Uncategorized

June 10, 2019

The annual fund…all over twitter

Here’s my thinking….

Nonprofits raise money for 2 things: (1) Running the organization.       (2) Some special project.

  1. Running the organization means every single cost required to carry out your mission. Staff. Management systems. Service/program development, design, evaluation, improvements, facility costs like utilities, mortgage, cleaning/maintenance, lawn mowing, whatever.
  2. Some special project means: Building an endowment. Facility capital costs, e.g., renovations, new building, whatever.

Sure, use the phrase “capital campaign” for that special project.

Sure, name your endowment campaign “Building for the Future” or whatever you want.

BUT STOP IT STOP IT with “The Annual Fund.” Geez…. 40 years ago I made letterhead that said: “Trinity Rep Annual Fund.” How dumb was I. Boring!! Maybe I could have called it “Trinity Rep Operating Support Fund So We Can Keep Doing Plays.”

NO NEED FOR A TITLE!!!! Internally we talk about raising money for the fiscal year budget to cover all the costs to run the theatre and hire actors and build sets and perform plays and and and …. That’s what we raised money for every single year. That fiscal year budget to continue our mission.

Presumably every organization raises this money. Every single organization uses every appropriate solicitation strategy and reaches out to all appropriate audiences.

  1. Sources of gifts are: Individuals. Foundations. Government. Corporations. Faith groups. Civic groups. You check with every single particular source to see what they give to…. running the organization or some special project. Anything else to add?
  2. Solicitation strategies are: Personal face-to-face solicitation. Direct mail (print or electronic). Telephone. Proposals/grantwriting. Fundraising events. Can you think of anything else to add?

Here’s what I recommend to all my fundraising clients and what I put in every single fundraising plan for that annual operating/mission/purpose/existence that a nonprofit has:

Segment all donors by solicitation strategy: 

  1. Who will staff and board members personally meet with and ask for a gift from. When I worked at Trinity Rep, I had 75 volunteers who personally solicited annual operating gifts every single year. Given how much I give to my Planned Parenthood affiliate, I expect a personal solicitation to support annual operations. (Yes, many fundraisers and organizations call this major gift solicitation. I find that so offensive I want to scream! Because major gift donors implies there are minor gifts and minor donors.)
  2. But neither Trinity Rep nor PPSNE talked about annual operations. We told stories about plays and students and favorite actors…And education programs about sex and saving men and women from HIV/AIDS and breast cancer and primary care and….
  3. Who will receive direct mail letters? And this donor segment may receive 3-4 letters/fiscal year … even after they’ve already given. Different stories resonate with different people. And some people respond to more than one direct mail letter. So cool!
  4. And pretty much everyone receives an invitation to the fundraising event.
  5. And on and on…

All my fundraising plans include using every solicitation strategy — and of course a comprehensive relationship-building program.

This is all just for annual operations, our mission.

And then the special campaign for the building or the van to hall kids or or??? We figure out which donors and how to solicit. And sure, there’s a name and maybe even special letterhead and whatever.

So all that’s my thinking. Great fundraisers tell stories about beneficiaries and donors, too. Great fundraisers segment the market for solicitation strategies. Great fundraisers avoid language that is unclear and kinda icky and has no emotional content and is unclear and confusing and… 

Okay. Back to work. Getting ready to head to Saskatoon for the Western Canada Fundraising Conference 2019. Thank you David and Christal. Thank you Common Good Fundraising.

 

 

 

 

November 4, 2017

Stories from my dorm room

Ah Cohort 27 (and your two Cohort 26 colleagues)….. You’ve been so fantastic in Emerging Issues for SMUMN’s Philanthropy and Development Program.

Hey out there in the world…What kind of emerging issues have you been observing, do you anticipate might become trends… (And absolutely do NOT NOT NOT say anything about Millennials or social media. I mean really…. Emerging? Not hardly!! Emerged. Past emerged. Life.)

So what were those 12 marvelous colleagues in PHDE 657 Emerging Issues writing about?

