Category: Dear Kim

The Psychology of Fundraising Goals

Dear Kim, My organization is in the middle of our fall campaign and each staff and board member has committed to reaching individual goals.  I was close to reaching my goal last week and entered some “offline” donations to my fundraising page. Then I remembered that I had just sent out a couple of email […]

Segmenting Lists

Dear Kim, I am about to take the plunge. For years I’ve listened to many fundraisers stress the importance of segmenting your donor lists. For a variety of reasons including laziness, being too busy, and poor software, I have not yet done this. But there are other reasons that I never see anyone mention. I […]

Tooth Fairy Fundraising

Dear Kim, How would a small nonprofit go about securing a major gift of $500,000-1 million? I know it’s not impossible. My organization is almost 30 years old and we haven’t really grown since 1990. I have just started here, but I can already see that half our time is focused on fundraising. We could […]

Spending Money to Raise Money

Dear Kim,  I was hired about a year ago as the development director for a small organization (budget $750,000), which raises most of its money from individuals and fees for service. The executive director told me I could spend $30,000 on a direct mail and social media campaign that included some web redesign. Four months […]

Comping Event Volunteers

Dear Kim,  Our organization is putting on a big event using a great team of about 50 volunteers. The tickets to the event are $100 each and we only have capacity for 400 people. We expect to sell out. Now I am being told the volunteers should get a free ticket, but the problem is […]

Rewarding Good Work with More Work

Dear Kim, I have been a development director for the same organization for five years, and everyone agrees I have done a good job. Every year we have increased the number of donors we have and the income from them; we have more foundation grants and we have a board that, for the most part, […]

Oral Dockets

Dear Kim, Our organization has been asked to present our request for funding in person to a panel of decision makers, along with a number of other organizations. They call it an “Oral Docket.” Have you ever heard of such a thing? We are not very good public speakers and I feel we will be […]

Are Small Gifts a Waste of Time?

Dear Kim, I am writing to you as a donor. I give away 10% of my income every year and support about 25 organizations with donations in the $20-$50 range with a few at $100. I live on social security but I don’t have many expenses so I can do this. But I read recently […]

Accepting “No” & Moving On

Dear Kim, I am the executive director of a small environmental justice organization focused on organizing a community to stand up to a large and highly polluting CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.) We have recently had some victories but need to keep pushing. One of our board members comes from quite a wealthy family and […]

Useful Donor Information

Dear Kim, We have 500 donors, of whom 50 give over $1,000 and another 50 give between $500-999. We do a decent job of keeping in touch with these 100 donors, usually talking to them by phone or visiting the top 20 largest donors at least once a year. I keep all the information on […]