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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

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

Why be on Social Media?

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.

Why Be On Social Media?

Why should your association be using social media? Because everyone else is: your members, their clients and customers, and most importantly, your competition. At The Center for Association Resources, we have helped numerous client organizations navigate the constant emerging area of social media……could we help your organization?

With half the population of the United States using Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/), odds are high that some of them are interested in your cause, product or mission. Each of them, in turn, has their own network, further increasing your reach. Think of the silly videos that have gone viral: someone shared and asked others to do the same. They shared it with their friends and followers, and so on. Now imagine that’s your call to action or plea for emergency funds.

One of Twitter’s (http://twitter.com/) busiest days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter) ever was the day Michael Jackson died, when 100,000 tweets per hour about it caused the site’s servers to crash. Word spread like wildfire. The same thing happened last spring during the revolutions in the Arab world. Never has there been a time when news can spread so fast. Imagine if it’s your good news or a request that people contact their legislators about a particular bill. People are literally helping to change the world from their laptops and smart phones.

People are connected and causes are connected. They’re already posting and tweeting about your issues. Shouldn’t you be there to drive the discussion, and, when necessary, correct misstatements, false facts and rumors.

Social media is immediate, thanks to the rapid growth of smart phones (BlackBerrys, Androids and iPhones) and the proliferation of free WiFi, or wireless broadband. More than half the users of both Twitter and Facebook access the sites from their mobile devices, according to their own statistics. That means your communication to your members, clients and customers reaches them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Long gone are the days of communicating with business colleagues during business hours. In some cases they are accessing social media primarily after hours – at home or on the go.

According to a recent report from the Pew Research Internet and American Life Project, “The Social Media Landscape, (http://pewinternet.org/Presentations/2011/Sept/Social-Media-Landscape.aspx?src=prc-twitter)” 51 percent of all Internet users take part in social networking. For 18- to 29-year olds, it’s 83 percent and 70 percent for those 30 to 49 years old. That’s a large part of your audience. And lest you think social media is just for the young, the same report finds that 51 percent of Internet users 51 to 64 years old use it and 33 percent of those over 65. The last two numbers will only grow as the younger users age and continue to stay connected.

Much of social media had a truly social beginning: younger, mobile users and early adopters saw Facebook and Twitter as a way to find each other, keep up with each other and broaden their circles. And then their parents discovered it. Then savvy businesses saw the benefits. An interesting example of this is Foursquare (https://foursquare.com/), a location-based social networking site. Users on Foursquare check in at their destinations in the hope that friends will find them there. The destinations – bars, restaurants, businesses – in turn have begun rewarding check-ins with specials and discounts. Your members also may establish incentives for checking into events or volunteer activities.

As we discussed in the previous post (link to it), social media should work with your existing marketing efforts. What better way to increase subscribers to your newsletter or blog than tweeting or posting on Facebook link to different articles. The same is true for news releases and news coverage that you have put in your website’s news feed. It is important to keep pointing your followers back to your website, and your original message. As hot as Facebook, Twitter and the other social media sites are right now, the next big thing may be just around the corner, but your message stays the same.

Contact The Center for Association Resources today to learn how many of these exciting strategies can help your organization achieve it’s goals!

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

What is Social Media? And Who’s Using It?

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.

What is Social Media? And Who’s Using It?

It all starts with your message. Social media is a powerful marketing and communication tool which allows you to spread your message to your audiences. Social should work with – and enhance – your existing marketing efforts. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media) defines it as “media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.”

This is the first in a series of three blog posts by The Center for Association Resources that will explore the what, who, why and how of social media for associations.

Got news? Post a link to your news release, and resulting media coverage, on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/and Twitter (http://twitter.com/). Want to take the pulse of your members or customers? Ask a question in a LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_home) group. Did your CEO just give a great speech? Put it on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) and post the links everywhere.

Social media is instant and interactive. Use it to talk to your members, and to listen to what they say back. Use it to mobilize your members, your constituencies, your friends and your followers to advocate on your behalf to lawmakers and thought leaders.

