Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

According to an article in Forbes by David Hessekiel, peer-to-peer fundraising is becoming for efficient and engaging more donors than ever before.
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Worrisome Trends in Philanthropy

Charitable giving appears to be booming. Charities raised $410 billion in 2017, the largest total since "Giving USA" began tracking giving patterns more than 60 years ago. But an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests today’s big numbers mask some worrisome trends. 
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How the Pursuit of Perfection Could Be Hurting Your Fundraising Goals

A recent article by David King in Forbes dives into ways that the pursuit of perfection can be the enemy. King gives 5 ways that he has witnessed this negative phenomenon that could be hurting your nonprofit. 
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How NonProfits Can Better Support Fundraisers

An important question in the fundraising world is “how do you keep your good people” and “what do you lose when they don’t stay?”
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Giving USA 2018

Americans gave $410.02 billion to charity in 2017, crossing the $400 billion mark for the first time.
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Two Major Gift Options You Should Not Ignore

Veteran fundraiser Jay Love writes in Bloomerang a simple but powerful article with a reminder about the two major gift types with the “largest potential” that he says are “rarely discussed.” 
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Messaging Strategies that Work for Your NonProfit

A recent article in NonProfitPRO by Leeann Alameda reminds us that never in history have there been so many charities—and all of them vying for attention—and donations. 
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The Power of the Pen

A recent post in Bloomerang Blog by Brian Grissom ponders the very digital state of our world (e-cards, e-thank you’s, e-checks, e-meetings) and reminds the reader how such a state of affairs make real correspondence in one’s mailbox even more precious than before!   
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How to Genuinely Connect with Your Major Donors

A recent article by Andra Kihlstedt in nonprofitpro acknowledges the sometimes an awkward relationship that can exist between a fundraising professional and a major donor, due to the differences in wealth and the different social circles each of you travel in.  
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Cryptocurrency Enters the World of Philanthropy

A recent article in nonprofitquarterly gives an update on the predicted use of “Cryptocurrency”. 
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Reasons You Might NOT Be Bringing In Major Gifts

A recent article in Guidestar: Blog recounts some familiar roadblocks that often get thrown up and tend to keep money from flowing into the organization.
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Philanthropy In The Post-Tax Overhaul World

A recent article in Financial Advisor, speaks to some predictions on the fallout of the recent Tax Overhaul. 
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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written Content

A recent article in Guidestar Blog has a list of 10 important ways to improve your nonprofit blog content. These 10 essential elements can help you maximize your opportunity to both inform them about your cause and encourage them to donate.
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Rethinking Philanthropy in a Changing World

A recent article by Tim Ebner in Associations Now explores the idea that as the world changes, so do the elements that encourage a donor to give. The author suggests that these trends are leading to a “philanthropy rethink.” 
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3 Secrets of Successful Fundraisers

Most fundraisers seem to “fall into” their careers by accident. If you planned your career in fundraising you are someone of a rarity, says an article in UKFundraising.
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Do's and Don't for the BEST First Impression

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Isa Catto gives some great “do’s and don’ts” for that first meeting with a donor (as well as follow-on encounters).
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Change Tactic for Nonprofits: Embracing the Next Generation's Ideals

Much has been written about the differences between Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials—mostly about the younger generations’ strong ties to smartphones and virtual communication.   These younger donors also differ in that they want to disrupt the traditional world of charitable giving, and they want to do so now, not after they retire. 
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Some Facts About the New Tax Law

A recent article in Forbes reports on America’s new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  The new Tax Policy Center estimates that this legislation will shrink the number of households claiming an itemized deduction for their (charitable) gifts from about 37 million to 16 million in 2018.  
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2017 Was a Banner Year for Giving: With 3 Gifts of $1 Billion+

2017 was the strongest year for giving in the past decade, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Three mega gifts helped bolster that statistic, coming from the some of the wealthiest tech entrepreneurs in the country: 
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Get Ready for the "Philanthroteens" of Generation Z

Much has been written about the giving habits of Baby Boomers and Millennials, but right on their coattails we have the next group to decipher: “Generation Z”. An article in Classy blog tells us that this group--born 1996 and beyond--currently accounts for 27% of the world’s population. 
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How Next-Generation Donors Will Revolutionize Giving

An article in the Denver Post reminds us of an astounding fact:
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They're Coming: Voice-Command Donations

One hot technology on the market are “smart speakers” which are voice activated digital assistants that enable users to use their voice to command activities such as playing music, listening to news, making calls, watching video clips and shopping on-line (as well as controlling smart home devices such as thermostats and lights).
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Stay Informed: The National Council of Nonprofits Reports on Pros and Cons of the Proposed Tax Reform Bill

A recent article on nonprofitquarterly reports on the much talked-about potential  tax reform bill.  If passed the proposal, along with the recently approved budget resolution, could drastically reshape the direction of the federal government and the lives of many it serves. Depending on the “lens” nonprofit leaders choose to evaluate the plan with—the pros and cons will look very different. 
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Ways to Identify Planned Gift Prospects

Most nonprofits acknowledge the incredible importance of planned gifts to their institution. But identifying a planned gift prospect can be tough work. 
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Don't Be the "Best Kept Secret" In Town

Chances are your nonprofit does some amazing work and has many compelling stories.  But often times organizations, typically faith based ones, do good works and then don’t boast about it.  And if people don’t know about your impact they simply are less likely to donate or volunteer for you.
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Ways Leaders Can Inspire and Motivate Fundraising Teams

There are many examples of both positive and negative leadership styles that can either inspire staff or send morale plummeting.
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Four Ways to Plan a Meaningful Gathering

‘Tis the season to plan conferences and retreats for the coming year!  A recent article in Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses 4 strategies to help you align your upcoming 2018 meetings and conferences with your organizational values.
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Why Challenge Gift Drives Can Work

A recent article in nonprofit quarterly revisits the effectiveness of the “challenge gift drive” and “matching gifts.” 
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Three Things Your Communications Must Have

A recent article in Ignited Fundraising promotes the idea that effective fundraising communications must allow your audience to do three things:
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Be Refreshingly Different on #GivingTuesday

Charities everywhere are in the throes of the peak planning period for the upcoming tradition (or frenzy) called #GivingTuesday. 
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Where You Live Affects How You Give

“The Geography of Giving” is a recently released study that reveals some surprising philanthropic trends.  
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The Significance of Year-End Fundraising

A recent article in bloomerang asks, "Did you know..."
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When Failure is Good

Most people are afraid of failure. And that fear often causes us to keep things small and avoid risk. But as an article in Guidestar: Blog reminds us, “if you’ve never failed at anything, you’re doing something very, very wrong
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Is Your Organization Missing Out on a Potential "Pot of Gold"?

Joe Garecht in the FundraisingAuthority believes that most non-profits focus on finding new donors and keeping their tactical fundraising (appeals, etc.) running smoothly, but often undervalue the potential of a few “pots of gold”:
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Wealthy Donors Share 5 Things You Should Know. . .

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Maria Di Mento shares some insights into "what wealthy donors want." 
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How to Start a Conversation About Legacy Giving

Legacy giving can be an important source of income for charities. Too important to leave to chance, says Rob Cope in CharityChoice. “And as we all know - if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
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Start Preparing Now for A Great Year-End Appeal

Organizations, large and small, should capitalize on the Season of Giving, says Tanya Fitzgerald in npENGAGE. 
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Charitable Giving Up 4.3% Compared to 2016

The indicators are good for the philanthropy sector - reports Andy Segedin in the NonProfit Times. Andy cites the Blackbaud Index, which measures giving in three-month increments and compares it to the same period the prior year.
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The Top Reasons Donors Give Monthly

So what really incentivizes donors to give a monthly recurring gift?  Author Erica Waasdorp shares some of her insights in a recent article in NonProfitPRO. 
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How to Promote Giving Among Volunteers

Research shows that two-thirds of volunteers make their charitable gifts to the organizations where they volunteer.  Even more impressive, says and article in Bloomerang, is that volunteers tend to give almost twice as much to charities as non-volunteers do.
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Tips for Approaching the Wealthiest People in Your Town

A recent article in nonprofitpro discusses some interesting approaches you might take when you would like to get a very wealthy member of your community involved with you but your organization has never received a gift from her or her family (and you have no connection through your own board members.)
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How to Delight Your Donors

Better than simply communicating with your donors is the goal of “delighting them” says Tina Jepson in a recent article in causevox.
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Words That Tap Into the Psychology of Giving

A recent article in Classy blog by Elizabeth Chung shares some of the author’s insights into donor motivations. Chung references the “psychology of giving” espoused by expert Jen Shang, one of the first “philanthropic psychologists.” 
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Events that Appeal to an Artistic Audience

Many of today’s charity events revolve around walks, runs, golf tournaments, etc.  But as a recent article in Charity Village highlights, events that highlight art and various art forms could reach a whole new audience of people who don’t tend to gravitate towards fundraisers that demand a certain level of physicality.
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Fanning the Flames of Generosity in the Next Generation

As children grow into adulthood it can very difficult to gain enough of their time and attention to teach them the values of giving and philanthropy - they are often consumed with the daily challenges of growing up, with their hobbies and their schooling. 
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Build Powerful Relationships - Not Just Completed To-Do Lists

Most development professionals do have lengthy to-do lists. And at time in the midst of all the paperwork it is hard to remember that, checking off a to-do could mean missing an opportunity to authentically connect with donors and take relationships to the next level.
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Build Your Resilience

A recent article in Charity Choice offers 3 key focus areas for strengthening your organization’s "resilience" - an important trait of any charity in today’s constantly evolving world where everything from politics to massive technological transformation creates an environment of constant hurdles and a reality of "adapt or die."
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How to Simplify Your Monthly Giving Program

A recent article in nonprofitengage by Kendra DeWitt talks about a special way to ensure your monthly giving program is running smoothly.  
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The Pitfalls of Being Too "Systematic"

Yes, fundraisers need to be systematic in their efforts - but they also need to be careful not to "dehumanize" people in the effort to raise money, says Larry C. Johnson in a recent article in NonProfitPro. 
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Things to Consider Before You "Crowdfund"

Crowdfunding is a fairly new phenomenon in the philanthropy world, gaining attention with the now infamous “ice bucket challenge.” Since then, many charities have tried to recreate the magic of that campaign, some successfully, some not.  
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Three Good Reasons to Have a Communications Plan in Place

A recent article in bloomerang by Jay Love gives 3 great reasons to make sure your organization--no matter its size--has a communications plan in place. 
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Women Set to Take Main Philanthropic Stage

A recent article in Wealth Management focuses on a study done by Fidelity Charity which surveyed 3,200 donors and is entitled: “Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy.”
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Blackbaud Acquires "JustGiving"

Nonprofit software giant “Blackbaud” just announced acquisition of the global crowdfunding site “JustGiving,” reports a recent article in the Post and Courier.
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Tips for Time Management

A recent article in bloomerang by Simon Scriver gives some great tips on how fundraisers can better manage their time.  
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Do Donors Want Fundraising to be More Fun?

Charities often spend a lot of time impressing the seriousness of their cause to their donors.  And rightly so. They need to understand the seriousness of your mission if they are going to invest in it.
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Your Thoughts (Positive vs. Negative) Can Impact Your Fundraising Results

A recent article in Ignited Fundraising by Lori Jacobwith suggests that, “What you are thinking, including thoughts of, “I’ve got too much to do” or, “Our goal is impossible” could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Donating to Charity May Lead to Other Good Deeds

An article in Third Sector contains encouraging information from the research firm "YouGov".  "Almost two-thirds of people who donated to a charity said they went on to take additional “positive actions” such as volunteering..."
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How To Encourage (But Not "Nag") Your Volunteers

Shepherding volunteers can be a full-time job. In fact, the percentage of people who don’t follow through with their commitments to help with fundraising is high.
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Why You Should Know Women's Philanthropic Preferences

An article in The NonProfit Times discusses a recent report from the “Women Give” series at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 
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The Importance of Pursuing the 2nd Gift

“The second gift you get from a new donor is almost as important as the first” says author Joe Garecht in a recent article in The FundraisingAuthority.
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Ideas for Highlighting Your Cause At A Large Scale Event

A recent article in Charity Choice explores the question:
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What Makes a Good Annual Report?

