It's autumn: the other New Year of the year. It's a perfect time to enjoy the cooler weather with a hot cup of pumpkin-something, begin dreading the end-of-year fundraising rush, and figure out what the heck is going on with your work-life. Last week, I was doing just that with a friend who has been working in the … Continue reading What a “job plan” is, and why every nonprofit professional needs one
Call them scrappy. Call them lean. Call them understaffed, committed, or quirky—small nonprofits have their own special set of joys and challenges that set them apart from their larger cousins. They can be exhilarating to work for, and they can drain you of every ounce of your time and energy if you let them. I … Continue reading Working at a Small Nonprofit: Pros and Cons
Anger. Disappointment. Rejection. These, for reasons I probably don't have to explain, are emotions we're not typically fond of handling when we see them in our inbox. But, no matter where you work, you'll have to deal with handling complaints via email from time to time. At nonprofits, these dreaded emails have their own special flavors and circumstances. When you … Continue reading How to Handle Complaints via Email
Last week, I received a fundraising appeal from a local nonprofit that I'd never heard of. I skimmed through the letter. It was an organization that ran arts and performance programs for youth in underserved communities. It sounded nice. I pulled out the next piece - it was a card with a drawing of a flower on the … Continue reading Why feelings matter in fundraising
I was on a fact-finding campaign this year. I wanted to put facts and data on our website, in our appeals, in our emails. Who can resist numbers? Using numbers in fundraising appeals to demonstrate need is a wildly common tactic. The logic behind using statistics seems sound: we'll show people the severity of the situation, and they'll be motivated to … Continue reading Don’t let data rain on your fundraising message
I'm not a natural question asker. I come from a talkative family, and I've spent most of my adult life assuming that if someone wants to say something, they will say it. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized this was even a problem. Does this sound familiar? As it turns out, a … Continue reading Why do nonprofit professionals need to be more curious?
"How do you get used to asking people for money all the time?" This question came up last weekend while I was sitting on an alumni panel for prospective nonprofit workers. It's a question I hear often. Many young and emerging nonprofit professionals, including myself, have eschewed development work due to a fear of asking for money. … Continue reading Overcoming our Fear of Fundraising – Intro
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