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Mayes Wilson & Associates

Category: Fundraising

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Should we always tell donors what they want to hear?

Julie Whelan Capell| I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked what to do about donors who don’t want any of their donation to pay for overhead. Do these donors work for for-profit businesses? Do those businesses pay their employees wages? Benefits? Do they have an office that needs electricity and heat […]

What to do AFTER your year-end fundraising letter has been sent

Julie Whelan Capell | Hopefully by now–mid-November–your annual fundraising letter has gone out to donors, or it is scheduled to be mailed in the next couple of weeks.  Neither COVID, nor working remotely nor any of the challenges facing the world should stop your organization from asking supporters to donate at the end of the […]

How to have a real conversation with a donor

Julie Whelan Capell | “In sales, you don’t have to actually believe in the product or service you are hawking.  That is NOT true of fundraising, at least not if you’re doing it right!” – Tori O’Neal-McElrath  Fundraising is not the same as sales. Some executive directors and many board members come from a background […]

Steal these 5 ideas for a great #GivingTuesdayNow

Julie Whelan Capell | There’s a very special Giving Tuesday coming up on May 5th.  Organizers are billing it as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. To get involved, start with some well-timed emails. In the days leading up to #GivingTuesdayNow send a couple of messages to your whole list sharing […]

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Don’t stop fundraising now!

By Julie Whelan Capell  |  In one month, we’ve gone from business as usual, to social distancing measures that have forced most organizations to cancel or postpone the special events, lunches and donor engagement activities essential to meeting end-of-year income goals. In this situation, it’s tempting to throw previous plans out the window, downsize fundraising […]

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Is it time to start cancelling fundraising events?

Julie Whelan Capell | Many of our nonprofit clients are wondering how long to wait before making a decision on cancelling fundraising events scheduled for this fall. It’s a hard decision, doubly difficult if your annual fundraising budget is riding on a successful event.  Most organizations have cancelled all in-person events through July but are […]

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Special events and coronavirus

Sara Wilson, CPCC |  Is COVID-19 affecting your upcoming special event?  Many nonprofits are having to make the decision whether to postpone, go virtual, or cancel altogether. Postponing an event may seem like a good idea, but figuring out a new date and venue, or rebooking a speaker may be more difficult than going virtual. […]

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If your board builds a culture of philanthropy, fundraising will be easier

Julie Whelan Capell | Building a culture of philanthropy is possibly the best way to increase your board’s fundraising success.  I’ve seen this principle at work many times.  Show me an organization where the board sees fundraising as strictly a staff responsibility, where board members only care about fund development as a line item on […]

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Should I Tell My Funder My Program Failed?

Julie Whelan Capell | Why are nonprofits so reluctant to tell funders when a program has failed? Do we not trust the funders to understand our situation? Do we think they will cut off our funding? Are we afraid they will lose faith in our organization’s ability to serve the community? In other sectors, such […]

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Don’t Forget to Plan Your Fund Development Activities for the New Year!

Julie Whelan Capell | While you’re updating your annual plan through a “possibilities” lens, try doing the same with your fund development plan. Try these ways of reframing the exercise: 1)  Look at one or two organizations in your town that are very different from yours and see if there’s anything they’re doing that might […]

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