Category Archives: Fundraising


Jun

09

2014
Five Inexorable Nonprofit Changes

Five Inexorable Nonprofit Changes

Sometimes change is dramatic, cataclysmic. The volcano in Iceland erupts. This rarely happens in the world of nonprofit organizations, where constant but more subtle change is apparent. The ice shelf in Antarctica is irreversibly melting. Even the iconic, national American pastime has evolved from infielders standing on bases to times when no one is anywhere near third base! The difference is similar to whether a lobster is thrown directly into boiling water, or into a pot of cold water that’s gradually heating up. The result is often the same, one taking a bit longer. The same scenario with the pot…

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Apr

21

2014
Guest Post – Train your board. Raise more money.

Guest Post – Train your board. Raise more money.

This post is adapted from the new book, Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money by Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson, www.trainyourboard.com. No one is born knowing how to raise money, but like many other skills – sewing on a button, mastering a new app, driving a car – it’s a skill we can learn. With effective training and support, pretty much anyone can become a skilled fundraiser. That’s why we assembled our new book. Furthermore, you don’t have to be a professional facilitator to teach your board, volunteers, and staff members. Like fundraising, training others is a…

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Dec

19

2013

The Top Ten Posts of 2013

These are the ten most read articles on the Good Counsel’s blog in the last year. 1. Twelve Elements of a Nonprofit’s Business Model 2. Ten Questions to Ask a Director of Development Candidate 3. 10 Questions A Development Director Candidate Should Ask Once Offered But Before Accepting the Position 4.  Why Does a Nonprofit Board Need Young People? 5.  Guest Post by Jon Pratt – Flaws in the Social Impact Bond Craze 6.  The Ten “Must” Agreements between Board and Executive Director 7. The Ten Requisites for Conducting a Capital Campaign 8. Ten Things Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Know 9. The First 100 Days: Ten Things…

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May

15

2013

The Effective Development Program; Ten Essentials for Success

 A Post from James V. Toscano There are many factors spelling success for development programs at nonprofits. Development here means the larger, always increasing building of constituency, reinforcing brand, motivating volunteers,  inspiring donors and increasing fundraising totals. Ten of these factors appear essential, are measurable and, thus, may be continuously improved. Here are the ten: 1.  The essential agreement among Board members, executive directors and development directors on their respective roles in the development process. While this may vary from organization to organization, the elements of Board participation, executive director leadership and development director management of the process must all…

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Apr

29

2013

Ten Requisites to Retain Development Directors

 A Post from James V. Toscano Since the release of the Underdeveloped Study, much has been written here and elsewhere about the state of development and fundraising offices and people in nonprofit organizations. We have been somewhat shocked by what we read in the report on short tenures, distrust, misunderstanding, and intentions to terminate and to leave. All in all, the report gives a picture of a disaster happening before our eyes. We know there are many places where this is not happening, yet we also know a number of nonprofits where elements of this picture are present, some in…

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Apr

16

2013

The Ten Requisites for Conducting a Capital Campaign

 A Posting by James V. Toscano Capital Campaigns, which, for purposes here, include endowment as well, used to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. One could expect one’s religious institution, alma mater, cultural center and favorite charity to solicit a capital donation once. Now, there’s a certain circularity cycling capital campaigns every x years. An institution of higher education near to my home has just gone over its $500M goal and is celebrating. It is simultaneously planning its next campaign, perhaps in five to seven years.


Apr

08

2013

Charity Navigator Meets Reality

 A Post from James V. Toscano Notwithstanding self-promotion, “Charity Navigator is American’s largest and most influential charity rater” and self-aggrandizement, “the largest and most utilized charity rating service that exists anywhere,” the New Jersey-based Charity Navigator is realizing the incredible complexity of its task. At first, they presented themselves as charity raters, although they based their rating stars (1-4, with 4 best) only on financial variables. They gradually became more sophisticated on this dimension through critical feedback and through their experience in examinations of large charities with at least $500K in public support and $1M in overall budget. By elimination of the…

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Apr

01

2013

Ten Insights into Fundraising Among Boomers and Elders

 A Post from James V. Toscano As a person born before 1946, I am part of that group referred to as the “lost,” “quiet” and some of us, “greatest” generation. Marketers often call us “seniors” or “elders.” Given the great American Indian tradition of respect for elders, I prefer that term and will use it throughout. The Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, subject of a mountain of studies and opinion pieces, are now coming into their own. They’re the richest generation ever, thought to have over $40 trillion to leave to the next generation. They, with my generation, make…

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Mar

19

2013

Ten Questions to Ask a Director of Development Candidate

 A posting by Dania Toscano Miwa and James V. Toscano We read in the recent report, UnderDeveloped, of significant problems in recruiting and retaining good development people and that average tenure now is often at two years or less. Moreover, all is not well in many relationships between Executive Directors (ED) and Development Directors (DD). In an effort to promote transparency and clear up what is thought of as the “profound misunderstanding” about roles between and among the Board, ED and DD in an institution’s development program, we submit the following initial questions to recruitment and screening committees of nonprofits interviewing…

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