If you’re already using social media in your marketing, make sure your message is consistent and your content is up to date. Yes, it’s free, but you need to invest staff time and resources to do it right. If you’re not yet using social media in your association, here’s what you need to know about what’s out there and how to integrate it into your current plan.

Facebook is the best known and most widely used social media site. More than 741 million people worldwide use it, more than 155 million of them in the United States. That makes the American population of Facebook larger than the population of Russia or Japan. And every time one of them logs on to Facebook, he or she is a potential target of your message. And you thought it was just for catching up with old friends from high school or posting vacation photos.

Setting up a Facebook page is easy. Click on “Create a Page” on the bottom right side of your personal page. Follow the step-by-step instructions and start posting. But don’t do it in a vacuum. Put a link to it on your website and in your newsletter. Ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page. Within your organization, designate a staff member to maintain, monitor and moderate the page. Have more than one administrator, to ensure continuity should that person leave.

Try to post on your Facebook page at least once a week. Use a mix of association announcements – it’s a great way to plug events, association updates and relevant news from your industry sector. Your Facebook page is a great way to drive people back to the heart of your brand: your website. When you update a section, post a link and tell your followers to check it out. No big announcements this week? Highlight an interesting or helpful section of the website with a “Did you know … “ post with a link to it.

Use Twitter to send people to your Facebook page and your website. Twitter has more than 100 million users worldwide, more than half of whom log in daily to follow their interests. Unlike Facebook, you do not have to “friend” followers, so you can follow anyone and anyone can follow you. More and more people are getting their news first from their Twitter feeds. News of the recent east coast earthquake spread on Twitter almost as fast as the quake itself. With just 140 characters per “tweet” (Twitter post) it is an ideal environment for links back to your website, newsletter or Facebook page. Like you did for Facebook, have a designated tweeter to maintain a consistent message and style. And make sure you respond quickly to any questions, comments or negative tweets. Future Public Relations classes will be devoted to companies and organizations that failed to respond quickly to public complaints.

LinkedIn is the third social media site you should consider for your association. It is the most business-oriented of the three and has more than 120 million members in more than countries and territories. More than half its users are outside the United States. Organization leaders should have their own accounts, and regularly post relevant news, comments and questions. It also is becoming a great place to find new hires. Join or create a group and participate in the discussions there. Companies or associations can set up profiles and have followers just as individuals do. Have you set up yours?

And then, there’s Google Plus (https://plus.google.com/up/start/?continue=https://plus.google.com/&type=st&gpcaz=23db4111), the new kid on the social media block that’s attracted more than 43 million users in a very short period of time. The platform has been open to the public (previously, user were invited to join) about a week or so. Business profiles are planned, but not yet available, but association leaders should be active on Google+. One of the best reasons why? It’s Google.

Besides being the place where most people begin their Internet searches, Google’s umbrella includes YouTube and Blogger, so Google+ offers a great way to leverage all of those platforms. One of its most attractive features is “Hangouts (http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/),” which lets you chat with up to nine people through your computer or mobile device for free. For associations with staff in various cities, Hangouts can be an alternative to teleconferences.

Do you need to be on every one of these sites? Only you can answer that based on your message and your audience. A comprehensive social media strategy can enhance your current marketing plan. But before you jump in, figure out what you want to say – and to whom. And commit to it. An out-of-date, irrelevant social media presence is worse than none it all. Then, have fun engaging your audience. You’ll wonder why it took you so long.

We would be pleased to discuss this in more detail with you! Contact The Center for Association Resources today.

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

How to Use Social MediaHow to Use Social Media by Robert O. Patterson and The Center for Association Resources

How to Use Social Media

You’ve opened a Twitter (http://twitter.com/) account, you’ve created a Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/) business page, and you and your association are on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_home). Now what?

This third in a series of posts on the subject will answer that.

You already should have determined who in your organization will be doing the posting and tweeting (posting on Twitter). For consistency of message and style, it is best to keep those duties to just one or two people. If you are not the one doing the posting, make sure you are an administrator on the accounts and that you monitor your Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media sites on a regular basis to know what is being said. We noted in the first (link to first blog post) blog post that while social media sites are free, you and your association need to invest staff time and resources into doing it right.

