The Leaky Bucket Nonprofit Blog

Take the Uncertainty Out of Fundraising

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 03:36 PM

What's the bigger challenge to fundraising: complexity or uncertainty? Both plague most development shops. Development officers encounter complexity every day. They juggle a zillion prospects, campaigns, events, sponsorships, and reporting tasks, so maybe it's all that complexity that's the bigger problem. On the other hand, uncertainty is also a constant threat, from the development officer's concerns about whether or not Mrs. Richperson's major gift is or isn't ever going to come to fruition, all the way to the board's lack of certainty about the accuracy or timeliness of reporting. And the potential face-ripping that might be encountered by the CEO if the forecast isn't actually met. Ouch.

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Tags: effective fundraising, manage fundraising performance, Ellen Bristol, Bristol Strategy Group, fundraising productivity

The Infamous Board Give-or-Get Policy

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake.  Even though my website has gotten lots of inquiries from people looking for advice on the infamous Board Give or Get Policy, it never occurred to me to create one.  So now I"ve created TWO.  Figured I'd give you a choice.  You can download the article containing both versions right here.

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Tags: Board, board's role in fundraising, manage fundraising performance, Board give or get policy

Our Next Nonprofit Entrepreneurs Are In Jail

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 02:57 PM

Happy graduation day to the Fall 2012 program of LEAP for Ladies, also known as Ladies' Empowerment and Action Program, which trains aspiring entrepreneurs.  Take a good look.  Some of these women may be tomorrow's nonprofit entrepreneurs - and we should be glad. 

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Tags: leadership, nonprofit, manage fundraising performance, nonprofit entrepreneurs

Fundraising War Stories: Nonprofit Strategic Planning for Dummies?

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Mon, Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

What a fantastic opportunity to improve the client's fundraising plan! We were  selected to facilitate a two-day strategic-planning retreat for a nonprofit whose name you would know, so we'll just call them "The Transformers."  In a flash of brilliance on my part (that was a sarcastic remark in case you were wondering), we negotiated a nice deal, got insights into the backgrounds and personalities of most of the major players, and we were good to go.  We called the retreat a "refresher on the fundraising plan," because the CEO had a reputation for hating strategic planning and being an impatient kind of guy with a blithe disregard for detail.  We did all that good stuff ahead of time...but we never sat down with the CEO himself. 

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Tags: fund development plan, board's role in fundraising, manage fundraising performance, strategic planning, strategic planning for nonprofits

Fundraising the SMART Way: Using Social Media Right, Part 3

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 01:27 PM

This is the last in our series of three posts on how nonprofit organizations can use Social Media Right, with thanks to Ken Okel.  In Part 2, Ken explores some of the effectives ways your use of Social Media helps to manage successful fundraising performance.

8.  Does Your Social Media Campaign Go to Disney World?

People go on vacation and they get sick. When this happens, does your social media output stop? Make sure there is a structure in place to ensure new content is created and distributed. 

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Tags: fund development process, Fundraising fundraisers, nonprofit entrepreneursfundraising practices, manage fundraising performance, effective fundraising, social media for nonprofits, Facebook for nonprofits, Twitter for nonprofits, LinkedIn for nonprofits

Fundraising the SMART Way: Using Social Media Right, Part 2

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

This is the second in our series of three posts on how nonprofit organizations can use Social Media Right, with thanks to Ken Okel.  In Part 2, Ken explores some of the ways your nonprofit's strategic use of Social Media helps to manage successful fundraising performance.

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Tags: fund development process, fundraising, nonprofit entrepreneursfundraising practices, fundraising is everybody's job, manage fundraising performance, effective fundraising, social media for nonprofits

Fundraising the SMART Way: Using Social Media Right, Part 1

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

I usually focus on how nonprofits can manage and improve their fundraising performance, emphasizing strategic management, metrics, benchmarks and processes.  Why?  Because too many nonprofits ignore the strategic stuff and focus on tactics.  And when they do, fundraising suffers. Social media seems like a tactical issue, but when you look at it strategically, it can boost your fundraising performance in meaningful ways.  So I was ecstatic when Ken Okel agreed to write a series of guest posts for us.  Ken is a master of social-media strategy for nonprofits.  Here's the first of three articles.

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Tags: manage fundraising performance, effective fundraising, social media for nonprofits

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