Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Column Every Monday: "The Fundraising Guru"--Sept. 30, 2007

To Cyberspace for your fundraising answers!
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, producer and host of "Fundraising Success" on WXEL/National Public Radio available at any time from anywhere in the world at

Today, boggle your mind and toggle through Cyberspace to find your next fundraising inspiration or answer. If it’s really true that we’re all just six people away from everyone, just imagine how much closer you may be to what you need because of the Internet. Here are a few choice places to start exploring:

1. The Nonprofit Resource Center’s site is a gold mine. Start at the top. You can click on subsets of information under “Legal & Boards of Directors, Support Organizations,” “Finance, Accounting and General Management,” and “Fundraising.”

2. If it’s data you want, it’s data you’ll get — and much more. Maintained by the Urban Institute’s Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy, the National Center for Charitable Statistics puts it all “out there” for you. It’s even got a free “990 Online” system for creating, verifying, printing and e-filing a non-profit’s IRS return, as well as state filing forms. If you need to build a case for charitable giving, you can get all the facts you’ll need — that there are now more than 1.8 million nonprofits in the U.S., reporting nearly $1.1 trillion in total revenues and just over $1.9 trillion in total assets in 2004. (I’ll let you discover the expanding nonprofit picture in Florida for yourself. I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun.)

3. The motto of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance is “Investigate before you donate.” It helps contributors make informed giving decisions by evaluating charitable organizations. Fundraisers would be wise to go to it to make sure they’re following high standards.

4. The Nonprofit FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is based upon questions and answers about nonprofit organizations exchanged on the Internet since 1994 — on everything from “Board of Directors” (63 Q&A) to “Compensation” (17), “Charitable Solicitations” (16), “Volunteer Recruitment” (22) and “Grants” (24) — in all, 75 areas. Seriously, don’t get addicted to it!

5. Visit the Foundation Center online, even if you’re a tiny nonprofit. You should become energized just from knowing that it maintains profiles of up to 80,000 foundations and half a million grants — proof that there’s “gold in them thar hills” and you may be closer to it than you think.

Don’t get lost in Cyberspace. Return to terra firma.

E-mail questions and comments to Stephen Goldstein at

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Column Every Monday: "The Fundraising Guru"--September 24, 2007

“Freebies Galore”: Jesse Carter’s Web site
by Stephen L. Goldstein

You already know Jesse Carter and his Web site,, if you listen to my radio program, “Fundraising Success,” on WXEL, National Public Radio member station (Sundays, 7 to 8 p.m., 90.7 FM; available on the Internet at any time from anywhere at

You can hear Jesse on almost every program in recent weeks. (It’s really a treat. Listen to at least one.) He’s from central Louisiana--an unassuming, genuine, down-to-earth, sincere person, whose accent and commitment to nonprofits add immeasurably to our broadcasts—and will make you want to hear more. I look forward to talking with him as much as our listeners benefit from hearing from him. Jesse Carter embodies the true spirit of nonprofit philanthropy: He has created a Web site that gives and gives and gives.

I dubbed Jesse’s ongoing segment “Freebies Galore” after about three interviews. He is the world’s greatest sharer of valuable information. (There are products and services for sale, of course; but no one has to pay a single solitary cent to access the endless amount of useful tools he lists to help nonprofits succeed—from running a capital campaign to collecting coupons.) Small, medium, or large—every nonprofit can find something useful at It’s filled with recipes for success. And as long as the site is up-and-running, no nonprofit can say it can’t afford to get the expertise it needs.

Here’s a brief walk-through the site:
1. On the home page, look to the left, where you’ll see that you can sign up for a free eNewsletter. (Right off the bat, you see the “free” theme that runs through the site.) Then, take a quick glance down the long list of categories and topics—from “fundraising ideas” and “fundraising articles” to “volunteerism” that lead to more specific topics and in-depth discussions.

