4 Steps to Creating Good Non-profit Video Content

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Via 4 Steps to Creating Good Nonprofit Video Content.

Posted by Andrew Desmond

4 Steps to Creating Good Nonprofit Video Content

In several of our recent posts, we’ve emphasized the increasing importance of creating good nonprofit video content. When it comes to publicity and marketing purposes, having a few good, high-quality, interesting videos available to show your constituents and post on your website can really make the difference, especially with soliciting donations. But creating a good, high-quality video can be challenging, and it’s often difficult to know where to start.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled a few simple steps that will help you to get on the right track when it comes to creating videos for your nonprofit. While there are a number of different types of videos, ranging from advertising commercials, to highlight videos, to thank-you messages, or even campaign videos, there are a few main things to keep in mind.

1) Be Clear And Concise

This is extremely important. Most of your viewers will not want to watch a video that has no clear, single message, or that goes beyond a few minutes in duration. Keep it simple, keep it short, and stick to one theme. Far too many amateur producers fail to reign in their messages, and their videos pay for it in lack of effectiveness.

2) Avoid Lingo

You’re trying to capture someone’s attention so that you can hook them for a donation or volunteer time. Don’t bore your viewers by creating a 15-minute (or longer) video that they won’t understand. Unless you have really great equipment and serious video-editing and production skills, and are capable of creating a truly dynamic, entertaining video, you’ll want to avoid heavily educational videos, or large quantities of little-known lingo that may confuse your audience.

3) Get Your Volunteers And Donors Involved

Sometimes, the best way to market your organization is to have other people speak on your behalf. That’s where your donors and volunteers come in. When you’re hosting an event, take some footage of it, or reach out to attendees for brief interviews. Not only is this interesting to watch, but it can also generate goodwill in your community.

4) Use Good Equipment

Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money to get decent equipment. The last thing anyone will ever want to watch online nowadays is a video with poor audio quality or low resolution. When you’re making edits or doing voiceovers, make sure you have a good microphone, and be sure that you have a nice camera, and avoid shaky videos or footage below a 1080p or 720p resolution. And if you don’t have the equipment, reach out to your community as well! You may be surprised by how many people from your community have some expertise in these areas.


Ten Non-profit Funding Models

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Via Ten Nonprofit Funding Models | Stanford Social Innovation Review.

By William Landes Foster, Peter Kim, & Barbara Christiansen

For-profit executives use business models—such as “low-cost provider” or “the razor and the razor blade”—as a shorthand way to describe and understand the way companies are built and sustained. Nonprofit executives, to their detriment, are not as explicit about their funding models and have not had an equivalent lexicon—until now.


Ten Nonprofit Funding Models | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Money is a constant topic of conversation among nonprofit leaders: How much do we need? Where can we find it? Why isn’t there more of it? In tough economic times, these types of questions become more frequent and pressing. Unfortunately, the answers are not readily available. That’s becausenonprofit leaders are much more sophisticated about creating programs than they are about funding their organizations, and philanthropists often struggle to understand the impact (and limitations) of their donations.

There are consequences to this financial fuzziness. When nonprofits and funding sources are not well matched, money doesn’t flow to the areas where it will do the greatest good. Too often, the result is that promising programs are cut, curtailed, or never launched. And when dollars become tight, a chaoticfundraising scramble is all the more likely to ensue.1

In the for-profit world, by contrast, there is a much higher degree of clarity on financial issues. This is particularly true when it comes to understanding how different businesses operate, which can be encapsulated in a set of principles known as business models. Although there is no definitive list of corporate business models,2 there is enough agreement about what they mean that investors and executives alike can engage in sophisticated conversations about any given company’s strategy. When a person says that a company is a “low-cost provider” or a “fast follower,” the main outlines of how that company operates are pretty clear. Similarly, stating that a company is using “the razor and the razor blade” model describes a type of ongoing customer relationship that applies far beyond shaving products.

The value of such shorthand is that it allows business leaders to articulate quickly and clearly how they will succeed in the marketplace, and it allows investors to quiz executives more easily about how they intend to make money. This back-and-forth increases the odds that businesses will succeed, investors will make money, and everyone will learn more from their experiences.

The nonprofit world rarely engages in equally clear and succinct conversations about an organization’s long- term funding strategy. That is because the different types of funding that fuel nonprofits have never been clearly defined.3 More than a poverty of language, this represents—and results in—a poverty of understanding and clear thinking.

Through our research, we have identified 10 nonprofit models that are commonly used by the largest nonprofits in the United States. (See “Funding Models” on page 37.) Our intent is not to prescribe a single approach for a given nonprofit to pursue. Instead, we hope to help nonprofit leaders articulate more clearly the models that they believe could support the growth of their organizations, and use that insight to examine the potential and constraints associated with those models.

