Is it ever ok NOT to retain donors?

Maybe you saw this headline in The Chronicle of Philanthropy last Friday: Charities Lost 103 Donors For Every 100 Donors They Gained in 2014, Says Study. Nonprofits are right to focus on donor retention. It is significantly cheaper to retain a donor than it is to acquire a new one. I think it’s equally valuable […]

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do

Stop. Keep. Start.

Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter coined the phrase, The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.  I was reminded of this recently when a friend who is a Chief Development Officer shared with me that she and her team are struggling to make their major gift program work. This one surprised me because it seems […]

Does Your Nonprofit Have an R&D Budget?

Many of the world’s most innovative products were created as a result of dedicated corporate research and development efforts. Products like the iPhone, the space shuttle, pacemakers, stealth paint, microwave popcorn, Antiretroviral drug therapies, Post-It’s, 3-D ultrasound technology, etc., were all developed out of bold vision, a willingness to embrace risk and invest in research […]

What nonprofits can learn from reality TV

A guest post from MarketSmart's Greg Warner

  I asked Greg Warner, CEO/Founder of MarketSmart if he’d share his take on the two biggest mistakes that nonprofits make. And if you happen to know Greg (I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to know him), you know he’s not shy. He’s also not short on opinions about how we in the nonprofit sector can improve […]

5 Great Online Tools For Nonprofits

I’m always on the lookout for new tools that make it easier for fundraising and nonprofit leaders to get their jobs done. Unique ways for nonprofits to engage their supporters, and for organizations to raise more money for their causes. Today I want to share five of those tools with you. I’m recommending these because I […]

What you’re giving up by not asking #volunteers for financial support

Many nonprofits fail to fully integrate volunteers into their organization. They silo the volunteer names in a spreadsheet outside the organization’s donor database and suppress them from any and all fundraising efforts. Sometimes this is because they just can’t get their disparate systems to talk to one another.

Other times, this happens because someone in the organization doesn’t believe volunteers want to be solicited. And even other times, it’s because volunteers don’t convert to cash donors in high volume, and therefore don’t look as valuable as donors that are acquired with an initial cash contribution.

However, in an analysis of three different nonprofit donor files recently, I saw that supporters who were both volunteers and cash donors were anywhere from 50% – 150% more valuable than those who were only cash donors.