WealthEngine works with nonprofits across the spectrum, from the largest universities, hospitals, and international aid organizations to local and regional arts and social service agencies.  Many of those who reach out to us are startups who have a passion, a vision and willing hands, but lack fundraising expertise and have few or no resources to hire trained staff members. In this three part blog series we offer three keys to help make your fundraising program more sustainable. 

All organizations go through transitions in the makeup and focus of their governing boards.  ...Read more

Fundraising is a challenge for nearly every board. According to Leading with Intent, 60% of CEOs and 58% of board chairs identify it as one of the most important areas for board improvement. You can’t sustain board engagement in fundraising without a culture that prioritizes the fundraising role for every board member. Use the following tips to cultivate a better board fundraising culture.

1. Begin at the beginning

Set the expectation for fundraising in the early stages of board cultivation and recruitment. Many boards include a section on fundraising and personal giving in the board expectation agreement, but it also helps to mention fundraising during interviews with prospective candidates. Say it early and say it often.Read more

Technically, any fundraising initiative can be termed a “campaign.” However a working definition of a capital campaign might be "an intensive fundraising effort designed to raise a specified sum of money within a defined time period to meet the varied asset-building needs of an organization." More often than not, capital campaigns have become “comprehensive campaigns,” particularly in a university setting, where the status quo is to go from one campaign directly into the next.  These comprehensive campaigns may include goals for buildings and other tangible assets, as well as scholarships, endowments, and even current operating support.Read more

Many nonprofit organizations that have been successfully funded by government, corporate and/or foundation giving, are now finding they must diversify their funding sources.  Government funding has been restricted since the 2008 recession, and in similar fashion, corporate and foundation funding has not rebounded to pre-recession levels.  This has left some nonprofits that rely heavily on these sources feeling vulnerable.Read more

2013 saw a growing and widespread call for a fundamental change in the way we evaluate nonprofit effectiveness.  For far too long, nonprofits have been rated based on overhead ratios, and 2013 saw a long-overdue call for sanity in the sector.  Overhead ratios have a place in nonprofit management, but unfortunately in the nonprofit sector, over reliance on this one metric to the exclusion of all others has led us down the dangerous path to “The Starvation Cycle,” wherein nonprofit funders use low expenditures on overhead as a criteria to grant funding and nonprofits squeeze overhead at the expense of important management and infrastructure investments, and at times even misrepresent spending, in order to gain funding.  Low expenditures by some cause an increase in competition, and the entire sector becomes a victim of the starvation cycle. Read more

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