A recent article in NonProfitPRO by F. Duke Haddad highlights what he believes a quality Annual Report should accomplish:
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Who Makes A Better Fundraiser? (Introvert or Extrovert)

Do you see yourself as an introvert or an extrovert? 
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How to Retain Memorial and Tribute Donors

A recent article in Bloomerang Blog by Jay Love discusses memorial and tribute donors, whose retention rates are usually very low. 
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The Importance of Why: Getting Your NonProfit Mission Statement Right

A recent article in Fundraising and Philanthropy focuses on . . . well, focus.
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Five Ways to Keep A Donor's Eyes Glued to What You Write

A recent article in GuidestarBlog by Tom Ahern shares thoughts on how to improve your written fundraising solicitations.
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Keeping Up with Trends in Crowdfunding

A recent article in B2C (Business to Community) offers up some trends in “crowdfunding” that you might want to be aware of.  
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Dealing with the "Problem Donor"

It happens now and then. A donor “behaves badly.” How to deal? A recent article in Charity Village by Susan Fish offers some suggestions on how to deal with the occasional “problem donor.”
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Asking Volunteers to Donate

A recent article in GuidestarBlog by Paul Jolly revisits the age-old question “should we ask our volunteers to donate?” The author believes that too often we make excuses for not soliciting our most ardent supporters.
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Monthly Donors Are Special: Promises You Might Want to Make Them

A recent article in NonprofitPro offers some tips on how to grow your monthly donor program. Author Erica Waasdorp suggests that first you might want to consider what “promises” you are going to make these dedicated folks. After all, monthly donors are a special breed. Their decision to give a monthly gift is proof that they are committed to your cause. So how are you going to thank them? 
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How Good Is Your Donor Cultivation Event?

A recent article in Bloomerang encourages you to ask yourself a few questions to see if you have a truly “Winning Donor Cultivation Event”:
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72% Hike in Donor-Advised Fund Contributions

Be aware, America is using Donor-Advised funds like they never have before, reports a recent article in TheNonProfitTimes.
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Using Different Language in Major Gifts Communication

A recent article in NonProfitPro by Richard Perry offers some food for thought on the type of language that is used in communicating in a Major Gifts setting. 
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A Call to Service

A recent article in NonProfitPro by F. Duke Haddad focuses on the profession of fundraising and how the profession is perceived by the general public. 
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Know Your Donors: How Couples Think About Giving

An article by Mark Hrywna in TheNonProfitTimes reports on a recent study that was done among 700 donors who were either married or living with a partner.
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Paying Attention to Lessons of the Past

A recent article in NonProfitPro by Tarsha Whitaker Calloway suggests that fundraising professionals should take sufficient time early in the year to reflect on what worked—and what didn’t work—the previous year. 
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Exploring Your Organization's "Fundraising Balance"

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Rebecca Koenig discusses a new tool created through the collaborative efforts of well-known organizations such as the Association for Fundraising Professionals, GuideStar and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.  
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Measuring Your Relationships

The New Year is a great time to step back and take a look at how you are measuring your success. A recent article in NonProfitPRO suggests that while fundraising is relationship-based, it is still vital that you establish metrics for tracking your top donor prospect visits.   
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Refining Your "Fundraising Readiness"

A recent article in the Memphis Daily News gives some great ideas for checking on your fundraising “readiness” status, before you launch into your next big movement for 2017. The article lists 10 “business processes” that could affect your fundraising readiness and suggests you discuss at an upcoming staff meeting. Here are just a few: 
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How to Deal With Unrealistic Fundraising Expectations

A recent article in NonProfitPRO by Pamela Bardendiscusses the challenge of dealing with “unrealistic expectations.” 
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Linking Wealth (or Lack of Wealth) to Generosity

It seems obvious that wealthy individuals should be the most generous - but are they?
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Four Important Ways to Improve Your Donor Communications

A recent article in Bloomerang reminds us of a sobering statistic: “71% of donors only give once.” So focusing on how to get that second gift is paramount!   
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How Much Should the Wealthy Give to Their Local Communities?

A recent article in Inside Philanthropy addresses the issue of “How Much Should the Wealthy and Foundations Give in Their Home Regions?” 
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A Quick Look at #Giving Tuesday Results

A recent article in BizTech reported on the results of the recent #GivingTuesday campaign, which first launched in 2012. The numbers reveal that on November 29th of 2016, citizens worldwide came together and donated a record $168 million. This represents a 44% increase from the previous year.
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How to Create A Dynamite Landing Page

Websites are no longer optional for nonprofits. Why? For one reason, online giving is no longer optional. Therefore, your “landing page,” or where donors land when they finally are inspired to visit your website, is extraordinarily important. 
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Winning AHP Videos!

The Association of Healthcare Philanthropy recently announced the winner and 3 honorable mentions for its annual AHP Video Award! 
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Inspiring Volunteer Retention Through Creativity

Recruiting and training volunteers for your organization takes time and energy. So, retaining these valuable volunteers is an important effort, and often gives you more time to focus on your mission and cause.
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Tips for Creating a Culture of Fundraising

Every organization’s dream is to develop a culture of fundraising—but that is no easy task. In many organizations “fundraising” is a dirty word! People cringe and turn away. So how can you shape and encourage a culture of philanthropy? 
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The Power of Networking

A strong network is a powerful asset - especially for non-profit professionals. A robust network represents a source of support in the way of more donors, more volunteers and more collaborators. But not everyone knows how to build those networks intentionally. How can you? 
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Your Ultimate Guide to Sponsorship

A recent edition of Guidestar provides a great guide for thinking through all of the complexities of finding sponsors for your next fundraising event.
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Digital Matters: The Rise of the Connected Donor

Did you know that almost two-thirds of our population owns a smartphone?
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Jumpstarting Your Annual Fundraising with Capital Campaign Strategies

If your annual fundraising efforts are feeling tired and old, try taking a few lessons from tried and true Capital campaign strategies! 
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The Importance of Training Your Volunteers

A recent article in UKFundraising by Jane Cunningham has some great tips for ensuring that your volunteers are well trained and fully prepared to make quality fundraising calls on your organization’s behalf.
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Inspiring Donor Loyalty with Transparency

A recent article in Bloomerang promotes the concept that transparency is a key aspect in inspiring donor loyalty.  (And an important factor in donor retention!)
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Prep for #GivingTuesday in 3 Easy Steps

This year’s #GivingTuesday is November 29th! Many nonprofit organizations have found this global day of giving to be a golden opportunity to rally their community and promote their cause on social media.
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When Your Donor Asks "Do You Miss Me?"

A recent article in NonProfitPro by Richard Perry tells the story of an organization who secured a wonderful $5,000 pledge from a donor, successfully had the donor set up a $100/month automatic bank payment on the pledge, and then failed to contact the donor when her regular payments suddenly stopped appearing. 
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Transformative Change and a New Kind of Leader

A recent article in 101Fundraising calls attention to what the author, Kyla Shawyer, describes as the need for "big transformational change in the (non-profit) sector." 
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The Financial Accounting Standards Board Issues NEW Accounting Standards for Non-Profits

For more than 20 years, the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) has used the same guidance for not-for-profits when reporting their resources. These standards have been used to guide the format of financial statements to donors, grantors, creditors and others. 
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A 90-Day Checklist for Jumpstarting Your Major Gifts Effort

Whether you are new to your organization or just changing roles in your fundraising department, sometimes it helps to have a concrete plan when diving into the world of Major Gifts.
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The Value of Hitting Close to Home

A recent article in re:charity reminds us of the benefit of keeping your donor communications as segmented (and personal) as possible. 
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How to Get Board Members Involved with Fundraising

A recent article in Bloomerang Blog, focuses on what the authors report as a negative trend in the level of engagement of nonprofit board members, in that decreasing numbers are personally involved with fundraising for the organization.  
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Donor Advised Funds: Gaining Popularity

A recent article in Money reports on the increasing popularity of the “Donor-Advised Fund.” These philanthropic vehicles enable individuals to place money in charitable accounts and take an immediate tax deduction. The money cannot be taken back, but the donor can choose when and where to disburse it.
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Tips to Make Your Fundraising (and Your Life!) Better

Philanthropy expert Andrea Kihlstedt writes in a recent article in NonProfitPRO, that “fundraising is really more about human nature than it is about money.” She suggests that if you want to improve your fundraising you should really find out what your donors want to do.  She suggests you ask them some questions: 
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Donor Retention in Danger

A recent article in Bloomerang alerts readers to what fundraising experts say is an alarming statistic: "Over the past ten years, the average overall donor retention rate has been just 44.5 percent, according to a report from the Association of Fundraising Professionals." And last year’s rate was far worse:  just 26.6 percent.
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How to Get Millennials Involved with Your Cause

A recent article in Guidestar Blog discusses some ways you can get Millennials more involved with your cause.
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Age 55+ Donors Still A Key Philanthropic Group

A recent article in the NonProfitTimes reported on information shared at a recent conference in Washington D.C. The article quotes Carol Rhine, a fundraising analyst, who shared industry trends and highlights. 
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Seven Rules of Fundraising Writing

There are different styles of writing recommended for business, journalism, grant writing, and yes, fundraising. And learning the basic principles of this fundraising writing style can reward you with more gifts, larger gifts, and more loyal donors. 
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Questions to Ask Yourself that Will Improve Any Fundraising Campaign

Summer might be in full swing, but you are probably already thinking about the excitement of your next Fall or Winter fundraising campaign!  
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Have You Heard of "Neurofundraising?"

Our culture has made an entire industry out of "neuromarketing" or studying the consumer habits of people, and how their impulse buying can be affected by how information is presented to them. A recent article in TheNonProfitTimes by Geoffrey Peters suggests that some of the same science can be applied to fundraising, now dubbed "neurofundraising.”" 
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Embracing the "No"

A recent article in NonProfit PRO by Larry Johnson encourages us to remind our staff and volunteers of the merits of (sometimes) getting turned down for a gift.
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Gut Check: Does Your Organization Truly Have a Philanthropic Culture?

