Drakes Bay Fundraising
A Next Generation Fundraising Company

Archive for October, 2011

Take Action by November 3

Posted by Christopher Dann
Monday October 31, 2011
Categories: Fundraising, Take Action
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The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – the so-called Super Committee – is mandated to wrap up its work before Thanksgiving.  The future of tax deductibility of charitable contributions is on the table, and the time for you to express your organization’s position is now. We are advised to urge you to do by this coming Thursday.

As we wrote a couple months ago, there has been a lot of knee-jerk reacting to the notion of changing, reducing, or eliminating the charitable tax deduction.  But when all is said, it strikes us as patently foolish to leave the matter to this Congressional committee acting as they are under horrendous time and political pressure. We don’t even want them casting a dye for future, more reasoned deliberations.

The easiest and most forceful thing you can do is sign on to the letter offered at this site: http://www.givevoice.org/letter. Check out the company you’ll be keeping – those organizations who have already signed on – and then join them.

Nonprofit Employees as Donors

Posted by Christopher Dann
Thursday October 27, 2011
Categories: Fundraising
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Whether or not to ask employees to support one’s organization has been a delicate matter for nonprofit managers and fundraisers to negotiate. So fundraising among employees is undertaken very well by some nonprofits, very badly by a few, and not at all by most.

Now, a new investment opportunity for 403(b) (and 401(k)) plans and participants offers employees opportunity to do good while doing well and their managers a relatively painless way to suggest supporting the organizations employing them.

The Davlin Philanthropic Fund  (www.DavlinFunds.org) donates one third of its 1.50% fee and 100% of the fund manager’s profits to charities with guidance from fund investors.

Founder Bill Davlin envisioned The Davlin Philanthropic Fund as an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to get additional support from members or donors.  While that is likely its principal destiny, we immediately saw great value in the Fund as a choice of investments of nonprofit employee retirement funds…volunteers as well.

Drakes Bay Fundraising has no stake in Davlin Funds.  We just think The Davlin Philanthropic Fund is a very good idea for nonprofit managers to consider.

Bill Davlin would welcome your inquiries. Please contact him via his website www.DavlinFunds.org.

The First Precaution of Intelligent Tinkering…

Posted by Christopher Dann
Wednesday October 26, 2011
Categories: Fundraising
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…naturalist Aldo Leopold wrote in his essay on ecology, “The Round River,” is to keep every cog and wheel.

More blunt but just as profound is the carpenter’s axiom: measure twice and cut once.

We are in a time of much tinkering with fundraising programs and budget cutting without measuring. Such times are when bad mistakes of long lasting consequence are made.

The cause of almost all mistakes is that tinkering and budget cutting are done at tactical levels, and far too many managers don’t know or understand the connections between matters of tactics and strategy. They see cogs and wheels without understanding how they work with one another to move than hands of a watch and allow its owner to tell time reliably.

New donor or member acquisition campaigns are always the most vulnerable. It’s perfectly okay to reduce investment in new donor acquisition provided one has calculated the consequence of having a smaller donor base in the years ahead. Or, to use the common analogy, it’s perfectly okay to take out a second mortgage if one knows how it is going to be paid down.

More insidious is budget cutting and tinkering with the tactics of donor retention and value development, the campaigns that keep donors active and engage them more deeply and valuably.. The worst time to do that is precisely when managers most want to, when response and revenue are down not because of fundraising practices but because of the economy and bottoming consumer confidence.

Fundraising is the husbandry of relationships that affect the voluntary giving of money. We are well advised to tinker and cut with great care.

Next Generation Fundraising and Drakes Bay Fundraising merged in the fall of 2013, bringing the longstanding professional acquaintances of their four principals – Tim Oleary, Carol Leister, Cindy Germain, and Christopher Dann – into a single company and combining the special resources and experiences of each to provide clients greater breadth and depth of service.

For more information about Next Generation Fundraising, click here.