BENEFICIARIES ARE NOT CUSTOMERS One reason why the nonprofit sector has not developed its own lexicon of funding models is that running a nonprofit is generally more complicated than running a comparable size for-profit business. When a for-profit business finds a way to create value for a customer, it has generally found its source of revenue; the customer pays for the value. With rare exceptions, that is not true in the nonprofit sector. When a nonprofit finds a way to create value for a beneficiary (for example, integrating a prisoner back into society or saving an endangered species), it has not identified its economic engine. That is a separate step.

Duke University business professor J. Gregory Dees, in his work on social entrepreneurship, describes the need to understand both the donor value proposition and the recipient value proposition. Clara Miller, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, who has also written wonderfully about this dilemma, talks about all nonprofits being in two “businesses”—one related to their program activities and the other related to raising charitable “subsidies.”

As a result of this distinction between beneficiary and funder, the critical aspects (and accompanying vocabulary) of nonprofit funding models need to be understood separately from those of the for-profit world. It is also why we use the term funding model rather than business model to describe the framework. A business model incorporates choices about the cost structure and value proposition to the beneficiary. A funding model, however, focuses only on the funding, not on the programs and services offered to the beneficiary.

All nonprofit executives can use our 10 funding models to improve their fundraising and management, but the usefulness of these models becomes particularly important as nonprofits get bigger. There are many ways to raise as much as $1 million a year, some of which can be improvised during the process. Once organizations try to raise $25 million to $50 million or more each year, however, there are fewer possible paths. The number of potential decision makers who can authorize spending such large amounts of money decreases (or you need to get them en masse), and the factors that motivate these decision makers to say “yes” are more established (or cannot be as thoroughly influenced by one charismatic nonprofit leader).

Our research of large nonprofi ts confi rms this. In a recent study, we identified 144 nonprofit organizations—created since 1970—that had grown to $50 million a year or more in size.4 We found that each of these organizations grew large by pursuing specific sources of funding—often concentrated in one particular source of funds—that were a good match to support their particular types of work. Each had also built up highly professional internal fundraising capabilities targeted at those sources. In other words, each of the largest nonprofits had a well-developed funding model.

The larger the amount of funding needed, the more important it is to follow preexisting funding markets where there are particular decision makers with established motivations. Large groups of individual donors, for example, are already joined by common concerns about various issues, such as breast cancer research. And major government funding pools, to cite another example, already have specific objectives, such as foster care. Although a nonprofit that needs a few million dollars annually may convince a handful of foundations or wealthy individuals to support an issue that they had not previously prioritized, a nonprofit trying to raise tens of millions of dollars per year can rarely do so.

This is not to say that funding markets are static; they aren’t. The first Earth Day in 1970 coincided with a major expansion in giving to environmental causes; the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 led to a dramatic increase in support for international relief; and awareness of the U.S. educational crisis in the late 1980s laid the groundwork for charter school funding. Changes cannot be foreseen, however, and, hence, can not be depended on as a source of funding. In addition, these changes were the product or culmination of complex national and international events, not the result of a single nonprofit’s work.

Earl Martin Phalen, cofounder of BELL, an after-school and summer educational organization, captured the benefits of such intentionality well, summing up his experience for a group of nonprofit leaders in 2007. “Our fundraising strategy used to be ‘let’s raise more money this year than last’ and we always were unsure of where we’d be. Then we got serious in thinking about our model and identified an ongoing type of government funding that was a good match for our work. While it required some program changes to work, we now predictably cover 70 percent of our costs in any locality through this approach.”

TEN FUNDING MODELS Devising a framework for nonprofit funding presents challenges. To be useful, the models cannot be too general or too specific. For example, a community health clinic serving patients covered by Medicaid and a nonprofit doing development work supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development are both government funded, yet the type of funding they get, and the decision makers controlling the funding, are very different. Lumping the two together in the same model would not be useful. At the same time, designating a separate model for nonprofits that receive Title I SES funds, for example, is too narrow to be useful.

In the end, we settled on three parameters to define our funding models—the source of funds, the types of decision makers, and the motivations of the decision makers. (See “Identifying the Models” below.) This allowed us to identify 10 distinct funding models at level that is broadly relevant yet defi nes real choices.

It is interesting to note that there were several funding models we thought we might fi nd, but didn’t. One possible model was nonprofits supported by earned-income ventures distinct and separate from their core mission-related activities. Another possible model was nonprofits that operated on a strictly fee-for-service model in either a business-tobusiness or direct-to-consumer fashion, without important supplementary fundraising (from members or prior beneficiaries) or underlying government support. Although there are some nonprofits supporting themselves with such funding approaches, they were not present among the large nonprofits that we studied. It is our belief that these types of approaches do not lend themselves to large-scale, sustained nonprofit advantage over for-profit entities.