2. For example, for the activity-minded, here are some of the 131 topics you’ll find if you click on “fundraising ideas”: affinity programs (credit cards, phone cards, etc.), balloon ride and dinner, camping cookbook, father-daughter dance, final exam care packages, singing messages, starving artists show, wedding fair. Many have links that show you to the nuts-and-bolts of how to do them. Be sure to click on “celebrity lunch or dinner auction.” Jesse spoke about that idea on air. It’s an exciting way that nonprofits can turn breaking bread with a local celeb (elected official, media personality, sports notable) into cold, hard funds. You can’t go wrong. You get the point: from the “down home” to the more sophisticated, there’s a fundraising idea for everyone.

3. Click on “Fundraising Articles” and at the top of the 25-item list you’ll find three parts of a forward-looking discussion: “A New Trend in Fundraising.” Farther down: “Fundraising Responsibilities of a Board Member” and “Giving Campaigns—Federal.” Jesse discussed both of those topics on “Fundraising Success.” The one about federal giving campaigns was an eye-opener. He even provides a four-part series on “Your Very Own Capital Campaign.”

4. Under “Fundraising Resources,” you’ll find everything from annual campaigns, direct mail, foundation and grants helps, fundraising associations and federations, nonprofit networks, and online giving gift donation sites to telemarketing.

5. I mentioned that you can sign up for Jesse’s free eNewsletter. You can get a feel for what’s in it from the six volumes of archives online.

Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein is also the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing. Send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future topics to him at

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

New column every Monday: Sept. 16, 2007

7 Ways to enhance your nonprofit fundraising success

From anywhere in the world at any time, listen to "Fundraising Success" from WXEL/National Public Radio on the Internet at The only program of its kind in the U.S. Hear the best experts from around the country give down-to-earth advice to enhance your fundraising success.

Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein is the host and executive producer of “Fundraising Success.” He is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising. For his weekly fundraising column, go to

This week’s program--091607
1. Jorene Jameson, vice president and chief development officer, YMCA of South Palm Beach County, Florida: perspectives on fundraising success from her nationwide experience; the secrets of relationship-building, the sine qua non; how she helped turn one debt-ridden nonprofit into a “going” concern; the pitfalls in the shibboleth that “people give to people”; how much more donor-volunteers give to an organization than just outright donors; the lessons she learned from a flop

2. Regular feature: “Blog Beat” with Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the blog, its advice on how nonprofits can better use technology, and its four-part series on how to get nonprofits’ Web sites prominently seen on the Internet

3. Beth Kanter, Step 4 of 10 Steps to Web 2.0—“Ready, set, get blogging!”

4. Kenton Kuhn–on “Blacktie,” the national company he co-founded based in Denver, Colorado. Blacktie facilitates communications by and between nonprofits and their philanthropic supporters. It provides a wide range of services--including a centralized calendar, an online auction, and a network of “great ideas sharing”—through local Web sites around the country.

5. Ginny Fujino of “Blacktie” South Florida, the online community she’s built, including the all-important calendar of area-wide events and links to other “Blacktie” sites nationwide

6. Spotlight on a “grassroots” nonprofit: Tom Koziol, Senior Outreach Ministries, one non-religious nonprofit in Reno, Nevada helps seniors in difficult circumstances, and how one husband and wife prove that everyone can “make a major difference in the lives of others”

7. A must-read book for nonprofits everywhere! Ori Brafman, co-author of the bestseller, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations—on a revolutionary model for the way nonprofits need to be structured/managed/supported for success in the future

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

For Nonprofits--Only: Internet Radio/Podcast

"Fundraising Success" is a weekly, one-hour radio program produced and aired by WXEL/National Public Radio.

Anyone with Internet access or its equivalent may hear the program from anywhere in the world at any time. Just go to and click on "Fundraising Success."

