Last week I talked about the admirable foresight that transplanted American Lawrence Johnston had in planting a cedar tree in his English garden that he knew he would never see grow to its full glory. As I mentioned, I think of Johnston often when I am planning ahead for what’s to come here at HBG. [Read more…]
An alumna of the university/donor to the museum/former grateful patient and her husband made a jaw-droppingly significant charitable gift that was in all the newspapers.
There were two problems with this:
- The gift was made across town.
- The alumna/donor/former patient hadn’t been a rated prospect.
Everybody asks: why wasn’t she on the organization’s radar? Her evident wealth should have been surfaced long before. Why hadn’t it? What was Research doing wrong? [Read more…]
Hierarchically speaking, fundraising intelligence doesn’t usually sit at the top of any nonprofit organization’s organization chart. In fact, the most junior member of the Research team usually inhabits one of the boxes at the bottom of the chart, in my ongoing study.
But I’ve also known for a while that org charts can be deceptive. It’s the culture of a place and the specific people in the boxes that are usually the drivers of who has the ‘power’ and who doesn’t. Certain people, regardless of box geography, are able to reach beyond borders. [Read more…]
I had a nice email back-and-forth with a colleague the other day discussing a new trend she was seeing in the field. As the conversation wound down to a close, I wrote that I looked forward to seeing her at the Apra International conference (Pittsburgh! August 8-11!). She came back for one last reply, saying that after nearly 20 years of going, the vice president of fundraising was asking her for justification of the expense. [Read more…]
The past two weeks, there’s been a whole lot of Olympics-watching in my household. You too? I don’t know what it is about curling, I don’t even care who’s throwing the stones, I will watch it. (and GO Team USA-men on your gold medal!).
The same goes for ice dancing (did you see those smokin’-hot Canadians?? Wow!) and figure skating. I honestly can’t tell the difference between a lutz, a toe loop, and a Salchow, but the fact that they nail the landing 9/10s of the time is just astonishing.
It was while watching the fortnight highlight farewell review by the NBC Olympic Ice commentators – Scott Hamilton, Liam McHugh and Tanith White – that one of them said in closing how grateful they were to their off-camera research team for helping them be as informed and prepared as they were. That they couldn’t have done their job without them. [Read more…]
Giving Tuesday marks the opening of the Giving Season, that time of year when generous donors help plant the bulbs for change, and nonprofits nurture and grow them.
I’ve been planting bulbs of my own this past week (daffodils and crocuses; also testing out if lavender seeds actually work), and that activity gave me loads of time to think about how a little preparation now makes a world of difference in a period of time that’s not all that far ahead.
In the fundraising intelligence world, we can do that, too. Here at HBG, we’re talking with clients now about how they can be prepared for next year.
What is your team doing to be sure you’re filling the pipeline with new prospects who are interested in your cause? [Read more…]
When I read this week’s featured article by Kathy Mills on the Apra-Carolinas website, I knew I had to ask share it with you today. Kathy is Senior Donor Identification Analyst at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and I wanted you to read her description of the way that their prospect research and annual giving teams partner together.
They’re making relationship magic – joining their talents to give sincere thanks to donors, and it’s a great lesson – for this season and all year round.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and warm thanks to Kathy and the kind folks at Apra-Carolinas for allowing us to re-share this!
The Impact of Thanking Annual Fund Donors
When I was younger, my mother forced me to write thank you notes to anyone who had given me a gift for my birthday. It seemed like a chore at the time, but as an adult, I came to appreciate when I was thanked for sending a gift – and I certainly remembered those that never thanked me. Today, sometimes a simple “thank you” seems like a dying art.
As nonprofit organizations, it’s critical that we thank our donors promptly. That $25 annual fund donor could turn out to be a $25,000 donor in the future if he or she feels appreciated right from the start. But every organization sends a thank you letter. What if you took it one step further? [Read more…]
Several years ago, a researcher I’ll call Chris spent a good two hours tracking down a retired donor’s email address. The request was from a fundraiser who really wanted to contact the donor to say thank you for an unexpected and generous gift.
It took a long while, but Chris finally found the email address through sheer doggedness and determination, and Chris was pretty proud. [Read more…]
This week’s article is brought to you by HBG Senior Researcher, Jennifer Turner, who has a lot of experience (probably more than she thought she’d ever have!) writing event briefings. Lucky for us, she’s happy to share some great tips here. ~Helen
We have officially entered the fall season. School vacation is over. Our donors have returned home from their summer residences. And we are all settling back into the “normal” routine.
For many organizations, this means the start of event season. Perhaps you work in higher education and have an upcoming event for new parents, as well as Homecoming weekend. Or maybe your organization just wants to get in a few events during the fall months before the holidays start monopolizing everyone’s calendar. [Read more…]
This week HBG team member Angie Herrington shares some great tips to make sure you don’t lose track of an under-the-radar, future group of supporters to your nonprofit. She’s not totally convinced that she’s got the perfect acronym yet, but IMO she’s on the right track! ~Helen
Fundraising is no different than any other profession with our acronyms and jargon. Some are expedient (DO, MGO, 990, CRM, ‘soft credit’) and some make me think too hard and wonder if we’re making it up (LYBUNT, SYBUNT, and CRUT).
Some of our legacy terms can also be polarizing. Ever dropped the word “suspect” on PRSPCT-L over the past 20 years? If you’re feeling sassy, try that one and let me know how it works out for you. [Read more…]