What follows are descriptions of the 10 funding models, along with profiles of representative nonprofits for each model. The models are ordered by the dominant type of funder. The first three models (Heartfelt Connector, Beneficiary Builder, and Member Motivator) are funded largely by many individual donations. The next model (Big Bettor) is funded largely by a single person or by a few individuals or foundations. The next three models (Public Provider, Policy Innovator, and Beneficiary Broker) are funded largely by the government. The next model (Resource Recycler) is supported largely by corporate funding. And the last two models (Market Maker and Local Nationalizer) have a mix of funders.

    1. HEARTFELT CONNECTOR Some nonprofits, such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, grow large by focusing on causes that resonate with the existing concerns of large numbers of people at all income levels, and by creating a structured way for these people to connect where none had previously existed. Nonprofits that take this approach use a funding model we call theHeartfelt Connector. Some of the more popular causes are in the environmental, international, and medical research areas. They are different from nonprofits that tap individuals with particular religious beliefs, political leanings, or sporting interests, who come together to form organizations in the course of expressing their interests. Heartfelt Connectors often try to build explicit connections between volunteers through special fundraising events. The Susan G.Komen Foundation is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Heartfelt Connector model. Established in 1982, theKomen Foundation works through a network of 125 affiliates to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants, by supporting education, screening, and treatment projects in communities around the world, and by educating women about the importance of early detection. The foundation’s mission has a deep resonance with many women, even though its work may neverbenefi t them directly. Between 1997 and 2007 theKomen Foundation’s annual fundraising grew from $47 million to $334 million. The average individual donation is small, about $33, but the foundation’s fundraising efforts have been driven by its ability to reach out to an ever-widening base of support. Its major fundraising vehicle is the Susan G.Komen Race for the Cure. The foundation and its affiliates hold about 120 running races each year that draw more than 1 million participants. These events not only allow individuals to give money; they also engage volunteers to put together teams, solicit funds, and participate in the race day experience. Nonprofit leaders considering the Heartfelt Connector funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Have a large cross section of people already shown that they will fund causes in this domain?
      • Can we communicate what is compelling about our nonprofit in a simple and concise way?
      • Does a natural avenue exist to attract and involve large numbers of volunteers?
      • Do we have, or can we develop, the in-house capabilities to attempt broad outreach in even one geographic area?


