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Board Building Done Right

Posted By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen, CFRE, Philanthropic Partners, Monday, May 7, 2018

From job descriptions to strategic recruiting to ongoing training, board development is critical to your nonprofit. Your board should be your biggest advocates, and if it’s an all-volunteer organization, your board serves as your core staff.

So how do you go about getting the right board members to help your organization meet its strategic objectives?

Job Descriptions. This is key. A job description allows you and potential board members to be on the same page on expectations from both sides. BoardSource and The Bridgespan Group have great templates that you can customize to fit your organization.

Conduct a Board Audit. To recruit strategically, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses of your current board. Are you missing a key demographic group? Do you have board members with critical expertise like financial management? This AFP white paper can be a good guiding document in assessing your current board.

Get Rid of Dead Weight. I have seen new board members come onto a board with new energy and ideas to only be shut down and shut out by board members that no longer helpful to the organization. They are creating a toxic environment. Those new board members also see other members that don’t contribute (financially, meeting attendance, engagement, etc.), which enforces the idea that they don’t have to contribute either. Clean up your board before you bring on new members.

Have an Honest Conversation. Board recruitment is sort of like dating. You should go out to coffee or lunch with a prospective board member and get to know them. What are they passionate about? How much do they know about your organization? Lay out the expectations of board members. Be honest about the opportunities that your organization has to grow/improve. Don’t play Old Maid with your board by which I mean don’t hide your “Old Maid” (your major challenge(s) – financial troubles, decreasing program quality, etc.) until the unsuspecting member joins. It’s not professional and people won’t stick with your organization if they feel roped into this without full knowledge.

Orientation and Ongoing Training. All board members should go through orientation. This can be as long or formal as your organization needs. National Council of Nonprofits has a sample agenda. BoardSource has additional resources. But don’t leave your board members to find their own way throughout their term. Continue giving them training and resources to help them do their jobs better!

 

Do you need help build a fundraising board? Are your board members afraid to fundraise? Let's talk.

Tags:  board  Board of Directors  boards  fund development  fundraising 

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Fundraising Workshop: Nonprofit Fundraising 101 - with special LANO member discount

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

April Fundraising Workshop:


Nonprofit Fundraising 101

 

Thursday, April 13

1:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Ashe Cultural Arts Center

1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

 

Details and registration

 

Every nonprofit needs to know the options for how it will raise money. This workshop will give you the essential background you need in order to understand how you'll keep your work well-funded.

Participants will learn:

  • Where nonprofits get their funding.

  • Why your nonprofit might choose to prioritize fundraising from grants, individual donors, events, and other sources.

  • What it means to make your funding sustainable.

  • The difference between restricted and unrestricted funding.

  • The Donor Cultivation Cycle- the framework for identifying and building relationships with your donors and funders.


This workshop is ideal for both for those new to the fundraising and nonprofit world and for those with some experience in fund development.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

Registration $40. LANO members using the discount code LANO2017 receive 15% off! Discounts also available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.


For questions or to reserve your seat and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com. For more on workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  discount  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  Finance Fundamentals  fund development  fund raising  funding  funding sources  Fundraising  funds  grantwriting  LANO Network  member benefit  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  nonprofits  non-profits  online fundraising  social fundraising  sustainability  training  workshop 

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Fundraising Workshop: Building Strong Donor Relationships- with special LANO member discount

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, January 27, 2017

February Fundraising Workshop:

Building Strong Donor Relationships

Thursday, February 9

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Ashe Cultural Arts Center

1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

Details and registration

 
Build and strengthen relationships that will sustain your nonprofit!


Did you know that getting donors to give to your nonprofit is not just about what you say when you are asking for a gift, but what you are doing when you are NOT asking?

This workshop will give you best practices and practical tools to get your donors excited to give to you.  Having great donor relationships means that you raise more money, with less stress and less work.

 

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.


Participants will learn:

  • The Donor Cultivation Cycle- a simple way to think about the process of identifying prospects, building great relationships, and asking donors to give in the right way.
  • The right balance of asking and not asking.
  • What to do with your donors who have the capacity to give the most.

