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 to Our New Website!

By Jeanne Murray. moss+ross has served nearly 200 clients, grown to 20+ associates, and offers a suite of services to nonprofits, including temporary staffing through m+r interim solutions. As we begin our second decade, we have launched a robust new website commensurate with the powerful services offered by the firm. Beyond excitedly announcing “hey, look what we did!” we also want to share our process. We used the same approach to our internal project that we do in communications counsel with clients. In our consulting engagements, we advise clients on goal setting, strategic messaging, and integrated communications planning. We followed our own advice as we revised the website: Setting Goals: The impetus for the upgrade was, frankly, modernity! The previous site was seven years old, which is light years in web technology, and as we took a [...]

2020-03-30T21:32:13-04:00March 2nd, 2020|All Posts, Team Expertise|

Making the Most of the Midpoint

By Jeanne Murray. In the fundraising world, beginnings and endings are cause for celebration: from kickoffs and launches, to end-of-year campaigns and recognition ceremonies. Yet significant work must also happen in the middle – whether that’s in mid-fiscal year, or in mid-campaign, as many of our clients are experiencing now. Beware of just muddling through the middle! Take proactive steps that will inspire energy and passion among your volunteers, staff, board, and donors. Rekindle that burst of energy you felt at the outset of your year or campaign with these tips. Six tips for midpoint action: Take stock. For an annual fund campaign, examine annual giving trends, and follow up with specific donors whose gifts traditionally came in during the first half of the year but aren't in yet. For a capital campaign, go back to your campaign [...]

2020-02-28T17:58:25-05:00February 27th, 2019|All Posts, Campaign Counsel, Fundraising Counsel, Team Expertise|

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 [...]

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 [...]

Formulas for Success with a Strategic Plan

Once a strategic plan is in place, it shouldn't sit on the shelf. Proactive organizations revisit their plans regularly and pay attention to the milestones for achieving their vision. This takes many forms; here are a few examples: Pictured above: moss+ross associates Lizzy Mottern, Brooke Jenkins, Chuck Fyfe, and Fred Stang 1. Syncing up: Consider an online survey to assess whether there is a common understanding about the mission, and if the Board's goals are aligned with the staff's. This technique is especially useful when you've had new board members or new staff members join your organization. 2. Self-evaluation: Even the best board can benefit from a self-evaluation about performance, leadership and alignment with strategic plans. Such an assessment is particularly important as a tool for correcting course. 3. Big picture: Organizations may neglect strategic planning because it [...]

2016-03-31T00:25:38-04:00March 31st, 2016|All Posts, Strategic Planning|

Developing a culture of gratitude by Jeanne Murray

At this time of year, you are busy creating year-end appeals and reaching out to donors to say thank you. As a development professional, you probably think of expressing gratitude as making those calls and writing those letters. Have you stopped to consider how gratitude looks and feels from your donor’s perspective? What do donors experience that is gratifying – that is, helps them see the impact of your organization and feel that their contribution made a difference? How can recognition and acknowledgement help donors feel connected to the future work of your organization? How can expressions of gratitude help donors feel noticed and invited to become more involved? Sometimes we are so close to our work that it helps to take a step back and look at ourselves from an “outside in” perspective. What does a donor (or potential [...]

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