    1. BENEFICIARY BUILDER Some nonprofits, such as the Cleveland Clinic, are reimbursed for services that they provide to specific individuals, but rely on people who have benefited in the past from these services for additional donations. We call the funding model that these organizations use the Beneficiary Builder. Two of the best examples of Beneficiary Builders are hospitals and universities. Generally, the vast majority of these nonprofits’ funding comes from fees that beneficiaries pay for the services the nonprofits provide. But the total cost of delivering the benefit is not covered by the fees. As a result, the nonprofit tries to build long-term relationships with people who have benefited from the service to provide supplemental support, hence the name Beneficiary Builder. Although these donations are often small relative to fees (averaging approximately 5 percent at hospitals and 30 percent at private universities), these funds are critical sources of income for major projects such as building, research, and endowment funds. Donors are often motivated to give money because they believe that the benefit they received changed their life. Organizations using a Beneficiary Builder model tend to obtain the majority of their charitable support from major gifts. Princeton University is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Beneficiary Builder model. The university has become very adept at tapping alumni for donations, boasting the highest alumni-giving rate among national universities—59.2 percent. In 2008, more than 33,000 undergraduate alumni donated $43.6 million to their alma mater. As a result of the school’s fundraising prowess, more than 50 percent of Princeton’s operating budget is paid for by donations and earnings from its endowment. Nonprofit leaders considering the Beneficiary Builder funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Does our mission create an individual benefit that is also perceived as an important social good?
      • Do individuals develop a deep loyalty to the organization in the course of receiving their individual benefit?
      • Do we have the infrastructure to reach out to beneficiaries in a scalable fashion?
    2. MEMBER MOTIVATOR There are some nonprofits, such as Saddleback Church, that rely on individual donations and use a funding model we call Member Motivator. These individuals (who are members of the nonprofit) donate money because the issue is integral to their everyday life and is something from which they draw a collective benefit. Nonprofits using the Member Motivator funding model do not create the rationale for group activity, but instead connect with members (and donors) by offering or supporting the activities that they already seek. These organizations are often involved in religion, the environment, or arts, culture, and humanities. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), which protects and expands wild turkey habitats and promotes wild turkey hunting, is an example of a Member Motivator. It attracts turkey hunters, who collectively benefit fromNWTF’s work and therefore become loyal members and fundraisers. Local NWTF members host more than 2,000 fundraising banquets each year, raising about 80 percent of the organization’s annual revenues. These banquets provide multiple donation opportunities: entry tickets (which cost about $50 each and include an annual membership); merchandise purchase (averaging more than $100 per attendee); and raffle tickets (generating about $16,000 per banquet). NWTF’s national headquarters supplies raffle prizes and merchandise to sell at these banquets. Each banquet clears an average of $10,000 after expenses. A significant portion of the money raised is dedicated to land and turkey conservation in the community from which it was donated. Nonprofit leaders considering the Member Motivator funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Will our members feel that the actions of the organization are directly benefiting them, even if the benefit is shared collectively?
      • Do we have the ability to involve and manage our members in fundraising activities?
      • Can we commit to staying in tune with, and faithful to, our core membership, even if it means turning down funding opportunities and not pursuing activities that fail to resonate with our members?
    3. BIG BETTOR There are a few nonprofits, such as the Stanley Medical Research Institute, that rely on major grants from a few individuals or foundations to fund their operations. We call their funding model the Big Bettor. Often, the primary donor is also a founder, who wants to tackle an issue that is deeply personal to him or her. Although Big Bettors often launch with significant financial backing already secured, allowing them to grow large quickly, there are other instances when an existing organization gets the support of a major donor who decides to fund a new and important approach to solving a problem. The nonprofits we identified as Big Bettors are focused either on medical research or on environmental issues. The primary reasons that Big Bettors can attract sizable donations are: the problem being addressed can potentially be solved with a huge influx of money (for example, a vast sum can launch a research institute to cure a specific illness); or the organization is using a unique and compelling approach to solve the problem. Conservation International (CI), whose mission is to conserve the Earth’s biodiversity and to demonstrate that humans can live harmoniously with nature, is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Big Bettor funding model. CI’s ability to identify locations around the world where protecting an area of land can have a significant effect on preserving global biodiversity helps it attract donors who are willing to contribute large amounts of money so that they can have an important and lasting impact on protecting the Earth. The majority of CI’s contributions come from a few large donors. Nonprofit leaders considering the Big Bettor funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Can we create a tangible and lasting solution to a major problem in a foreseeable time frame?
      • Can we clearly articulate how we will use large-scale funding to achieve our goals?
      • Are any of the wealthiest individuals or foundations interested in our issue and approach?
    4. PUBLIC PROVIDER Many nonprofits, such as the Success for All Foundation, work with government agencies to provide essential social services, such as housing, human services, and education, for which the government has previously defined and allocated funding. Nonprofits that provide these services use a funding model we call Public Provider. In some cases, the government outsources the service delivery function but establishes specific requirements for nonprofits to receive funding, such as reimbursement formulae or a request for proposal (RFP) process. As Public Providers grow, they often seek other funding sources to augment their funding base.TMC (formerly the Texas Migrant Council), which supports children and families in migrant and immigrant communities, is an example of an organization that uses the Public Provider funding model. At its inception in 1971,TMC tapped into the federal government’s Head Start program to fund its initial work, helping children prepare for school by focusing on the bilingual and bicultural needs of families. AsTMC grew, its leaders sought to reduce its dependence on this one funding source and to identify other government funds.TMC now receives funding from a variety of federal, state, and local government sources.TMC has expanded from Texas into seven additional states and is offering new programs, such as literacy, prenatal care, and consumer education. Nonprofit leaders considering the Public Provider funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Is our organization a natural match with one or more large, preexisting government programs?
      • Can we demonstrate that our organization will do a better job than our competitors?
      • Are we willing to take the time to secure contract renewals on a regular basis?
    5. POLICY INNOVATOR Some nonprofits, such as Youth Villages, rely on government money and use a funding model we call Policy Innovator. These nonprofits have developed novel methods to address social issues that are not clearly compatible with existing government funding programs. They have convinced government funders to support these alternate methods, usually by presenting their solutions as more effective and less expensive than existing programs. (By contrast, Public Providers tap into existing government programs to provide funds for the services they offer.) An example of a Policy Innovator is HELP USA. This nonprofit provides transitional housing for the homeless and develops affordable permanent housing for low-income families. AndrewCuomo (son of former New York governor MarioCuomo) founded HELP USA in 1986 as an alternative to New York’s approach of paying hotels to house the homeless in so-called “welfare hotels.” HELP USA’s innovative approach to the housing crisis came about in an era when homelessness was a prominent public issue and government funders were willing to try a novel approach.Cuomo gained the initial support of government decision makers by positioning his solution as both more effective and less costly, which was critical during New York’s fiscal crisis. In 2007, HELP USA’s revenues were $60 million, almost 80 percent of which came from government sources, half federal and half state and local. The organization was operating in New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Houston, and Buffalo, N.Y. Nonprofit leaders considering the Policy Innovator funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Do we provide an innovative approach that surpasses the status quo (in impact and cost) and is compelling enough to attract government funders, which tend to gravitate toward traditional solutions?
      • Can we provide government funders with evidence that our program works?
      • Are we willing and able to cultivate strong relationships with government decision makers who will advocate change?
      • At this time are there sufficient pressures on government to overturn the status quo?


