Survey Links Fundraising Results to Annual Campaigns

Charitable organizations in the U.S. and Canada are more likely to raise funds successfully when they have a formal, ...

Charitable organizations in the U.S. and Canada are more likely to raise funds successfully when they have a formal, annual fundraising drive, according to survey results released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. This is some of the first research to look at how annual funds are conducted and the role the annual fund plays in helping an organization reach fundraising goals.

The organizations with a formal annual fund drive were 20 percentage points more likely to be on track in 2013 to meet their fund raising goals (77 percent on track versus 57 percent of those without an annual fund). This finding held even after taking budget size into account.

Among the 42 percent of organizations that offered donor benefits, the most common was invitation to special “donor-only” events. Far less frequent were commemorative items such as plaques or pins; privileges such as parking or concierge service; communications such as donor newsletters; or access to organizational leadership or “backstage” activities.

The survey asked about donor renewal rates and about the percentage of annual fund donors that “upgraded,” or increased their gift over the prior year. Organizations were highly likely to be on track to meet fundraising goals in 2013 if they had renewal rates above 50 percent and/or upgrade rates of 5 percent and above.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) conducts surveys two times a year. The current report and prior reports from the NRC are available at

This survey was conducted online in August and September 2013 about fundraising results from the first half of 2013 compared with 2012 and about annual fund drives. The 945 respondents form a convenience sample. There is no margin of error, as it is not a random sample of the population studied. Reported results are statistically significant using chi-square analysis.

Survey Links Fundraising Results to Annual Campaigns, July 15, 2014, eJP

12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board

Are you a valuable and valued board member for a nonprofit? If not, a graceful resignation and reassignment may be go...

Are you a valuable and valued board member for a nonprofit? If not, a graceful resignation and reassignment may be good for you and the organization.

12 reasons why you should resign from a nonprofit board:

  1. You’re serving on the board more for personal benefit than for public benefit.
  2. You have a material financial interest in a transaction with the organization that would be damaging if known by the public.
  3. The organization’s values or activities are inconsistent with your personal values.
  4. You are unable to support the organization when a board action is taken contrary to your vote.
  5. The organization is not operating consistent with the law and/or its own governing documents or policies despite your efforts to insist on compliance.
  6. You’re not informed about the organization’s current activities and/or mission-oriented results, and you’re not informed about the performance of the organization’s executive.
  7. You don’t review the organization’s financials on a regular basis.
  8. You’re missing a significant number of board meetings and therefore unable to actively participate in governance-related planning, deliberations, and actions.
  9. You’re not contributing resources (money, time, connections, or other valuable assets) to the organization apart from the time to show up at meetings.
  10. You don’t spend significant amounts of time thinking hard about whether the organization is effective at advancing its mission and how the organization could be more effective at advancing its mission.
  11. Your conduct at board meetings is viewed by the majority of other board members as disruptive, and you’re unable to work collaboratively with the other board members in a productive manner.
  12. You intervene/interfere with the executive’s management of the organization by personally directing the executive and/or staff and falsely asserting rank (because a board member has no individual authority and no inherent rank in the organizational hierarchy as an individual).

If you’re unable to meet your fiduciary duties of care and loyalty to act with reasonable care in good faith in the best interests of the organization, you’re failing to meet your legal responsibilities. While personal liability may be extremely rare for volunteer directors of nonprofits (absent some kind of intentional wrongdoing, fraud, self-dealing, or unpaid taxes), you’re also putting yourself at greater risk, including from claims that may not be protected by your organization’s D&O insurance. Further, your failure to meet your duties may be holding back the organization from better advancing its charitable mission and serving its intended beneficiaries. you’re able to meet your fiduciary duties but the majority of the board is not, and such deficiency results in an organization with serious compliance issues and values that don’t align with yours, you may also be putting yourself at greater risk. In such case, you may need to balance your duty to still meet your individual legal duties with your obligation to do what’s best for the organization and your interest in protecting your personal interests from possible legal and/or reputational harm.

12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board, July 10, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Gene Takagi

4 Simple Ways to Leverage the Power of Twitter for Your Nonprofit

Did you know that Twitter is currently home to approximately 230 million active users who send over 500 million tweet...

