Category: Dear Kim

How Can We Prepare Our Team for Donor Calls?

Dear Kim, Our organization has recently started asking staff and board to host fundraising phone banks in their local areas for our fundraising campaigns. Most of the time people are leaving messages, and the donors we do get on the phone range from not wanting to talk much to wanting to hear a lot about […]

Welcoming New Donors

Dear Kim, We’re a small group with limited staff and resources, but we know that properly welcoming new donors to our organization and thanking them for their gift will greatly increase the chances of them giving again. What do you recommend including in donor welcome packets that is not too labor or resource intensive?  ~Small […]

Spending Money to Raise Money

Dear Kim, You’ve often said, “You have to spend money to raise money.” But how much is enough? What’s the ideal ratio of fundraising expenses to income?  ~Bang for the Buck Dear Bucky, I feel there is something in human nature that wants these kinds of benchmarks so we have something to measure ourselves against. […]

Why Do We Need a Gift Acceptance Policy?

Dear Kim, A colleague is working with you on a capital campaign and she says you have insisted that the organization create a “Gift Acceptance Policy.” I brought this to our board of directors and they said it should just be “We accept all gifts.” We all laughed. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but […]

When Can We Ask Monthly Donors for Special One-Time Gifts (and to Upgrade)?

Our organization has been having discussions about whether and how we can approach monthly donors, particularly those who are already giving $100+ per month, to discuss an extra single gift or an increased monthly gift. We are looking to develop a protocol about this so our development team has some guidance. Do you have any advice?

What Are “DAFs”?

Dear Kim, I am an inexperienced board member for a small tutoring program. We had a guest speaker on fundraising that someone arranged for us and he went on and on about DAFs and how we should find donors with DAFs. Each of us on the board thought the others knew what he was talking […]

Board Member Paying Staff Person Extra

Dear Kim,   I chair the board of a small religious organization.  Each employee has to raise a certain amount toward their salary and this amount is set by the board, as are the salaries. Recently it came to my attention that one employee is receiving additional support from a board member who provides a […]

Finding the Time for Grassroots Fundraising

Dear Kim, I have tried to follow the advice in the Grassroots Fundraising Journal and from you, Andy Robinson, Stephanie Roth, and other grassroots fundraising experts. What you all say makes sense. Having said that, I hope you don’t find my question rude: where do you find the time to really implement all this advice? […]

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.

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 […]