    1. BENEFICIARY BROKERSome nonprofits, such as the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, compete with one another to provide government-funded or backed services to beneficiaries. Nonprofits that do this use what we call a Beneficiary Broker funding model. Among the areas where Beneficiary Brokers compete are housing, employment services, health care, and student loans. What distinguishes these nonprofits from other government-funded programs is that the beneficiaries are free to choose the nonprofit from which they will get the service. The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP), a regional nonprofit administering state and federal rental assistance voucher programs in 30 Massachusetts communities, is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Beneficiary Broker funding model. Since launching the organization in 1991,MBHP has developed a reputation as a reliable provider of housing vouchers for families in need.MBHP is the largest provider of housing vouchers in the Boston area, connecting more than 7,500 families to housing at any one time.MBHP also provides related services, such as education and homelessness prevention programs. More than 90 percent of MBHP’s revenue comes from the small administrative fees the state provides as part of the voucher program. The remaining funds come from corporations and foundations. Nonprofit leaders considering the Beneficiary Broker funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Can we demonstrate to the government our superior ability to connect benefit or voucher holders with benefits, such as successful placement rates and customer satisfaction feedback?
      • Can we develop supplemental services that maximize the value of the benefit?
      • Can we master the government regulations and requirements needed to be a provider of these benefits?
      • Can we fi nd ways to raise money to supplement the fees we receive from the benefits program?


    1. RESOURCE RECYCLER Some nonprofits, such as AmeriCares Foundation, have grown large by collecting in-kind donations from corporations and individuals, and then distributing these donated goods to needy recipients who could not have purchased them on the market. Nonprofits that operate these types of programs use a funding model we call Resource Recycler. Businesses are willing to donate goods because they would otherwise go to waste (for example, foods with an expiration date), or because the marginal cost of making the goods is low and they will not be distributed in markets that would compete with the producer (for example, medications in developing countries). In kind donations typically account for the majority of revenues, but Resource Recyclers must raise additional funds to support their operating costs. The vast majority of Resource Recyclers are involved in food, agriculture, medical, and nutrition programs and often are internationally focused. The Greater Boston Food Bank (TGBFB), the largest hunger relief organization in New England, is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Resource Recycler funding model. This organization distributes nearly 30 million pounds of food annually to more than 600 local organizations, including food pantries, soup kitchens, day care centers, senior centers, and homeless shelters.TGBFB acquires goods in many ways. The dominant sources of goods are retailers and manufacturers. It also receives surplus food from restaurants and hotels. In 2006, corporate in-kind support accounted for 52 percent ofTGBFB’s revenues. Federal and state government programs provideTGBFB with in-kind goods and money, accounting for 23 percent of its annual budget, which TGBFB uses to purchase food for distribution. Cash donations from individuals make up the remaining 25 percent of revenues, covering overhead and capital improvements. Nonprofit leaders considering the Resource Recycler funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Are the products that we distribute likely to be donated on an ongoing basis?
      • Can we develop the expertise to stay abreast of trends in the industries that donate products to us so that we can prepare for fluctuations in donations?
      • Do we have a strategy for attracting the cash we’ll need to fund operations and overhead?


    1. MARKET MAKER Some nonprofits, such as the Trust for Public Land, provide a service that straddles an altruistic donor and a pay or motivated by market forces. Even though there is money available to pay for the service, it would be unseemly or unlawful for a for-profit to do so. Nonprofits that provide these services use a funding model we call Market Maker. Organ donation is one example where Market Makers operate. There is a demand for human organs, but it is illegal to sell them. These nonprofits generate the majority of their revenues from fees or donations that are directly linked to their activities. Most Market Makers operate in the area of health and disease, but some also operate in the environmental protection area (for example, land conservation). The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Market Maker funding model.AKF was founded in 1971 to help low-income people with kidney failure pay for dialysis. It is now the country’s leading source of financial aid to kidney dialysis patients, providing (in 2006) $82 million in annual grants to 63,500 kidney patients (about 19 percent of all dialysis patients). Before 1996, health care providers were allowed to pay Medicare Part B andMedigap premiums (approximately 20 percent of total costs) for needy dialysis patients. In 1996, the federal government made it illegal for providers to do this because it might trap the patient into receiving dialysis from a particular provider. The new law left thousands of kidney patients unable to afford kidney treatment.AKF noticed this gap and established a program to fill it.AKF now pays these premiums, allowing patients to continue their treatment.AKF is funded primarily by health care providers and other corporations.AKF is now applying the same principles used in its kidney dialysis program for pharmaceuticals used to treat bone loss. Nonprofit leaders considering the Market Maker funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
      • Is there a group of funders with a financial interest in supporting our work?
      • Are there legal or ethical reasons why it would be more appropriate for a nonprofit to deliver the services?
      • Do we already have a trusted program and brand name?


