• Monday, March 12, 2018 1:10 PM | Deleted user

    Victoria Reese

    Capacity Builder


    When I think about Bridges Out of Poverty I am reminded of an insight from Shelly L. Francis's The Courage Way: Leading and Living with Integrity:

    “The inner work of leadership depends on the strongest muscle in the human body the heart.”  

    Bridges Out of Poverty allows leaders to connect head and heart to bring about viable institutional and community change.

    The Bridges Out of Poverty framework uses research on economic classes to provide concrete tools and strategies for a community to alleviate poverty. I truly believe that the solution to a community 's problem will be found in the community itself. After all, problem-solving is a core competency of most businesses and institutions. So those who serve people who live in deep poverty, or those whose employees live in deep poverty are natural stakeholders in this work. 

    Bridges uses a triple lens approach to address the dynamics that cause poverty from an individual to a systemic level:

    The Triple Lens of Bridges Out of Poverty:

    1. Individual 
    2. Institution/Organizational
    3. Community

    This structure helps you to thoroughly assess and process poverty as you seek to build solutions. Often times, we view poverty and other social ills only through the individual lens—we focus on what the unique choices and circumstances of an individual.

    But if we do not change our perspective, we miss a majority of the picture.  We must also consider the lens of the institution and the community. Looking at poverty through an individual lens does not provide the depth of understanding that comes from viewing it through all 3 lenses. 


    This framework offers powerful tools for change that can help to—

    • Can help organizations and companies with retention rates
    • Reduce turnover costs
    • Improve employee performance and productivity
    • Create a positive workplace environment
    • Reduce barriers to employment
    • Build resources
    • Empower individuals
    • Move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency
    • Create sustainable communities

    This is some of the most important work that Nonprofit Network does.  I hope you'll consider joining us June 14th for a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop that is open to the community.

    Nonprofit Network is able to present Bridges Out of Poverty in several ways to meet your specific needs.  We can provide as little as a brief preview of why Bridges Out of Poverty matters to multi-day workshops encompassing key points, solutions, strategies, action steps, and a plan for institutional change.  If you’re tired of doing the same thing and expecting different results, give us a call.  We can help.

  • Wednesday, March 07, 2018 4:58 PM | Sharon Castle (Administrator)

    Sharon Castle
    Capacity Builder

    Storytelling is the "it" thing these days. Why is that?  Here's one explanation from the Moth Radio Hour:

    “Since 1999, we have been partnering with community organizations around the world to practice storytelling as an art form and a powerful tool of communication. Through workshops and performance opportunities, participants shape selected life experiences into well-crafted stories and share them with members of their communities and beyond. 

    We believe that by honoring the individual experience, we can:

    • Challenge dominant narratives
    • Inspire greater confidence in storytellers
    • Deepen connection in community
    • And spark empathy among listeners around the world.”

    As you see from the explanation taken from the Moth’s website – and if you haven’t had a chance to listen to some of their podcasts, I would highly recommend it – telling one’s story can have a huge impact. 

    As with individuals, for-profits and nonprofits are also developing their unique storiestheir vibeto motivate folks to buy their product, to support their cause in short, to invest in their vision.

    So where should you, as a leader of a nonprofit reliant on donors, begin to develop your organization’s story?  

    Start by creating your organization’s Case for Support or CFS.  The CFS should articulate in clear and compelling language your organization’s story and “make the case” for why a donor should continue to give, increase their giving, or why a prospective donor should begin giving to your organization.

    Once you’ve gone through the difficult work of writing the CFS, your life will be much easier and you will be able to use its language when writing your annual appeal, thank you letters, creating verbiage for your fundraising efforts on your website or designing a special event invitation.  

    Simply put, the Case for Support is the genesis for all of your fundraising efforts.  It is the place where all fundraising should start. Even more importantly, it is a wonderful tool for board, staff and volunteers to use when soliciting support for your organization.

    Before you begin working on your organization’s CFS, think KISS. You know: keep it simple, stupid.

    In order to develop a strong CFS you will need general information like your organization’s mission and vision (if you have one) statements and strategic plan; financial information including budget(s) and financial statements; program information including statistics, expenses; and dreams (what we could accomplish if we had…)

    Be sure to gather all of that information, because you'll need it to effectively these critical parts of your story: 

    • Your organization’s history
    • The need your organization was designed to address
    • Impact and success to date
    • What you hope to achieve, by when
    • How much it will cost and how it will be funded
    • Why your organization should be the beneficiary of the donor’s gift.

