Major Gifts: How To Get More Of Them For Your NonprofitWritten by Berwyn J. Kemp
Many nonprofit organizations focus their attention on annual giving programs, such as, direct mail and special events. Yet neglect setting up an effective major gift program, or if they have a major gift solicitation program they fail to effectively implement it to it's full potential. If you are currently focusing on annual giving, then you are not getting all funding you could get from an effective major gift program, and you are making a big mistake.
Because an ongoing and effective major gift solicitation program can, and will produce a very large block of capital for your nonprofit organization on a regular basis. And such a program can give your organization these funds with a relatively small investment of time and money being needed, as compared to return you will get.
Here are some guidelines to help you set up your major gift program, or obtain more funds from program you are already using:
1. Set up a major gift committee, which should include your board chairman, two or three other board members, and your executive director. This committee could also include two or three community leaders or movers and shakers in your community. With main idea here being that those who solicit major gifts for your organizations should be at or near same social-economic level as those they will be soliciting for major gifts.
2. Survey your universe of major donors and donor prospects by carefully reviewing your own donor data bases for moderate donors with a regular history of making larger than usual gifts, and of course those who have already made major gifts to your organization.
3. Develop a questionnaire for your board members, key staff members, and volunteers leaders to list their banker, insurance rep, doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, as well as their spouse, and their family, friends, and associates who are capable of making a major gifts, and might be solicited to do so. This list should also be supplemented with names from printed sources of information such as published information on major gifts made in your area, local society columns for people of note and etc.
The Four Lessons Venus Williams Teaches Us About BusinessWritten by Michelle Goodwine
Venus Williams's recent Wimbledon win has a real lesson for entrepreneurs. She lost first match, won second match, and was losing third 2 – 5. It did not look good for Venus. But she did not give up. She fought on, stayed focus. And in end, while playing longest final in Wimbledon history, was victorious.
So what does this mean for us entrepreneurs? The answer is very simple. Do not give up. Even when it appears that you are losing game, you can still win match. I looked at triumphant Venus, and you know what I thought – She is a true winner. Not just because she won Wimbledon, but because she didn't give up when it looked like she was going to be defeated. And as business owners, we have to have that same outlook. When it looks like we are going to be defeated – go bankrupt – don't just give up. When our client base is shrinking, rather than expanding – don't give up. When our cash flow gets too low, don't give up. Venus's victory has taught me, a struggling entrepreneur, four important lessons that I would like to share:
Lesson #1: Persevere
There will be times when things will not go your way. But all champions, including Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and even Venus Williams, have lost. But did that stop them. No. They just persevered. Remember, in high school Michael Jordan was cut for basketball team. And Mohammad Ali fought fight of his life against George Foreman at "Thrilla in Manila". And Venus commented when asked what she was thinking today when she was losing, " Keep fighting." And that is what we all must do – keeping fighting. When one door shuts, knock on other until someone opens up. I will never forget when a client of mine said reason my company ultimately got contract was because I was so persistent. As business owners, we must continue to follow though in order to get what we want. Don't give up. If a customer doesn't buy from us today, that does not mean they will not buy our product or service tomorrow. It may just need be right time. That is why following up is so important. Don't make a pest of yourself, though. Through trial and error learn how frequently to contact a prospective customer. And also remember that just because one customer hasn't bought what we are selling, does mean that someone else won't. We need to persevere until we achieve our goals.
Lesson #2: Be Thankful
Sometimes when we are going through tough times, we may lose sight of all good things in life. Are you healthy? Do you have a loving family? Do you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your belly? Well, believe it or not, than you are doing better that most of world? And no matter what, we all have something or someone to be thankful of. Isn't it interesting that first thing Venus did was to thank God. Because through God, all things are possible. God can do what no man can. And it no wonder that most of people in this society we consider to be winners understand this. As Oprah Winfrey says, "God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself." And Oprah's life certainly serves as a great example.
As business owners, even when we are struggling, we have a lot to be thankful for. I know I wake up each morning excited about what I do. I love owning my own company doing what I love – human resources consulting. And I am thankful to all people who have helped me along way. As I told a group of high schools students at a recent speaking engagement, no one gets to where they are in life without some else's help. But I am most thankful to God because without Him I would be nothing. I owe everything I own to Him. And He has blessed me so abundantly with a wonderful life filled with people who love me unconditionally. He has also taught me a valuable lesson – Success and prosperity is not about riches of world. They are about be happy no matter what your current financial status. Even when times get tough, I have finally come to realize that God, not my clients, is my source. And He owns everything. So all I need to do is wait on Him while I continue working to make a deposit into my checking account.