All in Growth

Speaking about your programs in a way donors want to invest in them

Have you ever been blown away by an off-the-wall question from a donor or board member? You know, the one that makes you wonder if they even know what your organization does?

I hear this often.

On the flip-side, one of my favorite things about my business is that I get to regularly meet with leaders of nonprofits all over the world and hear about the amazing journeys their missions have taken them on. These organizations are solving problems I didn’t even know existed.

Creating a Nonprofit Budget that Propels Your Fundraising

Do you have a background in finance? Me neither.

One of the most important things she taught me was that financial management is not only about the accuracy of the numbers but also about using those numbers to discover trends that will inform your business decisions. Your numbers tell a story about your organization – and when you understand how to read your numbers you can run a better business.

I love volunteers . . . I really do!

I love volunteers - when I started in nonprofit years ago I was that volunteer working a 50-hour-a-week corporate job who went home and worked another “full-time job” by volunteering for a nonprofit. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it - but I was super passionate about the mission (and single at the time!). Better yet, there were probably 10-15 other core volunteers working alongside the team - their energy really catapulted the mission and organization through those initial sticky start-up processes and early years.

But, once the organization was fully up and running with a few full-time staff members, I found it increasingly harder to use volunteers. There were timing issues, not-quite-the best-fit issues, and areas where well-meaning volunteers lacked expertise. I struggled with this - aren’t nonprofits built off the backs of volunteers?

Nonprofit Form 990: Friend or Foe?

When I started in nonprofit years ago I had no idea what a Form 990 was - all those numbers and check-boxes seemed like a lot of painful information for someone to fill out. Frankly, I didn’t understand what most of it meant. I’ve put off filing because of “more important” business and have admittedly filed a few extension myself.

But that was before I understood the importance of this little gem of a document.

You’re on a mission. When running a nonprofit feels more like running a business.

You are a subject-matter expert. You can do these programs in your sleep.

Honestly, this is one of the most inspiring parts of my job! I get to teach and coach you, who are an absolute industry-expert, how to grow your nonprofit to support your mission. I’m lucky enough to be the student at times - learning about a problem in the world and how you are solving it! As fun as it is for me to be able to come alongside and support you as you grow your organization, this is often a stress point for many Executive Directors.

Quick-fix fundraising? It’s time to invest your energy elsewhere.

The ways, means, and methods you can fundraise in 2019 are endless, aren’t they?

We have it all.

The campaigns and peer activism are creative and never-ending: give-your-birthday, Mother’s day, grow a beard, have a garage sale, bake sale, run a really long distance, create art and give proceeds, host a dinner party, host an “un-event” where nobody comes, organize a board-game night, plan a casino night, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, and eating contests (oh my!)...and then we must not forget the ice-bucket challenge.