are asked to develop an initiative for/on #GivingTuesday and spread word to their networks.  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AS AN OFFICIAL PARTNER.

PROJECT IDEAS

The 92nd Street Y and U.N. Foundation suggest some ways to participate:

♦ Launch an awareness/fundraising campaign via social media using the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter to spread news to key stakeholders.

♦ Ask a board member to put up a matching grant. Last year partners leveraged small matching grants to attract large donations.

♦ Some donor’ workplaces double employee donations. Ask them to submit a matching-gift request.

♦ Suggest donors, volunteers and pro-bono consultants share plans/stories to give back on their social networks. Then ‘Like’ and Tweet their posts.

♦ Share your story. Contact local media or share it with #GivingTuesday (givingtuesday@gmail.com).

♦ Challenge board members to use their professional skills to support your operations and mission.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IDEAS

Of course, time and resources dictate what you can do. If resources are scarce, try something small you can manage. The larger picture is to participate, grow the movement, and galvanize the industry as a whole.

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QUESTION TO READERS:

If your nonprofit is participating, what is your project or initiative?

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FIRST-EVER NATIONAL STUDY OUTLINES FUNDRAISING STRUGGLES, OFFERS CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

By James D’AmbrosioJamesProfile1Twitter

The results of a first-ever national study of executive directors and development directors by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services  and the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, found that a significant portion of nonprofits are caught in “a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed.” Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, collected survey data from 2,700+ executive directors and development directors across the U.S., and 11 focus groups in four regions of the country comprised of ED’s, development directors and board members.

“This study shows that the fundraising problems facing nonprofit organizations are more extensive and more entrenched than anyone imagined,” noted Jeanne Bell, CEO of CompassPoint and co-author of the study. She continues: “As a sector, we need to elevate the importance of fund development as a leadership issue, invest in a stronger talent pool, and strengthen the ability of nonprofits to develop the systems that enable fundraising success.”

KEY FINDINGS

The major findings of the study are as follows:

1) REVOLVING DOOR: Agencies rely heavily on the development director for fundraising, but there’s high turnover and lengthy vacancies for the position.

2) HELP WANTED: Agencies cannot find enough quality prospects to fill development director positions. Top executives cited problems with performance and lack of basic fundraising skills from key development staff.

3) IT’S NOT JUST ONE PERSON: In addition to creating a position for development director and hiring a strong applicant, agencies and their executives need to build the capacity, systems and culture promoting successful fundraising. Findings revealed that many agencies aren’t doing this.

4) BREAKING THE CYCLE: The study presents urgent calls-to-action for the nonprofit sector, indicating important steps nonprofit executives, funders and sector leaders should consider as they begin addressing challenges outlined in the report.

5) BOTTOM-LINE FINDING: While there’s significant problems in the role of development director across the industry, there’s deeper issues undermining agencies’ ability to raise the necessary funds to achieve success.

ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM: CALLS-TO-ACTION

The study describes 10 steps agencies can take to address the problem:

1) Embrace fund development | 2) Elevate the field of fundraising  | 3) Strengthen and diversify the talent pool | 4) Train boards differently | 5) Apply the transition management framework to the development director position |  6) Invest strategically in grantee fundraising capacity | 7) Leverage technological innovation — embrace creativity | 8) Set realistic goals for development | 9) Share accountability for fundraising results | 10) Exercise fundraising leadership.

A FINAL WORD

For some readers — executive directors, development professionals and those in management — this problem is not news. But pinpointing the nature and extent of the problem and offering ideas for effectively dealing with it is invaluable. Increasing awareness is often the first step in solving many types of problems. I encourage readers to read the full report and see what ideas/suggestions might help their organization.

ACCESS THE FULL REPORT HERE

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QUESTION TO READERS:

A) What other ideas do you have for dealing with fundraising challenges?

 

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