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The heart and soul of remarkable fundraising

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join a Corona Insights webcast with consultant Kimberley Sherwood of Third Sector Group, Inc. Sherwood discussed the importance of heartfelt engagement in your fundraising efforts. One of the realities of this approach is the nonprofit executive director/CEO is the keeper of the mission's heart and soul, says Sherwood. In other words, if you're the organization's leader, it's your ... Read more at the Page to Practice blog.

Don't forget! LANO members can download Page to Practice book summaries from our CausePlanet library for free during 2012 thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. Visit www.causeplanet.org/lano for download instructions.

Tags:  CausePlanet  fundraising  Fundraising and the Next Generation  Page to Practice 

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Leveraging the next generation of donors

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Thursday, May 24, 2012

Join us for our author interview with Emily Davis on June 14 at 1 p.m. CST. "Fundraising and the Next Generation: Tools for Engaging the Next Generation of Philanthropists” is Davis' new book that will have you re-examining your prospect profiles.

Millennials represent the biggest population since Boomers and will benefit from the largest transfer of wealth in history. Davis' research illustrates how these active young philanthropists are engaging their peers in support of great causes and promise to be a transformational influence for fundraisers.

Bring your questions for Davis to the interview or submit them when you register. We look forward to touching on the book's highlights through your questions:

 

• Gain insight into the motivations and opinions of "next-gen” donors to help expand your fundraising focus.
• Explore how your organization can better use the next generation of volunteers to support your mission.
• Ask hard questions and integrate strategies that better serve your organization's mission for long-term sustainability.
• Find out how to engage your staff and volunteers in conversations about fundraising across generations.

REGISTER AT THE PAGE TO PRACTICE BLOG

Don't forget! LANO members can download Page to Practice book summaries of this book and others from our CausePlanet library for free during 2012 thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. Visit www.causeplanet.org/lano for download instructions.

Tags:  CausePlanet  Davis  fundraising  Page to Practice 

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Using Facebook as an advocacy tool

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, May 16, 2012

While it's natural to assume that social media has permeated all aspects of business, nothing rivals face-to-face meetings in grassroots advocacy, says "The One-Hour Activist” author Christopher Kush. I caught up with Kush in our interview and asked about the popularity of email and other social media. He cited one client in particular that used Facebook to generate interest in face-to-face advocacy events. Here's the excerpt:

 

CausePlanet: In Part Two, you present several helpful sections on writing an effective letter or email to your legislator so it gets read and circulated versus simply counted. Additionally, you cover skillful phone calls. Since the book was published, have communication preferences changed at all with the prevalence of email? (All coming in second to face-to-face, of course.)...

Read more and click here to register for our next author interview with advocacy expert, Christopher Kush, on Thursday, May 17 at 11 a.m. CST.

Don't forget, LANO Members: You can download free Page to Practice book summaries at CausePlanet during 2012 thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana. Start with "The One-Hour Activist" - Click here for download instructions.

Tags:  advocacy  CausePlanet  Christopher Kush  Page to Practice 

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Eight must-know grassroots concepts

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Tuesday, May 8, 2012

For every position there is an opposition. It's what makes our democracy work. If you lead a nonprofit organization, there's no doubt an issue or candidate can influence how effectively you raise money or advocate for systemic change. Some even argue an investment in advocacy is an "upstream solution” and preferable to isolated direct service downstream.

The One-Hour Activist: The 15 Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues and Candidates You Care About presents a nonpartisan, thorough checklist of tactical best practices for engaging in advocacy on behalf of issues and candidates you care about.

Author Christopher Kush has distilled the essential activities that will help you understand how your letter, email or request for a face-to-face meeting with your lawmaker can be heard above the noise. He covers nuances in relating to your elected officials, leveraging the ...

Read more and click here to register for our next author interview with advocacy expert, Christopher Kush, on Thursday, May 17 at 11 a.m. CST.

Don't forget, LANO Members:

You can download free Page to Practice book summaries at CausePlanet during 2012 thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana. Start with The One-Hour Activist - Click here for download instructions.

Tags:  advocacy  CausePlanet  civic engagement  Page to Practice  public policy 

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Is your sense of urgency working for or against you?

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Due to the overextended and under-resourced nature of the nonprofit sector, it's easy to look around your organization and misdiagnose your busy staff and hyperactive meeting schedule as having a sense of urgency. A Sense of Urgency author, John Kotter, argues otherwise.

Is your urgency true or false? Organizations that are truly inspiring transformative change don't suffer from endless busy work; the employees have a sense of purpose, an emotional attachment to the aspirational goal and shed low-priority activities in pursuit of meaningful milestones that mark progress. The social sector is a breeding ground for these false diagnoses of urgency, and nonprofit leaders must ... Read more

 

Don't forget: LANO members can download free Page to Practice™ book summaries and register for our popular author interviews at CausePlanet during 2012 thanks to underwriting from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

Click here for book summary download instructions

Click on the "Read more" link above to register for the next author interview.

Tags:  A Sense of Urgency  CausePlanet  change management  John Kotter  leadership  Page to Practice 

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Get better fundraising results from your board

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We've all been there. And if you haven't been there, you've at least heard about someone who's been there. Yesterday, during our live author interview series with board fundraising expert, Kay Sprinkel Grace, we had a nonprofit leader ask, "What recommendations do you have for getting better fundraising results out of your board?”