  1. LOCAL NATIONALIZER There are a number of nonprofits, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, that have grown large by creating a national network of locally based operations. These nonprofits use a funding model we call Local Nationalizers. These organizations focus on issues, such as poor schools or children in need of adult role models, that are important to local communities across the country, where government alone can’t solve the problem. Most of the money for programs is raised locally, often from individual or corporate donations and special events. Very little of the money comes from government agencies or fees. Very few local operations exceed $5 million in size, but, in totality they can be quite large. Teach for America (TFA) is an example of a nonprofit that uses a LocalNationalizer funding model.TFA recruits, trains, and places recent college graduates into teaching positions in schools across the country.TFA was founded in 1989, and by 2007 had more than $90 million in annual revenues. The organization relies on its 26 regionalTFA offices to raise more than 75 percent of its funding. The reason this works is thatTFA’s mission—improving the quality of K-12 education—resonates with local funders. TFA developed a culture in which fundraising is considered a critical aspect of the organization at every level, and it recruited local executive directors who would take ownership of attracting regional funding growth. Nonprofit leaders considering the LocalNationalizer funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
    • Does our cause address an issue that local leaders consider a high priority, and is this issue compelling in communities across the country?
    • Does expanding our organization into other communities fulfill our mission?
    • Can we replicate our model in other communities?
    • Are we committed to identifying and empowering high-performing leaders to run local branches of our organization in other communities?

IMPLICATIONS FOR NONPROFITS In the current economic climate it is tempting for nonprofit leaders to seek money wherever they can find it, causing some nonprofits to veer off course. That would be a mistake. During tough times it is more important than ever for nonprofit leaders to examine their funding strategy closely and to be disciplined about the way that they raise money. We hope that this article provides a framework for nonprofit leaders to do just that.

The funding paths that nonprofits take will vary, and not all will find models that support large-scale programs. The good news is that all nonprofits can benefit from greater clarity about their most effective funding model, and it is possible for some nonprofits to develop models that raise large amounts of money. As mentioned earlier, almost 150 new nonprofits (not counting universities and hospitals), surpassed $50 million in annual revenues between 1970 and 2003.

On the other side of the equation, philanthropists are becoming more disciplined about their nonprofit investing. A growing number of foundations, such as the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and New Profit Inc., are investing in their grantees to improve both program and funding models. We hope that this article helps philanthropists become clearer about their funding strategy so that they can support their programs more effectively.

As society looks to the nonprofit sector and philanthropy to solve important problems, a realistic understanding of funding models is increasingly important to realizing those aspirations.

Notes 1 In a November 2008 Bridgespan survey of more than 1001 nonprofits, leaders were asked which of eight different and often conflicting fundraising tactics would play some role or a major role in their approach to addressing the downturn. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said that six or more would. 2 For example, see Thomas Malone, Peter Weill, Richard Lai, et al., “Do Some Business Models Perform Better Than Others?” MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4615-06, May 2006. 3 For an early framework looking at “donative” vs. “commercial” nonprofits, see Henry Hansmann, “The Role of Nonprofit Enterprise,” Yale Law Journal, 89, 5, April 1980. 4 William Foster and Gail Fine, “How Nonprofits Get Really Big,” Stanford Social Innovation Review

William Landes Foster is a partner at the Bridgespan Group, where he advises direct service nonprofits and foundations and leads research on social sector funding. He is a coauthor of “Should Nonprofits Seek Profits?” (Harvard Business Review, February 2005), “How Nonprofits Get Really Big” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, spring 2007), and “Money to Grow On” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, fall 2008).

Peter Kim is a consultant in Bridgespan’s Boston office, where he focuses on growth strategies for nonprofits in the education and youth development sectors. Before joining Bridgespan, Kim worked for Goldman Sachs.

Barbara Christiansen is a consultant in Bridgespan’s Boston office, where she focuses on helping organizations plan for expansion. Before joining Bridgespan, Christiansen was a strategy consultant at the Monitor Group, working with pharmaceutical, biotech, and energy companies.

Yazidi Refugees in Syria: lifesaving UNICEF supplies delivered

#Charity #RazanRashidi #NawrouzRefugeeCamp #RefugeeAssistance

Via Yazidi refugees in Syria: lifesaving UNICEF supplies delivered | UNICEF Connect – UNICEF BLOG.

BY  ON 13 AUG 2014

Yazidi children and families who have fled to Syria from Iraq are receiving emergency help, but more is urgently needed. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

Yazidi children and families who have fled to Syria from Iraq are receiving emergency help, but more is urgently needed. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

“We walked for more than 20 hours with no food or water,” says Juan, an adolescent girl who arrived at Nawrouz refugee camp in north-east Syria three days ago, along with eight family members.

Juan is from the Yazidi minority group, many of whom are fleeing to Syria from the mountains of Sinjar in Iraq. Sinjar, a district of Ninewa in north-west Iraq with a population of at least 150,000 children – including many who are internally displaced – was taken over by the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) on Sunday.

