Category Archives: Q and A

Q. Our nonprofit holds an annual fundraising gala that raises about $40,000 gross, $25,000 net, towards a $800,000 annual budget. The executive director and some board members feel that this fundraiser is ‘too small’ and ‘not worth our while’; how do we decide whether it is or not, and what then?

A. We are often asked versions of this question. Annual fundraising galas and other similar benefits are wonderful friend-raisers and community builders, but rarely do they find balance on the financial scales when you consider the time and energy that could be spent… [Read more…]

Q: What are the basic rules for maintaining tight and effective messaging? How long should appeal letters be? How often can you quote your group’s mission before it’s over-used? How do you get the average reader to care enough to get involved?

A: There are a lot of questions, but as the answers are relatively short, I will answer them all: What are the basic rules for maintaining tight and effective messaging? How long should appeal letters be? Short, sweet and to the point.  Personally,… [Read more…]

Q. What goes into long-term cultivation of prospective donors over time, when the expected ‘pay-off’ may be far into the future?

A. Long-term cultivation is indeed the ideal path to enhanced relationships and, ultimately, larger donations.  And just as each donation may be independent of others yet part of a larger campaign, each cultivation should be tailored to the individual yet part of an… [Read more…]

Q. What’s so special about the University model of fundraising and fundraising via Friends’ associations?

A. University-based fundraising requires the same planning and diligence as other nonprofits. However, the university model has some amazing advantages. With a continually growing alumni base (read: funding source) who enjoy a shared experience the memory of which becomes better with each passing… [Read more…]