Blog

Giving and Volunteerism by Race and Gender

According to the recent study Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color, by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly School of Philanthropy, race appears to have no significant impact on giving. Interested in learning more?

AFP offers a few additional summary points on race, gender and giving related to this study: https://afpglobal.org/intersection-race-giving-and-gender.

Or if you’d like to peruse the full study, you can find it here: https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/institutes/womens-philanthropy-institute/newest-report/index.html.

Enjoy!

Spring Cleaning – taking inventory of your needs

Regardless of how far we are into spring, let’s talk spring cleaning. With a busy event season, commencement ceremonies, interns and student workers saying goodbye, gearing up for summer programming, or closing out the end of a June fiscal year, your organization may not have thought about spring cleaning yet. And by spring cleaning, I mean reviewing what research profiles you have and determining what you need.

Now is the perfect time, as you prepare for your next __________ (you fill in the blank – we all have different plans and timelines), to take inventory of your donor and prospect profiles.

Wondering how to get started? Take everything in digestible bites:

  • As your board of directors changes, do you have a CURRENT photo and brief bio or research profile on each member? These come in handy during events where you utilize new volunteers, changes in leadership, or in your everyday work of making connections between directors and new prospects you are cultivating.
  • Who are your key players? Maybe you have a top 50-100 donors who are active and critical to your organization. Check to see how current the research or bios are on these folks? This is also a great opportunity to check in with them if you find out some exciting news about one of these donors.
  • Are there prospects or guests visiting the organization? Either in the near future or recently? Even if there hasn’t been a specific request for such information, having a bio or profile ready to go is a great way to stay ahead of the curve.
  • If you recently had an event, maybe you have a short (or not so short) list of individuals for follow up. Take a look to see what information you have available and what needs to be compiled!
  • How long ago was your wealth data updated? While you’re taking inventory of profiles, look at your data as a whole. If you recently had a wealth screening done, great! If not, maybe it’s a good time to consider an update. Whether you have a subscription to do it yourself or you need to send out your data, having current information is critical to your fundraising efforts.

By staying ahead of the game, you are setting yourself and your organization up for success. You may find new or increased assets at which you can raise a flag to add these folks to your pipeline or you may find that someone is no longer a good fit for your portfolio. And of course, you will be prepared for whatever is thrown your way!

After you take inventory, if you find yourself with more profiles to update than hours in the day/week/month, I am always here to help. Whether you need updated wealth data, current profiles, or a system to make sure it runs smoothly in the future, I can be your go-to resource. Reach me at brittany@hillcrestadvancement.com!

How do you adapt to a world of fewer donors?

With a trend of fewer donors (even though they are giving more), how do your organizational, fundraising and communications strategies change and adapt?

Check out this article in Nonprofit Quarterly about this donor trend: In a World of Fewer Donors, What Should Your Organization Do?

“Every organization needs to be selfish to some extent and look to its future and take the steps necessary to have the resources that will be needed year by year. Yet the impact of a changing donor base on the overall nonprofit sector and society overall can be ignored only at great risk.”

How are you growing to suit the needs of your budget and programs while supporting the outcome-driven motives of your donors? I’d love to hear about your tactics and successes! There are so many ways that research and database analysis can help you in the never-ending goal of raising money for your worthy cause. Let’s work together!

What keeps donors from giving?

Whether you’re now in the second quarter of your fiscal year or the final quarter (if you are on an academic year), you may think to yourself “where are all my donors?” You don’t have the end-of-the-calendar-year rush and tax incentives like you do in December.

I loved this blog posted by Classy about The 4 Barriers that Keep Donors from Giving. Even better than just identifying the barriers, it offers some unique solutions to break down those barriers. MAY you enjoy reading this one (pun intended)!

Hiring a Research Consultant

Whether your organization has never before considered the need for prospect research or you have dedicated research staff, there may come a time when you begin to think about hiring someone to help you get a handle on research. Here are a few reasons why you might ready to take the leap.

  • You and your colleagues can no longer handle researching donors and prospects along with soliciting them. Your organization is growing and so must your fundraising plan, goals and budget. Hiring a researcher can free up those precious hours spent mining the database, reviewing background information and discovering connections and allow you the freedom and flexibility to cultivate, solicit and steward your donors (while still having the data and information to back up your asks!).
  • You want to ramp up your foundation and corporate giving relationships. Yes, researchers can also help you find new prospects and connections with foundations and corporations that you would like to target. They can also guide your ask amount and strategy!
  • Your organization is in the middle of a campaign and your researcher took another position! Yes, you plan to rehire for the position; but wouldn’t it be great to keep your momentum going while you search for your new, rock star researcher? A consultant can step in at a moment’s notice and fill in the gaps until you make your hire.
  • Changing leadership in your organization is another critical time to ramp up research. Whether it’s a new president, department head or director, it can be extremely helpful for the newcomer to have background on your trustees and major donors. Hiring a researcher to compile this information for you can get things off to a great start with your new leader.
  • Do you have an important fundraising event or golf tournament on the horizon? Now is the perfect time to enlist the help of a researcher to provide short profiles of your attendees. Wouldn’t it be great to have a list of bios and photos of your attendees to review before your big event?
  • You recently invested in a wealth screening! This is a great first step – but now what? A researcher can help you sort through the mountains of data to show you your best prospects and also complete in-depth research on that group. Think about how much time you will save on analysis!
  • Maybe you’ve considered research from time to time but are unsure where to start? Do you have the right tools and expertise in place? A researcher can help you decide what you need that will fit in your budget and can teach you how to use it! Easy-peasy!
  • You’ve been waiting for just the right moment to start research but never have the time or resources to do it consistently. Take the leap and talk to a researcher. Their work can fit within any budget!

Does your organization fit into any of these scenarios? If so, now is a great time to get the ball rolling! I would love to hear about your plans and goals and help you reach them! Contact me at brittany@hillcrestadvancement.com.