Be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to communicate: news updates about your organization and your business sector; tie-ins to current events; links to your website, blog and newsletter. Make sure to have a good mix of posts. Constant self-promotion turns off followers. Ask questions and respond the answers. At The Center for Association Resources, we have continue to see results for a variety of organizations that follow this guidance.

Writing that first post or tweet may feel a little like walking into a freshman mixer. You fear nobody knows you and nobody will be interested in what you have to say. That’s not true. With more than 51 percent of Internet users in the United States engaged in social media, so there are many people out there interested in your cause, your association or your product. Be authentic in your posts and don’t always be in sales mode.

Know your audience. Unless you are certain they are overtly partisan or strongly identified with a particular faith or cause, keep your posts non-partisan and inclusive. If you wish your followers Merry Christmas, be sure to include holidays from other religions, as well. If someone posts an offensive response to something, delete it and apologize. Bad publicity is NOT better than no publicity at all.

Post photos and videos from your association’s events, and invite participants to share theirs. But stay away from wild or embarrassing shots. No need to be too authentic.

Finding followers is easy. They’re already reading your newsletter or blog. Invite them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus (https://plus.google.com/up/start/?continue=https://plus.google.com/&type=st&gpcaz=23db4111), and suggest they ask others to do so as well. Ask your own personal Facebook friends and encourage co-workers to do the same. Suggest to other members of a LinkedIn group that you “like” each others’ Facebook business pages – and don’t forget to include the link to your own.

Leverage “old media,” and other venues to drive traffic to your website, Facebook business page or newsletter through the use of QR codes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code). “QR” stands for quick response, and they’re those little black and white boxes that are starting to show up in ads, magazines and displays. Smart phone users scan them and go directly to wherever on the Internet that particular QR code send them. Real estate professionals are starting to put them on signs, for a link to a detailed description of the property. Food product displays might include links to recipes. Clever organizations wanting to promote an event are putting them on posters and in ads to take people right to where they can buy tickets or sign up to volunteer. Creating a QR code is easy through numerous websites, like this one: http://myqr.co//. Be sure to test it before you publish it!

In our experience, the social media world is constantly changing, as the rapid growth of Google Plus has proven. We continue to work with your organization to get the most out of your social media plan. Let us know how The Center for Association Resources can help your organization today!

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

How to Use Social Media by Robert O. Patterson and The Center for Association Resources

How to Use Social Media

You’ve opened a Twitter (http://twitter.com/) account, you’ve created a Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/) business page, and you and your association are on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_home). Now what?

This third in a series of posts on the subject will answer that.

You already should have determined who in your organization will be doing the posting and tweeting (posting on Twitter). For consistency of message and style, it is best to keep those duties to just one or two people. If you are not the one doing the posting, make sure you are an administrator on the accounts and that you monitor your Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media sites on a regular basis to know what is being said. We noted in the first (link to first blog post) blog post that while social media sites are free, you and your association need to invest staff time and resources into doing it right.

Have a clear idea of what you want to communicate: news updates about your association and your business sector; tie-ins to current events; links to your website, blog and newsletter. Make sure to have a good mix of posts. Constant self-promotion turns off followers. Ask questions and respond the answers.

Writing that first post or tweet may feel a little like walking into a freshman mixer. You fear nobody knows you and nobody will be interested in what you have to say. That’s not true. With more than 51 percent of Internet users in the United States engaged in social media, so there are many people out there interested in your cause, your association or your product. Be authentic in your posts and don’t always be in sales mode.

Know your audience. Unless you are certain they are overtly partisan or strongly identified with a particular faith or cause, keep your posts non-partisan and inclusive. If you wish your followers Merry Christmas, be sure to include holidays from other religions, as well. If someone posts an offensive response to something, delete it and apologize. Bad publicity is NOT better than no publicity at all.

Post photos and videos from your association’s events, and invite participants to share theirs. But stay away from wild or embarrassing shots. No need to be too authentic.