Registration $40.  LANO members using the discount code LANO2017 receive 15% off!  Discounts also available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.


For questions or to reserve your seat and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com.  For more on workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  donor management  donor retention  events  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  Fundraising  funds  grant  grant writing  grants  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  social fundraising  sustainability  training  Volunteer  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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15% Off for LANO Members! Nonprofit Workshop: Creating a Powerful Fundraising Plan

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, January 6, 2017

January Nonprofit Workshop:

Creating a Powerful Fundraising Plan

Thursday, January 19

1:30-4:30 p.m.

Ashe Cultural Arts Center

1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

Details and Registration

LANO Members Use Code LANO2017 for 15% Off!

 

 

Start the new year right with a powerful fundraising plan!

 

What would happen at your organization if you never had to worry about your funding?  If you knew how much you needed to raise, and how you were going to raise it?

This workshop will help you make that a reality.  You'll learn ways to assess your resources, to set fundraising goals, and to create a calendar that will keep you on track.  Participants will receive tools they can take back to their organizations and put to work immediately.   

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

Click to register

Registration $40.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members and organizations registering two or more people.

For questions, to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your seat and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com.  To learn more about workshops and other services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  Fundraising  funds  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  leadership  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  social fundraising  social media  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Fundraising Workshop: Major Donor Development 101

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Monday, September 19, 2016

Fundraising Workshop:
Major Donor Development 101

Tuesday, October 11
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans
Details and registration
 

 

Asking someone for a large donation can make a huge difference for your nonprofit!

 

Our October workshop covers the basics of major donor development: how to identify your donors, ways to build strong relationships with prospects, and what to say (and not say!) when asking for a major gift. 

 

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation after completing the workshop.

 

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members and organizations registering two or more people.

 

Email info@thefundingseed.com to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door.  For more on workshops or other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  Fundraising  funds  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  social fundraising  sustainability  training  workshop 

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Year-End Fundraising Boot Camp for Small Nonprofits

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, September 16, 2016

Year-End Fundraising Boot Camp for Small Nonprofits
Offered 100% online! 
October 3-21
Registration $149; Group discounts also available
Course details and registration

 About the Course

The end of the year is the time of greatest giving to nonprofits.  Small organizations face unique challenges- and also have unique opportunities!- when it comes to year-end fundraising campaigns.  This course will offer you practical advice and tools to make yours a success!

Each Monday for three weeks, you'll receive easy-to-follow training videos and worksheets to help you organize and execute your fundraising campaign.  Over the course of the week, as you review those materials, you'll have the opportunity to submit questions to clarify specific points and dig in deeper on the topics most relevant to your organization.  Then, each Friday, an interactive webinar will provide the format to address these questions and get ideas from others taking the course.

Course Curriculum:

  • Week 1 (October 3-7): Year-End Giving Basics, Individual Donors 101, and Fundraising Campaign Overview
  • Week 2 (October 10-14): Language and Stories That Get Your Donors Giving and Donor Development Deep Dive: Identifying and Cultivating Your Donors
  • Week 3 (October 17-21): Donor Development Deep Dive: Asking and Stewarding Your Donors

This course is open to all and is ideal for small organizations- those that have budgets of $1 million or less and/or that have between zero and three development staff- that are fundraising in the U.S.A., and for individuals or nonprofits that are running their first fundraising campaign.

About the Presenter
Nora Ellertsen is founder of The Funding Seed, a New Orleans-based company that teaches people how to raise money for nonprofit groups. In the ten years she worked in the nonprofit and fundraising field, she helped to raise nearly one million dollars through grassroots fundraising, grant writing, event planning and major donor development. Since founding The Funding Seed in 2010, she has worked with over 50 nonprofit agencies to help them develop the resources they need to do their work.

For questions or to inquire about group discount rates, email info@thefundingseed.com or call (504) 307-7220.  For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  Fundraising  funds  grant writing  louisiana  Member Event  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  social fundraising  sustainability  training  workshop  workshop. grants 

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This Fall's Nonprofit Fundraising Workshops

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Looking to create more sustainability at your nonprofit or further develop your own fundraising skills?

