Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Remember the movie Jerry McGuire? There's a famous line in it where sports agent Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruz, says to his player client Rod Tidwell, “Help Me Help You.”  This is a guest post by our consultant Dan Bruer - who is a movie buff, and a brilliant fundraising strategist! From Dan:  I think of this movie line often. Especially when I'm working with board members and volunteers wh...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Do board members have an obligation to make personal contributions to their organization? If so, what’s the appropriate amount that board members should give? These two questions can be the topic of rich discussion and even controversy on boards – especially for smaller organizations. Hard-working trustees may say: “We give so much of our time, so we don’t need to give our money. Our time commitme...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • True fundraising success requires help and support from everyone in the organization. Too often board members and the rest of the staff look at fundraising as something that is apart from their own work. Sometimes there an internal distaste for fundraising - and everyone backs off when they should embrace fund development. But, if you really want to see your mission flourish, then it takes all han...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Where exactly does long term fundraising success comes from? Many board members want to know, so that they can guide their organizations to funding success. Here's the answer:  What we are all after in the nonprofit sector is a lovely base of donors who will give generously year after year. Smart fundraising = reliable, sustainable cash flow for your organization. When that happens (hurray!), thes...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  •   “Why do we need a fundraising plan?” board members sometimes ask. “Who has the time or energy to mess around with fundraising planning?" There are actually lots of good, quite practical reasons every board member would want to be sure their organization has a smart, strategic fundraising plan. This post is an excerpt from my video education series for board members: The Board Member’s Guide to...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  •   Major gift fundraising can seem a bit mysterious. Especially to board members, who often imagine unpleasant, awkward face-to-face solicitations. But in reality - that’s actually not what happens at all. Our one-on-one visits with donors are usually informative, productive, and enjoyable for both the donor and the fundraiser. If that's not happening, then we wouldn’t be successful. Good major gi...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Cash flow is frequently an issue for nonprofit boards. Everyone wants to see solid, sustainable cash flow. The kind of funding that your organization can count on year after year. Where does this stream of revenue come from? From a loyal base of donors who keep giving year after year to support your work. How can your nonprofit build up that lovely base of loyal donors? Well, here's the secret: I...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • As a board member, did you ever consider that your fundraising has a significant return on investment? Your fundraising expenses bring in a large profit to your organization. The ROI of investing in fundraising is something that many board members do not often consider.   Why fundraising costs matter. Fundraising costs are not a black hole into which you pour money.  Instead, they’re investments...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • What are the fundraising responsibilities of nonprofit board members? This post outlines Rule #2 in The Board Member's Guide to Fundraising: 10 Rules for Success Every Board Member Must Know Know Your Roles and Responsibilities in Fundraising This is an excerpt from my new fundraising education series for board members. It's designed  just for nonprofit board members -  to help them understand ho...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Some board members think fundraising is "hitting someone up." But fundraising is so very much more than that! Fundraising, in the very largest sense, is all about making the world a better place. People who don't understand fundraising devalue this important work. They lower it down into a base level of begging. They just don't get that the work of fundraising - when done correctly - can be full o...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Are you making fundraising mistakes with board members? Is fundraising something your board members avoid? Hope not! But this IS a perennial challenge for fundraisers and CEOs, too. But board members often are scared to death of fundraising. I don't blame them, because they are not trained or educated about fundraising like we are. Here's a quick video about some of the fundraising mistakes we ma...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • What does it take to get the full board supporting fundraising? Board members are well known for their nervousness about fundraising. I’ve worked with thousands of board members over the years in my retreats and workshops. On the whole, they are smart, well-meaning people who really want to help.  Many are deeply committed and enthusiastic. Here’s what I’ve learned in my experience with board memb...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Upgrading year-end donors can be a challenge - and an opportunity. What to do with your very important major and mid-level donors during your year-end campaign? Today we have a guest post from the very smart Rachel Muir, CFRE - sharing her best tips on upgrading year-end donors. Rachel partnered with me to create the EPIC year-end webinar series. We hosted top fundraising gurus, who shared their ...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Disaster fundraising - when and how should your nonprofit respond? And you need to respond carefully. Communications with donors need to be precise and convey the correct tone. And this goes for all nonprofits. Even if your organization is not directly involved in a disaster response. How should YOUR nonprofit respond when natural disasters, wars, or crises strike? If you are NOT engaged in a disa...