Focus

By Mary Moss, Partner. Almost every day this month, as emotional headlines about rising Covid cases, the Afghan war departure, and historic weather events scrolled across my screen, I was inspired by the uninterrupted focus that comes from great nonprofit leadership. Featured below are three unstoppable moss+ross clients: Orange Habitat, Healing Transitions, and Trinity Academy. We could have featured many more who are equally focused on doing great work in our communities. The secret sauce of focus includes more than dedication to mission. Here are some tips: (1) make fundraising a weekly top priority (so you do not fall behind); (2) partner with capable volunteer and staff leaders who meet regularly (to infuse ideas and energy and share the work load); and (3) don’t forget the fun (plan agendas that highlight the work of others and recognize [...]

Advancing Equitable Fundraising

By Jeanne Murray. What does it mean to approach fundraising in an equitable way? We see many examples of organizations, foundations, boards, and nonprofit leaders taking action to be more equitable and inclusive in fundraising. Some examples: Collaboration among nonprofits, from advocacy, to grant applications, to mergers Intentionally inclusive fundraising, for example, fundraising events with tiered pricing Partnering with communities for strategic planning and program development Strengths-based framing in storytelling and messaging Stewardship efforts that ask donors and participants “how do you want to be engaged?” In the past year we have all felt the urgency to do better and be better, especially in partnering with communities to achieve results. moss+ross seeks to understand how we as individuals and as a firm can advance this conversation, and continue working with clients to help them promote deeper change. [...]

Welcome Normal Days

By Susan Ross, Partner. I’ve kept a newspaper column for many years called “Learning to be grateful for life’s normal days.” Encouraging us not to overlook their beauty, Donna Britt writes in the Washington Post of their “magnificent mediocrity” and says “those are days worth loving.” Never was that more true than during the 2020-21 pandemic-related upheaval of our normalcy. Nonprofits did what they could. Some hunkered down while others geared up, and most of those who continued fundraising just closed one of their best years ever. Our advice, shared through every Zoom call and e-newsletter over the last year, was not to wait it out but instead to continue to do the hard work of asking people to support the mission. So now as you begin to plan your 2021-22 fiscal year, how do you account [...]

The Five W’s of Development Planning

By Elizabeth Hopkins, Brooke Jenkins, and Lizzy Mottern. The summer months are a good time to refresh and renew our enthusiasm for the important work we do – and to create a Development Plan for the year ahead. The Five W’s of Development Planning will help you focus on the important elements of your plan. Why Plan? A plan provides common understanding of what is being done, who is doing it, and by when. Development plans: Secure resources for your organization Keep donors connected, informed, and feeling appreciated Ensure the development team works efficiently and effectively. When to Plan? For many organizations, the summer marks the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of another, making this an ideal time to assess what worked well last year and plan for the year ahead. Start early and [...]

Invest Now, or Regret Later

By Mary Moss, Partner. The Dow Jones all-time high of 34,811 happened on May 7, 2021. Given the year we have had, I have been astonished at U.S. economic performance amid the disruption of the pandemic, the calls for justice, and political polarization. Yet, experts continue to promote economic optimism this year and in the coming years, some saying that the best is yet to come. Of course, all of that is subject to opinion and evolving data. The economy and philanthropy are partners for life, and when the former does well, so does the latter. In 2020, depending on which report you read, overall giving increased slightly, or increased in some sectors, or decreased. In 2021 so far, we are seeing donors give generously, respond faster with pledges and payments, and volunteer more freely. Every capital campaign moss+ross is supporting is finding success. [...]

Building Great Partnerships

By Susan Ross, Partner. Last month I loved being a volunteer faculty member for AFP’s three-day intensive Fundamentals of Fundraising course. My portion of the training used 46 slides and two hours to reinforce one critical point: “Building and maintaining relationships is at the core of successful fundraising.” What does that mean for you and your nonprofit? Based on a dozen years leading moss+ross and three decades of fundraising for Duke, my experience says that building great working relationships with good people interested in your cause starts with valuing them beyond their gifts. Take time to hear their stories and learn from them. Seek their input and make sure they hear important information directly from you. As you bring them closer to the work you are doing, you may see them invest in a bigger way and become your organization’s biggest [...]

Partnering with Corporations

By Emily Bruce, Senior Associate. Local corporate partnerships are often part of the funding mix for many nonprofits, though typically a small proportion (only 5% of overall philanthropic giving, according to Giving USA.) Developing a win-win partnership that aligns your mission with the philanthropic priorities of a local corporation has benefits for both parties. How do you build a relationship with a company? Begin building relationships within a local company by getting to know its people. 1.     Employee Volunteerism. Local companies invest where their employees are investing their time. Many corporations provide paid hours for their employees to volunteer, and even better, several also provide matching gifts for every hour an employee volunteers. Recent trends also reflect companies’ willingness to provide grants or reimburse nonprofits for the expenses they incur for hosting volunteers. 2.     Community Affairs/Corporate Social Responsibility. Many corporations invest in [...]

2021-03-19T17:41:37+00:00March 19th, 2021|All Posts, Fundraising Counsel, Team Expertise|

Challenging Times Bring Solutions and Hope

By Mary Moss, Partner. It’s 2021. The hope for a bright and shiny new year was dashed with images from January 6th at the U.S Capitol. An already beleaguered nation that is dealing with issues of life and death – the pandemic, racial inequity, and economic insecurity – is struggling to come to terms with how the first week in January affects the rest of this year and beyond. At moss+ross, we hold fast to our mission to support nonprofits in their missions, amid growing crises. Hope lives brightly on the horizon. Working together, through the toughest of times, we will find ways to get there. Phase I-B for vaccine distribution has been announced, and we are better positioned to address open festering wounds in racial justice and democracy. We will be stronger working together on these issues. For [...]

Time to Put it in DRIVE!

By Susan Ross. Now that Election Day has passed, the calendar shows just eight weeks left to hit your year-end goals. Now is the time to get your message out and bring in the gifts you need for your nonprofit. Here is where to start: 1)   Set a goal and get to work. Analyze your data and budget - how much money do you need by 12/31? Look up what you usually raise this time of year. You may have some catching up to do -- you need to get out there and ask. Enlist your colleagues and Board members to help you bring in gifts. 2)   Get your 2020 message right. Last year’s recycled message points just won’t do it. Take the time to uncover and tell new stories that are relevant to donors making a 2020 decision. Donors want [...]

2020-11-11T03:39:41+00:00November 11th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Fundraising Counsel|

To Keep Your Donors, Keep It Clean!

By LisaCaitlin Perri. Database clean-up will help retain your nonprofit’s donors by equipping you with the tools to get those second- and third-time donations through the door. 1. Identify the top 25-50-100 individual donors and prospects, and make sure you have accurate email addresses and phone numbers on their records. 2. Generate the following lists for your development staff, executive director, and board to review. Then, make notes in the database about who is connected to whom so you can improve solicitation assignments for large gifts and maximize stewardship actions like appeal follow-up and thank yous. a.      New donors above a certain giving amount b.     Top donors from the previous year (LYBUNT, or Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year) c.      Top, lapsed donors going back no further than 3-5 years, considering that the average “recapture” rate of lapsed donors [...]

2020-09-09T18:45:07+00:00September 9th, 2020|All Posts, Fundraising Counsel, Team Expertise|
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