Category Archives: Fundraising


Nov

08

2020
End of Year Appeal Letters

End of Year Appeal Letters

Did you know many people don’t read most of your end of year appeal letter? They skim. This means you need to make sure your key points are in the most skimmed area, and are direct and actionable. Letter writing for fundraising appeals can feel daunting and high stakes, especially this year. I find the most success is writing my letters based on how I would want to receive them. Not too dry and stuffy, not alarmist and above all make them engaging, make me want to keep reading. They should be about me, the reader and my relationship with…

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Jun

24

2020
Photo by William Iven

“Ask a Fundraiser” A Pilot Program

Jim and I are trying out an idea that we have been discussing for awhile. A “Ask a Fundraiser” service. What if someone at an organization could just text us a quick question? It might be about fundraising, or an upcoming event, or a new Executive Director just wants a second opinion? How can we make it easier for clients to reach out, especially now when many of us are working from home, in between family obligations and the stress of the pandemic. I’m excited because recently I found a way for nonprofit organizations to reach me via text, and…

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May

19

2020
 2020 1/2  In the Time of the Virus, Ten Trends for Significant Survival

 2020 1/2 In the Time of the Virus, Ten Trends for Significant Survival

Essay By Jim Toscano with additions by Dania Miwa. As we typically do, we released our 2020 predictions in December of last year.  Then, in March all bets were suddenly off, as the infection and death rates started climbing and we began to realize the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for nonprofits. This is our attempt to re-forecast based on what we are telling clients, experiencing first hand and as we are seeing some national trends emerge. Leap Year 2020 did occur in February as did so many more events. We celebrated many of the anniversaries:100 years of women having…

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Jan

15

2020
Board Transformation for Nonprofit Organizations

Board Transformation for Nonprofit Organizations

By Jim Toscano & Dania Toscano Miwa Board members have many responsibilities: decision-making, planning, hiring and overseeing the executive, making their own generous gifts, bringing peers to the table, serving as ambassadors to the community with some members actively serving on the development committee helping to raise funds. Many nonprofits do not have such board helping to raise funds and it is at their peril not to. The ideal situation is to gradually move to an organizational culture of philanthropy, a culture of constituent development. This starts with the Board leadership but envelops all in the organization, including staff, volunteers…

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Jan

14

2020
The Blog is Back

The Blog is Back

Essay by Dania Toscano Miwa & Jim Toscano As many of you know as supporters, clients, friends and colleagues of Toscano Advisors, Jim and I moved our business to Portland, Oregon last year. Since that time we have been busy meeting new people and new Nonprofits. We’ve also been creating new relationships, networks, and learning as much as we can about NGO’s working in the Pacific Northwest. In that time, we took a hiatus from writing and updating the blog regularly.


Dec

14

2019
2020: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

2020: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

Leap Year 2020 will see a tumultuous Presidential election, $10 billion in election spending, the decennial Census, 100 years of women voting, the summer Olympics in Tokyo, hotly contested Oscars, a thrilling World Series, a Rose Bowl with our new state of Oregon represented and substantial underlying changes in the nonprofit world. Here is what we see coming. 1. Rapid Underlying Change. Underneath a seeming stable overall sector, with slow growth over inflation, there are, and will be substantial underlying changes going on, with many organizations struggling to maintain this outward stability. Major flux will be the norm for many,…

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Aug

04

2018
Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

The idea of creating a culture of philanthropy is hot right now, either a fad or a real commitment by nonprofits to envelop boards, staff, volunteers and constituency (visitors, members, clients, patients, volunteers, staff, committee members, board members, donors, legacy leavers, etc.) in deep recognition of the overall importance of philanthropy in the life of the organization. (See my earlier posting on the Culture of Philanthropy) There are many websites talking about it, listing what to do in training, offering training, listing qualities to be achieved, selling packages, offering consulting and on and on. We know it takes years, often,…

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Jan

29

2018
Building a Robust Volunteer Force

Building a Robust Volunteer Force

An Essay by Dania Toscano Miwa and Jim Toscano Fourth in a Series Volunteers are among the leading potential sources for new growth and new resources in nonprofit organizations. Volunteers and donors share many of the same values.  This is seen when they express the reasons why they donate to and/or volunteer for a nonprofit organization. New volunteers become new donors. Many of the ways we prospect for new donors are the same strategies used in the recruitment of volunteers. Given that over 60 million American adults volunteer – which is approximately one-third of the total adult population – nonprofits…

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Oct

23

2017
The Big Shift in Fundraising

The Big Shift in Fundraising

Note: This guest post is from Andy Robinson, a terrific fundraising trainer and consultant who works across North America. On November 15, Andy will be in St. Paul, leading a workshop for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits: Mobilize Your Board to Raise More Money. I hope you can join him!  -Dania Like many fundraisers, I always anticipate the annual release of Giving USA, which offers a thorough overview of trends in U.S. philanthropy. I’ve also been reading Ruth McCambridge of the Nonprofit Quarterly, whose cogent analysis of the Giving USA data is really helpful – and inspired this post. Thanks,…

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Sep

22

2017

Ten Ways to Find New Donors

The third essay in a series by Dania Toscano Miwa and Jim Toscano We all want new donors—as many as possible!!! We all need new donors—as many as possible to replace those who didn’t renew and more. We all hope for new donors—as many as possible to help us finance new, important projects. In the last essay we talked about retention. Now we will focuson recruitment. How then do we go about finding donors? That often depends on how sophisticated your existing donor program is, how much resource and time you can devote to discovery, cultivation and solicitation, and how…

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