Program notes: Sept. 9, 2007
Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein is the host and executive producer of “Fundraising Success.” He is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising. For his weekly fundraising column, go to This week’s program:“Putting philanthropy into a corporate culture—the benefits to the corporation”: Special spotlight on the coordinated national fundraising campaign of CHG Healthcare Services (headquartered Salt Lake City, Utah), 1. Michael Weinholtz, president/CEO of CHG: the corporate philosophy of giving back; inspiring/motivating its employees to participate in fundraising, primarily for United; Way, in places like South Florida, Oklahoma City, Chicago, Dallas, among others; how it even builds employee morale2. Jennifer Mayhew, director of corporate events, CHG—“Themes and variations,” supporting individual offices around the country in their charitable efforts3. “Different strokes for different folks”: The more people give, the more they want to give—how CHG (Fort Lauderdale) and CHG (Grand Rapids) implement the corporate fundraising philosophy of its parent company, to increased success4. “Become a fundraiser: It’s inspiring; it’s a way to change the world”: Gayle Roberts, fundraising consultant (San Francisco),—the nobility of fundraising, the transformational nature of fundraising; how to help donors—how to inspire boards of directors to be fully engaged in the nonprofits with which they work; how to get past potential donors’ saying No. 5. Weekly feature: “Freebies Galore” with Jesse Carter from ProfitQuests, “The People’s Fundraising Web site,” “Everything you need to know about getting your board to fulfill its fundraising responsibilities.”6. “Web 2.0 Essentials for Nonprofit Fundraising”: Stephen Rockwell,, of Management Consulting Services: “The World of RSS” (Real Simple Syndication)—how to get your Internet content regularly delivered to potential donors without their even having to come to your Web site

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Column Every Monday--"The Fundraising Guru"--September 10, 2007

Go Around the Fundraising Clock
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein

Successful fundraising is cyclical. Your current effort starts where your last one ended. Think of the hands of a clock. Your fundraising cycle should go through four stages and 12 steps, beginning and ending at 12.
Phase 1--Research
Step 1 (12:00-1:00): Review analyses of all your organization’s previous fundraising efforts. Were the dollars raised worth the time, energy, and money you spent? If you’re starting something new, try to find out the effort-result ratio of a project similar to yours.
Step 2 (1:00-2:00): Research what products and programs the people you serve or want to serve need for the foreseeable future. Ask potential donors to what extent they would support them. Avoid preconceived notions and yesterday’s truisms. Look for fresh answers to the question, What will “sell” in the short-run and long-run?
Step 3 (2:00-3:00): If you have a project in place, be merciless in light of what you learn in Steps 1 and 2. Consider modifying or scrapping existing efforts or proposing new ones. Don’t change just to change, but don’t be stuck in the past.
Phase 2-Strategy
Step 4 (3:00-4:00): Based upon your Phase 1 Research, compare the kind of program you want to pursue with funders’ priorities. Do they agree? Are you willing to make any modifications? How flexible are you willing to be—or can you be?
Step 5 (4:00-5:00): Develop your program proposal.
Step 6 (5:00-6:00): Identify the people who you think can help you reach potential funders. Determine those who are most willing to support your efforts and get them to commit to how they will assist you. Draft your proposal materials. Get accurate contact information for possible donors—street and e-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers. Plan your public relations strategy—the media outlets you will use to create awareness of your efforts.
Phase 3—Implementation
Step 7 (6:00-7:00): Share the draft of your proposal with key supporters and reconfirm how they will help you.
Step 8 (7:00-8:00): Produce your proposal. Make it appropriate to the scope of your project—as brief as one page or as elaborate as a printed brochure.
Step 9 (8:00-9:00): Let it roll! Get your proposal to funders. Schedule person-to-person solicitations with potential major donors. Release publicity about your effort, updating it as contributions are made.
Phase 4—Evaluation
Step 10 (9:00-10:00): Collect data. For example, find out why prospects didn’t contribute or give as much as they could have. Did those who promised to introduce you to potential donors really open doors?
Step 11 (10:00-11:00): Analyze your data. What you have learned to improve each of the 12 steps of your fundraising cycle in the future?
Sept 12: Write a concise analysis of your latest fundraising cycle, even if only you and a few others will see it. You will benefit from looking at how well you’ve done in black-and-white. Your fundraising cycle is complete only when you have “closed the circle.” Then, you can apply what you’ve learned at the start of your next Phase 1, Step 1 (12 to 1 o’clock).
Follow the 12 steps of the fundraising clock. Hit the jackpot.
Send your comments and questions to Stephen Goldstein at He is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising and the host and executive producer of "Fundraising Success," a weekly one-hour program broadcast by WXEL/National Public Radio and available on the Internet from anywhere in the world at any time at