Many experts believe that one of the secrets to long-term fundraising success is the establishment of a "philanthropic culture." We hear this mantra on a regular basis, but how can you tell if your organization has one?
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Tips to Attract Donors No Matter What Your Mission (or Project) Is

A recent article in Classy Blog by Elizabeth Chung provides a few key steps to attract donors no matter what your mission is. 
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The Value of Having A Target to Aim For

While the appropriateness of fundraising "targets" is often debated in the philanthropic community, author Ken Burnett in the blog 101 Fundraising reminds us of the usefulness of "targets."
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Celebrating the "Fearless Donor"

A recent article in Philanthropy News Digest by Derrick Feldman encourages fundraising professionals to take time to acknowledge what he terms the "fearless donor."
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What's In a Name: Why Experts Want to Ditch the Term "NonProfit"

In the 20th century, our country transitioned from consistently using the term "charity" to more commonly using the term "nonprofit".   A recent article in Stanford Social Innovation Review says it might be time to evolve again and claim an even more fitting title for the sector.
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Giving USA Numbers - Giving Hits Record $373.25 Billion

The "Giving USA 2016: Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015" has been released and the results are putting smiles on the faces of fundraisers everywhere.
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Three Powerful Questions for Your Donors

Common advice for a major gift call usually includes (1) Asking strategic questions and (2) Listening. The strategic questions are often designed to build rapport and reveal passions and philanthropic motivations.
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What Your Donor Database Really Needs

A recent article by Jay Love in Bloomerang answers some questions about what features should be part of your donor database. “Whenever I speak around the country to professional fundraisers I am often asked what is needed to be part of or added to a donor database for it to be the most functional.” 
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Giving USA: 2015 Was America's Most-Generous Year Ever

Donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $373.25 billion in 2015, setting a record for the second year in a row, reports Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, released yesterday.
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The Philanthropic Shift - Donors Want to Be Involved Change Agents

A recent article in NonProfitQuarterly (via the New York Times) discusses the changing face of philanthropy. “Donors no longer just want buildings, boardrooms, and programs named after their families; they want in on the plans on the ground floor, as if their donation were investment in a private company.”
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Donors Still Very Unaware of Non-Cash Donation Options

A recent article in The NonProfit Times by Andy Segedin highlights the still very high percentage of donors who do not participate in giving through non-cash options. The article is a great reminder of the opportunity that is out there to educate your donors about non-cash giving!
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Taking Donor Retention Seriously

A recent article by Jay Love in Bloomerang discusses the often under-estimated impact of donor retention. Jay says “For nearly every board I have the honor of addressing, there is absolute shock when they come to the realization that: Nearly six out of every ten donors do not give the following year!”
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The Value of Volunteers

Nonprofit professionals hold a special place in their heart for volunteers who give their time, their talent, and their enthusiasm to the charitable organization.   And while we know that a volunteer’s value is “immeasurable,” there is some serious research being done to help quantify some of that value.
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Social Media Tips to Build Relationships

A recent article in Classy Blog gives some great ideas for using social media to build relationships with your constituents, particularly surrounding your events. 
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Motivational Moments That Matter

A recent article in nonprofit pro by Duke Haddad offers some worthwhile insight into how to stay motivated as a professional fundraiser.
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Encouraging People to Reveal Their Story

As a development professional you have heard of the importance of storytelling. But how do you get the raw material and personal vignettes you need to tell that great story? 
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Shaping Your Events to Meet Your Goals

To better capture more dollars while retaining and attracting donors, many nonprofits increase their number of events - usually bearing an additional burden on limited staff resources.
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Why A Monthly Giving Program? (And How to Make Yours Better)

There are many benefits and advantages of a monthly giving program. For one it provides a way to turn one-time givers into long-term donors. It also provides a welcome stream of predictable income. So how do you get started or make yours better?
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Beyond Stewardship: Continuous Cultivation

The term "stewardship" is usually defined as how you take care of your donors after they have given you a gift. But as a recent article in nonprofit pro reminds us, "if you’re ever going to ask for another gift, your approach with that donor needs to be strategic, focused and donor-centered." 
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Considerations for A Truly Effective Thank You Message

A recent article in Classy Blog by Allison Gauss contains a great info graphic with reminders and lessons about what makes an effective thank you. 
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Why You Should Never Give Up on Your Donors

A recent article in NonProfit Pro by Jeff Schreifels contains a great story of how focus and persistence can pay off for an organization. The story tells of a major gifts officer who, with administrative blessing, truly focused on her top donors, and who through persistence landed a seven-figure gift. The secrets of her success:
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Five Great Tips for Improving Digital Donations

A recent article in UKFundraising presents some globally applicable tips on how to increase your charity’s online donations. One of the ways is to improve a donor’s “micro-interactions,” defined as “small ways to make it easier for a supporter to complete a task or move through an online journey.”
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Five Steps to Masterful Storytelling

A recent article in NonProfit PRO by Claire Axelrad discusses the magic of storytelling as it relates to content marketing (Content Marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience.)  
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Staying Relevant In Your Donor Communications

In the world of fundraising it is important to connect and communicate with your constituents in ways that they expect. But keeping up with rapidly changing technology and the wants and desires of new generations of donors can be challenging.  So how can you keep up and stay current?
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5 Marketing Tips to Reach Donors

A recent article in Forbes focuses on how to present your organization and cause in such a way to compel donors to take action.
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Facebook Adds New Resource for Nonprofits

The folks at Facebook recently announced a new website designed to help nonprofits learn better ways to use the social media platform in support of their mission: https://nonprofits.fb.com.
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How to Craft A More Meaningful Thank You Message

A recent article in business2community by Allison Gauss reminds us that sending donors a thoughtful thank you message is still one of the most important things your organization can do.  In fact, donors continue to be more interested in receiving personalized messages and learning about impact than they are in receiving pricey thank you gifts. 
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3 Ways to Elevate Your Fundraising Strategy

A recent article in classyblog highlights three ways to elevate your fundraising strategy. Author Elizabeth Chung begins by reminding us that some times just small changes in your program or your approach can "lift your results to new heights."
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Unraveling the Mysteries of "Relationship Fundraising"

A recent article in Hilborn by Kimberly MacKenzie offers insightful findings from a recently released report that looks at relationship fundraising.  The study, a four-volume report sponsored by U. S. companies Pursuant and Bloomerang, gives development professionals “a fresh playbook.” It unpacks some of the mysteries of both ‘relationship’ and ‘fundraising’ with actionable insights vital to development success in today’s world.
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A New Look And Feel for Guidestar's Organizational Profiles

A recent article in the Nonprofit Quarterly reports that the nonprofit information website Guidestar went live in January 2016 with its new nonprofit profiles. 
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Power Words To Rev Up Your Communications

Words can be powerful. They can evoke emotion, inspire, and motivate.
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"Refashioning" Your Donor Relationships

A recent article in the NonProfitTimes tells of a new study released by Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. 
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One Smart Way To Build Your Major Gifts Program

A recent article in nonprofitpro suggests that there might be a better way to grow your major gifts program other than hunting for new prospects. 
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Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Made Permanent

In late December of 2015, the U.S. Congress made permanent 3 different tax incentives for charitable giving, reports an article in the Independent Sector.
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Six Easy Ways to Delight Your Donors (And Get Them To Give Again)

A recent article in the Business 2 Community blog features Steven Shattuck’s down-to-earth ideas on how to steward your donors beyond boring appeals and acknowledgements. Shattuck says “Stewardship like this might even help seal the deal for those who have received a formal appeal, but not yet made a gift.”
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Study Points to Fundraising Trends

An article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy points out some fundraising trends that were suggested by a recent study of non-profit leaders. The accounting firm Marks Paneth that advises non-profits surveyed 114 non-profit leaders, including CFO’s and Board Members. Among the findings:
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Four Traps To Avoid in Your Fundraising Appeals

A recent article in Guidestar warns of four “Traps” that can trip you up when you are writing your fundraising communiqués and some suggestions for avoiding them.
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Seven Things That Will Make You A Better Fundraiser

Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? How about something that will make you a better fundraiser? A recent article in SOFII by Margaux Smith offers her take on seven ways you can become a better fundraiser:
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Fundraising Truths to Live By

A recent article in Guidestar by Kay Sprinkel Grace offers 3 “bedrock” fundraising truths to embrace in the coming year.  
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It's Not Too Late! Make Your Year End Appeal Shine

The last two months of the year, especially the end of December, is a prime time for donors to give. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
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Legacy Giving: Bigger Than Ourselves

A recent article in Hilborn reminds us that the process of legacy fundraising is truly important, human work. The author, Kimberley MacKenzie, believes that “legacy gifts are 100% donor-centered.”  Thus, listening to your donors talk about their life, their dreams, their regrets and their final wishes is an all-important activity.
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Leveraging Your Current Donors to Acquire New Donors (with Social Media)

Most nonprofit organizations understand that prospects are more likely to become donors if they’re encouraged to do so by people they know. And in this digital era, organizations should leverage social media to take advantage of this very peer-driven culture. 
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Five Tips for Planning a Great Media Event

Media events are important and can be a great way to attract publicity whether you are announcing a new campaign or holding a grand opening for a new building. In any case you want your next media event to be a rousing success, and a recent article in Nonprofit Marcommunity offers 5 great tips to help you make the most of it:
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The Predicted Philanthropic Surge: $8 Trillion

A recent article in the New York Times focuses on the current and coming philanthropic affects of the baby boom generation. One of the current trends the author discusses is the “retiree giving boom” which manifests itself not only in financial contributions, but in the rising trend to give time and energy to charitable causes.  
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More Fruitful Corporate Sponsorships

A recent article in Hilborn gives some good advice for when you are seeking to increase your organization’s corporate sponsorships.  
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Three Healthcare Trends You Should Know About

Wise fundraisers keep a finger on the pulse of their industries - and healthcare is no exception. A recent article in The NonProfit Quarterly reported on an Association of Healthcare Philanthropy workshop focusing on the “Intersection of Philanthropy, Marketing and Business Development.”  The article suggests that there are three healthcare trends you ought to be aware of:
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Six Principles of Persuasion You Can Use

“Successful nonprofit development (both fundraising and marketing) is all about persuasion,” says Claire Axelrad in a recent article in GuideStar Blog. In it she shares what she calls the “Six Universal Principles of Persuasion.”
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What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition?

Author Harvey McKinnon has a knack for drilling down to the basics. In his book The 11 Questions Every Donor Asks, McKinnon reminds us of the importance of distinguishing your organization from the thousands of other great causes out there.  He calls this your “unique selling proposition.”
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Checking On the Health of Your Organization?s "Non-Profit Brand"

So what is a "brand"? A brand is the "sum total of perceptions about what a nonprofit stands for, what it does, and how much impact it is thought to achieve."
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Turning Your Best "Donor Centric" Intentions Into Reality

Many a non-profit organization has the well-known “Donor Centric Pledge” framed and displayed on a prominent wall for all to see. But in reality, few find ways to make that pledge come to life through actionable steps.
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Your Fundraising Appeal: Rapport Through Careful Wording

It is almost year-end appeal time and many a professional fundraiser is pouring over solicitation copy. Are you?
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Creative Ideas for Your #GivingTuesday Campaign

With over $100 million dollars donated on #GivingTuesday in the year 2014, your organization can hardly afford to skip this opportunity. 
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A Tactic for Handling a Difficult Donor

Once in a while development professionals encounter a “difficult” donor - one who makes demands above and beyond that which is "reasonable" for a staff to respond to.   How to deal with such an individual can be tricky. A recent article in Guidestar provides a tactic that just might work for your next difficult donor situation: 
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Fundraising. . . A State of Mind

An article in The Non Profit Times reports on a talk given by fundraising expert Richard Brown who recently presented his thoughts on connecting with donors on an emotional level.
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Your Upcoming Year End Appeal - Getting Ahead of It

A recent blog in Grant Space by Claire Axelrod offers some advice as you begin to prepare for your Year End Appeal. 
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Storytelling Requires Stories: Where You Can Find Them

You have heard about the importance of storytelling and the positive impact it can have on nonprofit fundraising, right?  But as a recent article in Nonprofit Hub by Vanessa Chase points out, sometimes those stories are hard to come by. As a fundraising professional you are typically not in direct contact with the stories you want to share. So how do you and your team collect some of these inspiring stories? 
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Donor Surveys - What You Can Learn

Knowing what your donors are thinking is valuable when it comes to planning your communications and the nuts and bolts of your fundraising program. A recent article in The Nonprofit Times reminds us of some specific pieces of information you can glean from a donor survey:
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Facebook Adds Free "Donate Now" Feature to Non-Profit Pages

A recent article in TechCrunch by Lucas Matney reports on an initiative by the team at Facebook to offer a “Donate Now” function on a non-profit organization’s FB page. Officials at FB explained their thoughts behind the initiative:
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The Gift Table: Useful in More Ways Than One

A recent article in Guidestar by Andrea Kihlstedt reminds us of how the classic “Gift Table” can be a useful development tool in some ways that you may have not previously considered.
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Text Messaging: A Potential Important Addition to Your Next Campaign

A recent article in BizTech suggests that with 64 percent of Americans owning a smart phone, nonprofits can no longer ignore the potential value of digital campaigns. In fact, 46 percent of those owners have declared that their smartphone is something they “couldn’t live without.”
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Good Indicator That Giving Totals for 2015 Will Be Up