    The final version of the CFS should be no more than 2-3 pages on the organization and no more than a page for each program or other activity supported by fundraising.  Furthermore, it should be light on text and include quotes and pictures to support written information.  

    Just as you began, end with KISS—and remember to be thorough and succinct.

    Ready to learn how to use your organization's unique story as you pursue funding for your organization? 

    Attend Leverage Your Story: Building the Case for Support on September 25th.

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  • Monday, February 26, 2018 2:00 PM | Tom Williams (Administrator)

    Tom Wiliams

    Capacity Builder


    When it comes to mission achievement, I have yet to meet the individual that has the ability to pull it off entirely by themselves.

    In fact, one consistent observation I’ve made over all these years in the nonprofit world, is that mission is achieved only by teams. 


    Observation #2: Mission is achieved deeper and faster when a team is stronger and more passionate.

    Conversely, the teams that constantly rebuild, are not cohesive, and don’t rally around results struggle with delivering on that mission. Too often, organizations that struggle at mission opt to seek out new programs to deliver or revise what services they are providing, thinking they will come across a programmatic answer.  

    The inconsistency in staffing keeps the organization always in the beginning half of the learning curve. This is an exhausting place to exist.

    Research from GuideStar and Nonprofit HR tells us that nonprofit organizations have a staff turnover of about 19% annually. 

    That rate has a significant impact. 

    Some expenses of staff turnover are hard expenses, but the hidden costs are drastically impacting your organization. These costs can include:

    • Lower productivity now that you have a vacant position (which will continue until the replacement has come up to speed)
    • Overwork of the remaining staff to cover the vacancy
    • Lost knowledge and external relationships that are no longer with the organization
    • Interviewing costs (for you and others)
    • Training (or mentoring) costs for the replacement

    Some estimates have calculated the above costs at over 150% of that staff person’s salary. 

    And yet still, many of us just accept the turnover as our nonprofit reality. That acceptance is made easier by the fact that many of the true costs of staff turnover are hidden.  Hidden or not, the costs are still impacting you financially. This is a part of our world we actually can influence.  By striving to retain our people, we can build not only a higher performing crew, but also a vast savings of money.

    As organizational guru Jim Collins tells us, getting the right people “on the bus” (recruitment) is key to success.  And keeping them on our respective buses long enough to coalesce into a high functioning team (retention) is how we transition from a good team to a great team .  

    High functioning teams hold each other more accountable, have deeper commitment to the mission and focus on getting results.  This is a formula for more mission accomplishment.

    Imagine investing those resources—financials, mental capacity, more available time, increased productivity—elsewhere in your organization. Building the team for more mission and obtaining significant cost savings in the process.  Makes becoming an employer of choice sort of attractive doesn’t it?

    You cannot afford to to ignore it.

    Join us on March 15 as we dive into the world of HR and employee management and retention at a workshop facilitated by area HR professionals

    Managing and Retaining Our Biggest Asset: Our Employees.

  • Monday, February 26, 2018 8:40 AM | Regina Pinney (Administrator)

    Regina Pinney

    Executive Director


    As we honor President Washington this week, I'm reflecting on my recent experience of seeing Hamilton: An American Musical, in Chicago. There are four key lessons, as demonstrated by George Washington's character, that are especially important for nonprofit leaders to remember.

    Power should be shared. Washington voluntarily resigned as the U.S. President after serving two terms, to both of which he was unanimously elected. He sought to establish a precedence that giving up power makes governance stronger. His example teaches us that succession planning and term limits are important tools for growth and sustainability.

    Values and ethics matter. Before the age of sixteen, Washington studied 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior. This exercise is regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character and teaches us that our own character is something that we must intentionally shape and maintain.

    Flexibility is critical. During the Fight for American Independence, the British had more supplies and more soldiers, and all of those soldiers had more training than Washington's Continental Army. Keeping his army and his team in tact was critical to winning the ultimate war, and he retreated when he knew the battle was too expensive. Washington prevailed because he recognized the power of flexibility, teaching us how critical it is to be adaptive to circumstances and find creative solutions.

