The Accidental Fundraiser

10:Turning volunteers into donors

Carol talks to David about his daughter’s experience volunteering for a teen project with a horse rescue charity, and how he was turned from a volunteer driver into a donor.

Listen to the podcast now (3:50).


November 29, 2007 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

9: Two kinds of thank yous

Carol and David talk about two different kinds of thank you gifts: one that is unique and picked out especially for the donor, and one that is just like what every other donor receives. There are circumstances that are compelling reasons for giving one or the other.

Listen to the podcast now (5:55).

November 29, 2007 Posted by | thanks | Leave a comment

8: Whom should do the thanking

Carol and David talk about how to get your board to make thank-you calls to donor. Penelope Burk’s book Donor-Centered Fundraising is a good source. Carol goes through a sample script so you can get the idea, too.

Listen to the podcast here (4:10).

November 29, 2007 Posted by | thanks | Leave a comment

7: How to make people feel special

We continue our series on how to say thanks by Carol and David talking about donations of artwork and how they were thanked by the museums that got the artwork.

Listen to the podcast now.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | thanks | Leave a comment

6: How to thank people

We start a series of episodes about how to thank people properly, and what Carol calls the “platinum rule” — one even better than the Golden Rule.

Listen to the podcast now.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | thanks | Leave a comment

5: How to become a fundraising mentor

In this episode, David talks to Carol about how he helped get his friend involved in his fundraising activities.

Download the podcast now (6:50).

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

4: How to give something other than cash

In this episode, we talk about how a gift of intellectual property can be the give that keeps on giving and be more valuable than a cash donation.

Download the podcast now. (5:00)

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

Does Your Nonprofit Board Think $4 Million is a Lot of Money?

Is $4 Million dollars a lot of money for your board? Well, it certainly is a lot of money to pay for a dress, a pair of earrings, a pair of golf clubs. Is it a lot to pay for a condo? A 12 family apartment building? A payroll for 80 employees?

I asked this question during a retreat, “What would it take to deal with this problem for the entire city.” Someone came up with the figure $4 million.” To most of the people in the room, it could have been $4 billion. Only one person said, “Is that all?”

Every board needs someone who is used to dealing with big numbers and has a comfort level with them. The member doesn’t have to have the money, but a familiarity and comfort with thinking big and expanding the horizons of the group. (Although if someone would be able to write the $4 million check, it would have been interesting to see what the reaction would have been!)

I did a retreat for a group where more than 51% of the group were on disability. The CEO’s salary was so low, it wasn’t even on the chart on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Salary index. No one in the room, including the CEO, had a clue. If something happened to her, she could not be replaced for anywhere near this salary. No one was financially literate about salaries. Good, caring people. But NO ONE knew how underpaid the CEO was.

If you can’t talk about the big numbers, you can’t ask for them. Every nonprofit does not have to be large, but if there are people you want to serve and aren’t, get someone in the room who doesn’t think $4 Million is big bucks!

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, Asking big, but shopping the sale rack

November 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Keep Great Staff for Your Non Profit

Compare and contrast, as we used to hear in high school English class. Last Saturday night, I was at an auction for Rebuilding Together, a fabulous client of mine that rehabs houses for the poor and elderly. The board chair not only graciously thanked the volunteers, but the development director got flowers.

Another client, just a few months before, had a huge convention. They were in deep financial crisis. They had to sell their building to avoid bankruptcy. An interim executive director came in and made very hard decisions which bills to pay to keep the doors open. There wasn’t enough dough to take a salary, so she didn’t. She wasn’t even acknowledged from the podium, much less presented a posey.

I have a meeting regarding the strategic plan for Rebuilding Together this morning. I can’t wait to go. I have recruited one of my sons to get involved. I had lunch with a friend on Monday and suggested her husband join the board.

I believe strongly in the mission of the other organization. There would have to be a big time culture change before I would refer a friend into that snake pit. They chew up staff a combine goes through hay.

The difference between the two: the simple act of acknowledging good work. And all it takes is $10 worth of flowers.

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, glad to be able to work with good clients

November 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3: Secrets of great events

On our podcast, Carol and David talk about some of the ways you can pull off a great fundraising event, and how you can get something other than cash for your efforts.

Download the podcast here. (6:44)

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment