Category: Dear Kim

Deductions: Volunteer Time, Honorariums & Gala Tickets

Dear Kim, Our tiny nonprofit has an accountant who has been doing our bookkeeping for free. I told her she should deduct the value of her time from her taxes and, to my great surprise, she told me that is not legal. Why would that be? She could have made money during that time from […]

Whoops! None of Our Year-end Donors Were Thanked

Dear Kim,

I am the chair of the board of an organization with a big problem. We had a great year-end appeal and a lot of people gave money. As we are getting ready to put together our spring appeal, I have learned that none of them were thanked.

Is the Bottom 98% Giving Less?

Dear Kim, I have been reading a lot about the concentration of wealth and giving among the top 2%. Some articles claim there is a parallel decline in the number and level of people making smaller gifts. What are the implications of this for fundraisers? And do you believe that the bottom 98% of people […]

Small, Local Groups Struggling to Keep Donors

Dear Kim, I work in an arts program that serves very poor public schools in a very poor state. Without us, 2nd -5th graders in public schools in our area would have NO arts program at all. We have no government funding and little foundation funding. We have built a base of donors and we […]

Re-asking In Honor/Memory Donors

Dear Kim, We receive a significant number of donations in honor/memory of individuals. Most are one time donations. Is it proper to add these donors to our ask list? ~Alone with My Memories Dear Memories, You ask a great question for organizations like yours who get a lot of these gifts, but the answer is […]

The Pros and Cons of Engaging Volunteers in Fundraising

Dear Kim, For years I have been told that board members and volunteers need to be trained and enlisted in reaching out, meeting with donors, thanking them and asking for support. I work somewhere that has prioritized that. But all of that comes with the cost of a lot of staff time. Some volunteers aren’t […]

Preparing for the Trump Administration

Dear Kim, How bad are things going to get under President Trump and what can we do to prepare? ~Sick at Heart Dear Heart, First I have to say I am not a psychic. I have no idea how bad things are going to get. For some people, things are already bad. We have not […]

Why Development Directors Leave

Dear Kim, Our development director left suddenly, saying she had found an easier job and could not pass up the opportunity to do good work and not have to work as hard as she had to for us. We have no one to run our year-end campaign. Do you have suggestions for where we can […]

Elections & Year-End Fundraising

Dear Kim, What effect do you think the elections will have on year-end fundraising? I am trying to pick a stance for the board meeting and don’t know whether to go with sanguine or anxious.   ~Seriously, though. Dear Though, This is the first Dear Kim in months that has made me laugh.   Does your decision […]

Pitfalls of Multi-Year Pledges

Dear Kim, I recently started work at an organization that deeply relies on the pledging process, but unfortunately has neglected to cultivate those donors who pledged in the first years of these pledge campaigns. I am now charged with the task of (re)connecting with donors who made pledges over five years but have stopped paying. […]