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April 1, 2009, 1:32 pm
Despite the soft economy, nonprofit groups can do many things to put themselves in the “ready position” to take advantage of some of the fund-raising opportunities still out there, Dee Vandeventer, president of ME&V, a marketing and fund-raising company, told participants at a session of the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference.
One is to focus on the organizations’ image. Think of Morton Salt, she told the group. Though other brands might be cheaper Ms. Vandeventer says, she always buys Morton’s because it’s a familiar and trusted brand.
“It’s the same salt my mother cooked with and the same salt my grandmother cooked with,” she said. “If you can get your organization to that level of emotional branding, you’ll be head and shoulders above everyone else.”
A strong brand, she said, is one that communicates a clear consistent message to all kinds of people. To…
March 31, 2009, 12:13 pm
Opportunities for new grants lurk in some unexpected places, said Gail Vertz, executive director of the American Association of Grant Professionals, at a session today at the annual meeting of the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference in New Orleans.
For example, she says, one place for grant seekers to check out is their local bank. Often family foundations that don’t want to oversee the foundation will appoint a bank vice president to manage it. When visiting a bank, she suggests, charity officials should check to see if anyone there is a contact person for a foundation, and should always be prepared to give a quick, concise speech about their organization’s mission and needs.
Similarly, she says, it pays to stay in touch with foundation program officers, who can sometimes tell you if new money becomes available because another grantee is unable to use it.
March 30, 2009, 7:59 pm
Traditional fund-raising events like galas are expensive and labor-intensive for small groups to organize. Plus, every nonprofit group in town has one. In these belt-tightening times, it’s even more important to look for novel special-events ideas that make fund-raising dollars go further, said Tracey Gainforth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Ottawa, in Canada.
At a session of the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference in New Orleans Ms. Gainforth offered some pointers for putting together a special event on a shoestring budget: Plan the event far ahead to increase your likelihood of securing donated space. Always ask for donations of everything needed to run the event. And when appealing to corporate sponsors to underwrite events or donate products or services, always give them a written statement showing what you will do with the money you raise.
March 30, 2009, 12:08 pm
A successful fund-raising catalog combines a wide range of specific products with higher-priced appeals for money that can be used for a broad range of needs, said Robbin Gehrke, senior vice president and executive creative director at Russ Reid, a fund-raising consulting firm, at a session of the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference, in New Orleans.
Charitable “gift catalogs” — which either sell merchandise associated with an organization’s cause or request more symbolic donation-type gifts, such as an opportunity to adopt an animal or sponsor a child — have grown in popularity and sophistication in recent years.
They have the advantage of appealing to younger donors, while also helping to raise additional, incremental gifts from existing donors, said Ms. Gehrke, who has helped design and test gift catalogs for organizations like World Vision and the International …
March 29, 2009, 5:42 pm
American fund raisers may have a few things to learn from their counterparts in Chinese nonprofit groups about cultivating corporate philanthropy, said presenters at a session of the annual conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New Orleans.
“The 80/ 20 rule is alive and well in China” said Vivian Ann Smith, a consultant at Liberty Quest Enterprises, who was among 28 fund raisers who toured China and Hong Kong in December to meet with representatives of local charities through an exchange sponsored by the fund-raisers association and People to People’s citizen ambassadors program.
But, she said, while North American nonprofit organizations may rely on individuals for 80 percent of their support, Chinese organizations receive 80 percent of their support from corporations and foundations, and only 20 percent from gifts by individuals.
“There’s a big…
January 20, 2009, 6:10 pm
Barack Obama has only been in office for a few hours, but he has already spurred teenagers to want to get involved in public service, according to a new study released by the Girl Scout Research Institute.
In the institute’s survey of 2,309 girls and 975 boys, aged 13 to 17, nearly half (49 percent) said the election had increased their interest in politics, and 44 percent reported that it had inspired an interest in social and political activism. The majority (71 percent) of those surveyed said they plan to vote when they are old enough.
The election also heightened young people’s awareness of gender and racial barriers, but at the same time appeared to lift their confidence in their ability to overcome such obstacles. While one- third of those polled believed that Barack Obama was held to a higher standard because of his race, 48 percent thought that race ultimately helped him in …
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