Expanded Focus on Faith Communities

By Susan Ross. Listening to the inspiring words of the Most Reverend Michael Curry on Saturday at the Royal Wedding reminded the world (or at least the two billion of us who watched) that there is power in love to help, heal, lift up, liberate, and show us the way to live. At moss+ross, we believe the work we do with our nonprofit partners helps to extend this power of love to neighbors throughout our communities. During the past decade, Mary and I have grown the firm to include 18 associates, enabling us to respond rapidly and effectively to our partners. To our original core business of campaign management and fundraising counsel, we have added capacity in executive search, strategic planning, data management, research, and other important areas. Today we announce an expanded focus on faith communities, knowing [...]

Fundraising and Faith Communities

By Wes Brown. Faith institutions require financial support for leadership, facilities, education, and mission outreach. Yet, many congregants insist that their giving is “between me and God,” and often the pastor or other spiritual leader does not know who gives how much—a very different situation from that of most nonprofits or educational institutions. Fundraising is necessary but often uncomfortable and difficult. Most non-profits employ staff specifically to manage fundraising efforts, but this is generally not the case for faith communities. While faith leaders know and love their people well, they are seldom experienced in managing campaigns, addressing family financial matters or discussing planned giving options. Members enlisted as campaign volunteers are reluctant, without good training, to approach fellow congregants about generous giving for fear of crossing personal boundaries. And there can be incorrect or inflated assumptions about the [...]

Who Are Your People? Find out in eight easy steps.

By Mary Moss. When growing up, this was one of the most often heard questions coming from the generations above.  I can remember not having a good answer for it.  I didn’t have “people” that I thought were description-worthy.  Frankly, I had no idea who “my people” were:  they were just a sister, grandparents and some distant cousins, so why did people keep asking me “who were my people”?  A few times I answered “Criminals who came over from Ireland” to much laughter.  As it turns out, once I got older and more comfortable with this question, I realized that those asking just wanted to know more about me; the question was not meant to be intrusive but a friendly colloquialism that invited conversation and connection.  In a nostalgic moment now and then, I wish I knew my [...]

Six Questions to Consider in Hiring a Nonprofit Consultant

By Kate Hearne. 1. Do we need a consultant? Look at your strategic plan or annual fundraising plan. What are your goals and how do you plan to move the needle toward those goals? Will you just work longer and harder? Maybe. Or maybe some of those goals would benefit from the outside perspective, strategy, and accountability that a consultant can bring. 2. How can a consultant help?  If you are meeting your fundraising and operational goals, a consultant can help you reach goals above and beyond the day-to-day responsibilities like a capital campaign or launching a major gifts program. If you’re not reaching your targets, a consultant can recommend new strategies and give an unbiased assessment of how you can strengthen your program. The benefit of a consultant is the additional support, creative thinking and extensive experience that will add value to [...]

Communicating the Message by Susan Ross

I am a communicator as well as a fundraiser – two very important aspects of our profession. Telling stories of how the work you do changes people’s lives, and how your donors’ gifts make a difference, helps your fundraising. Once you have painted a picture of what could happen if donors invest with you, the solicitation part is much easier (and more likely to be successful). My father was a career public relations professional.  One of his favorite definitions of the field was: DO A GOOD JOB AND GET CREDIT FOR IT.  That is sound advice for those of us trying to effect change in our corner of the world. As a proud graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, I take very seriously the fundamentals of good communications: clear messaging, accuracy, audience awareness, and correct grammar. moss+ross has always included communications in our development and [...]

Three Steps to Great Messaging by Jeanne Murray

Your organization communicates purpose and inspires support through your messaging. While a good starting point is crafting a great mission statement, the day-in/day-out communication of your organization’s message doesn’t end with a declaration of mission. Continual messaging conveys the impact, energy, and needs of your organization – and, importantly, supports your development efforts. How do you know good messaging from the kind that needs improvement? Good messaging communicates value, encourages consistency, and identifies clear action. Good messaging communicates value. Messaging that communicates value is less about what you do, and more about what gets done with donor support. Words and images that bring impact to life tell donors that your organization is a worthy investment of time, money, and attention. Do your communications identify a donor’s role in achieving the mission? For example, I’m on the board of a Durham [...]

Are your major donors ready? by Elizabeth Hopkins

Fundraising is all about relationships.  Whether a donor makes a $25 gift to your cause or a philanthropist makes a $1 million gift, the relationship you established helped motivate the gift. As you prepare for a campaign, nothing is more important than to build and solidify your relationship with each major gift prospect. Consistent, intentional stewardship and engagement between your organization and the donor are core components of a solid relationship. Personal stewardship ensures that the donor has a positive giving experience and feeds back into the cultivation phase of the new fundraising cycle. A major gift donor who receives good stewardship is likely to become even more involved with your organization and give again when asked. Major gift donors must receive regular, targeted communication and be aware of your social media channels so they are informed about your work. [...]

Do you have a campaign plan? by Brooke Jenkins

Here are seven key components of a campaign plan: Objectives – What you typically want out of a campaign are objectives like the following:  to raise a specific financial goal; to broaden awareness of your organization’s mission and impact; to develop the organization’s prospect base by attracting new donors and strengthening current donors’ support; and, ultimately, to complement and strengthen your annual operating/programmatic fundraising efforts. The Case for Support – Consider your audience, timing, content, and channels when communicating your organization’s urgent and compelling needs. You will use this messaging verbally and in written materials. Leadership Structure – Actively engaged staff and volunteers are essential! The plan should define structure and roles for everyone who will be directly involved, including administrators, development officers, board members and other campaign volunteers. Prospect Review – You must take a hard look at your [...]

2020-02-21T17:57:16+00:00October 27th, 2016|All Posts, Campaign Counsel, Team Expertise|

Do you need a case statement? by Jeanne Murray

Whether it is quick-printed or a beautiful glossy piece, you need to make a solid case to your audience. The most important reason to have a case statement is to help donors understand how they can make a difference by participating in your campaign. The case statement describes the need and the opportunity, and answers the question, "why now?". It assures donors you have thought through specific program goals and financial considerations, and describes the vision for a better future when you reach the campaign goal together. moss+ross Associate Jeanne Murray A recent client example is Durham Nativity School's “Building the Dream” Campaign, which helped renovate a wonderful building gifted to this school for 5th-8th grade boys. The case described a campaign vision of “classrooms equipped for the needs of young men, stability in our community, and investment [...]

Does everyone agree the timing is right for a campaign?

Faced with an historic building in need of crucial maintenance, Duke Memorial United Methodist Church followed our favorite piece of advice when it used its strategic plan as the foundation for campaign planning. In launching a needs-based campaign, the first step was hiring moss+ross to conduct a feasibility study to understand how best to approach the maintenance needs and other possible campaign elements. moss+ross Associate Erica Hill Through personal interviews and online surveys, moss+ross was able to vet proposed campaign priorities and get a clear picture of what the congregation wanted to fund and how much could be raised. Armed with this data, the organization's staff and volunteer leaders were able to move forward with a campaign knowing that the priorities and goal were the right ones.

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