Part 1 of 2
The origin of the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” is most often attributed to the haberdashery trade where “…in order to be more accurate than the rough-and-ready measuring of a yard of material by holding it out along an arm’s length, cloth was measured between brass tacks which were set into a shop’s counter.”* This technique allowed for more accurate measurement and a much more efficient process in custom hat-making.
As we come to the end of 2016, we’re taking a look back at the posts that inspired the most conversations on the blog and with our clients. Today’s topic? Asking for a Gift.
Changing a board’s philanthropic culture is a big challenge. Convincing board members to become true ambassadors, as well as campaigners, for your organization doesn’t happen overnight, but is one of the best legacies you can leave. Cultural change takes time and consistent effort. Too often, we think of this as a one meeting announcement to our board and boom! We’re done.
If you know me, you know this is my favorite time of the year: FOOTBALL SEASON! Football is a game with four quarters. The fourth quarter can be a critical time in not only the game being played, but also sets the tone for future games yet to be played.
Our board just isn’t a fundraising board.
We hear that feedback from nonprofit leaders – both staff and volunteer – nearly every day. Whether it’s said with regret or with frustration, nonprofits, schools and churches are clearly puzzled as to why their board seems disengaged or focused on less-important minutiae.
Every non-profit leader is familiar with the feeling: somewhere, about half-way through the campaign, you hit a dip. It happens every year, but I’m always amused at how unexpected this seems to everyone.
Being a fundraising volunteer isn’t easy. One of the main reasons why is that it is so personal. It’s you, connecting with your peers, possibly even your friends or family, to ask them to be generous towards a cause you believe in. For even the most passionate volunteer, the experience can be a little nerve-wracking.
Recently, someone I know received an annual campaign appeal from an organization that he has had a long and deep relationship with. His family has made major gifts to the organization, and they’ve made the organization a planned giving beneficiary. In this particular appeal, he and his wife were misidentified with an incorrect first name and salutation. At the same time, three other letters, with different names but listing his address, also appeared at his door.