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy cites a study conducted by the “Atlas of Giving” which claims that “charitable giving in the first half of 2015 was up nearly 8 percent compared with the same period last year . . . growing from about $222 billion to nearly $239 billion.” 
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Expanding Your Supporters Through Influencers

A recent article in Guidestar Blog speaks to the power of “influencers.”  Influencers are defined as individuals who can not only reach a huge new audience through their own personal networks, but who can speak to your cause personally, in a way that their peers are likely to find trustworthy.
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Millennials Do Give - They Just Give Differently

In the world of philanthropy there is much talk of the "Millennials," who have recently become the largest generation in our country and are most commonly defined as those born in the early 80’s to the late 90’s. This talk often focuses on what kind of giving habits this generation will have and how generous they will be toward charities.  
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"Me" Is Everyone's Favorite Subject

As development professionals we are in a very human business. And (most) humans have a similar characteristic: We like to talk about ourselves.  Donors (and prospects) are no different. 
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How To Treat A First Time Donor: (Not like an ATM)

Most charitable organizations are fairly good at caring for their major donors, and they tend to be good at stewardship and fostering the relationship between major asks. But donors of smaller amounts, particularly first time donors, often get thrust into a cycle of ask, thank, ask, thank, ask, with little interaction in-between. 
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Some Tips and Tricks for Making Your Storytelling Standout

You have heard this advice before: "you must tell your organization’s story and you must make it stand out." But how do you make it stand out in a world that is becoming more and more tech savvy, visually oriented and creatively competitive?  Where do you start?
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Three Key Components of A Legacy Giving Program

In a recent article in Hilborn, Fraser Green gives his advice from 15 years of passionate involvement with Legacy Giving.  
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The Changing Business of Non-Profit Healthcare: "Value Models" Are Coming

As development professionals we all need to be aware of major changes affecting the finances of our organizations—the nonprofit healthcare sector included. A recent article in Healthcare Finance News gives a quick update on some business challenges that could be facing your organization in the near future, and introduces us all to some new terminology.
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Some Tips for Board / Volunteer Management

A recent article in Guidestar by Courtney Cherico gives some great tips for maximizing your Board’s efficiency. 
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Refining Your Communications Plan with Your Donors in Mind

How can a nonprofit organization best communicate their message to leverage their fundraising? A recent article in American News Report talks about a case study of the National Parkinson’s Foundation, who found that their messaging was not striking a chord with donors. 
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Planned Giving - How You Talk About It Matters

A recent article in the NonProfit Times reports on a study that actually involved taking an MRI of someone’s brain as they were having a conversation about planned giving. The gist of the results: 
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Some Tips to Increase Your Success for Grant Funding

If grants are part of the funding strategy for your next project, you may want to read this article by Lincoln Arneal in non-profit hub.
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Inside the Mind of A High Net Worth Individual - The Majority Want to "Give Back"

"With great wealth comes the power to create change," says U.S. Trust President Keith Banks. A recent article in The Non Profit Times by Mark Hrywna reflects on the U.S. Trust’s recently released findings of its most recent survey "2015 Insights on Wealth and Worth." 
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How to Get Your Press Releases Noticed and Published

Getting the word out about your upcoming project or perhaps a recent accomplishment of your organization is an important part of your development strategy. And sometimes getting local media sources to pay attention to you can be a challenge. So how do you craft a press release that is more likely to get noticed? 
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Community - "It's About People"

We use the term “community” so readily; it is a staple of our fundraising vernacular. But what does it really mean? A recent article in Stanford Innovation Review discusses the in-depth, behind the scenes meaning of this common term.
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Additional Ways Your Board Members Can Be More Effective

Whether we like it or not, the fact is that the fear of asking for money makes the “top three” list. (Right behind public speaking and death).  For this reason, and others, sometimes it is a good idea to give your Board Members suggestions for ways they can help your organization in addition to normal fundraising activities.
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How to Resuscitate a Stalled Campaign

So you have a great project, a solid case statement and good promotional materials. You have trained and equipped your volunteers and let them loose to carry out the campaign. Surely they are all out there canvassing the community, visiting prospects and making calls, and you expect your phone to be ringing off the hook . . . but it is eerily silent.  What do you do? 
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Signs of Hope for a Permanent IRA Charitable Rollover Provision

A recent article in the NonProfit Times reports that a bipartisan bill was recently introduced into the Senate that would provide for a permanent extension of the IRA charitable rollover incentive. This incentive has come in and out of existence at least 5 times, and recently expired on Jan 1, 2015. 
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Have Fundraisers Forgotten About Gen Xers?

There is a lot of talk in the philanthropy world about Baby Boomers. And maybe even more talk about Millennials. But what about Generation “X”? (Those who are now 35-50 years old). A recent article in Nonprofit Tech for Good warns against the dangers of ignoring this up and coming generation who is about to enter their prime giving years. 
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The Debate Over Donor Engagement: How Much is Too Much?

A recent article in Philanthropy News Digest by Derrick Feldmann discusses the debate over donor “engagement.” Feldmann’s research is revealing a disconnect between fundraiser expectations of what quality donor engagement looks like verses reality. And the reality often is that the majority of donors simply do not wish to engage at the same tempo that fundraisers would like them to.
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If You Are Going to "Tweet" - Tweet Well

Your organization may or may not be involved with social media campaigns, such as tweeting, but chances are you are going to get involved with such methods in the future. If you do, there are some tips and tricks for Tweeting “the right way”  as outlined in a recent article in Non Profit Tech for Good. 
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The Value of Knowing What Your Donors Want (According to Their Age)

A recent study article in the NonProfit Quarterly discusses some interesting data points about what types of activities engage donors of different ages:
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The Motivations of "Legacy Giving"

A recent article in the Nonprofit Times offers some insight on the nuances of Legacy Giving.   Philanthropy expert Richard Radcliffe believes these are still “uncharted” waters, but there is growing evidence of donor motivations in this area. Some truths to be aware of regarding the legacy landscape:
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Trend: Keeping Old Fundraising Tactics Alive But Incorporating New Ones

A recent article in Guidestar by Laurie De Armond discusses the need for charities of today to be nimble and tactically “adaptive” and willing to try cutting-edge fundraising tactics.
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Why Volunteers Are Some of Your Best Fundraisers

A recent article in Hilborn highlights some of the wonderful benefits of using volunteers in your fundraising efforts—and the importance of thanking them.
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Assessing a Donor's "Relationship Capital" (Looking Beyond Finances)

A recent article by Josh Mait in Guidestar reminds us that sometimes we need to value a well-connected donor as much as a “deep pocketed donor.” 
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Three Good Reasons to Consider a "Sustainer" Program

A recent article in The NonProfit Times discusses the issue of “sustainer programs” whereby donors give regularly, usually via credit card or automatic bank drafts. 
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Not Enough Time in the Day: How to Decide Which Donors Receive More Personalization

Most development professionals understand that the more you personalize your donor communications, the better. But with limited hours in the day, how can you and your staff decide which donors to focus on?
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Good News for Non-Profits: 50% Say They Are Hiring

As the economy recovers and charitable giving rises, "half of all non-profits plan to create new positions and hire this year" says a recent article by Eleanor Goldberg in the Huffington Post.
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Things You Might Not Know About High Net Worth Individuals

A recent article in the NonProfit Times shares some sage advice from fundraising expert Richard Radcliffe. Radcliffe claims that while high net worth individuals are very aware of the importance of a will (and often prepare one in their early 50’s) they are usually fairly uneducated about "legacy giving" because they leave such arrangements up to their financial advisers. 
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Large Majority of Fundraising Professionals Say "Traditional Methods Still Work"

A recent article by Rebecca Horsley in Charity Digital News reports on a survey it conducted to ask readers what they thought about trendy, viral types of fundraising efforts (like the infamous ice bucket challenge) verses more traditional fundraising techniques.
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How Does Your Non-Profit Stack Up Against Others in Your Community?

A recent article in Guidestar by Jay Love suggests a relatively inexpensive experiment that you and your organization can perform to learn about how your non-profit stacks up against others in your community. 
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Real Steps to Improve Your On-Line Donation Forms

We talk a lot about the importance of simplifying a prospect's on-line donor experience, but how do you actually make that happen? What steps can you undertake?
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Tips for Making Your Cause Video "Oscar Worthy"

We hear time and again that "visual storytelling" is a trend that’s here to stay. So what makes a great video? 
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Five Trends for Non-Profits That You Need to Be Aware Of

A recent article in Guidestar features a guest post by Rich Dietz that discusses five nonprofit trends for 2015 that you might want to be aware of:
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Does Your Board Have Any Transformative Leaders On It?

A recent article in the Huffington Post by Eugene Fram discusses the traits of a “transformative leader” as well as the likelihood (or not) of finding this type of leader on a non-profit board. The article quotes writer and analyst Malcolm Gladwell who suggests that the common traits of a transformative leader are courage, the ability to reframe problems, and a sense of urgency.
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How Sending Your Donors A "Six-Month Thank You" Can Change Everything

A recent article in Guidestar by Paul Jolly suggests a technique for giving donors what they really want: the knowledge that their gift is making a difference. Mr. Jolly frames the suggestion by reminding us of what the initial donor acknowledgement should really be telling the donor: “that we got the (gift) and we will put it to work.” 
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It's Time to Put #GivingTuesday on the Calendar

The numbers are in and #GivingTuesday is undeniably gaining momentum. A recent article in the nonprofit times reported that "the percentage of both total dollars and number of donations made on #GivingTuesday in 2012 was 1.3 percent of year-end giving. That increased to 3.8 percent of total year-end dollars and 4.2 percent of all gifts by 2014."
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New Study Aims to Redefine "Relationship Fundraising"

A recent article in Hilborn by Kimberley MacKenzie reports on a study to be done in the United Kingdom to review and refashion the concept of "relationship fundraising." This term stems from the classic book written 20 years ago by Ken Burnett, and has served as a mainstay for fundraisers for many years. 
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How Non-Profits Can Benefit By Behaving More Like Businesses

A recent article by Ryan Seashore in Tech Crunch highlights some lessons learned for start-up businesses that the author argues should also apply to non-profits. "I’ve picked up a number of lessons that I think are worth sharing and important to think about if you’re leading, or working for, a nonprofit."
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New Rules for Non-Profit Hospitals

It behooves all healthcare fundraising professionals to keep tabs on current healthcare legislation and the impact it may have on nonprofit hospitals’ bottom lines.
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A New Year's Resolution for Your Organization: Increased Donor Retention

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Holly Hall references yet another study that reinforces the concept that most charities are not focusing enough on donor retention.
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If You're Not Asking for Planned Gifts, Someone Else Is

A recent article in Guidestar by David Valinsky contains some frequently asked questions about planned giving programs. Even though a planned gift is often 200 to 300 times the size of an annual gift, many organizations ignore the potential, preferring strategies to generate immediate funds.
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Success of Giving Tuesday Continues to Grow

The national fundraising drive known as "Giving Tuesday" is having a growing impact for nonprofit groups, with nearly $46 million raised for charity over a 24-hour period, according to initial numbers. The Giving Tuesday effort is driven largely by social media and online giving campaigns. It was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation to kick-start the critical holiday giving season after Thanksgiving.
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The "Science and Art" Approach to Philanthropy - A Success Story from Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

An article in Hospitals and Health Networks Daily reviews the story of a healthcare system in Minnesota that increased their focus on philanthropy back in 2008 (when most organizations were scaling back). This ramping up of their program combined with a two-pronged approach which focused on both the "art and science" of philanthropy, proved successful. Over the past 6 years, the organization has increased its overall contributions five-fold. 
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How to Increase Your Electronic Giving (Hint: Simplify Your Donor's Experience)

A recent article in Hilborn discusses the importance of simplifying your charity’s electronic giving processes. The article suggests that giving is an emotional decision, and "When the potential donor has to think about how to navigate (your) web site, follow complicated instructions or answer unnecessary questions, the (emotional) motivation to give is interrupted."  
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Say Goodbye to the Overhead Myth - Say Hello to the Overhead Solution

A recent article in GuideStar addresses the long-talked about issue of "overhead" as a critical measurement of your organization’s success. The article suggests that when a non-profit focuses on overhead as a critical factor, it invariably leads them to shortchange their organizational needs, usually causing them to enter a "starvation cycle." This, in turn, limits their results, and in the end everyone suffers.
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How A "No Overhead" Appeal Can Triple Your Donation Amount

An article in Vox by Susannah Locke cites a recent study published in Science where researchers showed that giving people the opportunity to donate directly to a charity program - with a promise that the money wouldn't go to overhead - was far more effective than either matching donations or letting donors know about existing seed money. 
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Defining Your Board Member's "Fiduciary Duty"

New requirements by the Internal Revenue Service on its Form 990 require reporting by nonprofits on a range of governance issues that go far beyond financial reporting, including board member fiduciary duty. But what is "fiduciary duty"? 
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Considering A Digital Annual Report?

