Using Social Media to Research and Connect with Grant Funders – Fad or Best Practice?

Eighteen months ago, I would not have believed my 2013 professional development goals would involve increasing the integration of social media into my business, as well as well increasing my team’s and my clients’ understanding of how to connect with current and potential grant funders via social media. I would have scoffed at the idea

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Evaluating the Chief Executive

Are you a nonprofit board chair who has a board development or management issue, concern, or challenge keeping you up at night (and who doesn’t)? Let me know. I’ll try to provide a response that can help you sleep better. So please send your questions to: mikbrns2@aol.com. This ongoing column is dedicated to questions and

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Donor-Advised Funds: Catching Up

With overall giving growing by nearly 5 percent in 2013 according to Blackbaud, and a 4 percent increase among The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s fifty most generous donors, charitable donations seem to be back on track. Donor-advised funds (DAFs ) are the fastest growing giving segment. Donors are increasingly favoring them because contributors to DAFs receive

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Sustainable Forever, Develop Sustainable Income

Leaders at nearly all nonprofits seek to be sustainable. Few are. Most have a plan they hope will work—it often depends on others such as governments, key donors, businesses, or even the weather the day of a special event. Inherently, sustainability that depends on something other than the efforts of your board of directors, staff,

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Prospect Research Software: Your Database

There is a lot of discussion about databases and which are the best for various types of situations or organizations. There are benefits and challenges to whatever you choose, so the best course of action is to review your options and determine which one best addresses the needs of your organization. A smoothly functioning and

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We Can’t Give What We Don’t Have

Have you ever thought about how your attitude and perceptions as a grant writer impacts your organization’s development and implementation of grant-funded programs? If not, I invite you to think about it today. Because I believe that grant writers have a far greater impact on an organization’s ability to raise funds than many of you

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Moves Management: Contrasting Grants to Other Major Gift Strategies

Like many grant writers, I have worked in a “silo” where I was expected to garner grant funds without access to information on agency priorities and strategies. I soon learned the value of good relationships with program, finance, and communications staff. I worked to cultivate relationships with foundation representatives. At other times a development colleague

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An Offer They Won’t Refuse: Obtain Income, Provide Value

“We don’t even need to discuss this one,” Mike Clark’s CFO said, “It saves us three to four times the cost.” Mike Clark and his CFO were in the midst of budget planning. They were reviewing their memberships to determine which to fund in the next year. The membership that didn’t need discussing was for

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Grant Management Software: Friend or Foe

I have been serving as a grant writing consultant full-time for more than eight years now, and I still find myself on a holy-grail-like quest to assist the nonprofits that my team and I serve find the right tool for their grant management needs. The field is such a small niche within the fundraising and

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Commonly Asked Grant-seeking Questions

As a writer, editor, and trainer for the nonprofit sector for over twenty years, I’ve answered my share of tough questions! And many of them have been focused on grant seeking. A few inquiries appear below, along with my answers. Q: How do we deal with another nonprofit that serves the same group as we

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