    Equity matters. In his will, George Washington freed his slaves and adamantly made provisions for his estate to continue providing care for them after they were freed. This made him the first and only slaveholder among the founding fathers to free his slaves. At the time of his death in 1799, more than half of Mount Vernon’s enslaved population was either too old or too young to work–signifying that he had kept families together in lieu of profit. These decisions were certainly not common in their time, and yet still he could have done more.  He seemed to know that slavery was incredibly unethical, but he continued to run an estate that depended on the institution. This problematic relationship teaches us the importance of pursuing equity, even if–or when–it hurts us economically and socially. True equity is difficult to achieve because it requires turning social norms on their heads, and we have a critical role in moving that needle forward.

    All facts and figures are from http://www.mountvernon.org

    Some of us may have had President's Day off work, some of us may take advantage of a sale or two, and some of us go about our business without a thought to our first President.

    I hope that all leaders spend time reflecting on these lessons, living them out in our own roles.

    Do you want one-on-one coaching? 

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  • Monday, February 05, 2018 4:06 PM | Deleted user

    Please join us in welcoming Victoria Reese to Nonprofit Network! She will be serving you as one of our Capacity Builders and Certified Bridges Out of Poverty Facilitators.  Drop a line and tell her hello! 

    Victoria Reese

    Capacity Builder


    I’m ecstatic to join Nonprofit Network's team and to have the opportunity to introduce to myself. As a native of Battle Creek, I spent many summers in Jackson visiting my grandparents and have very fond memories of the community. 

    For most of my professional career, I have devoted my life to social justice and mission-driven work that has a lasting positive impact on vulnerable populations. Collaboration has been essential to my success and I have worked with multi-disciplinary teams to address violence against women, develop strategies to decrease inequities in health, and obtain a federal charter to operate a community development credit union to expand economic opportunities to improve the quality of life for low-income families. 

    I have an inherent belief that communities are whole and resilient and that the solution to any community problem is in the community. I also believe that when we co-create strategies with the public, we develop tactics that meet their needs and enable real change to occur. 

    I am affiliated with numerous professional and volunteer networks, giving me the unique experience of serving as both grantee and grantor. This has given me an in-depth perspective on the state of nonprofit organizationsthe changing landscape, the struggles they face, and their development needs. 

    I am married to my best friend, Tim. I have one daughter, two step-children, and four grandchildren. In my spare time, I enjoy teaching spinning, extreme couponing, and domestic travels. 

    My desire to be a part of an innovative organization that is forward-thinking, values equity and inclusion, and recognizes the need to partner with the community to bring about change has led me to my new role in Nonprofit Network. As I researched and learned more about the organization, its values and commitment to serving the community, I knew it was a perfect fit as it aligned with my personal goals and values. 

    I am delighted to add joining this great team to my credentials and look forward to meeting and learning from you.

    Please join us in welcoming Victoria!

    Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements.  Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one or two e-mails each week.

  • Tuesday, January 30, 2018 12:07 PM | Deleted user

    Carrie Heider Grant

    Program Coordinator


    Say goodbye to boring meetings with these 10 strategies to promote engagement and innovation.

    Do you know how much time the average employee spends in meetings?  I asked the all-knowing internet and was surprised to find that the answers range from 18-50% of their time, depending on their role in the organization.  That is wild!  

    Time is, arguably, the scarcest of all resources at our disposal.  So it's critical not to waste it on unproductive and boring meetings. 

    A truly valuable meeting is built on three things: 

    1. Thorough planning
    2. Precise agenda
    3. Engaging facilitation.

    I am going to share some tools that we at Nonprofit Network often useboth internally at staff and board meetings and publicly with our clients—to make meetings engaging.

    Say goodbye to boring meetings with these 10 strategies to promote engagement and innovation.

    1)  Unplug.

    Keep a basket at the door to hold cell phones until the meeting is over.

    2)  Go paperless.

    Cut out all paper. Use a white board for notes (take pictures with your phone to preserve records) or use collaborative apps to share the agenda and working materials.

    3)  Leverage connections. 

    Phones can be incredibly distracting at meetings. But they can also be an opportunity to encourage attendants to stay engaged by utilizing apps to participate in conversation, polls, and dialogue.

    4)  Clear the clutter.

    Remove tables from the room to promote openness.

    5)  Color outside the lines.

    Provide adult coloring pages and materials to jump-start creative thinking, promote active listening, increase information retention, and decompress stress. You can also provide some tactile toys that people can fidget with during conversation to keep their hands busy and their minds focused on the dialogue.