Did you know that Twitter is currently home to approximately 230 million active users who send over 500 million tweets per day? Did you also know that many nonprofit organizations, such as the American Red Cross, have used Twitter as a tool to execute successful fundraising campaigns and build relationships with their community?

Used strategically, Twitter can help you bond with supporters, raise awareness for your cause, and promote fundraising campaigns. Despite this fact, many small nonprofits fail to take the time to implement a Twitter strategy that drives results. Luckily, by using the following four steps as a guide, you can make sure that your organization does not fall into this group.

1. Maximize your presence. Before you begin to think about implementing a strategy, you need to create or complete your Twitter account. Create a Twitter handle that is easy to spell and allows people to easily identify your organization. Beyond your account name, pay attention to the basics, especially the inclusion and accuracy of pertinent profile information. Use a profile and header image that positively represents your organization and its cause, ensure your bio communicates your organization’s purpose, and include the location of your organization as well as a direct URL to your website. Merely taking the time to do this will help others find and connect with you.

2. Design your strategy. Once you have optimized your profile, design a strategy that will allow you to engage and connect with members of your community and your target audience.

· Define your purpose and set goals. Do you want to raise awareness for your organization’s mission? Do you want to use Twitter as a way to promote your fundraising campaigns? Do you desire to build relationships with existing supporters? Decide what’s most important to you and build your social strategy around that.

Set specific targets that will allow you to accomplish your core marketing goals. For example, if you want to increase awareness about your cause, create a hashtag to share with your followers. Then, track the number of mentions, retweets, and favorites you receive in a given time period, as well as the number of times your unique hashtag is used. Remember, your goals should be easy to measure so that you can track your progress and improve your results over time.

· Build your network. Building a network of the right followers is crucial to implementing a successful strategy. Start by following business partners, advocates, experts in your issue area, and existing volunteers and members. Additionally, you can use social media tools such as Topsy to identify influencers associated with your organization. This will help you to showcase your expertise and spread the word about your cause!

· Do your research. Although Twitter is not rocket science, you do have to know the basics. Familiarize yourself with the five different types of interactions and incorporate them into your daily tactics.

The Tweet. A message from a Twitter user, may not exceed 140 characters in length.
The Retweet (RT). A re-posting of another user’s tweet that appears on your Twitter timeline.
The @reply. A public update that contains your response and the hyperlinked username of the person to whom you are replying.
The Direct Message. A private message you can send to your followers.
The Mention. Any tweet containing a username within the tweet, including the @reply.

In addition, take the time to master the art of the hashtag (#). Put simply, when you use a hashtag in front of a word or phrase within your tweet, your tweet will show up in any search results for that term. Use your Twitter sidebar, or tools including Google Alerts, Social Mention, Radian6, Trackur and Twitter’s search tool, to identify which hashtags are trending at any given point in time.

· Develop quality content. With only 140 characters to engage your followers, saying everything you want in one tweet can be a challenge. Keep your tweets creative and appealing by asking questions, providing statistics, and including images, videos and links. Always be sure to reply to those who mention you.

3. Integrate Twitter with your existing marketing efforts. To maximize your reach and audience engagement, your Twitter efforts should complement existing marketing initiatives. Don’t forget to add a Twitter button to your website, embed a live feed on your website and blog, and link to your other social accounts, such as Instagram.

4. Measure your results and calibrate your plan. As you execute your strategy, you must measure and track your performance over time to ensure that you are reaching your goals, but to also ensure that you are constantly experimenting and making changes to improve performance whenever necessary. Use social media monitoring tools such as Klout, Twitter Analytics, Demographics Pro, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite to help you manage your nonprofit’s Twitter account. Explore each of the options and choose one that provides the features that will best allow you to track the progress of your goals.

By taking the time to correctly set up your profile, design a strategy, integrate your Twitter with existing marketing efforts, and measure and monitor your results, your organization will start to leverage the power of this popular social site. Remember to use these steps as a guide, but never be afraid to experiment and see what tactics best engage your nonprofit’s target audience. Most importantly, take advantage of this tool as a cost effective way build relationships and fundraise for your cause.

4 Simple Ways to Leverage the Power of Twitter for Your Nonprofit, July 10, 2014, Network For Good, by DJ Muller