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Matthew Scharpnick discusses the advantages of a Digital Annual Report vs. traditional hard copy reports. He explains that while "other forms of storytelling have evolved over the last decade, many annual reports are still produced in print form, failing to take advantage of advances in technology and design that could make them more compelling."
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The Debate Continues... Year-end Fundraising Obsession vs. Year-round Fundraising Focus

A recent article in Nonprofit Quarterly by Simone Joyaux rallies around the argument that too much focus is often put on "year-end giving" instead of a "year-round" fundraising focus. The author argues that fundraising isn’t about year-end hysteria. It’s about "52 weeks a year." Fundraising is relationship building following by asking, followed by relationship building, followed by asking (you get the picture.)
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The Ultimate Countdown to Year-End Giving!

The end of the year can be one of the most crucial times for some non-profit organizations. Why? Because 50% of non-profits receive a majority of their donations between the months of October and December!
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Thinking Outside the Box When Doing Your Story-Telling

We often talk about the importance of "story-telling" in our communications, but are there better ways than others to tell your story? 
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A Trend to Consider: Super-Short Videos and Social Media

A recent article in Guidestar by Courtney Cherico discusses a few fundraising trends we continue to hear about: the use of video and the use of social media. To be successful on social media, you need to give potential donors what they want the most: stories that are told visually.
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How to Keep Your Donors for Life

A recent article in Guidestar by Roger Craver, author of a book called Retention Fundraising, presents his slant on methods for battling the continuing nationwide increase in donor attrition. Roger explains that for the past decade, donor-retention rates have been sinking and today they're at an all-time low. He highlights three reasons for this unfortunate statistic: 
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"Please Treat Me Like I'm a Major Donor"

OK, so as fundraisers we all understand that the ideal way to treat donors is to treat everyone as a major donor. But on a practical level, we cannot do that. There isn't enough time in the day given your development office resources. 
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Don't Miss an Opportunity: Your Donor's Hyper-Focused Attention During the On-Line Giving Process

Recent years have taught us that on-line giving is a growing trend that is here to stay. It is no longer optional for a non-profit to have an on-line giving mechanism. And when a donor gives an on-line donation there is a tremendous opportunity to communicate with them via a "Thank You Landing Page." 
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The Importance of Reminding Donors of the Benefits of Gifting Appreciated Stock

As fundraisers, we know the two main benefits of gifting highly appreciated securities:
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Some Guidelines to Follow When You Need a New Tech Vendor

Every once in a while we come to grips with the fact that our office technology is not meeting our needs and we begin the somewhat scary process of picking a new vendor. A recent article in Guidestar gives us some great suggestions for tackling this often overwhelming task, breaking it down a step at a time:
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The Continued Importance of the Annual Fund (Don't Be Swayed By "Ice Bucket" Tactics)

Social Media and video technology are constantly presenting us with new messaging opportunities - the now infamous "ice bucket challenge" being the most recent.  Is there a time and a place for some of these creative endeavors?
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Getting the Second Gift: A Crucial Step in Donor Retention Rates

A recent article in Guidestar discusses the story of a non-profit Board who was distraught by their low donor retention rates. They theorized and debated, but ultimately decided to refocus some organizational efforts from donor acquisition activities to donor stewardship and relationship-building activities. The Board did more than make a decision - they volunteered to help. 
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The Top Ten Major Donor Fundraising Trends for 2014-2015

A recent article in Guidestar features philanthropy expert Gail Perry making her predictions for the Top Ten Major Donor Fundraising Trends for the coming year. 
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How to Tell Your Story and Have it Lead to Action

Most development professionals are familiar with the communications strategy of "telling your story". And plenty of stories will move people emotionally, but it's less common that a story will move people to action.  
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A New Tool for Your Toolbox: The Blended Gift

The following excerpts are taken from a recent conference paper produced by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and have been shared with Hillary Lyons Associates by estate planning expert and long-time friend, Mr. James E. Connell. For a complete copy of the paper, please contact Mr. Connell through his website, www.connellandassoc.com.
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Tips on Communicating with Millennial Donors

There is lots of talk these days about the challenge of communicating with "millennials", usually defined as those individuals born somewhere between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. For a lot of organizations, learning how to cultivate this next generation of donors will determine the future survival of their non-profit organization. 
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Communicating with Female Philanthropists

A recent article in The Non-Profit Times reminds us of the importance of knowing how to communicate with a key philanthropic constituency: Women. 
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"Most Often Asked Questions" About Fundraising

A recent article in Guidestar features an interesting Q & A segment from popular Canadian philanthropy speaker Harvey McKinnon. In the article Mr. McKinnon recounts some of the questions he is most often asked by his conference attendees, including the ever popular "What is the most common obstacle to someone making a gift?" 
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In the News: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Shifts Its Focus

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the nation's largest health centered philanthropic foundation, which currently gifts $400 million annually, will shift its focus. Instead of funding specific "problems" such as smoking or obesity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will support programs that foster a "culture of health."
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Is the Donor Pyramid Dead? (Answer: "Heck, no!")

A recent article in Guidestar Blog features fundraising expert Andrea Kihlstedt who gives her explanation of why she feels the "Donor Pyramid" is alive and well, and how it can peacefully co-exist within the social media "vortex." 
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Crafting a Consistent Message

As fundraisers we know the importance of regular communication with our prospects and donors. We want to stay in touch with them and we focus a lot on the content of our messages. But how much are we focusing on a consistent "communication style"?  Marketing experts say that we should be. 
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Millennials and "Frictionless Opportunities"

As fundraising professionals we must adapt to the giving styles of future generations. A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights the giving habits of “millennials” (defined as individuals born in the 80’s and 90’s). 
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How Involved Should Your Organization Be in Mobile Apps?

Like it or not, the mobile phone is the most popular tool in human history.  And you already know how important it is for your organization to have a presence on the world-wide web, but what about on the mobile web? With 28% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices what is your organization to do? 
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Is Your Hospital Scaling Back Its Charity Care? (A Trend to Be Aware Of)

Whether you are a fan or not of the Affordable Healthcare Act, its effects are beginning to be felt by the healthcare industry. And one area being affected could be your hospital’s “charity care.”
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Simple Ways to Improve Donor Retention

A recent article in npEngage gathers thoughts on donor retention from 3 experts in the field. The focus: how to improve donor retention by properly treating donors. 
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Giving USA: Americans Gave $335.17 Billion to Charity in 2013; Total Approaches Pre-Recession Peak

(JUN 17, 2014) - At an estimated $335.17 billion, total charitable giving from U.S. individuals, corporations, foundations and bequests in 2013 approached the peak seen before the worst of the Great Recession, adjusted for inflation, according to research released today by Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
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10 Things Canadians Do to Promote "Legacy Giving"

May is national "Leave a Legacy" month in Canada. Across that country, the idea of leaving some type of charitable gift through an estate is promoted through a nation-wide messaging campaign. A recent article in Hilborn, says the program lists 10 things Canadians can do to make a difference.   
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How to Breath Life into a Bored Board: 5 Tips to Try

Does your board (or Development Council) need an infusion of energy? Any organization can fall into a rut, and no one can get really excited about a cause when meetings are dreary and dull. Sometimes a few simple tactics can make all the difference in reenergizing them. 
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Ways Smaller Charities Can Be More Business-Like

A recent article in the Voluntary Sector Blog proposes that in today's tough climate, charities must act more like businesses. Author Ethan Ohs says smaller non-profits can take cues from the for-profit sector when seeking to improve work practices to advance their causes. The article shares a short list of actions your non-profit can take to "business up” including:
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Six Questions and Answers You'll Want to Read

A recent article in Guidestar features a collection of six questions most commonly asked of author and speaker Kay Sprinkel Grace, and her insightful answers. In the article Ms. Grace provides words of wisdom that can be applied when working with a board, development council or other volunteers. She answers tough questions such as:
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What Makes a Prospect a Prospect?

A recent article in the Nonprofit Quarterly addresses the subtle sub-categories of a prospect. The article cautions us to carefully consider the nuances of someone who is "capable" (has the capacity), "suspect" (their interests and actions suggest a possible inclination toward your cause) or a true "prospect" (someone who has taken a proactive step which indicates interest.)
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Optimizing Your Communications: Getting Inside the Mind of Your Donors

A recent article in the Nonprofit Times references information shared at a conference in Ottawa called Journey Deeper Inside the Donor’s Brain. The article offers some insight into how donors receive and process information differently. 
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What Keeps Fundraisers Awake at Night?

A recent article in the Nonprofit Times covered a survey that was conducted by a Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. They wanted to know what “Demon Issues” kept their local fundraisers up at night. 
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Improving Donor Retention: You May Want to Try This!

Loma Linda University Health in California has not been happy with their donor retention. In fact in 2012, two out of every three first time donors did not give again the following year. So Loma Linda is experimenting with an “Anniversary Card” mailed to donors on the one-year anniversary of their first gift. 
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Problem Board Members: How to Prevent Them from Becoming Problems in the First Place

A recent article in Guidestar discusses how certain steps and practices on the part of your organization can keep your board members from becoming a negative influence.   Many of these ideas can be applied to ANY of your volunteer groups and are a great way to keep these very important community resources from becoming "problems".
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AHP Selects New President and CEO

On March 14, the AHP Board of Directors met in Chicago and unanimously approved the appointment of Steven W. Churchill as the next president and chief executive officer, effective July 1.
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Communicating Through Video

A recent article in Hilborn reminds us of some different ways that short videos can be used effectively in our development programs. 
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The Value of Your Volunteers

We know your volunteers are invaluable to you, and we hope you tell them so often. But as a recent article in The NonProfit Times reports, now you can also tell them the total estimated dollar amount of their time and service!
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Community Hospitals: Looking to Philanthropy More than Ever

Philanthropy has long been an integral part of budgeting for hospital capital improvement projects. But in the new health care environment, impacted by federal and state reform, those who work in the development arms of community hospitals say it means more than ever.
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An Optimistic Outlook for 2014 Giving

A recent study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative has some good news for us: Seven out of 10 non-profits studied believe their donations will increase in 2014. "Charities say they are optimistic because 2013 was stronger than any other year since the recession started."
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How to Communicate with a Potential Legacy Gift Donor

A recent article in Hilborn reveals an interesting perspective on the world of planned giving. The article argues that not only are planned giving professionals more likely to be successful when focusing on emotional or legacy-themed issues with prospective donors, but that too much discussion about the legal instruments used in a legacy gift could actually be detrimental. Why? 
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Donor Surveys - An Underused Tool

A recent article in Hilborn reminds us that a properly executed donor survey can be a valuable tool for your development program.  
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Some New Perspectives on Time Management

Did you know that research shows that more people will accept a meeting time of Tuesday at 2:30 pm than at any other day and time of the week? Did you know that after 4 pm is the worst time to send an e-mail and have a chance of someone reading it?  
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Want to Make Your Donor Newsletter 1,000% More Effective? (Read how this hospital did!)