    6)  Off the clock.

    Start at an unconventional time. Weird times are more memorable and can help to reduce tardiness.

    7)  Stay on your toes.

    Consider removing chairs and holding a standing meeting. But be respectful of all attendants and do not alienate colleagues that are wheel-chair enabled or otherwise unable to participate in a standing meeting. The intent is to keep people engaged, and isolating attendants would be counterproductive and possibly harmful.

    8)  Round robin.

    Hold round robin conversations to gather more perspectives.

    9)  Vote here.

    Use sticky dots to "vote" and voice opinions.  This creates a visual that reinforces consensus in the room.

    10)  Break it down.

    To make the most of your time as a large group, separate into small groups to dialogue, then come back together and have one person from each group share the key points of their conversations.

    Do you have any tried and true strategies that you use to keep people engaged in meetings?  Let us know!  I'd love to hear what you think.

    Need help getting out of a run of boring meetings? We can help you build a plan to get out of the boring meeting cycle.

    Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements.  Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one or two e-mails each week.

  • Monday, January 22, 2018 2:36 PM | Deleted user

    Regina Pinney

    Executive Director


    Our mission requires us to use our time wisely, be efficient and to get all the little things done to win big.

    I spent much of the last week of 2017 getting organized – I cleaned, purged, planned, scheduled, set goals, created dashboards – it’s my happy place. As a planner by trade, I find great joy in doing all of this.

    I have done hundreds of strategic plans, and I know two things for sure:

    1) If the plan is out of sight, it’s out of mind. The plan – and planning – needs to be part of your everyday conversation.

    2) If the plan isn’t measureable – you will never be able to keep track of where you are. When it comes to winning a game – the scoreboard is the most important thing

    As I work hard to keep committed to my personal and professional goals and resolutions, I use lots of resources and tools to keep me organized and efficient. Anything that saves me time is an asset to me. Anything that keeps me focused on what’s important and allows me to advance my mission is worth my time.

    Here are 7 tools I have been using to ensure success and help me crush my goals:

    Tracking business mileage. 

    I am using an app to keep track of my business mileage – the one I use is called MileageIQ – that actually prints my mileage reimbursement forms for me, from my phone, after it tracks automatically my business trips. Doing this by hand, after the fact, can take me hours and often I forget where I went.

    New time keeping process. 

    We are using a new program called Harvest that merges time keeping and projects. It allows for easy time study’s, collective planning and keeping on track with milestones and tasks.

    Collaborative platforms. 

    We use Quip, Slack and Google Docs to work on collaboration, in unison and in alignment. We plan staff meeting agendas, create systems, and shared to-do lists using these tools and do our best to “work out loud”

    Streamlined and consistent calendar. 

    Our office has gone to a “single calendar” – gone are the days of a yearlong planning calendar on the wall, a different on one our phones and an event calendar on the back of someone’s door. We all use one tool, Outlook, and all calendars are shared and collaborative.

    No lost paper.

    I’ve also eliminated paper to do lists, scraps of paper and sticky notes taped to my computer monitor – I use one, Tasks – through Outlook, accessible anywhere, that pings me when things are due, helps me prioritize, allows me to instantly turn an email into a task and assign tasks to other staff members – and tells me when they have marked it complete.

    Password security.

    I use a password keeper – the one I use is called Dashlane – and I only have to remember one password and it remembers all of my other ones.

    Tangible milestones and accountability. My family has a big financial goal to meet – so we printed envelopes and numbered them (just like old school church pledge envelopes) and will use them to not only keep ourselves accountable to the goal but also to celebrate the shrinking number of envelopes.

    I’d love to hear your methods and ways that you keep track of what’s most important to you.

    Want to have a conversation about about establishing goals and identifying tools to help you crush them?

    Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements.  Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one or two e-mails each week.

  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 9:38 AM | Tom Williams (Administrator)

    Tom Williams

    Capacity Builder


    With the New Year comes a perfect time to wipe the slate clean and take some new approaches to better ourselves.  This is great time slot at the beginning of a new calendar to consider your professional development. We know that enhanced professionals (at staff or board level) will positively impact the accomplishments of organizations.  Higher skilled leaders get enhanced results.

    Now that that ball has finally dropped in Times Square, a fresh look at your personal professional development is in order.