 

This fall's fundraising workshops from The Funding Seed can help!


All three hour workshops are $40 per person and offer practical tools that you can put to work immediately.  Discounts are also available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.  Workshops are held at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans.


Grantwriting for Beginners

Tuesday, September 13

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Details and registration

 

Major Donor Development 101

Tuesday, October 11

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Details and registration

 

Quick Year-End Fundraising 

Tuesday, November 8

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Details and registration

 

Grantwriting for Beginners

Tuesday, December 13

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Details and registration


For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.  For questions or to inquire about workshop discount codes, email info@thefundingseed.com.

 

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  foundations  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  Fundraising  funds  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  leadership  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  social fundraising  social media  sustainability  training  Volunteer  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Nonprofit workshop: Intermediate Grantwriting

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Monday, May 16, 2016

June nonprofit workshop:

Intermediate Grantwriting
Tuesday, June 7
9:00am-12:00pm
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans
Details and registration at www.thefundingseed.com

  

So you've written a few grants and feel like you've got the basics down.  
Are you ready to take your grantwriting to the next level?

 

Intermediate Grantwriting will help you improve your grant proposals and raise more money for your nonprofit.   Through this workshop, you'll learn specific ways to make your proposal more appealing to a funder, including how to make a compelling case to someone unfamiliar with your nonprofit's work and what kind of research and data to include.

 

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

 

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.


For discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com.  For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.


June nonprofit workshop:

Intermediate Grantwriting
Tuesday, June 7
9:00am-12:00pm
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

So you've written a few grants and feel like you've got the basics down.  
Are you ready to take your grantwriting to the next level?

Intermediate Grantwriting will help you improve your grant proposals and raise more money for your nonprofit.   Through this workshop, you'll learn specific ways to make your proposal more appealing to a funder, including how to make a compelling case to someone unfamiliar with your nonprofit's work and what kind of research and data to include.

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visitwww.thefundingseed.com.

June nonprofit workshop:

Intermediate Grantwriting
Tuesday, June 7
9:00am-12:00pm
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

So you've written a few grants and feel like you've got the basics down.  
Are you ready to take your grantwriting to the next level?

Intermediate Grantwriting will help you improve your grant proposals and raise more money for your nonprofit.   Through this workshop, you'll learn specific ways to make your proposal more appealing to a funder, including how to make a compelling case to someone unfamiliar with your nonprofit's work and what kind of research and data to include.

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visitwww.thefundingseed.com.

June nonprofit workshop:

Intermediate Grantwriting
Tuesday, June 7
9:00am-12:00pm
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

So you've written a few grants and feel like you've got the basics down.  
Are you ready to take your grantwriting to the next level?

Intermediate Grantwriting will help you improve your grant proposals and raise more money for your nonprofit.   Through this workshop, you'll learn specific ways to make your proposal more appealing to a funder, including how to make a compelling case to someone unfamiliar with your nonprofit's work and what kind of research and data to include.

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visitwww.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  Fundraising  funds  grant  grant writing  grantwriting  leadership  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Your top questions about the Fundraising Intensive Program, ANSWERED!

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Thursday, April 28, 2016
Have you been wondering whether the Fundraising Intensive Program is right for you?
Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.


 

1. What is the Fundraising Intensive Program?
The Fundraising Intensive Program is a eight month training program that combines group learning and individual coaching to help bring your nonprofit's fund development to the next level.

During the program, participants meet once a month for a discussion on a shared topic and receive tools and homework assignments related to that topic.  Following this, participants also receive a 90-minute individual coaching session and 30-minute follow-up phone call each month to help them to apply that topic to their own unique organization.  
 
There are two goals of the program: to help your organization to raise immediate funds, and to help you develop lasting skills and habits that allow you to raise more money for the long haul.
 
