The Accidental Fundraiser

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