[News] Do you know your nonprofit ideology?

Thanks to everyone who participated in the telesummit last week! When all was said and done over 800 people received access to high quality content and information that will help them serve their communities better. Very exciting stuff!


Don’t miss the article below – ‘Are You a Voluntarist or Professionalist.’ It’s puts into words something I’ve been sensing in the sector (and perceptions of the sector) for some time now. Very interesting reading…

Kind regards,



Why Organizations Forget What They Learn from Failures | Harvard Business Review @HarvardBiz

The occurrence of a serious error — such as a shuttle explosion, a large-scale oil spill, or a safety-related product recall — triggers the learning cycle. It stimulates an organization to emphasize safety as a primary concern, as it seeks to identify the root causes and to make the corresponding corrections in its processes, structure and culture. The problem is that these safety-related behaviors fade over time and other motivating forces come to the fore, gradually launching the seeds of the next error.

The ideological attack on fundraising, Part 2 – are you a Voluntarist or a Professionalist? | Critical Fundraising

In this second part, I’m going to outline what I think are two competing ideologies that compete for organising public attitudes, not only about what charities ought to do, but how they ought to go about doing it: the Voluntarist Charity Ideology (or ‘Voluntarism’) and the Professionalist Charity Ideology (or ‘Professionalism’).

Fundraising Planning

Your Worst Fundraising Enemy | Network for Good @Network4Good

You can’t use a spreadsheet to do a donor management system’s job. Here’s why:
You can’t act on data you can’t easily access or manage. And when you’re not acting on the data you should be collecting with each campaign, you’re losing money (missing fundraising opportunities; having sub-par donor communication; suffering from data inaccuracy and lack of security; wasting time that is better spent on your programs, donors, and optimization.

Donor centricity is easy, but it’s not | @101fundraising

“Shifting an organization towards true donor centricity requires making a fundamental, disruptive change. It’s not a cosmetic, superficial fix to how you write copy, or a matter of more personalization in your emails. It’s a matter of placing the donor first, even long before they come a donor, and all the way through their lifecycle. It’s very disruptive, because it needs to change the focus of every process, role, task, policy and donor touchpoint to be successful. So if it isn’t painful, you’re probably not doing it right. ” Here are some tips to help you get started.


10 reasons your newsletter could raise more money | Hands-On Fundraising @mcahalane

Is your newsletter working? How well does your newsletter work? Many organizations now use newsletters to communicate about their work. That’s good! But this author sees so many organizations produce fancy pieces that aren’t doing their job. Do newsletters right and they can be a serious source of income – by delighting your donors. Miss the mark and you’re throwing money away. Here are some questions you should ask:

If Our Donors Aren’t Listening, Are We Really Communicating? | npENGAGE @blackbaud

With the relative ease and low-cost of online communication, many nonprofits have more messages directed at prospects and donors than ever before. But it is generally estimated that donors and prospects see more than 5,000 marketing messages a day: “Buy this soft drink. These are the right shoes for you. This charity is worthy of your support. Don’t you deserve a new car like this one?” Yes, messages from your nonprofit are mixed in with all the other messages—and it’s becoming easier and easier to miss messages, even from people and organizations you care about. So how do we break through the noise?
We simply must make sure we consistently share messages our donors and prospects want to hear.

Fundraising Tactics

How to Host a Donor Thought Circle | Network for Good @Network4Good

A donor thought circle is a fun, low-key cultivation event. Your goals are to find out what attracted these folks to your cause and how you can make them and others feel more engaged. The questions you ask will help you learn firsthand what’s working in your fundraising strategies. Giving donors a chance to be heard—face to face—makes them feel more invested in your cause and unearths new ideas for future outreach.

Are you really ready for a capital campaign? | Gail Perry @GailPerrync

Are your board members and leaders chomping at the bit to move quickly into a capital campaign? I hear from some fundraisers that they feel pushed to get going and start asking for lead gifts as soon as possible.
Your smart plan sets up the dominoes so they will fall nicely in place. And the organization may not be READY! Gail’s advice: Slooooowwww down. There’s lots to do in order to be ready for a capital campaign.

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