Check out a recent article in Guidestar featuring the story of a hospital in St. Paul Minnesota who drastically changed their donor newsletter and inspired an increase in giving of 1,000%. 
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The Ripple Effect of Employee Campaigns

A recent article by Susan Fish in Charity Village reminds us why we continue to incorporate Employee Campaigns into our overall philanthropic strategy and offers some great tips for a successful campaign. 
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Donor-Centered Principles to Help You Improve Donor Retention

One lesson the non-profit sector can learn from the for-profit sector is in the area of customer service, or translated into our lingo: “Donor-Centered Fundraising.” Putting the donor at the center of your philanthropic culture, strategy and daily habits CAN make a difference in donor retention. 
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Report: Tax Incentives Do Appear to Inspire Charitable Giving

While the majority of philanthropy research continues to indicate that the primary motivations for giving are still rooted in personal values and mission, a recently released report by the IRS, reminds us that tax incentives do seem to be somewhat linked to charitable giving.
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Getting Over Your Anxiety About the Ask

Whether you are a development professional preparing for a major gift call or perhaps are preparing a volunteer to go make an ask, one thing that must be faced head-on is the topic of “fear”. The fact is, almost everyone is anxious about asking for money—but another fact is that you can overcome it.
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What Your Hospital Leadership Wants to Know About Your Program

Most leaders of Development Programs serve at the pleasure of the organization?reporting to either the CEO or Board of Trustees. As such, it behooves development professionals to understand what information these leaders desire most with regard to fund development. 
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Outlook 2014: Some Advice for the Coming Year

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy focuses on some key actions non-profits can take in 2014. This short article is worth a quick read. One of the key recommendations is to consider putting more time and energy into getting a second gift from current supporters. One strategy to achieve this is to take time to carefully review exactly what happens to a donor once he or she makes an initial gift. What is their experience? What can be improved upon?
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Fundraising and the Art of Listening

A recent article by Mr. Eddie Thompson, Ed.D. on the Art of Listening, was printed (in excerpt) by the folks at AHP. In it Mr. Thompson talks about his experience with fundraisers and the seriousness (or lack thereof) that they give to the “art of listening”. 
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A New Year's Resolution: Cleaning Up Your Database!

If one of your Development Office resolutions for 2014 is to clean up your database, here are a couple of wise pieces of advice from a few experts. (These recommendations are taken from an on-line discussion available through the Chronicle of Philanthropy link below).
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Financial Forecast for Non-Profit Hospitals: More Challenges in 2014

In a recent report, credit-rating agency Fitch paints a pessimistic picture of hospitals and health systems for the coming year: Fitch says that although not-for-profit hospitals “continued to produce sound profitability” in 2013, they will face growing pressure on their bottom lines next year from Medicare cuts and other reductions in government spending, a rise in high-deductible insurance plans, and declining patient volume.
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The 6-Second Video Appeal

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released the winners (and runners-up) of their “Six-Second Appeal” contest which asked non-profits to create the best 6-second video they could using the “Vine” app. 
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Think Like a Fundraiser, Feel Like a Donor

A recent article in Hilborn discusses the need for professional fundraisers to not only carry-out the business of fundraising, but to put themselves in the shoes of the donor to be reminded of their needs. 
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On-Line Giving at Holiday Time Doubles

On-line donations from November 1st to mid-December were up 17% from last year during the same time period.  Experts says the increase most likely reflects both the increasing popularity of on-line giving and the growing awareness of Giving Tuesday, a day non-profits join forces to promote charitable giving. 
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The IRA Rollover Option is Expiring: How You Can Remind Your Donors / Prospects

The current IRA Rollover Law that allows donors to make tax-free contributions to your healthcare organization is set to expire on December 31, 2013. You may want to consider reminding your local planned giving / tax professionals and your donors / prospects of this upcoming deadline. 
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Staying Current on Healthcare Industry Trends

All healthcare fundraising professionals should be knowledgeable about current industry trends and should be prepared to answer questions from curious donors and prospects. And you may feel the need to inform your constituents as to why the hospital industry is currently experiencing a downturn in revenue—and how it is reacting to this latest turn of events. 
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Getting Inside the Heads of Financial Advisors

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the findings of a study that focuses on how financial advisors and wealthy clients differ in their approach to philanthropy. The article is worth a quick read, but do pay special attention to the paragraph entitled: “Why the Rich Don’t Give.” 
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Considering Doing A Donor Survey?

Satisfaction with the development office is one of the major drivers of donor loyalty. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t talk about this. Even worse, most organizations don’t bother to find out how they’re doing.
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Some Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions in Fundraising

Can good publicity really help raise money for an organization? Is it really a good idea to suggest a gift amount to a prospect? Does everyone get nervous when making an “ask”?
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The Gift Acknowledgment Letter: An Often Overlooked Tool

When is the last time you updated your basic donor “Thank You Letter”? Two years ago? Three years? More?  The Gift Acknowledgement letter is one of the most basic tools in your toolbox to begin building a relationship with a donor, yet it is often the most overlooked. 
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The Dynamic Duo: Planning for A Prospect Visit

Having a partner accompany you for a solicitation is often a very good idea, but it also requires some special pre-planning (in addition to the classic “who says what”) to ensure your greatest chance for success. 
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Have You Heard of "Giving Tuesday"?

“Giving Tuesday” is a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday shopping season.   Last year, the first Giving Tuesday drew donations for about 2,600 nonprofits.
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A Different Kind of Stewardship: How to Treat Your Grant Givers to Encourage a Repeat Grant

If your organization has been fortunate enough to receive a grant from a new funding source, Bravo! But your work should not be over. A recent article in Imagine Canada discusses some smart ways you can better your chances of receiving a repeat gift. 
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Getting to Know A Prospect: Questions You (Or Your Volunteers) Can Ask

When you or one of your volunteers identifies a prospect that you want your organization to become involved with, that’s a great first step. Getting to know the prospect is the second (and usually more difficult) step. 
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Hot Trend: One-Page Scrolling Web-Sites

Does your organization have a narrowly focused campaign or project coming up? If so, you may want to consider utilizing a new media tool: the one-page scrolling web-site. 
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Social Giving Makes Your Donors Happier

A first of its kind study soon to be published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development tells us that while giving to a charity tends to make people happy, they are even happier if that giving enriches their social connectivity. 
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Reminder: HIPAA Compliance Deadline Is September 23, 2013

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy recently issued a reminder to all non-profit healthcare organizations of changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement and Breach Notification Rule. These changes went into effect on March 26, 2013, and they have a compliance date of September 23, 2013.
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How Charities Can Adapt to the Changing Demographics of America

A recent article by Nicole Lewis in the Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the changing demographics of our American society and the need for charitable organizations to be aware of these changes and proactively adapt.
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What Prompts A Grateful Patient to Become a Grateful Donor?

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy recently published an excerpt from one of its most popular educational sessions at the 2102 AHP International Conference on the subject of Grateful Patient Programs. 
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Two Simple Steps to Increasing On-line Donations

Can It Really Be That Simple? Two steps? A recent article in the Non-profit Times highlights a study which tracked changes in gift amounts resulting from simple changes to the charity’s on-line donation page. 
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Tips on Storytelling

It’s a fact that we, as humans, typically respond better to a story, rather than to a list of facts. And for a healthcare organization trying to communicate their complex message, such storytelling tactics can be invaluable. 
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Can Your Special Event Produce Major Gifts?

Does your healthcare organization run an annual special event? If so, you already know the public relations value that it can bring. But have you thought about how you can use that event to promote major gifts?
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Cashing In On Free Press

In this day and age of tight budgets, non-profit organizations need all the free good press they can get.
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Making Sure Your WebPage Accomplishes the Basics

A recent article by Joanne Fritz on About.com talks about how simple changes to your organization’s web page can increase donations. The Study revealed that web visitors who are considering a donation want some basic information that is easy to find on your page:
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Using Video "Thank You's" To Engage Your Donors

The US Olympic Foundation has had its up’s and down’s of fundraising successes, but recently it revealed a story of one of its most effective tactics: Using video thank you’s. 
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Matters of the Heart Matter Most

A recent article by Paul Sullivan of the New York Times reminds us that while data and effectiveness metrics are important and a “must-have” for any charity to be considered seriously, we must remember that giving most often stems from matters of the heart.
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Study Finds Million Dollar Givers Hold Steady When Giving to Healthcare

In a recent article, Bill McGinley of AHP discusses an interesting trend in major gift giving patterns. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy studied a decade of million dollar gifts (from 2000-2011.) It revealed that of all of the categories of recipients of million dollar gifts, the only category that did not experience fluctuations from outside influences, such as a recession, the S&P 500, GDP, etc. was “healthcare.”
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So How Can We Get Closer to 3%? (Planned Giving Could Be the Answer)

Experts have been pondering this question for decades, and periodic publicity campaigns have encouraged higher percentages of giving, particularly among the “one-percenters,” but with little or no success. 
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Giving USA Reports Steady Giving Levels

The numbers are in and the study is out. The Annual Giving USA Study for 2012 was released this month, revealing a somewhat predictable statistic: Giving levels are steady. The report cited that Americans gave $316.2 billion to charity last year, representing an amount that is 2 percent of the gross domestic product--the same giving level as 2011.
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Recent Rise in Consumer Confidence Boosts Charitable Giving (Don't You Just Love Good News?)

A recent article by John Hurdle of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy provides evidence that, for charities, things are looking up. 
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Why America's Wealthiest Donors Give

Understanding the motives of a donor has always been a worthwhile endeavor. It is important for customizing communications and (hopefully) building lasting relationships with your organization.  
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Ten Tips To Help You Survive and Thrive During Your Special Event

The summer special event season is upon us, and while you’ve been planning and working for months, here are a few last minute reminders to help you “survive and thrive”.
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Five Easy Steps to Improve Donor Stewardship

“Believe me, if you take good care of your donors, the dollars will keep coming!” says author, Alison Keys. Did you know that experts estimate that a simple personal thank you call to a donor can result in a 30% return on investment? 
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Magic Questions to Keep in Your Back Pocket

It’s true. Nearly everyone likes to be asked his or her opinion. And opinion questions can be particularly effective when working with major donor prospects. 
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Best Practices for Getting Physicians Involved

A recent AHP webinar has been translated into a read-worthy article. The article focuses on the best practices for involving physicians in your philanthropy program.
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Could Healthcare Philanthropy Become Even More Important?

As with many organizations feeling the effects of the 2013 budget sequestration, non-profit hospitals are feeling the pinch.  A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy sites a 2% reduction in Medicare reimbursements, which kicked in on April 1, as causing slim bottom lines to get even slimmer. 
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Optimistic Outlook Still Stands for 2013

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that 70% of charities still forecast a rise in donations in 2013. 
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Is Your Organization Ready for Next Gen Donors?

A recent opinion article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Rick Moyers discusses the potential impact of “Next Gen Donors” - a relatively small group of Generation Xers and Millennials who stand to inherit over $40 trillion in wealth, much of that designated for philanthropy.
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On-Line Giving Continues to Rise

Is your organization providing your donors with an on-line giving option? If not, indications are that you should. 
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Is the Old Donor Acquisition Model Being Replaced?