Things like:

  • Can we really afford to close our borders?
  • Building a new era of trust
  • Girls in the Boy Scouts
  • Trauma informed and feedback movement in the social sector
  • Change coming in our diocese – or can we be agents of change?
  • Apocalypse Soon: The need for standards
  • Valuable recruits are following emerging issues
  • Fundraising for the New NCAA (No one Can Abuse Athletes)
  • Emerging into my new
  • Instability and uncertainty in the development director role
  • Throwing away the rubber stamp: a board self-assessment to drive growth

And how about that NCAA thing? That’s collegiate sports for those of you not into sports (like me)!!! And how about taking the knee in NFL games? So we had all this great wonderful back and forth in the online classroom, talking about race and racism and athletes. So very very cool!!

And the author of the final project for the “new NCAA” emailed me with the new Sports Illustrated cover.  His email to me said, “This month’s cover of Sports Illustrated… The NCAA is Broken (but you knew that). Interesting stuff and sad the exploitation of young African American athletes.”

 

 

October 31, 2017

I started crying…memories…

WARNING: Totally personal. Memories. Reflection. You don’t need to read this.

Sitting on the couch in living room in Valros, France. Just a few days left and we return to the USA. I started to cry. Decided to write this. Collecting my memories.

The beginning: Reading email from a colleague who mentioned Stony Brook University (Long Island, New York, USA).

The email reminds me of Herb Weisinger, dear friends of my parents…which, of course, reminds me of my parents.

My dad – referred to as “the Frenchman” –  was a professor at MSU. So was Herb. Herb was one of the “famous” MSU profs and authors. One day… no idea how old I was but certainly high school…Wandering through my dad’s basement bookshelves…I encountered Herb’s book The Tragedy and Paradox of the Fortunate Fall. I read it. Wow. I think I took the copy from dad’s shelf when he died. Published by MSU Press. Just ordered a copy on the Internet, just in case.

While wandering the Internet (you know how that happens!) I encountered another book by Herb…Co-authored with Georges Jules Joyaux. (Yes, there’s an “s”.) The Crisis in Comparative Literature. Is that when I started tearing up? My dad died of cancer in 1990, 67 years old.

My mom, Jane Peckham Joyaux, worked at MSU, too. She was the managing editor of MSU’s Centennial Review. And helped build the original Sparty when she was an undergrad in the art department. I remember us kids fighting – and calling mom at the office (when she was secretary in MSU’s Department of Statistics) – so she could negotiate. Thank heavens the department chair was a family friend! Mom (also called Grandma Jane or Grammy … even by her own kids, not just grandkids) died in May 2016.

Amazing to grow up within a university. I remember wandering briefly through parent parties.  

Talking with Herb (his wife Mildred smoked thin cigars); Pulitzer prize winner Russ Nye (who gave me novels at all my ages … including Sweet 16!); Jimmy Wong (poker player with dad and Sam and others); Madame Abelle and dad speaking French, with English words thrown in. So many more, of course.

And French guests visiting MSU always partied at 975 Lantern Hill Drive, East Lansing, MI. Like the entire French theatre group. And mime Marcel Marceau (very talkative when not on stage!)

So I was searching Herb on the Internet. Wandering around. Herb mentored the author Jim Harrison. I’d forgetten that Jim (MSU grad) wrote the novel Legends of the Fall. Wonderful movie but it makes me so sad.

I encountered an article Herb wrote about the obligations of universities: “Universities Must Consider Ideas, Create New Worlds”. This reminds me of my October 2017 newsyletter article about the University of Chicago and its beliefs: a campus culture committed to “discourse, argument and lack of deference.”

How many universities – and other institutions – embrace (and fight for) conversation and disagreement and cage-rattling questions? What’s happening in our societies and our local communities? Within our governments and institutions and…

I say I’m suffering from PTSD. I laugh (but not really). Apparently a definition of PTSD is “moral injury.” That’s how I feel: Every day, violation of my values and fundamental beliefs.

Memories…. I just realized something: That violation began for me when I was 9 years old living in France. I observed American (USA) disrespect for other cultures. Life moved on. So much nationalism now. And still (and I suspect forever) racism, sexism, homophobia, and on and on and on… We just can’t seem to embrace differences…Yet I was taught that. Thanks dad and mom.

