Tag: community

Your 2022 development plan

This post shares ideas that can be used for both nonprofits and for-profit organizations. It focuses on development/fundraising, and many of the ideas can be incorporated to a business plan.

First things first. If you haven’t created a development plan yet for 2022, begin work on it today. It’s as simple as creating a document titled “2022 Development Plan”. The key in starting now is that you’ve started the process.

In my mind, a development plan, or fundraising plan, is a road map for how we will fundraise this year, who participates in it, what are our goals, what are our challenges, and what we need to accomplish the goals. I’ve seen plans that are dozens of pages long with small type and ones that are simple Power point documents that are specific ideas and goals. Choose which one best suits you and your organization.

Keep your plan positive. Keep in mind you want a plan that can be accomplished with your current capacity. Keep your plan realistic with the goals. For example, if you raised $50,000 from individuals in 2021 and your 2022 development plan is to raise $500,000 there is an issue, unless you already have committed donations close to that amount.

I like to break down my plan to revenue-generating categories: individual giving, corporate, civic/faith, and institutional (foundations) are some for a good start. Some organizations like to have specific line items for board giving and major gifts. Others may have some type of income, which I would keep out of a development plan. If you have special events, there are different ways to have that in the plan. The two most common are to have that revenue separated out completely, or (#2), have event revenue within the other categories based on the category that generates the revenue.

Be sure to have a part of your plan that includes who is participating in what. This can be super helpful, especially when presenting to groups, like your board.

Every revenue area comes with a fundraising goal. Like I mentioned earlier, keep it realistic. I’ve seen many nonprofits toss a ridiculous amount into individual giving because they had to add revenue, with no reality in that amount. If you know your annual fundraising event will be different because of , say COVID, keep that in mind when creating your goals. I fully encourage thought-out growth and positive thinking, just keep it realistic.

What are items, events, people, situations that can possibly keep you from reaching your goals? I usually create a one-pager listing these.

Lastly, consider all of your ideas you have, and others have offered, to reach the fundraising goal of each revenue category. This becomes your check-off list. For example, under individual giving you may have the following: expressions of gratitude, impact sharing, phone calls, one-on-one meetings, video calls with the director or a program manger, increased direct mail, increased e-appeals. This list can go on and on. I’m sure you get the idea.

I realize this all may seem over-simplified. For me, it’s not. A development plan does not have to difficult or complicated. After all, this document is your plan for the year, the plan you will use to be successful.

Thank you for reading!

Supporting our nonprofit community

I’ve already written a post about our upcoming Nonprofit Jobs Summit, and this one is part reminder and part “let’s strengthen our nonprofit community”.

In trying to be creative of what value we could bring to the nonprofit community while wanting to create a conversation on Clubhouse, Alex Simon and I landed on the Nonprofit Jobs Summit. At first the data that 7% of our nonprofit peers had lost their job in the last year was a big enough reason. Then we created our own poll which showed 80% of those we are connected with on LinkedIn actually know a nonprofit peer in a job search.

We also realized that in the last few months we’ve both seen an increase in nonprofits looking for staff, especially in the development/fundraising arena, which is our home.

Since we announced the summit and began promoting it, I’ve been surprised by all of the conversations and connections that have happened, some ongoing. Part of me feels like the summit has already been successful. I certainly have met many peers since we started talking about this, and have also learned of awesome nonprofits that are finding value in platforms that promote their open positions.

I’m also happy that Heather Campbell with ThinkingAhead Executive Search, Erika Pinheiro with Al Otro Lado and Vu Le with Nonprofit AF will be joining us to share about hiring, job descriptions, and the diversity of positions in the nonprofit world.

Now I find us in the week of the summit and I am ecstatic. We may have ten guests join, possibly 20. My hope is we make a few connections, evn if it’s on the level of connections I’ve made since planning this in which I know more peers and know of more nonprofits doing work I love.

If you’re interested n joining, here are a couple of actions you can take that would help us:

If you’re seeking a position and know you want to join us on the 10th, connect with me (@danhanley) or Alex (@dalexsimon) on Clubhouse. That way you can see the link at the bottom of our profiles for the summit. We’ll also be able to “ping” you upon starting the room as a reminder. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn where we’ll have updates and reminders all week.

If you’re looking to fill positions, we’d love to make sure we get you “on stage” so please let one of us know ahead of time. We’ll have a list.

Lastly, for everyone, please have your Clubhouse profile updated with links to Twitter and or Instagram. That’s makes connecting for everyone easier.

Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Thursday, June 10th

2:00pm EST/11am PST

Clubhouse, in The Nonprofit Club club.

Thank you! I hope to see you there!

Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Updated June 3, 2021.

