The Latest from TW&B: Blog

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Four Ways You Can Start Your Fundraising Year Off Strong

As June winds down and summer kicks into high gear, many nonprofits are also closing in on the end of their fiscal year. Whether your year ends June 30, December 31, or on a more creative date, many fundraisers put most of their focus on getting to that finish line.

Chances are you’ll have a lot to be proud of, especially since giving reached an all-time high in 2014. While it’s important to celebrate your accomplishments, it’s equally important to not let the celebration last too long into the new year.

Momentum is your friend. It’s understandable to want to catch your breath after sprinting to the finish line. But your new year will be much less stressful if you follow these four tips to help you get a good start at the beginning of the year. Continue reading

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Positioning Your Organization for Growth Post-Recession

By Jon Heintzelman and Dean Rein

When the Great Recession hit in 2007, many financial advisors were telling investors to stay in the market in order to, eventually, benefit from an anticipated rebound. But that’s the world of investing. In the nonprofit world, this advice would prove to be nearly impossible to follow.

With a decline in the economy, giving also declined. Reduced funding meant that we had to take a hard look at our budgets and make some tough decisions.  Many nonprofits were forced to reduce staffing and resources for development operations.

According to the Giving USA report released last week, giving has finally surpassed the high from before the recession. When we’re working with clients, we’re seeing a renewed sense of optimism, and that’s exciting. But how can we make the most of this upward trend to strengthen our development programs and, ultimately, our organizations?

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Analytics Banner

Infographic: A Basic Analytics Road Map

Is your fundraising team using analytics to enhance its strategy? It’s an increasingly popular buzzword these days, but it might not always be clear what goes into it or how it can improve your program.

In the world of fundraising, analytics encompasses a variety techniques that use data to analyze donor engagement, research prospects, predict donor behavior, evaluate your development program, and project future fundraising performance. Continue reading

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Five Identifiers of a High Quality Fundraising Prospect

This is a guest post written by Kim Becker Cooper of DonorSearch. DonorSearch is a strategic partner of Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt.

The National Basketball Association has long griped over how to decide the league’s best player. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is supposed to go to the league’s top player, but there’s argument over what the word ‘valuable’ means.

Is the MVP the best player on the best team? Is he the most irreplaceable player on a team that would be much worse without him? Is he the player who has the most memorable games and moments, despite lagging behind others in certain metrics?

As with crowning the NBA’s MVP, discovering your best fundraising prospects does not boil down to a single piece of criteria.

There are several qualities that can help identify the potential donors who can give the major gifts that will lead to your organization’s success.

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Leadership Strategy

Creating a Leadership Strategy and a Roadmap for Personal Success

A Three Step Guide for New Nonprofit Leaders in a Competitive Environment

You’ve just overcome the competition and were offered the leadership position at your nonprofit organization of choice. But, if you believe that you’ll walk in to find a  smooth running development operation, a culture of stewardship, a pristine database and technology system, absolute financial transparency and a Board that is fully engaged in the philanthropic process — you should re-think that assessment. Continue reading

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Clyde Watkins Featured in Fundraising Management Software Report

Making the most of donor management software can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a fundraising program. Outdated methods, like using old software or tracking donations manually through spreadsheets, lack powerful tools like automation and in-depth reporting that can improve an institution’s efficiency and strategy.

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Service Spotlight: Campaign Planning

With the year coming to a close, many of us are getting ready to travel, to celebrate the holidays with family and treat ourselves to a well-deserved vacation. But what seems like a nice break often takes a great deal of preparation. When we make our travel arrangements well enough in advance, we can get better deals on flights and hotels. We plan activities so that we know what we’re doing once we get to our destination. Some good planning ahead of time makes our trip relaxing and fun, rather than an anxiety-inducing scramble.

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How to Celebrate your Donors

Do you and your organizations CELEBRATE your donors?

I’m not referring to acknowledgment, recognition or stewardship, but actually celebrating their role in advancing the mission of your organization. Oftentimes nonprofit organizations get mired in the processes and procedures related to gift acknowledgement and recognition systems. Those are important elements of a successful development operation and should not be taken lightly. But by celebrating the gifts bestowed upon our organizations from our varied donor constituencies, we develop stronger, sometimes lifelong, relationships. Continue reading