The way you handle acknowledgement of donations and other donor communications may be pushing people away who really care about your cause. Here are five questions posed by the article How to Turn a Donor Into a Stranger:
- Do you know their names, and is that reality reflected in your communication with them?
- Do you know what their interests and passions are?
- Do you know their communication preferences?
- Are they thanked within 24 hours of receiving their gifts?
- Are you sincerely interested in and nurturing what they want to do with their money vs. what you want to do with it?
If you answered “no,” you may be turning donors off by making them feel less a “partner in a cause” vs. a “source of cash.”
For more ideas on how to improve donor relationships, join us at the Donor Relations Roundtable on Nov. 22. You can also find some Creative and Low-Cost Ways to Thank Donors in this podcast episode of Fundraising Fundamentals.
Although the article 20 Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits from the consulting staff at Fieldstone Alliance is several years old, it provides some ideas that your nonprofit may be able to use during disaster recovery.
The 20 ideas fall into the following categories:
- Cash Flow Management
- Contributed Income
- Earned Income
- Debt Financing
- Existing Assets
Review the chart of ideas. Let us know if you have other ideas!
During a disaster like we’ve just experienced, it is easy to see the needs of nonprofit relief agencies. And those needs are huge. However, regardless of their association to disaster relief, all of the nonprofit organizations in the Estes Valley are feeling the effects of the 2013 flood.
Many nonprofits are small businesses and have been affected just like the for-profit organizations in our town. Some had direct damage from the water and most, if not all, are seeing indirect financial implications. They have had to cancel fundraising events or prematurely end campaigns, close facilities/shops for the season earlier than normal and have experienced a loss of tourist generated revenue. Some are receiving more requests for unfunded services and others are experiencing an increase in costs due to extended travel. Boards and staff are also anxious about the future of their fundraising efforts. With more immediate disaster relief needs competing for dollars and longstanding individual and business donors dealing with their own flood recovery, it is easy to see that new and alternate funding sources will need to be found.
The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center (EPNRC) is here to support the nonprofits in our community during this time of recovery. Research is being conducted on available resources and approaches taken in other communities that have dealt with major natural disasters. Two October programs will be dedicated to providing information on nonprofit recovery: Oct. 18 – Nonprofit Finances Roundtable and Oct. 24 – Nonprofit Recovery Resources. Information will also be available on the EPNRC website (www.epnonprofit.org) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/epnonprofit).
Current Resources for Nonprofit Organizations:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program – If you were unable to attend the Monday, Sept. 30, informational meeting, you are encouraged to visit www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit or go to the Disaster Assistance Center located in the Estes Valley Library.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – The SBA can provide private nonprofits with physical and economic injury disaster loans. The application deadline for physical disaster loans is Nov. 14, 2013 and economic injury disaster loans is June 16, 2014.
- Community Foundation of Northern Colorado – Three flood relief funds have been established to support the intermediate and long-term needs of local nonprofit agencies and governmental entities. Individual donations are currently being matched by the Bohemian Foundation. Information about applying for assistance will be shared when available.
- Volunteer Clearinghouse – Call 970-577-3975 or email email@example.com to request assistance. We will match volunteers to your needs.
If your nonprofit has specific needs or information to pass-on, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, we encourage you to support your favorite local nonprofits in any way you can!
Photo by Diamond Photo Gallery
Just like the businesses in our community, the nonprofits serving the Estes Valley have been adversely affected by the flood of 2013.
Some had direct damage from the water but most are seeing financial implications such as needing to cancel their annual fundraising events, receiving higher than normal requests for services and seeing longstanding donors unable to help because they are dealing with their own flood recovery.
In this 2005 article, Fundraising After Natural Disasters and Crises: Internet Strategies for Non-Relief Nonprofits, three approaches are discussed that may be worth taking a look at now:
- Continue to communicate and link the event to your mission
- Conduct a micro-campaign if involved in some aspect of supporting relief efforts
- Be an agent for relief efforts with your out-of-town supporters
In a more recent article, Communicate NOW on Govt. Shutdown Impact, similar approaches are outlined with samples from nonprofits who have leveraged the government shutdown for their fundraising.
The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center is collecting information to specifically support the nonprofits in our community during this time of recovery. Please let us know if you have specific needs or information to pass-on. Either leave a comment below or send an email to email@example.com.
We are all in this together!
At this time of year, many nonprofits are looking at who they can recruit to fill the positions of board members ending their term. Will any warm body do? Not if you want to ensure your organization thrives!
Here are 10 points to remember as you recruit new board members. You may also want to consult these FAQs on Board Responsibilities and Structures from BoardSource.
One recommendation for strategically approaching board member recruitment is to prepare a board recruitment matrix. It can help organize thoughts around the skill sets that are needed on your board.
Many other board development resources are available from BoardSource, Create the Future and Cause & Effect.
Or how to keep them engaged and coming back? Here are 10 Ways to Make Them Happy.
EPNRC can help you with #6!
Invite your volunteers to our National Philanthropy Day in Estes Park celebration“Enriching Estes With a Giving Heart – Celebrating the mark volunteers and donors make on our community.” The event is on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4-6 pm at the YMCA of the Rockies. We can provide you with printed and electronic invitations to send, or do the mailing for you. Contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-480-7805 to make arrangements.
Another great presentation from Movie Monday! How to use a donor strategy tool and donor archetypes to provide ideas on ways to deepen your relationships with donors.
Do the examples discussed remind you of one of your donors? Hope this thought process helps you connect with them in a more meaningful way!
The article Do Storytelling and Data Have Chemistry in Your Fundraising World? from the Nonprofit Quarterly makes some great points about the importance of including organizational data when you tell your stories, including…
By offering supporting data, organizations demonstrate their capacity to replicate an individual story on a broader level with others in their target audience, whatever it may be. In essence, the data represent the pool of achievability through the specific activity or event that took place: how many more lives the group can touch, polar bears it can save, or dollars in storm damage it can help prevent. Without offering additional numbers or metrics, funders and supporters remind themselves of the old adage for investing: “Past performance is no indication of future success.” Without describing a model for how an outcome was achieved, how will people know that it can be done again?
Have you had success incorporating data in your storytelling to show program/organizational effectiveness beyond the instance being shared?
VolunteerMatch has been collecting ways to recognize volunteers through a LinkedIn discussion and they are up to 96. Here is their list of the top 20.
The EPNRC has several easy ways you can add to your own volunteer recognition efforts!
- Send us your volunteer or donor stories and photos so that we can share them with the entire Estes Valley community. Email them to email@example.com, then be sure to “like” the EPNRC facebook page.
- Nominate an outstanding volunteer for the individual or business philanthropist of the year award. Get more details and download the nomination form.
- Invite your volunteers to our National Philanthropy Day in Estes Park celebration “Enriching Estes With a Giving Heart – Celebrating the mark volunteers and donors make on our community.” The event is on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4-6 pm at the YMCA of the Rockies. We can provide you with printed and electronic invitations to send, or do the mailing for you. Contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
For more details visit our philanthropy day page or facebook event.