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

New column every Monday: "Fundraising Guru"--September 3, 2007

Create budgets that make people want to give
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising and host and executive producer of "Fundraising Success" on WXEL/National Public Radio, available at to anyone with Internet access or its equivalent at any time from anywhere in the world

The best way to bolster your case for your fundraising objective is to develop the (usually dreaded) budget. Every lofty purpose has to make dollars-and-sense to a potential funder's critical eyes. But don't look upon the process just as a matter of slapping dry numbers down next to likely expenditures. Turn it into an opportunity to inspire potential contributors.

If you are applying for foundation or government grants, you will have to provide funders the financial information they want in the form they want it. (Whoever has the money writes the rules.) Private donors may not hand you a preprinted checklist, but they don't want to get fiscal mush. Everyone wants clear budgets, timelines, and outcomes. Major donors want to know what percent of your tab they are being asked to contribute. For them, your proposal is a risk and an investment, even if they don't personally receive dollar dividends from it. They want to feel that you are doing something that is likely to succeed and will only be convined if you add responsible financial projections to a description of your worthwhile aims.

Dare to be different. Include a brief, but meaningful, narrative to explain the logic behind your budget proposal. Slip in choice editorializing wherever it strengthens your case. For example, make interpretive statements at strategic points about the cost-effectiveness of your proposal. Guide potential funders through your budget.

Follow these 10 basic guidelines to develop a budget that makes people want to give:

1. Don't pad your request, anticipating you will have a chance later to negotiate a more realistic figure. You will probably have blown it. Funders don't play games or like game-players.

2. Develop two or three different budgets for the same efforts, showing how much or how little you'll be able to accomplish, depending upon your success at getting funding.

3. Stress the "invisible" dollars your organization brings to the table: the value of staff and in-kind servcies, for example.

4. Demonstate the cost-effectiveness of the way your organization conducts business. Use comparative data to show how your expenses are in line with or more economical than those of comparable entities.

5. If it's true, sell funders by proving that you can deliver quality services more inexpensively than anyone else. (Even nonprofits must recognize that you compete in the marketplace.)

6. Resist the human tendency to ignore inevitable, unanticipatable costs and to think that they will somehow take care of themselves. Budget a lump sum for the unexpected.

7. Include dollars for public relations. Describe how the positive press you generate will help you attract additional donations.

8. Emphasize how you can stretch contributed dollars through collaborative efforts with other appropriate individuals and agencies.

9. Budget for your increasing self-sufficiency and, ideally, financial independence. Funders do not want to see a budget that will obligate them forever or that will rely solely upon the kindness of strangers. Be specific about how your project will be able to become less dependent upon contributed monies as time goes on.

10. In addition to budgeting for start-up costs, estimate what it would cost responsibly to close a project, should that be necessary.

A creative budget proposal can be your most persuasive fundraising tool--turning your good sense into other people's generous dollars.