Thousands of Yazidi families with many children are arriving daily to the newly established refugee camp inside Syria, 40 km from the Iraqi border. As of yesterday (12 August), around 5,000 families were estimated to be at the camp – children making up 60 per cent of the arrivals.

The new arrivals are exhausted and dehydrated, in desperate need of urgent assistance. With daily temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius (apx. 113 Fahrenheit), many are suffering from sun or heat stroke.

“This boy walked from Iraq to Syria,” says a mother of seven, pointing to her five-year-old son.

A UNICEF health worker at Nawrouz refugee camp measures the arm of a young Yazidi child as part of a nutrition assessment. Many Yazidi children and families fleeing from Iraq have experienced lack of food and water as a result of being displaced from their homes. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

A UNICEF health worker at Nawrouz refugee camp measures the arm of a young Yazidi child as part of a nutrition assessment. Many Yazidi children and families fleeing from Iraq have experienced lack of food and water as a result of being displaced from their homes. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

A UN team delivered lifesaving supplies to the camp yesterday (12 August) including UNICEF materials: high energy biscuits, hygiene kits, and clothes for children who are arriving with dust-covered faces and torn shoes.

“We have seen children and families arriving in large numbers to the camp in trucks and in very poor condition,” says Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF head of office in nearby Qamishly. “UNICEF along with other UN agencies is working to provide emergency assistance for these families.”

It is estimated that more than 200,000 Yazidis remain stranded on the Iraqi side of the border, with many expected to cross into Syria in the coming days.

“We heard horrible stories about the Islamic State’s practices so we decided to flee during the night,” says an elderly man. “I was worried about my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. Walking was not easy for an old man like me but that was the only solution we had.”

Yazidi children and families rest and shelter from the sun at Nawrouz refugee camp.  © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

Yazidi children and families rest and shelter from the sun at Nawrouz refugee camp.
© UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

Local humanitarian actors including the Kurdish Relief Association Rojava, the Kurdish Red Crescent and NGO Al Ihsan started relief efforts when the influx began last week.

“We have very limited resources,” says Nisreen a young volunteer with the Kurdish Relief Association. “People keep arriving in huge numbers. As soon as we think a family is settled in a tent, we find 10 more who just arrived.”

Kurdish locals in Syria are welcoming the exhausted arrivals, and at the first encounter, offering snacks and water: “We are all here to at least offer a smile for the arrivals after what they have been through,” says a young volunteer with Rojova, based at the transit reception point at Mabada.

Two young Yazidi boys at the Nawrouz refugee camp. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

Two young Yazidi boys at the Nawrouz refugee camp. © UNICEF Syria/2014/Razan Rashidi

UNHCR and local humanitarian actors have provided more than 500 tents, but the need is huge and new children and families keeps arriving. There is a real potential for an outbreak of disease at the camp due to poor hygiene conditions, lack of water chlorination and inadequate water drainage.

“We just want a safe place,” says Roshan, a mother of six who arrived at the refugee camp yesterday (12 August). Her children were covered with dust and had only basic clothing. “All countries are in war. I am tired,” she says.

In a statement issued 5 August, UNICEF called on “those who have influence to immediately grant children and women free and safe access to areas of refuge and respect the special protection afforded to children under international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Razan Rashidi is a UNICEF Communication Officer who visited the Nawrouz refugee camp in Syria.

Charity Navigator: The Charitable Spirit of Robin Williams

@CharityNav @robinwilliams

Via Charity Navigator: The Charitable Spirit of Robin Williams.

Robin Williams

Credit: Eva Rinaldi

Yesterday, we learned that Robin Williams had tragically died at the age of 63. The news coverage since then has focused on what Williams was best known for – that of being an entertainer. But he was also a generous person who supported many charities during his life. Those include:

So as we mourn the loss of such a great performer, consider making a donation to one of his favorite charities as a way to celebrate his life and remember the many times he made us laugh .



10 Ways to Overcome a Fundraising Drought

@DonorPro @abdesmond93 #Fundraising #Charity #DonorDatabaseManagement #CauseMarketing #FundraisingSoftware #GrassrootsFundraising

Via 10 Ways to Overcome a Fundraising Drought.

Posted by Andrew Desmond

Aug 7, 2014 1:20:06 PM

10 Ways to Overcome a Fundraising Drought

We’ve all been there: everything seems to be going well for a while, but then suddenly your leads begin to dry up, your income slowly trickles away, and you’re left wondering what you can possibly do to rehydrate your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts and get back on track. It’s tough, and there’s never going to be a magical, perfect solution to solve all of the problems you face in a fundraising drought. But cheesy metaphors aside, everyone has a bad month here and there, even the largest, strongest, and most successful organizations. In fact, many of the more prosperous nonprofits of the world have found ways to turn those negative moments into opportunities to rebound and become the fundraising juggernauts we all wish to emulate.

