The Center for Association Resources

Icon

Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Culture of Philanthropy – the secret sauce of fundraising-the five steps to success

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Culture of Philanthropy – the secret sauce of fundraising-the five steps to success-

 

According to The Center for Association Ressources, not-for-profit organizations are increasingly turning to philanthropy to increase revenue and expand programs for members. Before embarking on any fundraising project, ask yourself if your association has these five ingredients that are core to a culture of philanthropy. In a nutshell, a culture of philanthropy is about the donor and how to align his or her philanthropic goals with the organization’s mission.

Building a culture of philanthropy is not about feeling good; it’s also a savvy business decision.  Not-for-profit organizations that understand the power of philanthropy ultimately have stronger relationships with their donors who give more to support the mission.

Here’s what to look for:

  1. Donors are the focus of any fundraising effort and not the organization.  Are you helping them reach their own philanthropic goals?  Are you really listening to how they would like to support the organization?   By spending time to discern a donor’s own personal goals, you will deepen that donor’s relationship with your organization and ultimately increase the amount of giving.

  2. Fundraising is not about the money – it’s about the relationships that are created through fundraising.   While the money is obviously important, don’t let it guide the conversation.  It can lead to short-term thinking that short changes both the donor and the organization.   You will know it’s not about the relationship if the conversation is only about the next gift rather than the totality of that donor’s involvement.

  3. Building on that point, gifts are not considered one-off events but a stream of ever deepening involvement by the donor. Savvy organizations look at the donor’s lifetime arc of giving and how to build that relationship and investment. 

  1. Board and staff leaders are generously supporting the organization through their own giving.  Each year, they make sacrificial gifts in support of your mission.   The amount will vary, but the organization is clearly a priority in their giving.

  2. Internal and external messages and conversations are about the ultimate impact of the mission and not the immediate financial justification.   The fundraising is simply a tool to realizing that mission and not an end in itself.  

Contact The Center for Association Resources for more information on your organization’s potential for success in this growing area.

Robert O. Patterson, CEO, The Center for Association Resources

Mark D. Warner, Director of Development, The Center for Association Resources

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Chicago, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , ,

Fundraising ideas for non-profits

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Nonprofit organizations need funds to survive.  The fantastic news is that there is a vast array of ways to generate these much-needed funds.

One method of collecting funds for a nonprofit group is to create a well-designed website, with a “donate” section, for the organization.  This is a terrific way to receive donations as people can go to the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, And donations can be collected from people all over the world.  A shopping cart can be placed on the website; and products related to the organization’s cause can be sold on the website, as well.

Selling ad-space on the organization’s website is a fantastic idea that can bring in a lot of money.  Small businesses are always looking for places that are inexpensive to advertise their products or services.  Setting rates that small businesses can handle will attract many business owners, and add to the group’s bank account.

Another terrific idea is appealing for donations through social networks.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Linkedin are popular sites for generating donations and have been highly successful in creating funds for nonprofits.

Spare change can add up.  Placing a few collection jars in local grocery stores or other businesses can add up to a lot of money in a short time.  Giving their spare change away is easy for people. It can be surprising that giving just a little bit of change can add up to so much money.

Corporate sponsorship is another option.  This is when a large company gives money to a nonprofit cause.  They do this as a form of advertisement so that they will then be associated with the cause. The corporation benefits because they generate publicity for themselves, and the public sees them as generous.  They can also receive tax deductions for their donations.

Another source of support that nonprofit organizations can appeal to is grants.  Many public and private foundations offer grants to nonprofits to help with their causes. When applying for these grants, it is a smart idea to have an experienced grant writer write out the request and approach the foundation.

Fund raising events, such as walk-a-thons, car washes, bake sales, yard sales, craft sales, carnivals and auctions can be a fun way of making money for the group.  Another great way to earn money for your group is to sell products offered by companies specifically for fund raising.  These products include candy bars, candles, magazines, cookie dough, doughnuts, coupon books and popcorn.

When appealing for donations, one should keep in mind that donations of such things as equipment, office supplies and services can be just as valuable as money.  Often, a person may not have money to give, but they may be able to donate their time or services or a piece of furniture that the organization needs.

In conclusion, nonprofits need help to keep their organizations running.  There are many ways to obtain this help, and it is a win-win situation for all those involved.  Donors receive valuable tax deductions for their donations and the feeling of having given to their community, and the nonprofits can continue their work.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , , , ,

Use search engines to increase association recognition

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

At The Center for Association Resources has published many articles about how to improve your association’s results using an effective online presence. These include
Non-profit organizations and associations benefit from community support, name recognition, and online presence. Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, can provide traffic and accessibility to clients and those seeking to learn or donate to the association. Even a small center, organization, or association should have a website containing at least basic information about your services, and preferably a more interactive and engaging experience that raises interest and awareness of your association and its central objectives.