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Did you know that phone fundraising really works? Using the phone WILL boost your fundraising! I am in love with a very, very old technology. One that is so very "last century." The phone is something many fundraisers avoid. "It's intrusive," people say. But think twice and consider this: The phone is a hugely effective fundraising tool. It's just so very personal! The video below illustrates how...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Email fundraising appeals are sometimes hard to get right. They are inexpensive, and easy. But do your donors really read your email appeals?  Do they even open them up? How do you create compelling email fundraising appeals that will catch your donors' attention, and generate gifts? Digital fundraising is growing in importance - especially for year-end fundraising 21.7% of all online gifts were ...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Here’s a smart, concise master plan for your year-end campaign. Follow this step-by-step format and you should see amazing fundraising results. Let’s make the most of the “giving season” and just nail your fall fundraising campaign! Here are my suggestions – all wrapped into a well-organized master plan for your year-end campaign!     1. Set Your Goals Ok, so what do you want to accomplish? This ...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • It's year-end fundraising time! Here are my top year-end fundraising tips to help you raise the most money possible this year-end! You probably feel like there are so many possible fundraising strategies to consider. Where should you focus? I'd say be sure to cover these basic top year-end fundraising tips - what every successful year-end campaign should be doing this year.  And every year. 1. Ma...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Are you making year-end fundraising mistakes? Too many organizations are not asking often enough. And when they do ask, they do it poorly. This is happening with far too many nonprofits. Especially smaller organizations – and some large ones too! These poor organizations are simply leaving money on the table. Far too many organizations are sending out too few appeals, with timid letters that make ...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • The first step in a successful year-end fundraising campaign is to warm up your donors by reconnecting with them. Get the ball rolling on the fall fundraising season by first making sure your donors feel happy and connected to you. Thank them, and honor them for their support - well BEFORE you ask them for another gift. This is good manners, anyway, isn't it? :) You want to warm up your donors bef...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • How important is your organization’s infrastructure? Just consider: infrastructure is the fuel that makes everything run. If you are trying to heal the sick, feed the hungry, or help the poor, nothing happens without organization – and that means infrastructure. Nonprofits have a fundamental dilemma: You have one dollar. Are you doing to spend it on your urgent mission? These kids need help right...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Don't we all want "highly committed donors" to our organizations? If you have highly committed donors, what would your donors do for you? Well - they will give and give and give again. What happens when your donors are not highly committed? My crystal ball tells me that they are unlikely to renew their gifts. :( Alas, these donors are your one-night-stand folks. One gift and vamoose - they are gon...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Remember the old saying - What gets measured, gets done? We all know it goes for fundraising too, right? So what do you want to get done in your fundraising program this year? Certain amounts of money raised? Donors renewing their gifts? More major donor visits? Then create the right benchmarks and start tracking. Tracking something gets it done. Tracking something gives you a chance to test out...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • A fundraising assessment. A development office audit. A SWOT of your fundraising program. What are these things? They're the first step to creating a killer fundraising strategy that can unlock your fundraising potential. No kidding. Before you can create a strategy and a plan of execution, you have to step back and assess where you are. This is time to calmly, dispassionately take stock, examine...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  •   There are lots of questions about fundraising strategy we can ask. And asking these questions will open the door to hugely productive discussions. Do you want to raise the kind of money that not only funds your work — but also actually transforms your organization’s mission potential and reach? What would it really take to pull it off? Why do some organizations tackle huge goals, aspire to incr...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Are you having too many fundraising events? Love ‘em’ or hate ‘em, fundraising events are a fact of life for most nonprofits. Here’s the challenge: Fundraising events are our most inefficient way of raising money. In general, when you consider the true cost of events - many fundraising professionals feel they are not worth it. Here’s a well-known chart of “cost per dollar raised” for various fun...

Gail Perry Associates
Gail Perry Associates
Blog Post
  • Is there lots of discussion – even dissention -- about the fundraising strategies your organization uses? Is there an argument about which fundraising tactics you should implement, and which ones you should abandon? Often everyone has an opinion -- whether they know anything about fundraising or not: the CEO, all the board members, program colleagues – and development staffers too. Everyone voice...

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