Finding followers is easy. They’re already reading your newsletter or blog. Invite them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus (https://plus.google.com/up/start/?continue=https://plus.google.com/&type=st&gpcaz=23db4111), and suggest they ask others to do so as well. Ask your own personal Facebook friends and encourage co-workers to do the same. Suggest to other members of a LinkedIn group that you “like” each others’ Facebook business pages – and don’t forget to include the link to your own.

Leverage “old media,” and other venues to drive traffic to your website, Facebook business page or newsletter through the use of QR codes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code). “QR” stands for quick response, and they’re those little black and white boxes that are starting to show up in ads, magazines and displays. Smart phone users scan them and go directly to wherever on the Internet that particular QR code send them. Real estate professionals are starting to put them on signs, for a link to a detailed description of the property. Food product displays might include links to recipes. Clever associations wanting to promote an event are putting them on posters and in ads to take people right to where they can buy tickets or sign up to volunteer. Creating a QR code is easy through numerous websites, like this one: http://myqr.co//. Be sure to test it before you publish it!

The social media world is constantly changing, as the rapid growth of Google Plus has proven. We continue to work with your organization to get the most out of your social media plan. Let us know how The Center for Association Resources can help.

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

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 for success

Benchmarking is a measurement tool non-profits can use to gauge both their successes and areas for improvement. It can be defined as the standard of excellence by which other activities should be judged.

Though benchmarking was first used by corporations, it is a useful tool for non-profits to adopt. Activities involved include goal setting, comparative measurement, and identification and implementation of best practices. Other key benchmarking activities include defining successful outcomes for services rendered, gathering lessons learned, and then defining and applying best practices from these lessons. Determining what measurements are meaningful is a vital part of the process.

A non-profit can use benchmarking to compare its current performance against the past, or to that of similar non-profits. The scope of the benchmarking can include all aspects of the organization, from fundraising, to administrative costs, to providing services relevant to the organization’s mission. While a lot of the benchmarking results will be for internal use, one measurement interested publics will want to know about is the percentage of administrative costs vs. percentage of funds used to provide services. If an organization establishes benchmarks that show it is keeping the percentage constant or low, it can use this information as a powerful data point during fundraising drives.

Another key measurement for organizations is how well they are implementing services 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 which need improvement. Benchmarks ideally should be specific and measurable. Vague benchmarks will be difficult to measure and will likely not provide useful information.

Top levels of the non-profit often need to lead the way toward benchmarking. Those in the trenches providing services often do not immediately see the need for it, as it consumes time that could be spent on mission-critical activities. Challenges for establishing and implementing benchmarking activities include overcoming individuals’ resistance to change as well as defining measurement 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 organization’s culture, mission and location must be considered. For instance, a non-profit whose mission focuses on the fine arts may have very different benchmarks from one servicing basic human needs such as sanitation or health care. An analysis of needs vs. goals should be performed with the unique circumstances of the organization in mind.

Once internal benchmarking has been completed, communicating the results with stakeholder audiences can increase public confidence in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. But benchmarking should not be just an internal exercise. Public perception of the organization’s effectiveness is also an important item to gauge. Feedback gathered from surveys, focus groups and online comments can be used to measure how the organization’s activities are perceived by the community at large. Positive public perception can have a direct impact on donations, so this is an important area to monitor.

Though benchmarking requires a well-thought-out plan, time and commitment of resources – and sometimes challenges – the potential for internal improvement and positive public reputation make the time spent worthwhile.

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

Targeting in Social Programs – Not Just for Government Organizations

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.

A critique on public opinion regarding the efficacy of non-profit organizations in distributing aid.

Non-profit organizations have the potential to be an invaluable resource in combating many social problems that exist in our modern society. A shrinking middle class and a struggling economy have contributed to many people seeking out help from non-profits. Many of these people are, for the first time, experiencing a situation in which unemployment, lack of access to health care, or the loss of their home, and old biases against non-profit organizations as “too fat” or “wasteful” have been abandoned in wake of the need of the services provided.

