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Published August 7, 2013

What is the Value of Volunteering


I was trying to find out the dollar value of volunteer time. The latest figure I found is from 2011.

At that time, it was estimated that if you had to pay your volunteer, it would cost you $21.79 per hour. This was an increase over the year before.


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Published July 31, 2013

A Case Statement's Opening is Everything!


You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate and be inspired by the opening of the Case Statement for Hebrew Union College— the Jewish Institute of Religion.

It begins, I feel, with a powerful statement. “The Jewish leader- the Rabbi, Cantor, educator, or professor— whom you admire and who strengthens our Jewish Reform, Jewish communities, was educated at Hebrew Union College— Jewish Institute of Religion.”



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Published July 24, 2013

Planned Gift Tax Rationale


We always knew this. Well . . . we were pretty sure of it.

At my Seminars and with my clients, I tell them that the tax incentive is not the primary reason that motivates men and women to make a planned gift.

A study just completed last year shows that 82% of the planned givers and those who made bequests say they give because they have a natural affinity for the organization and its mission.

It is the relationship with the organization that counts. That is the reason they consider a planned gift and a bequest.

When you talk to someone about a planned gift or leaving your organization in their will, eschew the tax rationale. Instead, hammer away at how important this will be for those you serve. In perpetuity.



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Published July 17, 2013

More Good News and Bad News


I had a note the other day from Paul Evered. Paul is the Executive Director at the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (Calgary, Alberta).

They are planning a large event. He asked me about an e-mail I had sent out some time ago. “It had to do something about good news and bad news,” he wrote.

At my age, memory isn’t always my most notable attribute. But I did recall what he had in mind. You may be able to use this also at a meeting of your board or at some special gathering.

There’s good news. And there’s bad news. The good news is that in this room we have all the money we need to put our program over goal. The bad news is that it’s still in your pockets.



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Published July 10, 2013

What Color is Your Donate Button


What color should you use on your website’s donate button? That’s a good question.

It depends, of course, on your website’s design. You can pretty much count on a brighter, higher contrast button boosting donations. It should stand out from the overall color palette and be easier to notice.

If you want to imply urgency, RED gets better and faster attention.

So the answer to color is— it all depends.

Whatever the color, “Donate Now” is probably better and more urgent than just “Donate.”

Sage Nonprofit tells us, also, that bigger donate buttons help convert more donors. That makes sense. You want your button to stand out and be as easy as possible to find. It should end up somewhere in the top navigation so it’s easy to see on every page.



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Published July 3, 2013

Not High Enough?


Our Partner, Jay Frost, takes great exception to the headlines in the recent Chronicle of Philanthropy. Doom and gloom.

Jay disagrees. He says the latest figures just released for 2012 should be reason for celebration. Applause!

If you don’t agree, send me a note. (But be gentle!)


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Published June 26, 2013


Donor Retention Rates


Jay Love is the genius who developed the software for eTapestry. Now, he and his team have done it again. A whole new standard in fundraising software.

It’s called Bloomerang (Click link to enlarge). What I like best about it is its focus on retention. At last! You have heard me before on the subject. Attrition is your enemy.

In a study of 4000 nonprofits, the retention rate for first-time donors was a dismal 27%. That means these organizations had to bring new donors into the pipeline as fast as they were losing them.

If you don’t know your retention rate, you could be in trouble. Only 65 of 2,377 nonprofits had a retention rate of over 70%.

And for more information about this exciting new software, call Jay (866-332-2999).



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Published June 19, 2013


Energy is considered one of the important attributes of being a great fundraiser. Or an effective agency CEO, Hospital Administrator, or College President.

Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy are the 3-Es donors like to see in the people who call on them. And energy is infectious. The more you demonstrate, the more that comes back to you.

You will find you have a zeal and zest for your work if you’re physically and mentally vital and vibrant. You are a tuning fork ready to vibrate!  Here are 15 tips that will ensure your energy.