The Accidental Fundraiser

26: Women and fundraising with Margaret May Damen

Did you know that women make the vast majority of philanthropic decisions, close to 84%?This week Carol and David talk to Margaret May Damen, the president of The Institute for Women and Wealth.

Margaret talks about ways that professional fundraisers can specifically target women in their activities. And if you look at the word heirs and take off the “he” what you are left with is the IRS! She also shows us how to “speak female” and further engage both men and women in the fundraising decision.

Listen and download the podcast now (13:50).

April 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25: From survivor to champion

Carol and David this week talk to Carrie Wells about her recent selection as a Yoplait Breast Cancer Champion, and some of the work she has done to create the site to help other cancer survivors find and attend weekend retreats to help with their healing. Carrie, who is David’s sister, was inspired by going to a retreat and now is this powerhouse cancer fundraiser. She talks about how she has found her passion and energized her family and friends.

Listen to the podcast here.

Here is a link to her work from her cancer doctor.


April 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A New Take on an Old Technique

One of the great things about my work is learning from my clients. I was in Helena, Arkansas last week working for Main Street Arkansas and hear a unique take on an old technique. One of the women on the board used to live in an area that was known for its panhandlers. People were pretty sick on them. The board member and her friends got dressed up and make signs that said, “We aren’t vets, we aren’t homeless and we aren’t hungry. We just want your money to stop domestic violence.” Their local shelter benefited big time.

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP enjoying being home for two days.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

24: Having unusual special events

It pays to know your audience, and come up with oddball and unusual special events that go beyond the dinner dance and golf tournament. In this episode, Carol and David talk about some of the more unusual events that she has come across.

Download the podcast now (6:45).

February 28, 2008 Posted by | Special Events | Leave a comment

23: Should you take dirty money?

Every donation and donor comes with some history, and sometimes it can be a sordid situation that might be difficult to accept for the organization. In this episode, David and Carol talk about establishing a “rate card” for the different donor levels, so your organization understands what is for sale and how much notoriety will it take. It is also good to understand what is and isn’t for sale.

Download the podcast now (5:45).

February 28, 2008 Posted by | governance | Leave a comment

22: When money comes with strings attached

In this episode, Carol and David talk about what happens when you ask for help from social venture funds who want to supply executives along with their donations to a non-profit. There are differences in how non-profits and profit-making companies are governed, and some times it is better to look elsewhere for your funding.

Download the podcast here (6:25).

February 28, 2008 Posted by | governance | Leave a comment

21: The ‘Burma Shave’ approach to thanking donors

It is all in how you space your thank you notes and acknowledgments for your donors, and by using companies such as 1-800-postcards or Modern Postcard, to help show how the money you have collected is being spent. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this advertising medium, the company rented a series of billboards by major highways, and a short message on each, as shown in this archive.Download the podcast here (5:15). 

January 6, 2008 Posted by | thanks | Leave a comment

20: How to turn bad news from friends into good works

Unfortunately, Hallmark cards don’t exist for many situations when we hear about friends who have received bad news about their health. Carol and David talk about ways that you can turn this into doing some good works, and how to help others.Download the podcast here (5:45). 

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

19: How to brainstorm for your next fundraising idea

Carol and David talk about how to bring some new ideas to the fundraising table by bringing in people with widely different skill sets.You can download the podcast here. (4:06) 

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

Special Events and The Board, Not Forgetting The One Crucial Step

One of my favorite nonprofits is in a pickle. And a common pickle it is indeed. A board member suggested a smallish event a few months ago, it is now crunch time. The staff didn’t get the invites out on time. The board has a bit of post-holiday malaise and bloat and the event chair is going ballistic. Where is all the support that was promised? Or was it?

Here is the most common scenario: A board member says, in best Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney fashion, let’s put on a golf tournament, skeet shoot, wine tasting, wild boor hunt, you fill in the blank. The board hears, “I will put on the event.” The board member thinks she is saying, “Together, WE will put on the event.” Everyone agrees to the event, a date is set, and then fast forward, its crunch time. The board is dismayed that the event chair expects the board member to bring 10 people. A few of the board members confide, “The truth is, This really isn’t my kind of thing, you know!.” This is the stuff of antacid commercials.

How to avoid this? If this is a small event and you are counting on the board rather than a committee to bring in the guests, take ten minutes, ask the board for a conservative count and ask them how many people they can deliver that night. Take names and write it down. If you want 150 to attend and the board can deliver 37, this might just be the wrong event, wrong evening, wrong committee. This one step will make all the difference.

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, not a fan of small events

January 4, 2008 Posted by | Special Events | Leave a comment