    You may know that we at Nonprofit Network facilitate a lot of workshops. I’ve observed during those sessions that there is always someone who is overloaded with new and different. They are overwhelmed by all the ways they could implement the information and need assistance in identifying next steps that are achievable. 

    So my recommendation is to keep it simple. 

    Identify a single, key skill that you feel will impact your development. Mastering that skill in 2018 will make a difference.

    I’ve waited until now to introduce you to the hard part.  New skills will bolster your performance as you implement them, but the truly valuable impact only comes when you have mastered them. 

    Mastery requires changing your behavior.  Changing your behavior starts with forming new habit.  And habits take time.  

    Most people expect a short journey to mastery and when it takes more time than anticipated, the effort is reduced, or maybe frustration stops the effort entirely.  Workshops are fantastic venues for exploring new skills, but the full potential comes from practicing what was learned and implementing the skills every day.

    Habits were once thought to be created over a three week period.  However, recent studies now tell us true “habits” will actually take 66 days or more to form.  Yes, that’s slightly over two MONTHS (not weeks). Don’t despair! Creating the new and powerful habit will be worth it. It will be a skill that not only immediately benefits your organization, but one that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  

    When to start?  I really like the old saying of the best time to plant a shade tree—the best answer: 20 years ago.  The very next best answer is TODAY.  If you start now, by the time our snow is gone for good, you will have a new habit.  

    Coming up are some workshops that may address the skill you identify.  Need to focus on self care?  We've got you covered.  Want to improve employee management and retention?  Not a problem. Ready to elevate the quality of your board management?  We've got that too.

    I’m not going to be so bold as to tell which skill you need to acquire. You know what it is already. Say it out loud. Now take a deep breath and get started identifying what you can do today on your journey to mastery.

    Touch bases with us if you want to talk it through.

    Do you want to talk about coaching?

    Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements.  Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one or two e-mails each week.

  • Wednesday, December 20, 2017 12:52 PM | Deleted user

    Carrie Heider Grant

    Program Coordinator


    As we look forward to new opportunities in the new year, I want to share some of the exciting things on the horizon for Nonprofit Network.  Our 2018 workshop calendar is live, and there will be a few more workshops and tools added in the coming weeks.  This calendar looks and functions a little differently than those of previous years, and I want to take a few moments to highlight some of the exciting developments.  

    Let's take a look.


    Nonprofit Network Leadership Academy

    Calling all new executive directors! In early January, we will be opening registration for the Nonprofit Network Leadership Academy.  This is a training that we have developed exclusively for executive directors who have been in their role for fewer than 3 years.  Participants will be part of a cohort that will meet monthly June 2018 through December 2018. Academy registration includes a copy of the Michigan Nonprofit Management Manual.

    Innovative and Accessible Board Training

    Nonprofit Network is thrilled to say that we have a new vehicle to deliver board training.  Thanks to the support of Community Choice Foundation, we have been able to develop an innovative tool that nonprofits of all sizes, budgets, and life-cycle stages can implement to strengthen the board. I am excited to share more about this seriously cool tool in the next few weeks!

    Brand New Workshops

    We have a *slew* of brand new workshops in the coming year!  We’ll cover topics like planning, employee management and retention, understanding how policy changes will affect the sector, self-care, grant writing, and so much more!  Heads up, though: with the exception of a select few workshops, we will not be repeating classes. So register early when you see a session you want to take—it won’t come around again later in the year!

    Conference Content without the Week-long Commitment

    Multi-day conferences are expensive—both in cost and in time away from the office.  We know how hard it can be to carve out those resources, so we are offering a variety of full-day trainings in 2018 on governance, fund development, and leadership to make deep-dive, professional development more accessible and manageable.  

    Bridges Out of Poverty Workshops

    I cannot stress enough how much impact the Bridges Out of Poverty framework can have on communities.  We will offer at least four public sessions in 2018 and, as the content has recently been updated by the authors, now is the best time to register for a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop. 

    Foundations of Board Governance (aka Board 101)

    Foundations of Board Governance is the new name for our long-standing Board 101 workshop.  This foundational class has been polished up and will now be offered quarterly and at varying times to accommodate the schedules of more people.  We will rotate between mornings, afternoons, and evenings.  We’ll also offer Starting a Nonprofit Organization quarterly in 2018.  We want to make these basic and critical classes more accessible.  The first session will be on January 18spread the word!