A recent article in the Non-Profit Times cites that for decades, many charities have held to the old growth model of “acquiring more new donors than are lost.” But now some experts are advising charities to focus more on retention and providing donors with an overall better experience.  
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Social Media and the 70/20/10 Rule

Did you know that it looks like Twitter is becoming the number one “healthcare” social media outlet? Do you know what the 70/20/10 rule is for Social Media sites? Maybe it’s time to find out. 
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The ($) Value of Volunteers

All organizations appreciate their volunteers, but sometimes “numbers” (or dollars) speak louder than words. 
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Emory University Invents an Artful Way of Celebrating Its Fundraising Success

Beginning in February, Emory University students, faculty, and staff will see temporary creative installations built around campus to celebrate the success of “Campaign Emory” and the culture of philanthropy that it has fostered.
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Tough Love for Foundation Board Members

This article by Carol Weisman in the Chronicle of Philanthropy talks about what to do when Board Members refuse to raise money. 
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Good News: Trend is for "Local Giving"

A recent study by data tracker, Blackbaud Corp., reveals that giving increases for small nonprofits in 2012 significantly outpaced those of their bigger peers. 
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How to Concisely Communicate Your Organization's Mission

Here’s what we do know - attention spans are short. So having a tag line that communicates your mission in just a few words is essential.  
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Food for Thought: Is the Donor Always Right?

This opinion article by Felix Salmon of the Chronicle of Philanthropy provides an interesting perspective on just how far charities will sometimes go to meet the needs of a donor. 
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Making the Most of Your Skilled Volunteers

Pro Bono work can be a great asset to any fundraising organization, but there are several key issues to keep in mind so that the volunteer work is beneficial for all parties involved. 
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Summing Up Last Year: The 2012 High Points in Philanthropy

The establishment of the first School of Philanthropy is one of the high points. Billionaire giving is another. Can you guess the others? Take a quick peek at the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Top 5 High Points for 2012 in the not-for-profit world. 
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Bank of America Study Reveals Insight Into Wealthy Donor Philanthropy

The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examines the giving patterns, priorities and attitudes of America’s wealthiest households. As a follow up to the studies conducted in 2006, 2008, and 2010, the 2012 results reveal some key findings that could be important to your foundation: 
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Number of Americans Volunteering Is UP

A recent study by the by the Corporation for National and Community Service revealed that more Americans volunteered in 2011 than in any year since 2005. “In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years, as 64.3 million Americans volunteered through an organization, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010.”
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Foundation Employees Want to Feel Their Work Matters, Survey Finds

A recent article by Caroline Preston in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports on the findings of a recent survey that gives us insight into what our foundation employees really want. The findings reveal that employees want to be respected, have their ideas valued, and use their skills and creativity to make a positive difference. These factors were more important than pay or workload, the study says.
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GUNNISON VALLEY HEALTH CEO

After a national search, the Gunnison Valley Health board of trustees has appointed Rob Santilli as the CEO of Gunnison Valley Health. 
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What to Ask Santa for: Better Listening Skills

This article by Eddie Thompson, Ed.D., gives insight into one of the most important skills we can have as fundraisers: the art of listening. While some fundraisers have a natural knack for connecting with a donor, others need to make an intentional effort to develop the skill. 
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Uncertainty over the Future of Charitable Deductions Sets Off Giving Craze

American taxpayers, unsure as to what the future holds with regard to the Charitable Deduction are increasing their 2012 giving, says a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Other wealthy Americans seem to be investing in donor-advised funds to lock-in current tax break rates. Read more. . . 
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Giving Tuesday Looks Like It's Catching On

While “Giving Tuesday” still may not be a household name, charities across the country reported a 50% increase in giving over 2011 totals. You may want to keep an eye on this growing trend and consider putting it on your fundraising calendar for next year! Read more . . .
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Year-End Giving - The Start of Something Beautiful

Year-end giving is not only an important tool for raising funds, but should be seen as an opportunity to begin a long and satisfying two-way relationship with a donor. Unfortunately, many nonprofits aren't taking advantage of this critical opportunity, but instead focus on single elements and activities instead of on the big picture.
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Report Emphasizes Importance of Communicating Impact and Making It Easy to Give

This article in the Wall Street Journal’s “Market Watch” references a report recently released by Blackbaud Corporation called “Donor Perspectives: An investigation into what drives your donors to give.” 
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A Millennial's Perspective on How to Attract Gifts from Young Donors

While it’s true that Baby Boomers and GenXs are still among our primary giving groups, it behooves all charities to begin learning how to communicate with Millennials (generally considered to be the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000′s) - and consider them as “emerging philanthropists”. 
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How Charities Did the First Half of 2012 - And What Gave Some an Edge

When compared to the first half of 2011, about half of U.S. charities saw an increase in giving, about one quarter saw a decline and the remaining quarter saw flat results. But what made the difference? 
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Sound Advice On Expanding Your Fundraising Prowess

No matter how many years you’ve been going at this fundraising thing, all fundraising professionals should seek to strengthen areas of knowledge that he/she may be weaker in. 
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How to Make Your Story Standout

One of the very basics of Development is effectively communicating your cause. But sometimes we get caught up in facts and figures and we forget what is meaningful to our listeners and readers. 
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Encouraging News for Charities: Most Donors Plan to Give As Much or More by Year's End

As we approach the season for year-end giving, many charities are wondering how they will fair in the current economy. 
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The Future: Wealthy Donor Giving Will Remain Flat, But Healthcare will Continue to Be a Favorite

According to an October 3rd article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a recent study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has predicted that wealthy donor giving will remain flat between now and 2017. 
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New Training Center Created for Volunteerism Leaders

The new National Center for Service and Innovative Leadership, the first of its kind in our country, has taken up residence at Fort Winfield Scott, a site at the Presidio, a former military post in San Francisco. 
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Health Care Giving Rose 8% in 2011

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights an encouraging statistic revealed by a new Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) Report: that giving to non-profit healthcare organization increased by 8% last year, to a total of $8.9 billion. 
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Giving Thanks By Giving

A lot of charities use the upcoming holidays to inspire people to give. Years ago this push was made on the Friday after Thanksgiving. But this year a group of about 60 nonprofit organizations and businesses are hoping Americans will mark a new tradition by opening their wallets one more time after their post-Thanksgiving shopping ends: on “Giving Tuesday.” 
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Restricted Gifts are More Important to the Most Affluent Donors

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed some interesting findings about the world’s most affluent donors, including “The richer a donor is, the less likely he or she is to make unrestricted gifts.”    
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Indiana University Announces First Ever College Degree for Philanthropy Studies

For years Indiana University’s Center for Philanthropy has been a leader in Philanthropy Studies, providing continuing education classes in the subject, and leading the country in philanthropy research efforts. But a new school, situated at the campus at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will now award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Philanthropy. 
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Non-Profit Hospitals Report Flat Investment Returns for 2011

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that nonprofit health-care organizations experienced flat investment returns last year, continuing a three-year slide in financial portfolios. 
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The Six Rights That Can Never Steer You Wrong

A recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article discusses the best ways to approach a major gift prospect when a Family Foundation is involved. This article reminds us that no matter the circumstances, the basic rules still apply. The point of the article being prepare and conduct for the most thoughtful request you possibly can! 
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Sorry Guys, But the Findings are Out: Older Women are More Generous than Older Men

Yet another reason for development programs to pay attention to older women: A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that women in their 50’s or older are far more charitable than their male counterparts.  
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News from the 2012 SP/MG/PG Seminar

Winners of the Capstone Project at the recent SP/MG/PG Seminar in Aspen,
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How America Gives: An interactive Tool to Learn More About Your Community

A recent study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy has revealed data on how much Americans are giving, broken down by state, town, and even zip code. This article includes a link to a truly amazing interactive tool which allows you to enter a location and learn about that area’s giving habits, including percent of total income given, total contributions, and median income. 
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What Can AHP's Newest Member Service Do for You?

Is your organization an AHP member? Well with travel and training expenses being so carefully guarded these days, your organization may want to get acquainted with AHP’s newest member service: the Online Conference Learning Center.   
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Newsflash: Billionaires Like Healthcare Causes (Something for Your Organization to Keep an Eye On)

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy spotlights a new resource for all of us to keep an eye on. . . it is a new Web page which helps track those billionaires who have signed on to “commit to donating a least half of their net worth.” 
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How One Charity Is Using Social Media to Engage Potential Donors

The YMCA of Greater New York embarked on a campaign to engage or reengage its membership by encouraging people to share positive stories about their YMCA experiences, and in return receive a free T-Shirt. Could such a campaign be right for your healthcare organization? 
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Prospecting for Future Planned Gift Donors and More...

Jim Connell, planned giving professional and long-time friend of Hillary Lyons Associates recently shared his latest newsletter with us. While the newsletter is geared toward “planned giving professionals” there are several tips and take-away’s that might be of interest to your Development Council’s Planned Giving Committee. 
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Flexibility: The Key to Increased Corporate Giving?

It’s true that corporate giving has dropped more than 5 percent in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that opportunities are not out there. . . if you are flexible. 
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More Proof that Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Works

We know that peer to peer fundraising is a key concept in the Development Council methodology. Some other charities are also finding out how key it can be.
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Good Advice from the 2012 Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Claudia Looney

Claudia Looney, Senior VP for Development for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offers some advice to other professionals about (1) taking chances, (2) the 5 key things you must have in place before your next major project, and (3) her thoughts on taking personal time. This short article is worth your time. 
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Has America's Charitable Giving Climbed Out of its Great Recession-Fueled Trough?

CHICAGO, Ill. (June 19, 2012) - Giving USA estimates total donations increased to $298.42 billion in 2011, reflecting other similar gains across the economy.
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National Philanthropic Trust Comments on 2012 Giving USA Report "Americans Support What Is Important To Them"

JENKINTOWN, Pa., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), one of the top 25 grant making institutions in the US, has identified positive news for charities and donors. The country's preeminent report on charitable contributions, Giving USA: Annual Report on Philanthropy was released this morning in Philadelphia and yesterday in New York City.  
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Donors Say They Would Give More If They Saw More Results

Fundraisers who are still using the bad economy as a way to persuade donors to give, be forewarned: That won’t work this year.
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On-Line Fundraising Up 19% Over Last Year

Apparently, electronic communication and electronic giving are here to stay, and have resulted in an increase in giving totals, as well as an increase in the number of gifts given. This recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy spotlights the latest findings on the subject, including the conclusion that these increases can be attributed, at least in part, to organizations’ being smarter about their use of e-mail. 
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The Thank You Letter: Still Among Your Mightiest Tools

This article by Lisa Sargent draws on the expertise of some of the top communicators in the development world to help us “build a better thank you letter.” Then, for practicality, Lisa smartly breaks it all down into a “checklist” to help you review and revamp your organization’s thank you letters. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve on this key tool in your fundraising toolbox. 
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KING'S DAUGHTERS HEALTH FOUNDATION RECEIVES MAJOR GIFT FROM MANSBACH FOUNDATION

Congratulations to Hillary Lyons client, King’s Daughters Health Foundation, of Ashland, KY, who recently received a major gift of $440,000 from the Mansbach Foundation in support of the medical center’s mobile health initiative!
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What Donors Want But Don't Often Get

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights some findings that can help you take your giving programs to a whole new level. Preliminary findings from Penelope Burk’s latest donor survey shed light on some key but often overlooked tactics:  
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Keeping Your Mission Message Consistent

A recent article from the Association of Fundraising Professionals reminds us that our messages to donors and prospects need to be consistently linked back to the organization’s mission, and need to be repeated again, and again, and again.
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New Research Indicates a Trend toward Support for Healthcare and Local Causes

Researcher Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research is wrapping up her fourth annual donor survey that analyzes donor expectations, behavior and trends. Preliminary results for the health care sector look promising:
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THIEF RIVER FALLS RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FOR MAMMOGRAPHY

Congratulations to one of our own!!  Hillary Lyons Associates' client Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, has been awarded a $502,445 grant to upgrade its mammography services. The grant is a gift from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and will be used to purchase a state-of-the art digital mammography unit, replace workstations and upgrade the mammography room and dressing area.
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TEXT Message Giving: Pros and Cons

There has been much interest and curiosity in the world of philanthropy in the use of electronic mediums such as e-mail and texting to give to a charity. 
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GUNNISON VALLEY HOSPITAL NAMED "TOP 100 CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITAL"