Email your fundraising comments and questions to Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein at

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WXEL/National Public Radio/"Fundraising Success" Internet radio/podcast

To listen to "Fundraising Success" go to
September 2, 2007
Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein is the host and executive producer of “Fundraising Success.” He is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising. For his weekly fundraising column, go to This week’s program:

Special spotlight on one nonprofit’s successful fundraising: How the Broward Partnership for the Homeless turns lives around through solution-focused, nationally recognized model programs, using contributed dollars
1. Katie Foster, chief development and communication officer, Broward Partnership for the Homeless,,
2. Successful former resident of the Broward Partnership for the Homeless: Stanley turned his life around—from former prisoner to head chef, all made possible through his hard work, programs at the Partnership, and donations from the community
3. Elliot Borkson, trustee, The Leo Goodwin Foundation—why the foundation has been supportive of the Broward Partnership for the Homeless from its inception
4. Weekly feature: “Freebies Galore” with Jesse Carter from Profit Quests, “The People’s Fundraising Web site,” “Everything you need to know about direct mail fundraising and marketing—for free.” Special mention of Fundraising Success magazine (not connected with our radio show), but highly recommended by Jesse Carter because of its free treasure trove of direct marketing information.
5. Beth Kanter, Step 3 of 10 Steps to Web 2.0—“Scatter bread crumbs!” or leaving comments on other people’s blogs so people will find you.
6. Dr. Stephen Goldstein’s “Fundraising Guru” column: “Create budgets that make people want to give.”
7. Weekly feature: “Philanthropist’s Corner” with Sean Stannard-Stockton, author of
the blog,, and principal with Ensemble Capital Management (Burlingame, CA): “On becoming a philanthropist”
8. Weekly update from The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Ian Wilhelm—important trends every nonprofit needs to know from The Chronicle’s annual report on corporate giving
9. Regular feature: “Blog Beat” with Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the blog, written by Nancy Schwartz: how-tos on nonprofit marketing, how few nonprofits track the effect of their marketing, how easy it is to do so. Go to her 12-minute tutorial to help nonprofits grow their email list!
10: Final thought from Dr. Goldstein—on the huge scope of the nonprofit sector from Michael O’Neill’s book Nonprofit Nation

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New Column Every Monday--September 3, 2007

Suggest a feature segment for WXEL/National Public Radio: "Fundraising Success"

From WXEL/National Public Radio: "Fundraising Success," the unique, one-hour, weekly Internet radio/podcast, is now available to anyone with Internet access or its equivalent from anywhere in the world at any time. Just go to and click on "Fundraising Success." You can then hear, download, and forward the program.

August 26, 2007
Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, host and executive producer of "Fundraising Success" and author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, talks with:

1. Former Goldman Sachs executive, Chuck Harris, now Executive Partner, SeaChange Capital Partners ( He’s already gotten a commitment of $5 million from Goldman Sachs. Now, he’s out to raise $100 million in the next three years to provide multi-year funding for high-performing nonprofits—especially for operating expenses, the most difficult monies to obtain.

2. Beth Kanter, Step 2 of 10 Steps to Web 2.0—“Read people’s minds; change their hearts. Liberate their dollars.” How to use to search and research the blogosphere for your name and topics of interest. What one nonprofit dealing with the homeless discovered to its surprise when it did so.

3. Weekly feature: “Philanthropist’s Corner” with Sean Stannard-Stockton, author of
the blog,, and principal with Ensemble Capital Management (Burlingame, CA): “Family philanthropy for almost everyone.” You don’t need to be a Rockefeller or Gates have a family philanthropy strategy.

5. Weekly feature: “Freebies Galore” with Jesse Carter from Profit Quests, “The People’s Fundraising Web site,” “Raising funds by offering donors the opportunity to dine with celebrities in your community--elected officials, sports figures, TV and radio personalities, etc.”

6. Weekly update from The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Holly Hall on the shortage of major gift fundraisers and the skyrocketing salaries they are commanding.

7. Stephen Rockwell,, of Management Consulting Services: Breaking traditional barriers of time and space to raise money. “Not for young people only!” How nonprofits can use social networking sites—like, , build their presence, create an identity site, and raise money.

8. Regular feature: “Blog Beat” with Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Susan Herr author of, gives advice for the “discerning donor,” high net worth individuals. Her blog is syndicated daily to 70 community foundations. A new media/fundraising genre: filmanthropy!
E-mail your comments and questions--and suggestions for guest segments on "Fundraising Success"--to Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein at

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