Moving on…

I’ve set up a new www site with my very own URL and blog.

Go visit www.morethanzeal.com

So I’ll be shutting this one down soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in business, donations, Fundraising, money, Non-profit, nonprofit, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to ask for donations… not!

Based on the feedback of my esteemed commenters, along with my own experience, here are a few things NOT to do when you ask for donations:

– Act like you know the potential donor when you really don’t!

Niki says that it’s “creepy.”  Ooh – I think so, too, especially when they mispronounce your name as in “Oh, hello, Mrs. Kalalahah. Are you having a good day today?” And before you can even respond, “That’s great. Well, I was calling about…” Click

– Don’t bother getting to know the person at all.

Don’t even have a conversation with him/her. Don’t ask the other person any questions about their interests – show no concern AT ALL. (Yeah –  that will get you a donation… NOT!)

– Put lots of pressure on the person to give. Don’t give them an out.

While you are at it, ask for a really big donation that’s far beyond the person’s means.

– Use guilt.

 Ask your spouse/friends/kids how well THAT works!

– Don’t share any compelling stories about how your nonprofit has affected people’s lives.

– Hide your passion. Be stoic.

– Never include an self-addressed envelope for a return gift

By the way, if you do remember to include an envelope, it’s probably better not to put on a stamp because then it looks like you are spending too much of your donations on stamps that may never be used.

– Act fearful and apologetic when you ask for money.

That will impart alot of confidence in your nonprofit… NOT!

Any more ideas of what NOT to do?

Posted in donations, Fundraising, money, nonprofit, offend, offensive, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fundraise like a what??

I just found a great blog post entitled Fundraise like a Corgi.

So, I stole it. Took it hook, line, and sinker from its author Peggy Morrison Outon  (Executive Director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management). I’ll add a link to this cool place over at Resources.

Anyway, to avoid an hint of plagiarism,  the original can be found at http://bayercenter.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/fundraise-like-a-corgi/.  Here goes:

Fundraise like a Corgi

My grand-dog, the only Corgi named after a hiphop artist, Busta Outon!

My grand-dog, the only Corgi named after a hiphop artist, Busta Outon!

Everywhere you look, someone is offering advice about how to fundraise in tough times…stay close to your donors…ask for many small gifts…re-create a lay-away plan for contributions…don’t ask for capital…don’t ask for new…be afraid, be very afraid!  I ponder the question of effective fundraising techniques frequently myself.  The Bayer Center has always raised 50% of its operating budget and the current economic times have hit us where we live…

I love many things in life and one of them is Pembroke Welsh Corgis.  The AKC breed standard to describe a proper Corgi personality is “Bold yet kindly”…an intriguing set of characteristics for any living creature.  This  combination produces absolutely wonderful dogs – three of whom are in my immediate family.

So as I ponder how we or one of my clients should frame their case for support in these trying times, I find myself thinking about the BOLD YET KINDLY injunction…For times like these call for organizations to retain their optimism, their aspirations for a better world, their intention to change and improve people’s lives – BE BOLD, yet they also call for a measured, evidence-based, tempered approach in their fundraising techniques, strategies that are appreciative of the times – YET KINDLY or better perhaps, WISE…

Corgis have other qualities that are characteristic of good fundraisers.  They are persistent and tenacious when they believe something valuable (a peanut butter filled Kong is particularly desireable…) is in the offering.  They are charming and interested in all kinds of people, believing them to be worthy of their regard.  Their world is joy-filled and full of possibility.

I think these are qualities that draw people to organizations and motivate a spirit of generosity and connection.  So may we all be BOLD YET WISE in our on-going work of securing the necessary resources for our organizations…may we all love life like a corgi and love our people with many kisses and an unbounding enthusiasm for new adventures, believing the world is waiting for us and ready to play.

I’d love to hear where you find your inspiration and courage to keep working even when the world around you says NO…so fundraise like a Corgi and may  you each be very successful!

Posted in donations, Fundraising, money, nonprofit, recession | Tagged | Leave a comment

Don’t Lose Your Tax Exempt Status!!

If you are a nonprofit, make sure you don’t lose your tax exempt status.

According to an April 23 article in the New York Times, a “new law, embedded in the 393 pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, also directed the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax exemptions of groups that failed to file for three consecutive years. Three years have passed, and thus the deadline looms.”

That deadline is midnight, May 15.

If you think you are too small to file taxes, think again. Even nonprofits with less than $25,000 in revenues have been required to file since 2006.

Read more details in the NYTimes article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/us/23exempt.html?scp=1&sq=non-profits&st=cse

Posted in business, money, Non-profit, nonprofit, tax, tax-exempt, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Offend? or Not?

The last post gave me an idea for a new post.

I recently got yet another call from some police organization or other asking for a donation.  Before the poor caller could continue with the canned speech, I interrupted to say that my husband volunteers for the sheriff’s department and that we give that way.

Thanks.

Click.

Why was I annoyed at this plea for money? Even slightly offended?

It didn’t help that they mispronounced my last name.

They obviously didn’t know me… nor I them.

So, I guess if you don’t want to offend when you ask for donations:

1. Get the name right (and while you’re at it, get to know the person first)

2. Give the person time to get to know you. People don’t JUST give. They need to know –  then trust – the organization to whom they give donations. How can you build trust in a brief telephone conversation to a stranger?

So, when have you not been offended by someone asking for a donation? What made the conversation inoffensive, even pleasant?

What has made the conversation uneasy, perhaps offensive?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below:

Posted in donations, Fundraising, money, Non-profit, nonprofit, offend, offensive, trust | 1 Comment

What are we all so afraid of?

Have you ever noticed that nonprofits go out of their way not to ask for money directly?

We have bake sales.

We have silent auctions.

We have these big ole benefits where they hope ticket sales and sponsors cover the cost of the events.

We write grants (or pay people like me to write them).

But we find it very difficult to go to someone and say, “Give me your money.”

I guess I  would find it very difficult to go to someone and say, “Give me your money” unless I had a compelling (and illegal!) reason for them to do so…

But, really, nonprofits DO have a compelling reason for people to give them money. They are (often) doing something really good for somebody or something. So, why shouldn’t people participate by donating their funds?

I recently posed this question to someone who suggested that people are not comfortable asking others to part with their money, even for a good cause.

Hm. So, how do we overcome that fear?

Comments, anyone?

Posted in Fundraising, Non-profit, nonprofit | 5 Comments