Tag Archives: No more excuses

#GivingTuesday Update – Development is Not Just Fundraising

#GivingTuesday UpdateOn #GivingTuesday I received 20+ solicitations.

On Wednesday, the following day, I received only 2 #GivingTuesday updates.

Only 2 organizations thought I would care about the results?

Here is a list of excuses I have heard from friends, clients, colleagues, and nonprofits around the world as to why they did not send an email letting donors know how much they raised from something like #GivingTuesday or an event:

  • We only reached 70% of our goal (let me know that and why this effort was important- maybe I will still give)
  • I don’t think anyone would notice if we did or didn’t send a #GivingTuesday update (wrong attitude)
  • We are busy writing our end-of-year letter and that has to be the priority (if #GivingTuesday is not important enough to do well, don’t do it)
  • It didn’t occur to us to do that. (that is no longer a good excuse)
  • We don’t really know exactly how much we raised yet (not confidence boosting)
  • _____your excuse here______

While I admit that I do notice details like follow up because of professional curiosity, I also take note because it shows me which organizations understand development is not just fundraising.

Please, please, please keep in mind:

  1. Development is a year-round process that includes asking, acknowledging, thanking, and stewarding donors.
  2. You should not send out a solicitation until you know how you will acknowledge donations, thank donors 7+ times and whether or not you will follow up with non-respondents.
  3. Number 2 includes online and social media solicitations. Basic development rules still apply.
  4. 7+ ways to thank a donor can include an email to everyone with an update
  5. Development is not brain surgery. In fact, most of it is common sense with a bit of creativity to make it applicable to your nonprofit. Sometimes you are not doing it because you just don’t know that it should be done, but if you have read this far, you now know. Follow up with a #GivingTuesday update (it’s not too late!). Follow up for everything. People can hit delete and they can unsubscribe, but the people who care about you won’t. The people who left you were not going to give to you anyway so let them go and focus on your real prospects and donors.

If you want to learn how Mersky, Jaffe & Associates can improve your development plan and stewardship ideas, email me

Maybe I can start a #GivingTuesdayUpdate as a trend for next year.

Want to read more about #GivingTuesday Results? The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great article about the amounts raised.

Lessons to Transform The Case For Giving Into a Case For Asking – That Can Be Learned From A Reusable Grocery Bag

Do you have a culture of giving? Or should I ask, do you have a culture of asking? While nonprofits want givers, few people want to be askers.  And that is often the sticking point.

Common excuses include:

I heart your nonprofit“We don’t have those kind of big-money donors in our community”

“That’s too much to ask for from our donors.”

“We aren’t the type of organization that raises a lot from our members.”

“Our community is unique. We can’t ask people like other nonprofits can in other places.”

“The people around here only give small amounts to organizations like ours.”

Now, here are some facts:

  1. There are donors on your list that donate large amounts – just to other organizations who ask them for it.
  2. Raising the same amount of money year after year is, in reality, raising less money each year.
  3. These excuses are your way of saying no for your donor. People are perfectly capable of saying no for themselves.
  4. You are not the only small city with one social services agency, one synagogue or one _____.  And many raise money.
  5. You may know the people who have been large public donors for years, but that does not mean you know all of your community’s donors.

How do you change transform your nonprofit’s case for giving into a case for asking?

This is where the reusable bags come in.  Remember when people thought it was way too much hassle to carry around reusable bags? We would have to invest $10+ for each bag that turned itself into a small ball.  It just felt like a lot of work.  And, as often as not, we got to the checkout and realized they were left by the back door.

Now? Watch the registers at a local Trader Joes you will see every shape and size of reusable bags. If someone needs paper bags, it often comes with an apology for leaving their bags at home. The culture has shifted.

It took time, but change happened.  The same can happen at your organization.

Create a case for giving.  Every staff member and volunteer leaders should be able to articulate why you are a place that deserves funding. And, that includes what the money will be used for and how each gift will make an impact.  Use the case as an excuse to engage donors and prospects and get their feedback. And take their feedback to heart.

The goal is to transform the case for giving into a case for asking.  And asking for more is the only way you will raise more money.

Let us know if we can help you transform your nonprofit’s culture into one of asking and giving by emailing me today.