This post is to let you know of an idea that has become the upcoming Nonprofit Jobs Summit on Clubhouse (In the “The Nonprofit Club” club), hosted by myself and Alex Simon. We decided to do this because we know many in our nonprofit world have lost their jobs and we want to connect as many people with nonprofits as possible. It’s a small action and hopefully with just promoting the event and then having people attend and connect, we may be able to help those in search of employment. That would be awesome!

The summit will be June 10th at 11am PST/2pm EST. It will go an hour and a half or so and consist of a few presenters about nonprofit hiring and then will be open for people looking for a nonprofit position and nonprofits wanting to promote open positions. Each person and nonprofit will have a minute or two to share what they’re looking for.

The presenters are Vu Le with Nonprofit AF, Heather Campbell with Thinking Ahead Executive Search and Erika Pinheiro with Al Otro Lado. They’ll share about experiences in hiring and what nonprofits and candidates can do to strengthen their chances of being chosen. Then we’ll invite people “up to the stage” (Clubhouse speak) to take a minute to say what they are looking for as far as a position or what type of positions they have open. After the event we’ll share contact information via a blog post here.

Those looking for a nonprofit job: Please have your Clubhouse profile updated with a way to connect, and a Twitter and/or Instagram link.

Nonprofits looking to hire: Connect with Alex or I before the event and we will make sure you have time to present your open position(s).

The nonprofit community is wonderful. I have always felt so supported here, and love being a part of it. This is a chance for us to build community and support those looking for work. I look forward to seeing you there.

Questions? Email me at dan@altrui.org We’ll be sharing a link on social media soon. Alex’s Twitter is @dalexsimon and mine is @fundraiserdan. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Since the first days of Altrui, we have offered a “dollar a minute” call to ensure any nonprofit professional, no matter their nonprofit size or budget, could use our services. Since then we have met met nonprofit professionals from all of the country and even abroad.

The best thing about this call is that it’s sixty minutes of what the client needs. This could be me mostly listening or 60 minutes of pure strategy. By the end of the call the client feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

What possibly could happen in an hour? Well, most of the time the person on the other end has intense feeling happening around work, budget, giving, staff, mission and anything else you can think of. They are overwhelmed and are sharing urgencies sometimes for the first time. They feel alone.

In every call there is a feeling of relief. Just have an honest conversation about revenue and expenses, about donor giving (or not!), about board issues. Many of these challenges seem to go away by simply talking through them. The power of challenges definitely lessens.

There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. If your mission was important and your impact was clear before this pandemic, then all of that is still true.

You’re not alone. Sometimes just having an honest conversation about where we’re at, what is urgent, what we’re afraid of, and where we go from here can make us stronger and more focused.

Thank you for reading!

Just laid off?

It’s been several years. Our nonprofit was in financial trouble and for leadership lay offs were the answer. I was on the list. My boss was kind, honored my time there, and offered me the day to gather my things.

I wasn’t surprised. I had seen the writing on the wall and had begun to prepare.

I had a lot going for me. I am married so there was still an income. I had vacation time and with a little severance pay I left the office that day with enough to get me by for a month or so.

The biggest thing I had, which is really what made the whole process of being laid off and being unemployed so much easier, was my community. An example of this is that on the same day I was laid off I posted on Facebook that I had been laid off, that I now had free time, and that I would love to have coffee, breakfast or lunch with people. The caveat was that whoever invited me would have to pay.

By the end of the day, just hours after I posted, I had 68 invitations. Soon, people began leaving gifts of coffee and coffee house gift cards on our porch (I’m a big coffee guy and the gift cards helped me work from local coffee houses and get out of the house).

By day two the reality had set in. I forgot to mention that the first day I applied for unemployment. By the second day I had my resume ready to go. I had a couple of friends look at it and made edits based on their feedback. I sent an email to close friends in the nonprofit world and began checking employment websites. I updated my LinkedIn account and switched the recruiter option to let recruiters know I was now looking. By the end of day two I had spent ten hours beginning my search. I began day three by being dressed and ready for the day just as if I were going to work.

I had to look at money and see where I could save and what I could cut.

Honest conversations with close friends and those in my professional circle helped. I highly recommend that. Communicating your job search to your entire network is important.

I was laid off on a Thursday and began phone interviews on Monday. I fortunately was offered a job three weeks later and after five weeks of being unemployed began my new position.

It’s not easy. There are a lot of feelings that hit someone when being laid off. The biggest action for me was to reach out for support. I had this amazing community of friends and peers who were right there for me. Reaching out made a big difference, and I highly recommend it. Let everyone know what you’re looking for and for those close to you let them know how they can help.

I hope this is helpful. If I can help let me know. My email is dan@altrui.org I’m happy to be one of those who supports you while you find your next adventure. I can be especially helpful if you’re in the nonprofit world as that’s my world.

You definitely do not have to be on this journey alone.

Thanks for reading.

Don’t stop communicating

Communication isn’t always so easy these days.