Course Curriculum:
June- Creating your Fundraising Plan
July- Telling your Story
August- Individual Donors
September- Fundraising Letters and Emails
October- Review month
November- Fundraising Events: House Parties
December- Major Donor Development
January- Staying on Track

Program description and application
2. Why do you have both group and individual sessions?
Combining group and individual learning means that participants can learn from each other in a safe, trusting environment while also getting support from a professional to trouble-shoot issues specific to their own organization. 

Program description and application

 

 

3. What are the sessions like?
The group sessions are discussion-based; there is no PowerPoint and no lecture.  Program members largely work together in small groups, doing practice exercises, reviewing case studies, and sharing lessons learned from personal experience.

The individual sessions allow program members to receive guidance and support implementing ideas from the group sessions at their own unique organizations.  The focus is on making monthly homework assignments meaningful and productive and on monitoring progress towards the goals each participant has created in their personal fundraising plan.

Program description and application
 
4. Why do you make us do homework?  I thought I was done with school!
The Fundraising Intensive Program uses the saying, "Use it or lose it."  It's not just learning about fundraising theoretically; it's about actually making real change in your nonprofit's fund development program.  The homework assignments are all practical and designed to help you truly ingrain the skills we discuss into your own actions and habits.

In addition, the program is designed to help you raise money as you go.  For example, in the month dedicated to fundraising letters and emails, the homework is to write and send a fundraising letter and email.  This means that, if you do your homework, you are actually raising money while the program is happening.

Program description and application
  

 

5. I've already been to a bunch of The Funding Seed's workshops, and it seems like a lot of the topics you cover in this program are the same.  What would I get out of the Fundraising Intensive Program that I wouldn't get from the regular workshop series?
About half of the people who have participated in The Fundraising Intensive Program's first three graduating classes have participated in one or more of The Funding Seed's regular workshops.

The Fundraising Intensive Program provides an entirely different way to learn.  Because participants receive a special individual coaching session every month, you have the opportunity to take the ideas and tools from the group session and work with a professional to help you implement them.  This added accountability means you are more likely to actually do the things you need to do to make real progress.

In addition, because the same participants meet every month, you become a part of a genuine learning community, a group of people who are comfortable sharing ideas and experiences to help everyone fundraise better.

Program description and application

 

 

6. This seems pretty expensive.  Can I justify spending the money for this program?

The Fundraising Intensive Program is an investment, both in terms of time and money.  However, the $250 per month tuition (a second member from the same organization may also participate at a 50% discount) covers more than 40 hours of group and individual coaching, which is significantly less than the cost of similar coaching outside the structure of the program.  In addition, remember that part of the intention of the program is that you will be actively working to raise funds as you go, not just spending money for something you may not ever get around to doing.

Program description and application
 
7. I'm not in New Orleans.  Can I still apply?

You don't have to be based in New Orleans to apply for this program.  However, please be aware that the sessions take place in New Orleans, so you must be able to travel to your sessions every month.

 

Program description and application

 

 

8. Bottom line: Why should I consider doing this program?
If you are ready to make a real leap forward for your nonprofit's fund development efforts, The Fundraising Intensive Program is for you.  Every nonprofit needs to know how to raise money.  Whether you're an Executive Director, development staff,  a board member, a program manager or a volunteer, having the skills to fundraise successfully and sustainably makes you an asset to your organization, and allows your nonprofit to serve your community even more effectively, making the world an even better place for the future.

Have more questions? Email info@thefundingseed.com or call (504) 307-7220.
Or you can read the full program description and apply today!


For more on workshops and other services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  foundations  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  funds  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  How-To  leadership  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  setting goals  social fundraising  social media  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Nonprofit Workshop: Fundraising Events 101

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, April 22, 2016

May nonprofit fundraising workshop:

Fundraising Events 101
Tuesday, May 10
9:00am-12:00pm
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

Details and registration


Learn to create events that raise money
for your non-profit!  

 

This fun, hands-on workshop covers:

* choosing what kind of event is best for you

* working with volunteers

* identifying event sponsors

* and much more!


Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

 

Click to register 


Discounts available for students, for AmeriCorps members and for organizations registering two or more people.


For discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com.
To learn more about workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com.

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donors  events  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  Fundraising  funds  leadership  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop 

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