Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

  • Wednesday, October 04, 2017 4:03 PM | Anonymous

    According to Nonprofit Quarterly, The Wallace Foundation’s latest report, “Strategies to Scale Up Social Programs: Pathways, Partnerships and Fidelity,” is the latest entry in what the Wallace Foundation itself calls the “field of scale-up studies.” 

    The report defines scaling as “a process for significantly increasing the number of sustained implementations of a successful program, thereby serving more people with comparable benefits.”  In terms of the report’s organization, however, the authors’ focus is on whether the mechanism used involved branching (i.e., a single organization, with multiple “chapters”), franchising (i.e., with “affiliates”), or a distribution model where the nonprofit partners with a larger organization to speed program diffusion.


  • Monday, October 02, 2017 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    Here's a weird but very effective fundraising secret: Instead of asking your donors to give tidy amounts divisible by five or ten, ask for oddball amounts. It can improve average gift and/or response rate.

    Here's a great explanation from Bloomerang, at The Pique Technique -- How It Can Enhance Your Fundraising Ask Strings ("pique technique" because it's designed to pique their interest).

    Three ways to employ odd ask amounts:

    1. Impact: "$17 will provide clean water for one child for a week", "$119 will provide a clean water well for one village"
    2. Cultural/Historical: "$29 representing the 29 million people suffering from diabetes"
    3. Data-Driven: derived from a statistical analysis of your donor's behavior
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017 2:55 PM | Anonymous

    A new survey of people who have given to nonprofits in the last year exposes what organizations are doing well–and badly–in retaining donors.

    Based upon the survey results of 4,084 donors worldwide, the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report is a research project that seeks to gain a better understanding of how donors prefer to give and engage with their favorite causes and charitable organizations. Sponsored by the Public Interest Registry and researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good, the report summarizes donor data across six continents about how online and mobile technology effects giving. The report also explores the impact of gender, generation, and ideology upon giving and volunteerism.

    The 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report is unique in that it is the only annual research project dedicated to studying the giving habits of donors worldwide and is a sister report to the Global NGO Technology Report. The data from both reports is meant to help non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profit organizations (NPOs), and charities worldwide better understand if they are using technology in the ways that their donors prefer them to and where they need to improve.

  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    Getting new donors is hard. And expensive -- typically we lose money on donor acquisition campaigns. It's all about getting subsequent gifts and upgrading as many as possible to higher levels, bequests, and/or monthly giving.

    Here's a very helpful list from John Haydon's blog on the Top 10 Mistakes That Cause First-Time Donors to LeaveNew donors are important. They're also the least likely of all your donors to stay with you. This list will help you move them into a more secure relationship.

  • Friday, September 22, 2017 6:53 PM | Anonymous

    The push to diversify the nonprofit sector, though often well-intended, can lead to the tokenization of people of color for several reasons, including the fact that most organizations are influenced by funding from wealthy white men, writes Helen Kim Ho. She identifies eight ways that nonprofits commonly tokenize, including recruiting people of color but failing to give them any actual power.

    Read the complete article from Medium.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    The world’s richest families are increasingly investing their money in good causes, giving a boost to the growing, if still challenged, impact investing space. More than a quarter (28%) of ultra-net-worth “family offices” are now putting money into social and environmental areas. And, as younger generations take the reins, that percentage is likely to rise significantly in the years ahead.

    Read the full article from Fast Company.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Among many interesting findings in BoardSource’s “Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices” report is a simple one on board size. Average board size has steadily declined over the past 20 years. It’s not clear whether this is due to a distinct set of beliefs, but BoardSource has some thoughts on the trend.

    Click here to read the full article from Nonprofit Quarterly.

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 1:25 PM | Anonymous

    For years, many of my major gift fundraising colleagues around the country have considered universities and colleges to be top examples of how to do major gift fundraising properly. Many (not all) seem to have all the resources to do the job right. They have:

    • Big budgets
    • A team of researchers
    • A seemingly unlimited number of wealthy alumni who love the institution
    • High profile campaigns with lofty goals and PR budgets.
    Read the full article by Richard Perry and Jeff Schriefels of Veritus Group.
  • Friday, September 15, 2017 6:29 PM | Anonymous

    Nonprofit leaders must cultivate a diverse staff, starting with board members and executives, if they want to tap donors from a wide range of backgrounds, industry experts say. Nonprofits and foundations should start by having open and honest conversations about diversity, race and their organization's current state. Read more from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

  • Friday, September 15, 2017 1:13 PM | Anonymous

    You cannot do enough – you cannot go overboard – on giving your donor information on what his giving accomplished. You can easily do too little. So be alert to that. The main reason donors stop giving, give less or just go away is because they did not know that their giving made a difference. 

    Read the full article from Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of Veritus Group.

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