Many nonprofits are rocking it. They have made adjustments, figured out how to fundraise without their big events that they’ve had to cancel, and most importantly, their communications keep going and going.

When I bring up communications I am referring mainly to communications from you to your donors. Although it’s also important to maintain communication with your staff, your supervisor, and stakeholders, it’s vital to keep the communications going with your donors. I believe in a time like now that we cannot over-communicate with our donors, especially if we keep the importance of our relationship with them in mind.

There are some simple ways to keep communication flowing with your donors. Simple meaning simple, not necessarily quick!

First, pick up the phone. Call your donors. I know, you spoke with them just before the holidays. Call them anyway. Remember to make the conversation about them. How are they?

Let donors know how your organization has had to change. Give them some examples of success.

Share your challenges, both from the head of fundraising perspective and from what your heads of programs would say.

Send email blasts that include all of this. Invite donors to call you.

Make sure your website is current in regards to giving. Make sure the correct contact information is there.

Do not over-communicate your ask when using your social media platforms. It’s easy to do and many are doing it. Temper your ask with lots of program updates. successes and challenges.

When looking back at this time you’ll be super grateful that you continually took time to communicate with your donors.

Thank you for reading!

My first Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day is an annual day of giving that was created to increase philanthropic giving in the state. I am super-biased towards this day, and those at the Community First Foundation who created it and continue to rock it. Since 2010 Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $217 million for Colorado nonprofits.

In 2010 I was the Director of Development at Boulder County AIDS Project. I decided I wanted to do something big for Colorado Gives Day, and with my team and the staff we created a 24 hours of giving campaign. For 24 hours I would be out and about in the community asking people to give to BCAP.

There was no precedent for this and Colorado Gives Day was brand new. I had no idea how this would work. I jumped in with all of the excitement that is typical for me when it comes to fundraising and by one minute past midnight of the first Colorado Gives Day I was all set.

It started at a small gay bar in Denver, JR’s. I had used social media to let people know I would be kicking off our efforts there, and was grateful to see friends show up on a work night. Friends like Drew Wilson with Mile High Gay Guy who had also spread the word. I had my laptop and started taking donations. At closing time I headed to a well-known 24-hour diner in Denver , The Denver Diner, and during orders of hash browns and a lot of coffee talked to dozens of people about BCAP and Colorado Gives Day. The after-bar crowd and then super early morning crowd were so kind and receptive to what I was doing. I left with more donations and all of my food and coffee paid for.

I then headed up to Boulder to catch the early coffee crowd in North Boulder. By 8am I was settled in a Pearl Street coffee house, The Cup, which was going to be my base for the day. The owners welcomed me with open arms and totally supported our efforts that day. Meanwhile we had hung a huge (and I mean huge) banner on the BCAP house letting folks know about our goal to raise $30,000 in one day.

The support was mind-blowing. And heartwarming. Everywhere I went I ran into people who loved BCAP, who didn’t know about BCAP, who thought I was crazy for wanting to be up for 24 hours, but mostly who wanted to support in a way that worked for them. That usually meant making a donation or buying me a coffee.

As is the case for exciting moments, the day went by fast. We ended the day with two live bands playing for us at the Boulder Draft House in downtown Boulder and celebrated with staff, clients, and other supporters. I’ll never forget being approached by a BCAP client with a group of their friends and sitting next to me while we entered a donation for a $1,000. That was a huge donation for us.

By midnight I was wiped out, and ecstatic that in 24 hours our small HIV/AIDS org had raised $23,000! It took a community, a crazy idea, and people will to work towards a crazy idea even if they thought there was no way it would work. I’ll forever be grateful for everyone who supported us that day. And just in case you were wondering, I stopped counting at 15 cups of coffee!

I continue to be grateful for all of those who create fun events around Colorado Gives Day. My ideas continued as I moved on, and another 24 – hour event was created while I was Director of Development and Public Relations at Urban Peak in Denver, when we “Walked the Block” for 24 hours to signify all of the walking youth experiencing homelessness do. At midnight of the start of Colorado Gives Day my CEO met me at St. John’s Cathedral where we were holding the walk and we started the 24 hours! By the end of that day, five years ago, hundreds had joined us to walk and had donated. A group of elementary kids brought us pizza for lunch and Denver’s mayor swung by with some staff members to walk the block a few times.

Happy Colorado Gives Day! This year it’s December 10th. You can donate to hundreds of Colorado organizations like Boulder County AIDS Project and Urban Peak here: https://www.coloradogives.org/COGIVESDAY

Thank you for reading!

Boulder County AIDS Project: https://www.bcap.org/

Urban Peak: https://www.urbanpeak.org/

Boulder Daily Camera article about BCAP and first CO Gives Day: https://www.dailycamera.com/2010/12/03/first-ever-colorado-gives-day-24-hours-to-make-a-difference/

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