    Nonprofit Network wishes you a very happy holiday season! 2018 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year, and we look forward to seeing you there!

  • Friday, December 08, 2017 9:26 AM | Regina Pinney (Administrator)

    Regina Pinney

    Executive Director


    December is the giving month. According to Charity Navigator, 31% of annual giving occurs in the month of December and 12% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year. Which means that you will be sending lots of thank you’s in the coming weeks.  

    How much planning have you done around the strategy and content of those thank you letters?

    If your answer is "little-to-none," then know this:

    The number 1 reason that people keep giving is because they were thanked well. 

    Let's dive in.

    The follow up and thank you to a gift is the most important step of the donor journey. Thoughtful and strategic follow-though helps you build a stronger bond with your donor, it connects them with the impact of their gift, and it communicates their active role in your success. 

    When done well, a thank you may be the reason a donor considers giving an increased gift next time. Remember, it costs less to retain a donor than it does to attract a new one. Fundraising expert Harvey McKinnon says “Donor loyalty is not about the donor being loyal to you, it is you being loyal to the donor.”

    Here are some simple strategies to ensure your thank you is impactful and works toward retaining your donors.

    1.     Make it prompt.

    • A really prompt thank you note impresses your donor. It indicates to them that your organization is well run.
    • A great rule of thumb is “Thank before you Bank” – meaning, put the thank you in the mail before you deposit the check.
    • During December or other high donation times, be sure to make time every day to work on your thank you’s.

    2.     Make it personal.

    • Use “I” and “we.”
    • Count the times you use the word “I/we” and make sure the number of times you use “you” is far greater. Give your donor all the credit.
    • Be warm – remember, you are thanking a friend
    • Use casual writing, this isn’t the time to be ultra –professional. Use contractions such as We’ll rather than We will.
    • Use an exclamation mark if appropriate.

    3.     Start in a personal way.

    • Yes: Dear Ms. Smith or better, Dear Jane - Never: Dear Friend.
    • Hint: use technology to help personalize the letter as much as possible.
    • Never, never, never begin with “on behalf of . . .”
    • Try “I’m so happy to hear from you!” or “You have made my day!”

    4.     Use a warm tone.

    • Be sincere.
    • Show thoughtfulness.
    • You spent all that time writing notes on the solicitation letters – but usually, a donor won’t read the solicitation letter but will read the Thank You! Use the space and the paper wisely!
    • Don’t forget to send warm wishes in the thank you!

    5.     Be emotional.

    • Don’t bury it. Wear your heart on your sleeve.
    • Try to convey excitement about what can happen with the donor’s gift.
    • “ I can’t begin to thank you enough for . . .”
    • “We are absolutely thrilled to have your support again this year.”
    • “Because of your gift, a family will have . . . or a kid will get . . . art and music will . . . our water will be cleaner.”
    • "Your gift is helping to improve the lives of . . .”

    6.     Send a real letter, not a pre-printed card.

    • Never send a pre-printed card. It’s just too impersonal.
    • Your donor has just sent you their money. They are saying that they believe in you and trusts you.
    • Sending a pre-printed card is a turn off – no matter what the size of the gift.

    7.     Thank smaller gifts warmly.

    • All sized gifts get warm, prompt, personal thank yous.
    • Send thank yous for in-kind gifts

    8.     Refer to the donor’s past support if you possibly can.

    • Acknowledge the long term partnership your donor has with your organization.
    • Celebrate the ongoing relationship

    9.     Send more than one thank you letter.

    • All from different people at the organization – clients, other volunteers, other donors, etc.
    • In this day of shrinking donor dollars, this small step could help your organization stand out and forge a much stronger relationship with your donors.
    • Some organizations that bring stationery to the board meetings and have board members hand-write letters. This process helps connect board members to the fundraising process.

    10.    Offer a next step

    • Invite them to an upcoming event or encourage them to check out your website for interesting articles
    • Invite them to sign up for your emails or to subscribe to your Facebook or Instagram to see their donation in action
    • Note: You do NOT say “Please donate more!”

    We know that many donors don’t give again because they weren’t thanked properly. 'Tis the season of giving. Remember the power of a strong thank you!

    Do you want coaching on how to strategically 
    build thank yous in your fund development?  

    Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements.  Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one or two e-mails each week.

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