This major intellectual paradigm shift among the upper middle class has been the side effect of some very unfortunate events. However, in a down economy, it is vital that non-profit organizations (NPO’S) continue to receive donations from the surviving middle and upper class. Members of these classes have not experienced the same negative impact from the economic downturn, and thus, many are skeptical that donating money to a non-profit is an effective means to get money or services into the hands of those who need it most.

To combat this, the best recommendation would be for non-profit organizations to examine the targeting that they use when delivering these services. Outside of the obvious methods of trimming waste from the bureaucracy of some larger NPO’s, the best method in effectually cutting waste would be better targeting in who receives the aid that is available. Two methods, discussed largely in the context of eliminating government waste in social programs by Richard J. Zeckhauser in ‘Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples’, are extremely applicable to NPO’s as well: avoiding making bad bets in allocating funds, and identifying bad apples as individuals that are not truly in need of help.

“Bad bets”, for example, might be people who are requesting long term aid but are likely to obtain work in the near future. NPO’s can extend short term aid to these individuals, but they are not a good bet for long term aid, because the likelihood of overlap between help from the non-profit and compensation from work is high. “Bad apples”, on the other hand, require NPO’s to better screen candidates for those who truly do not need aid. Requiring more verification or paperwork, while adding time to the approval process, would be one example of a method of combating bad apples.

While the implementation is different for each non-profit organization, the concepts commonly iterated behind better targeting in government social programs are extremely applicable to non-profits, and should be considered a good place to start when a NPO wants to be able to combat the popular view that non-profit organizations are inherently uneconomical.

Kelley Scott is a free-lance writer/blogger from Chicago, IL

Non-profit organizations, NPO, social programs, targeting, waste, ineffective,The Center for Association Resources

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

Fund raising in non-profit organizations

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.

It deals with strategies and methods involving the fund raising of non-profit organizations

Fund raising has always been an issue for most non-profit organizations. It is also a limiting factor in the reach and functioning capacity of the organization. A regular flow of funds is required to keep the organization in its tracks. All non-profit organizations should have a definite policy towards fund raising. Though fund raising is no easy job, it can be managed well with steady flow of funds and quality capital, all made possible with some fore planning and good execution.

Everything starts from the administration of the organization itself. The goals of the organization must be clearly set and should be viable for effective propaganda and response. For example, a group that simply says “save the trees” or “cancer research foundation” is going to pass up as just another organization. This should not be the case. The goals and achievements of the organization must clearly be seen from anybody’s perspective. It is what sets the targets and urges people to contribute funds. A good spokesperson and contact personnel are a must.

Managing the collected funds is another important factor. The contributors would also like to see how their money is being used up. A good team capable of budget planning is required. It can also be done by another third party. But it is better to keep the management of funds transparent as that itself can be used as a propaganda tool effectively.

A fully dedicated team of people is required to be set up for the sole purpose of fund raising. It must consist of planners, team leaders, liaisons, creative designers, advertisers and special people who can raise funds using their skills or status (e.g. Celebrities). This team must foresee and execute the various plans made towards fund raising. They must identify potential targets and decide on the way of approach. Having an effective team solely for this purpose can be the difference between efficiency and bankruptcy.

Target identification is the step involving the identification of the people from which the organization can raise funds. The most important target group will be the people who are directly connected with the goal of the organization (e.g. Persons affected by cancer are viable target groups for cancer research institutes). Other important target groups are business tycoons, general public, politicians, stars, celebrities and so on. Employing different methods for each of these groups are vital for success.

The methods that can be used for fund raising vary from simple handouts and posters to mega campaigns. But in order to be effective, it must be target specific. The common methods that can be employed are posters, handouts, TV shows, rallies, ads, demonstrations, campaigns etc. General public can be campaigned with posters and rallies, as well as mass media. A single TV show covering the activities of the organization can generate a lot of funds. Creative ads and posters in net can be a great propaganda tool (e.g. Green Peace ads). Corporate companies can be made to contribute by striking deals so that they can use the publicity and the organization can use the funds. Billionaires can be canvassed for donations. Having a celebrity in the organization can work wonders. In this age of social networking, a good ad in websites like Twitter can be very effective.