Congratulations to one of our own!!  Gunnison Valley Health Foundation’s hospital was recently named a “Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in America”, and was one of only two hospitals in the state of CO to receive the accolade (the other was in Aspen). 
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Why It's Important to Train and Support Your Chair(s)

A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy focuses on the correlation between an executive director’s relationship with his or her (Foundation) Board Chair and that director’s overall job satisfaction.
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Lessons Learned from the Recent Garth Brooks Donation Scandal

Lately there has been much attention in the national media regarding a law suit stemming from a gift to an Oklahoma hospital from country singer Garth Brooks. 
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How to Showcase Your Current Project in Pictures

Do you have a project coming up, big or small, which can be captured in photos? If so, why not try a fun and inexpensive way of sharing your “CASE”.
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The Latest Numbers: The Ups and Downs in U.S. Charitable Giving

The latest Blackbaud Index monthly numbers show that overall charitable giving in the U.S. rose 2.2 percent for the three months ending October 2011, compared to the same period last year. Online giving rose 10.6 percent. 
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Good Career Advice: Write Thank-You Notes

Write Thank You Notes. Don’t surprise your boss. Focus on the win.   These are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom featured recently in an article by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. You might enjoy reading about a few more and may even consider including one or two in your New Year’s resolutions!  
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Back to Basics: Treating Donors and Volunteers Right

Whether economic times are good or economic times are bad, here are a few key thoughts to keep in mind with regard to DONORS and VOLUNTEERS: 
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SCHNECK RECEIVES 2011 PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE

WASHINGTON, D.C., and SEYMOUR, IND., Nov. 22, 2011—President Barack H. Obama and Commerce Secretary John Bryson today announced Schneck Medical Center as one of four organizations to receive the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence.
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An Optimistic Prediction: Majority of American Donors Plan to Maintain or Increase Their Level of Charitable Giving this Year

This is the prediction made by Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, established in 1991 with the mission to further the American tradition of philanthropy.
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Do You Have a British Petroleum Fueling Station in Your Town?

If your community has a British Petroleum (BP) fueling station, your organization may be eligible for a grant. British Petroleum has sent information to its distributors that encourages those distributors to nominate eligible charities in their towns for grants (the eligible $$$ amount is based on the amount of fuel purchased by the distributors.) 
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You and Your Year-End Appeal: Reviewing HIPAA Rules Prior to Mass Mailings

‘Tis the season to be jolly. . . and to send year-end mailings! Many health care charities find patient databases to be an excellent resource but are rightfully concerned about complying with current HIPAA regulations. The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy website provides quick, easy access to current rules and regulations regarding HIPAA and fundraising. 
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Involving Physicians in Your Development Program

In January of 2011, AHP President William McGinly presented 12 tips for hospital fundraising for the coming year. One of them talked about how to involve physicians in your giving program. Bill writes: 
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Building a Culture of Philanthropy: From the Top Down

The fall issue of the AHP Journal features an excellent article by a Healthcare System CEO describing his experience with the evolution of his organization’s approach to philanthropy.   
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Improving Your Web Presence: Valuable Offer Available for Hillary Lyons Clients

A recent Hillary Lyons webinar was presented by Mr. Alan Pressel the CEO and Founder of Charity Finders, Inc., an e-philanthropy consulting firm. At the conclusion of the webinar Alan made a generous offer available exclusively to clients of Hillary Lyons Associates. 
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Making Your Volunteers and Donors a Part of Your History

In 1887, the leaders of the Bellevue Hospital Medical College had the forethought to bury a time capsule for future Americans to find and catch a glimpse of the world they lived in. A recent demolition project unearthed the capsule and its contents, getting national attention with the discovery.
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Study Finds Direct Link: Staff Excellence Cultivates Giving

It’s official: How your patients are treated by your employees can directly impact your Development Program. 
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Emotions Rule

Emotions impact our lives and affect our decision-making, small and large. Studies show that even when we are purchasing something as significant as a new home, “we shop on logic but buy on emotion.” The same holds true for philanthropy. Our emotions dominate our decision of whether or not to remain apathetic, or take action by making a gift. Simone P. Joyaux writes a compelling argument for drawing on your prospects’ emotions in her article in the Nonprofit Quarterly.
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The IRA Rollover Option May Expire Soon: It's Time to Get the Word Out

Hillary Lyons Associates has a strong working relationship with Planned Giving Professional, Jim Connell. Jim recently sent us a reminder that may be a very useful piece of information to your Planned Giving Committee to communicate to your prospects. Jim writes:
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Personalization... The Key to a Successful Direct Mailing

A few thoughts as you finalize your organization’s Year-End-Appeal mailing: Personalization is Key. 
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Aspen Training Seminars Provide Knowledge and Motivation to Attendees

A recent seminar in Aspen, CO presented exclusively for clients of Hillary Lyons Associates focused on the areas of Special Prospects, Major Gifts, and Planned Giving. Thirty-six of our client’s staff and volunteers attended the 3-day seminar which provided dynamic and interactive training to all attendees. At the conclusion of the conference an award was presented to the team who prepared the most compelling case as part of the Capstone Project. Congratulations to the winning team, pictured below. Each member of the winning team earned a $100 donation to his/her respective organizations. Congratulations! 
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Three Ways to Ensure the Demise of Your Fundraising Mission in the Current Economy

1)      Stop Asking
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Twelve Ways to Motivate Your Volunteers! - By Thomas McKee

In the Hillary Lyons Development Council model volunteers are the heart of the fundraising operation. And motivating those volunteers is a key component of program success. Volunteer-guru Thomas McKee provides some interesting perspective on how to zone-in on your volunteers’ inner-motivations to keep them feeling appreciated and keep them close to you. 
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Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?: How Great Photos Can Tell Your Story

A recent article by the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Art Director reminds us of how powerful a really good photo can be, and how a concerted effort to capture a magic moment can not only help you communicate your mission, but attract media attention. Check out this article and Sue LaLumia’s blog “Moving Pictures” for more suggestions on how to tell your organization’s story through pictures.
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Book Review: The Necklace (A Philanthropic Story Sure to Inspire You and Your Volunteers)

The Following is a Book Review and Commentary by our own Sherri Birkeland. Sherri is a Consultant and Vice President at Hillary Lyons Associates.
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The Power of the Thank You Note

In this era of electronic communication, the handwritten note has become more and more of an endangered species. But wise fundraisers such as Martha Hagedorn-Krass, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas, continue to use it as a powerful cultivation tool. In Ms. Hagedorn-Krass’s situation, a well-written thank you note resulted in an unsolicited gift of $5,000! You can read more about how the thank you note and the gift came about in this fun article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
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Major Hospital Foundation Joins Hillary Lyons Associates!

A warm welcome to our newest client, Major Hospital Foundation in Shelbyville, IN! The Foundation is led by Executive Director, Angela Gill, who is off to a fabulous start.   She is busy helping her Development Council Co-Chairs as they recruit the rest of the Council and has even created a Development Council News Letter to keep in touch with her new volunteers. Way- to- go, Angela, and welcome! 
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It's A Perfect Fit at Schneck Medical Center: Bringing Philanthropy and Teamwork Together Through Employee Giving

When asked about why the Employee Giving Program at her hospital in Seymour, IN is so successful, Executive Director Rexanne Ude, explains that while many factors contribute to its success, the underlying explanation is that the Hillary Lyons model is a “perfect fit” for them within the hospital’s well-established culture of teamwork.   “We’re all working together—it’s a team effort here at Schneck Medical Center,”   Rexanne explains. 
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On-line Giving - Still Going Strong in a Tough Economy

If your organization has not yet made arrangements to accept on-line donations, you could be missing out. Just ask Texas Children’s Hospital who saw an increase of $300,000 in one year, including one on-line gift of $100,000! On-line fundraising can be a terrific addition to your toolbox and can help your organization reach new donors it otherwise would not have reached. Read how the Texas Children’s Hospital and many other charities utilized the tool of on-line fundraising last year and saw electronic giving increase by significant percentages.
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Thank You Letters That Do More Than Thank: (P.S. Please Don't Forget to Visit Our Website)

Changing and customizing your organization’s thank you letters can be a very effective part of your overall cultivation strategy. This article features a few good ideas from an environmentally focused charity in California who is using thank you letters to deepen their relationship with their donors, including directing them to their website using the power of the “P.S.”!
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Aspen Seminars - Training Your Most Important Assets: Your Volunteers

We recently held a 3 day seminar in Aspen, CO exclusively for our Hillary Lyons Clients. This annual session is designed to train and educate our clients’ volunteers in the details of running a successful committee program. The June seminar was held at The Gant, a picturesque resort located in a quiet corner of Aspen, within walking distance of the bustling downtown. The seminar focused on Annual Support, Business Relations, and Community Relations.
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A Flash Mob at Your Gala?: Keeping it Fresh for Your Major Donors

OK, so maybe your particular community is not ready for a flash mob, but the take-away from this fun article is that keeping your events fresh and exciting for your major donors can really pay off. Not only will you attract repeat attendees, but something as unusual as a flash mob is sure to be good for some word-of-mouth PR for your organization. Who says philanthropy isn’t fun? Check out this article which might just inspire you and your volunteers to “keep it fresh”.
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On-Going Fund Development: Your Ticket to Getting Off the Capital Campaign Roller Coaster

What sets us apart from other Healthcare Philanthropy Consulting Firms? Hillary Lyons Associates brings you 45+ years of experience in demonstrated effectiveness utilizing the most powerful fundraising asset of all: Volunteers. Unlike others firms, we believe that on-going fund development, led by volunteer community and business leaders is the best way to get off the “Capital Campaign Rollercoaster”. 
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Volunteers: The Secret to Healthcare Philanthropy's Success? (We think so.)

You may have read the recent good news: That despite the current sluggish economy, not-for-profit hospitals and health systems saw an eight percent increase in giving last year, topping the $8 billion mark. But why was healthcare such a popular cause? There are many theories out there, but one in particular stands out:
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Nonprofit Hospitals Raise $8.26 Billion in Donations in FY2010

Nonprofit Hospitals Raise $8.26 Billion in Donations in FY2010, With Individual Donors the Majority of Pledges, AHP Reports. But Fundraising Costs More in Recession 
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Report from Palm Springs Leadership Symposium

We had a wonderful and thought-provoking Leadership Symposium in Palm Springs, CA, that closed over an evening dinner together March 30, 2011. Many thanks to those who attended -- it was great to connect with you. Special thanks also to our dynamic group of presenters that inspired us all with fresh ideas and new ways to fulfil our missions. If you missed the Symposium, you can still check out some of our "crib notes" from the sessions - but we hope you join us next time!
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HLA Consultant Achieves Recertification

A letter to HLA President Rikki Bouts from the President and CEO of CFRE International:
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Award Salutes Fundraiser's Philanthropy

Chuck Hillary has made philanthropy his calling.
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Award Recognizes a Lifetime Commitment to Quality

Northern Kentucky– Joseph Gross, FACHE, President and CEO of St. Elizabeth Medical Center and The St. Luke Hospitals, has been named the 2009 Health Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Cincinnati Business Courier. He was officially recognized at the awards banquet on March 3. 
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Hillary Lyons Launches New Website

Hillary Lyons Associates (http://www.hillarylyons.com) is continuing excellence in philanthropic training by developing new tools for clients on its new web presence, launched in September 2009.
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Bank of America High-Net Worth Philanthropy Study

On March 4, 2009, Bank of America released the 2008 Bank of America Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy, which offers new insights into the giving behaviors of America’s wealthiest donors. Conducted for Bank of America by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, the 2008 research follows up and expands upon an initial landmark study published through this partnership in 2006 – the largest survey of wealthy Americans ever conducted on this topic – which has become a leading resource for the philanthropy industry for understanding these important donors.
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