Category Archives: Fundraising

Give, Give, Give on Giving Tuesday

By Katherine Kerr, APR

In between all those emails from retailers demanding attention for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you are probably getting appeals from charities asking for donations on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 to create a day of international giving in response to commercialization and consumerism between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With all the focus on Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday, it is easy to forget that nonprofits doing good works around the world need your help. Just like retailers, most of their money comes in between Thanksgiving and the end of the calendar year. Donations at year end determines their financial stability for 2018. Almost all charities will tell you that demand for services and expenses have gone up and are expected to continue that trend.

If you’re like me, you probably have more stuff than you can say grace over. My sons agree I have too much “junk” and they complain about all the stuff they’ll have to sort through when I finally die.

But every year, they want to know what they can get me for Christmas. And my birthday. And Mother’s Day.

Almost every time I ask them to give to a charity. It’s not because I’m bucking for sainthood; it’s because I really do have everything I need or want. And if I want something, I tend to get it myself.

A gift to a charity I’ve selected or that is important to them means a great deal more to me than some item they spent precious time worrying whether I would like it, or if it was the right size or color. And it a charitable gift doesn’t add to the mounds of stuff I already have!

If you are in the same situation, or if you’re trying to figure out what to get that hard-to-shop-for person, please consider a gift to a nonprofit. A gift to a faith community where your loved one worships or a cause your family member cares about can be meaningful.

Fortunately, some charities are blessed to have generous donors who will match or multiply gifts that come in on Giving Tuesday. Please consider a gift to them so your donation will be leveraged to do even more.

For most of us, it is better to give and not receive.

Right Strategic Plan Makes Measuring Success Easier

By Tim Kubatzky, CFRE

Non-profits are faced with the task of measuring success, a concept that has grown in response to competition in the independent sector and a generational shift in funders’ sense of, and desire for, greater accountability.

Consequently, strategic planning and measurable goals and objectives derived from it are important tools for nonprofits to report progress and justify funders’ investments.

The model of strategic planning an organization chooses needs to align with its reason for planning so that any tasks and objectives from the work plan ultimately feed into progress toward goals that can be reported to funders and other stakeholders.

Creating and following a plan makes reporting progress easier. An organization can choose monthly or quarterly check-ins, for example, and avoid the stressful search for data to validate their grant funding when annual reports to funders are due.

Regular check-ins to measure progress have the added benefit of informing decisions on resource allocation and program direction. Mid-stream adjustments take less effort than full-course corrections made in annual planning sessions.

Letting everyone in the organization know that the goals set during the strategic planning session will define the measure of success for the coming year(s) creates buy-in and authentic interest in the process. It also ensures the work plan will not be shelved until the next long-range planning effort.