The fact of the matter is simply this: sometimes, things will slow down. You’ll see your fundraising efforts slow down a bit, one of your events won’t go quite as planned, or perhaps your latest campaign results won’t be where you’d hoped they would. Times like these, while stressful, are not something to be afraid of. Time and again, they prove to be valuable opportunities, where you can be forced to look at the way your organization has done things, leading to change or the development of new strategies that end up keeping you ahead of the curve. So don’t fret – instead, embrace these times of perceived struggle, take a look at some of our rebound strategies below, and then let that bad month begin your journey out of your capital-starved desert, and into a fundraising oasis.

1. Connect With Your Community

Sometimes, your biggest problems are best solved by simply paying attention! Find out where your current and potential donors are talking, and what’s on their mind. If you’re not paying attention to them, they probably won’t be paying attention to you. Get your nonprofit active on social media, run some Facebook ads or promote posts on Twitter, or try having some of your volunteers or board members attend different events within your community. Rarely do people end up at community events or on the same websites for no reason: connect, find shared interests, and then go from there.

2. Video

A recent 2013 survey of some 2 million potential donors found that 57% of them made contributions to a cause after watching an online video on that organization’s website. That’s not a stat to view lightly. The younger Millennial generation is growing increasingly more relevant in the nonprofit fundraising sector, and trends show that many of them will respond much better to a good video than any amount of written information they need to read. Capture a potential donor’s attention, or you may never get an opportunity to solicit funds from them again. Try developing a short, informational trailer for your cause, and throw it up on your website or show it at future events.

3. Website

Speaking of putting videos up on your website…how is your website looking these days? If you haven’t made many changes in the past few years, odds are that when it comes to appearance (and functionality), you might as well be in the Stone Age. Check to see if your site has responsive web design, and make sure you’re not compromising on any functionality. There are a lot of great, money-making features available to your organization if your site is built properly, so don’t sell yourself short and settle for less.

4. Kickstart your Blog

If your website doesn’t already have a blog, then make one. Try posting regularly, and target your posts to address specific questions, concerns, or feedback from your community. New and current donors alike love to see what you are doing, and posting that information regularly to your website can help bridge the gap between you and your audience. A blog also helps to keep your web presence feeling warm, and retaining a human element online can be a huge boon to developing long-lasting relationships with your donors.

5. Ask the Board for Help

Your Board exists to help ensure the success of your organization. So when you’re struggling, reach out to them! Sometimes, it can be as simple as asking them to help by donating or reaching out to their networks for new donors. Or, perhaps you can have them help by letting them find and hire someone with those connections to big, potential donors. If you can get one or two new connections, it can lead to dozens more over time.

6. Events

Events, Events, Events! This is probably the most obvious, but also most potentially effective way to pull your organization out of a rut. Come up with a cool event idea, or take inspiration from other organizations, and then make it happen. Try to schedule it strategically as well: if August has proven to be a slower month for you in the past few years, maybe try having your new event that month to offset it. Or, you can spend more time and effort in August to plan and coordinate your events for the upcoming months.

7. Try Friendraising

Take a look at the way you’ve tried to fundraise in the past. If you’re somewhat dependent on huge donors and government grants, perhaps your cause could benefit from a new, additional method of raising money. Most cause-based or 501-c3 organizations can benefit significantly from utilizing the proper tools to tailor specific campaigns and efforts to large groups of smaller donors to achieve high fundraising yields. After all, $50,000 is $50,000, regardless of whether it comes from 5 people, or 500.

At DonorPro, we call these strategies that focus on grassroots campaigns “Friendraising”, and we’ve helped dozens of nonprofits reach fantastic results already. If you’d like a bit more information, try taking a look at our free infographic.

8. Find a Partner

It’s tough to do anything alone. So why not try partnering up with a local business, or perhaps even another nonprofit, to achieve a greater goal. Host an event in conjunction with other organizations, and share the results. When you work together, you gain access to additional networks and a new audience that you’ll be able to target in the future.

9. Develop New Marketing Collateral

Whether you’re a small, new organization, or one that has been established for a long time, marketing yourself to your donors is absolutely essential to your success. But instead of trying to do all of the work yourself, try by hosting a seminar for your volunteers, and provide them with the materials and tools to continue to share your cause and your story with the community. Create some flyers, brochures, infographics, or other simple materials that they can share with their friends, families and co-workers. Chances are, they’re closer with them than you are, and strong relationships are the backbone to consistent fundraising success.

10. Gift-Matching Program

Finally, try implementing new programs! Similar to the idea of changing the way you target your donors that we discussed earlier, many organizations can reach new fundraising heights by supplementing their existing strategies with new ideas. One such program to give a try could be a Gift-Matching Program, where you allow donors to either provide donations through traditional channels, or give them the option to match someone else’s contribution. Many employers and companies already have programs like this, so take advantage of that if you can!

If you’d like to see more information about implementing this kind of a program at your nonprofit, head over to www.doublethedonation.com.