Providing useful content, in an accessible form, is critical to reaching the widest audience. Google is able to catalog text pages very well. Unfortunately, many sites have begun using Flash and other media to present information. This also makes life difficult for people with blindness or other disabilities that make using a graphical system difficult. If you’re going to have a  graphics version of your site, also make a text alternative available. This will increase your audience, and show that you care about those you serve and those who contribute to the success of your organization.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benchmarking for success

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Benchmarking is a measurement tool non-profits can use to gauge both their success and needs for improvement.

Benchmarking can be defined as the standard of excellence by which other activities should be judged.

Though benchmarking was first used in for profit businesses, it is also a useful tool for non-profits. Benchmarking includes activities such as goal setting, comparative measuring, and identifying and implementing best practices. Some key benchmarking activities include defining what a successful outcome is in relation to the non-profit’s services, gathering lessons learned, and defining and applying best practices from these lessons. Determining what measurements are meaningful is vital.

A non-profit can use benchmarking to compare their current performance against their own past performance, or that of other similar non-profits. The scope of the benchmarking can include all aspects of the organization, such as fund-raising, measuring administration costs, and providing services relevant to the organization’s mission. For instance, one measurement the public often considers prior to making donations is the percentage of an organization’s administration costs versus the percentage of funds that are actually used in providing services to the intended population. If an organization has established benchmarks which identify whether the organization is keeping the percentage constant or declining, this could prove valuable to future donation revenue.

Another key measurement for organizations is how well they are implementing activities crucial to the organization’s mission. For instance, a human services organization could poll the consumers of their services to find out what aspects worked well and what needs improvement.  Benchmarks ideally should be specific and measurable. Vague benchmarks will be difficult to measure and will likely not provide useful information.

Top management often needs to lead the way towards benchmarking. Those in the field providing services often do not immediately see the need for benchmarking. Challenges for establishing and implementing benchmarking activities include overcoming individuals’ resistance to change as well as defining measurements and success for disparate or complex activities. Involving field personnel in the benchmarking process may facilitate overcoming some of these challenges.

Benchmarking for non-profits is not a one size fits all endeavor. The organizations culture, mission and locality must be considered. For instance, an organization whose mission focuses on the fine arts may have very different benchmarks than one servicing basic human needs such as sanitation and health care.  An analysis of needs versus goals should be done with the unique circumstances of the organization in mind.

Establishing and communicating the achievements of benchmarked measurements can increase public confidence in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.  Public perception of the organization’s effectiveness is also an important item to gauge.  Feedback from surveys, focus groups and online comments can be used to measure how the organization’s activities are perceived by the public. Positive public perception can have a direct impact on donations, so this is an important area to monitor.

Though non-profits may have a few obstacles to overcome when implementing benchmarking, the improvements in goal accomplishment and public reputation are worth the effort involved.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, Training, , , , , ,

Using members in the member development campaign

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Members are the heart and soul of non-profit organizations. Therefore it’s advantageous for your organization’s current members to play some role in the recruitment of new members. But what are the best ways to get your members involved in the member recruitment process, and to what extent should they be involved? There are traditional techniques as well as new techniques that incorporate social media to consider.

First, consider providing some type of incentive to members who can recruit people that they know to join. This rests on the philosophy that people are more likely to join or support an organization that they already know people in, and that members know people who have similar interests to them that may be in line with an organization’s mission statement or agenda. A for-profit example of this is Groupon’s model, which gives free products/services to members who can convince three of their friends to also join and make the purchase. The benefits from this approach, while essentially incorporating the structure of a “pyramid scheme,” provide the opportunity to expand your numbers exponentially.

Second, another approach you may take is to form a “street team” – recruit members to come out and volunteer at fairs, expos or other public places where they can give one-on-one presentations to others about your organization. This type of member-to-member recruitment is especially popular among young people who are looking for ways to become “activists” in their causes. Although it may be somewhat difficult to recruit people to volunteer large amounts of their time, this approach is appealing to some members because it caters to their desire to be “on the inside” of a cause that they’re passionate in.

Third, consider using social media tools to encourage your members to become involved in recruitment. There are several considerations and approaches that can incorporate social media, but I’ll discuss a few. First, consider having “membership drive days.” On Twitter, for example, many accounts take part in “Follow Fridays,” in which users tweet the handles of accounts that interest them and deserve to be followed. You may email your members, for example, and ask them to take part in Follow Friday. This will also create awareness among your members of your organization’s social media presence.

In another social media approach, you may encourage your members to create rich content for social media platforms, like their own YouTube videos with personal appeals for members to join. To provide incentive, you could make it a “contest” with prizes to see who can produce the most creative product. This approach directly involves members in creating messaging for the member recruitment campaign, and will increase member interest in your social media platform and subsequently your organization in general.