Most commonly asked

How to get everyone involved in fundraising is the most common question Grace is asked and this author interview was no exception. In fact, Grace has written a book about her answer to this popular inquiry...

Read more for Grace's AAA fundraising program and instructions for downloading a free summary of The Ultimate Board Member's Book at CausePlanet thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

Tags:  boards  CausePlanet  fundraising  Kay Grace  Page to Practice 

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Board fundraising: Everyone plays a role

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When I read Kay Grace's The Ultimate Board Member's Book, I was reminded of some very gratifying as well as excruciating moments in my service as a nonprofit board member. An example of the less than stellar was, you guessed it, board fundraising. I happened to be on the receiving end of the ask as a board member and was excited to make my commitment. I knew it would make for easier solicitations in the community if I could demonstrate that my personal gift had already Read more.

 

LANO MEMBERS & FRIENDS:

Don't forget to register for the next free live

author interview with board fundraising expert Kay Grace

on Tues, April 17 at 11 a.m. CST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER @ The Page to Practice Blog

Tags:  CausePlanet  governance  Kay Grace  Page to Practice 

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Next live author interview topic: Donations follow high performing boards

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, April 4, 2012

According to board member, Chris Boskin, "A U.S. Trust study found that among high net-worth donors–those with $5 million or more in assets–one of the top four determinants of where they contribute money is respect for the organization's leadership.”

Stability, growth and impact: Think of the board members you know and the organizations they serve. Now ask yourself who's raising more money. In the nonprofit world, contributions are king. Donations follow the high performing boards. These boards have core attributes that author Kay Grace underscores in her book, The Ultimate Board Member's Book, below. When these competencies are in place, Grace says there is stability, the opportunity for growth and the potential for impact. In her words...Read more

 

Don't forget to register for our next live author interview with board fundraising expert Kay Grace on Tuesday, April 17 at 11 a.m. CST.

Free Page to Practice book summary for LANO members: You can download a free Page to Practice book summary of The Ultimate Board Member's Book thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana. Click here and follow the log-in instructions.

Tags:  boards  CausePlanet  fundraising  governance  Kay Grace  Page to Practice 

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Bridge the gap between your service and advocacy

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Thursday, March 29, 2012

Heather GrantThis post is the third in a series on advocacy and offers relevant Page to Practice™ book summaries and articles at the end of the first article and second article.

In our monthly virtual book club last week at CausePlanet.org, we had coauthor of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, Heather Grant, participate. One of our attendees said, "Nothing beats actually hearing the author explain his/her insights on a subject.”

I agree.

Start at the beginning. One of the six best practices we spent some time discussing with Grant was first on the list of high-impact nonprofits: bridging the gap between service and advocacy. Several EDs in the group commiserated with one another about how this was a neglected area which needed improvement.

Systemic change requires more. In Forces for Good, Crutchfield and Grant explain that great nonprofits realize that, in order to achieve higher levels of impact, they need to bridge the gap between advocacy and service. They may start out providing great programs, but eventually realize that they cannot make systemic change without also engaging in advocacy. Others start out doing advocacy and then add programs to catalyze their strategy.

Bridge the divide. Providing services helps meet immediate needs, such as feeding the hungry or housing the poor; advocacy helps reform larger systems by changing public behavior or creating governmental solutions. High-impact nonprofits bridge the divide between advocacy and service. Although policy advocacy can be an incredibly powerful tool for creating large-scale social change, many nonprofits shy away from it.

Create a virtuous cycle. Some of the reasons for their hesitation include the fact that advocacy is difficult to manage and requires different organizational skills than those needed to provide direct services. In addition, it is challenging to measure results of advocacy efforts. However, the authors discovered that simultaneously doing both creates a virtuous cycle. Instead of causing the organization to lose focus or lessening its impact, engaging in both service and advocacy can create an impact that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is no surprise, then, that all the organizations in the book have engaged in both.

Here are three ways to bridge the divide...

Read more at the Page to Practice blog.

Tags:  advocacy  CausePlanet  civic engagement  Heather Grant  Page to Practice  public policy 

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In session: Advocacy for the nonprofit leader

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Thursday, March 8, 2012

This article is the first of a series on advocacy and offers relevant Page to Practice™ book summaries and articles at the end of this post.

As many state legislatures are about to convene or already have for 2012, it's a good reminder for those of us who work in the social sector to roll up our advocacy sleeves and engage in the process. My friends at The Bell Policy Center tell me working at this level upstream can save an inordinate amount of time and resources downstream at the direct service level.

For example, The Center worked with a broad coalition of 40 nonprofits to enact a payday lending law in 2010 and preserve it in 2011. These nonprofits provided critical support by enlisting the testimony of their clients who use payday loans. Thanks to the successful collective efforts of this coalition and The Center, they estimate that payday borrowers will save more than $52 million annually in loan charges, which will have a lasting effect on the low-income people served by this coalition and will reduce the demand for services.

Nonprofit organizations are responsible for substantial economic and social impact. Of the 2 million+ organizations in the world, 1.5 million are in the U.S. alone. It's imperative we observe best practices when participating in advocacy and demonstrate exemplary leadership in this arena... Read more 

Tags:  advocacy  CausePlanet  civic engagement  public policy 

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