There are also other sources like fund raising shows, but it all comes to how the organization effectively uses them to further spread their propaganda. Instead of focusing on the immediate requirements, a definite long term policy and a good administration system towards fund raising can get any non-profit organization free from financial woes.

fund raising,non-profit,non-profit organization,methods of fund raising,The Center for Association Resources

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

Learning About 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.

This article is about a specific non-profit organization, the Eastern Illinois Food Bank.

The nonprofit agency I chose to write about is the Eastern Illinois Food Bank. They are trying to simply trying to prevent hunger by providing food for food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other programs to feed the hungry. They accept discounted and donated food and distribute it to 220 emergency food programs, as well as operate two programs: the BackPack Program and the Foodmobile program. The first helps hunger in low-income school districts and the later increases access to food in rural and under-resourced communities. There are food banks all over the country and I feel like their attempts to provide food and eliminate hunger are very effective.

The Eastern Illinois Food bank is having a program called “lose weight and feed your community” which donates 11 cents to Feeding America for every pound a person pledges to lose through March 31, 2011. This is a beneficial cause which can encourage families who may have overweight parents or kids to exercise and donate money for their good efforts. Kids need strong, healthy, role models so it is important that they see the parents exercise and eat right and this program could give those parents more incentive to do so. At a local level these programs can help advocate a healthy lifestyle as well as stopping hunger. Since there are food banks all over, they work together to implement change on a national level yet each one focuses solely on their areas.

Non-profit organizations are very important because they usually work in order to benefit basic human needs instead of focusing on their own profits! Especially organizations such as the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, they help to provide food to needy families as well as school districts of poor communities. They work hard to help people in need which I think is a very valuable asset to a company’s success! Fund raising proposals are important in non-profits such as the food bank because they do not make money on their own. Therefore, these companies need to focus on charity projects and getting donations in order to raise money. At the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, both monetary and food donations are always welcome!

Eastern Illinois Food Bank,The Center for Association Resources

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

Finding (and Keeping) Great Volunteers 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.

Tips on how to recruit and retain volunteers in non-profit organizations.

Finding (and Keeping) Great Volunteers for Non-Profits

Good managers in non-profit organizations have always known that people are their greatest resource. In today’s challenging economy, non-profit groups are becoming increasingly reliant upon their volunteers to continue operations. Many tasks and roles previously filled by paid staffers are now filled by volunteers, and the new challenge facing non-profit managers and boards is how to attract and retain high-quality volunteers.

When looking for volunteers, non-profits need to be very clear about what type of person or group they are looking for, what specific task or role they would like accomplished and how unpaid workers will fit into their organizational team and objectives. It’s important to develop a clear job description for volunteers so that all parties involved understand expectations up front. It’s not uncommon for potential volunteers, especially highly skilled ones, to have a number of opportunities to choose from. Make sure your organization looks appealing and professional when soliciting help.

Think about what is going to inspire a bright, motivated individual to spend unpaid time helping your organization. Think about why someone would choose your non-profit to work with, and what benefits and experiences you can offer to a volunteer. Also, make plans for how to retain a great volunteer. Set up an ongoing volunteer recognition system to encourage people to continue with your organization. Things like thank-you cards and homemade gifts are usually appreciated, however it’s also important to take the time to get to know what’s really important to your volunteers. For example, if a person is trying to gain admission to a college, offer to write a recommendation letter for them. This type of ‘thank-you’ doesn’t cost your organization anything, but it can go a long way towards generating positive thoughts among volunteers.

Other considerations…

If you manage in a unionized organization, make sure to explore any possible concerns with using unpaid staff relative to the current union contract. Few things will drive away volunteers faster than becoming involved in labor disputes. Also, make sure that all your paid staff are clear about the need for, and roles of volunteers. Talking openly with the staff members of your non-profit will help alleviate any concerns they have about being replaced by unpaid workers. It’s important that all members of your organization, paid and unpaid, clearly understand their role within the staff team.

Volunteer, Non-Profit, Unpaid Workers, Organizations, Skilled volunteers,The Center for Association Resources

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

September 2017
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