Thanks, Papa Georges for giving me France…which gave me diversity and so much more. Based on an old newspaper interview of yours, I took your message and crafted this: People eat, sleep, and make love in languages other than English, in colors other than white, and in pairings other than opposite sex. And that’s beautiful. That’s what I fight for. (Tom says that’s our family mission statement. You never knew the detail of all this, Dad. Because I became all this  only by the early 90s. You helped me become this. Thank you.)

Anyway… I’m rambling. Just wandering through memories.

I’m crying now. But that’s okay.

Thank you Jane and Georges for the life you’ve given me. I hope, Dad that you would be proud of me. You never knew this Simone…author and teacher like you. Oh, how I suspect you’d dislike the tacky rings and weird hose!!!! I actually remember blue shoes with ties that I bought in France. You commented on those!

I know, Mom, you were proud of me – although I’m not sure you understood what I do.

Thank you both. What a life.

 

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

October 4, 2017

Planning for any future that could come along

Part of my consulting practice is strategic planning . . .

Today’s thought #1: Build the adaptive capacity of your organization. (See Carl Sussman’s great article about making change…. External focus. Network connectedness. Inquisitiveness. Innovation.)

#2 thought: Plan to the highest probability.

Thought #3: Choose “no regrets” moves.

#4 thought: Check out my notes about planning for any future that could come along — a series of vantage points / lenses in my Free Download Library.

 

August 7, 2017

What do you measure?

Ah measures. Or metrics.

How did you decide to measure what you measure? Do you measure the right stuff? Who decides what the right stuff is?

How about a REALLY GOOD CONVERSATION about what an organization should measure? Would these questions help you decide?

How many of these fundraising measures does your organization use?

Have you read Jim Collins’ little monograph called Good to Great and the Social Sectors? I love the way he talks about metrics in nonprofits. Use that with your boss and board!

 

April 5, 2016

Good stuff from AFP International Boston

I like conferences when I learn something new. Or get a new idea about how to apply and express something old. Or reinforce an angle or an approach. So here’s some stuff I liked a lot at the AFP International Conference in Boston, March 19 – 21…All in the Rebels, Renegades, and Pioneers Track.

Leadership by Marcia Coné [Making change easier]

  • Seeing from 30,000 feet, then deploying on the ground. Leaders have both perspectives.
  • Normative behavior is safe and secure. Change is: Turbulence (rocking the board). Inviting controversy. Forcing discomfort. Causing difficulty. Upsetting people. Causing a problem.
  • Research says that change makers have these 5 qualities: Persistence. Biased to take action. Transparent. Optimistic. Adaptability.
  • Visit Marcia’s website. Attend her workshops. Read her stuff. Great info. Great presenter.

Why business won’t change the world [Michael Edwards]

  • Read Mike’s marvelous book, Small Change – Why Business Won’t Save the World. 
  • 3 sectors: Government. Business/for-profit. Nonprofit (also called civil society). They are different! And the differences matter. Today’s blurring of lines are rather troublesome.
  • Business (the marketplace) satisfies wants and needs at a price.
  • Civil society (the nonprofit or NGO sector) provides entitlements without price. The strength and impact of the nonprofit sector may actually be diminishing. See Mike on YouTube.

Raising money for justice [Roger Craver, Jennie Thompson, Daryl Upsall]

  • Solidarity. Movement. Activism. Fighting for justice. Roger, Jennie, and Daryl have worked in social justice and movements for years and years. Oh the stories they told!
  • All movements begin with a small group of people seeing something wrong. Grassroots organizing then morphs into organizations. And then the long march into the political arena. Citizens > Political > Mainstream
  • Threats: Intimidation by government and special interests.

Gender equity…diversity…dominant and non-dominant groups [Laura Liswood]

  • We need to have enough people involved to make change. Just one “different” person doesn’t work.
  • The dominant group’s performance is improved by the non-dominant group. Heterogenous groups are great! To make change in any organization requires much more than diversity. Read Laura’s book The Loudest Duck.
  • What do you think women leaders – of nations – are talking about? Check out Laura’s book.
  • Check Laura’s presentations on YouTube.

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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