It doesn’t necessarily take slick PR or trained spokespersons to have a successful member recruitment campaign. By involving your members in the process, you’ll not only put more minds to work on the task, but also create stronger bonds between members and your organization.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , ,

Importance of committees

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

No matter how large or small a nonprofit organization may be, there are four board committees that are essential to the well-being of the organization and the board itself.  These four committees include the Board Development Committee, the Finance Committee, the Fundraising Committee and the Personnel Committee.

The Board Development Committee is responsible for determining what skills a board member should possess and recruiting and training newly-hired members of the board.  Members of this committee regularly communicate with the board members.  They make sure that the members of the board are making positive contributions and that their board experiences are satisfying to them. The Board Development Committee also creates member evaluations and administers and interprets them.  In short, the job of this committee is to ensure the strength of the board’s future.

The Finance Committee’s job is extremely valuable.  The Finance Committee is responsible for many things, including creating a suitable annual budget, tracking the nonprofits spending versus its budget, monitoring the group’s monthly cash flow and evaluating the overall financial stability of the organization.  This committee not only develops the annual financial plan, but they develop a long-term strategic, financial plan, as well.  Any financial policies regarding the nonprofit must pass approval of the Finance Committee before submitted to the board.  Some nonprofits employ Audit and Investment subcommittees to help “round out” the board’s involvement in financial issues of the organization.

The Fundraising Committee is also a vital part of any nonprofit group.  The Fundraising Committee develops the organization’s annual fundraising plans and then tracks the planned versus the actual results each year.  It is their duty to encourage and train the nonprofit’s members to become involved in any fundraising activities held by the group.  They also look for any new activities that they can implement into their strategic fundraising plans.  Special events subcommittees are often established to assist with these plans.

Even small or young nonprofit groups need a Personnel Committee on their boards.  The main goal of this committee is to make sure that the members of the group follow all state and federal laws and regulations with regard to employment.  They also ensure that the wages paid to members in the nonprofit are comparable to wages in similar organizations.  They see to it that every member has job descriptions, yearly objectives and annual reviews that include training when needed.  Other responsibilities of this committee include creating and issuing employee handbooks, creating human resource policies, hiring, benefits selection, pension considerations and creating holiday schedules.

In conclusion, all nonprofits need these four committees to be successful.  Each committee is equally beneficial to the group and unique in its responsibilities.  A nonprofit that has all four of these committees in place is certain to run smoothly and be highly successful in their cause.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , ,

Creating a technology strategy

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

When starting a non-profit tech strategy, one must focus their strategy around resources and reach. First, establish what your goals are. Are you focusing on fund raising? If so then emphasize testimonials, data collection of potential donors, and emphasize events you’re organizing. If your focus is non-profit community engagement, focus on providing content, resources, and maybe a blog for community members to discuss relevant topics.
Always focus on resources, however if they are available, one may consider hiring an SEO specialist or PPC campaign manager to maximize reach in order to monetize the site. It’s always nice to take in extra revenue to benefit your cause, and ultimately reach more people with you message online!

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , , ,

Hotel contract negotiation

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Negotiating a contract with a hotel for your non-profit organization can be a difficult and time consuming process.  There are often many layers of the hotel to go through, mainly dealing with contracts, fundraising, their tax write off ability and, as a founder or negotiator of the contract, a lot of people to talk to at the hotel.

If you want to host a dinner at a hotel, you have to have a solid estimation of your visitors.  The important thing to remember here is that your attendees to your fundraiser are there to be entertained.  It is their checkbooks that are opening up for the sake of your organization.  They have to feel pampered.  Make sure you organize a few solid negotiating points for the hotel, like live music, vegetarian options for food and a cash bar.  I say cash bar because that will offer the hotel a chance to recoup some of the losses that they would face should they offer a large conference room for your organization.  Not only that, it is critical to use their name on your flyers, website and possibly offer them some future cross-marketing potential.  This way, the hotel recognizes that you are offering a service to your visitors (a live band), considering their needs as well as your own (vegetarian options) and the hotel is offered something as well.  The cross-marketing is an excellent point of negotiation because the duration of their involvement lasts beyond a single event.  Your organization recognizes them in terms of a strategic partner which may help you in the future.

Beyond conference rooms and fundraising partnerships, if your organization needs rooms at a hotel for a non-profit fair or are simply traveling for the purpose of expanding your organization, remember to network market your organization.  The more people who are educated and aware of your purpose and mission, the more leverage you can have in that town.  Ask for recommendations from friends, contacts, even law firms in the area.  If you can connect those you already know with people in the states or countries you are visiting, you can gain a lot of structured leverage.  Governmental organizations are thrilled to have non-profits because they take some of the public service burden off of the governments back.  Contact you local government, of whom your organization should have a strong relationship with and see if they know anyone in the city you are visiting.  They can use their contacts and networking for your organization and put you in touch with the hotels with either a discount or if you are lucky, a free room!

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , , , , , , ,

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Top Clicks

  • None