I want a pay raise
I came across this above post on a LinkedIn group (note and remember, this is not my headline):
“I know it’s scary, but what’s happening now is even scarier…”
“The Many Problems with Paying Our Nonprofit Staffs Too Little and Why We Need to Pay Them More”
Here’s my response below and please, anyone, let me know if I am off base:
Of course we can just give everyone a raise, but where will this money come from?
The fact is that we have to recruit the best fundraisers who truly know how to raise money and then we have to reward them for their work – if they succeed. The biggest problem I see is that many development professionals will come into a new position with the best intentions of focusing on bringing in gifts, but then keep themselves busy with bureaucratic work – managing databases, editing grant papers, writing content for a planned giving website, etc. This “buzzzzy” work is counterproductive to their actual role as a fundraiser.
My firm gives several webinars a year. I’m honored that over 600 people attended our webinar titled “Storytelling,” yet only 54 people attended our webinar called “The I.R.S. Considers You a Business. Act Like One.” To me this says that fundraisers are not appreciating the business side of fundraising, or scared of it, or simply have a blind spot. I have worked with over 5,000 nonprofits and this issue is extremely prevalent. IT IS CRITICAL that we start treating nonprofits like businesses and this starts with how we treat our staff and our own work and how we think.
Fundraising is akin to sales and marketing; it is very hard work and requires grit and dedication. If you don’t have it in you to do the real job of a development professional then you should probably get out now. There are plenty of other good paying jobs out there if the fundraising business is not right for you.
I’m happily married (12 years, going on 20!). And thank God. I did not enjoy the dating scene. I have a friend, though, who does. She’s online and goes out with several men a year. I’m sure she’ll eventually find The One.
She told me once, “I want to marry a rich guy.”
(Yeah, who doesn’t?)
It got me thinking … What are the chances my friend actually could meet and marry a rich man? Continue reading
If you use this infographic, please cite PlannedGiving.com as its source.
Bequests! Bequests! Bequests!
Can I boast? It is my blog, you know!
One of the most strategic business decisions we ever made was to acquire the domain PlannedGiving.Com a few years ago. The second and third smartest were to purchase PlannedGiving.Net and PlannedGiving.Org. We use these three golden domains to maximize search engine optimization for our clients. It is why we consistently rank No. 1 on Google searches.
These domains did not come cheap and required skillful negotiating. Our competitors were not happy. In fact, they even started advising their clients to change from using the term “planned giving” to “gift planning”.
Guess what. We recently purchased two more golden domains: GiftPlanning.Net and GiftPlanning.Org. It took over a year of negotiating.
As a client, your planned giving website is currently hosted under PlannedGiving.Org. You will soon have the option to have it hosted under GiftPlanning.Org instead. Our team will be available to help you decide what’s the best strategy for you.
We offer choices, not cookie-cutter solutions.
An Opinion From a Planned Giving Officer
The other day a colleague from another nonprofit, a fairly small one, told me he was leaning away from spending money on a new planned giving website. This is not the first development person I’ve heard struggle with this decision. They have their reasons:
- limited budget
- consultants who advise allocating funds elsewhere
- the never-ending priority for current cash
- trustees/directors who want to see metrics that websites can’t deliver
However, for an organization trying to build their endowment, a planned giving website is not an add-on to your marketing plan. It’s the hub. A planned giving website is a must. Continue reading
Why? “Because I will run out of money when I am 90. I can’t give any more.” Continue reading
Simple words. Fewer words. Powerful words.
Be ruthless about how you edit your message. Any communication that requires analysis or a second read… nix it. Continue reading
“What’s the difference between advertising and public relations? In advertising, you tell your audience how great you are. In public relations, you get someone else to tell them the same thing.”
Fundraisers, like other marketers, face skepticism and resistance nowadays when they make a direct statement about the worthiness of their organization. Prospects feel they have been fooled so many times by government, corporations and non-profits that the first response to any straight-out, first person message is distrust. Before you can get prospects to listen to your recitation of your organization’s accomplishments and needs, you have to expend a lot of persuasive energy to get past their defenses. Continue reading
I’m curious by nature. I often have my nose buried in marketing plans and pieces from the planned giving world, and I can’t help but ask questions: “Why are they suggesting this tactic?” “Why are they focusing on this detail?” “How do they envision this working?” Unfortunately (though not surprisingly), the creators of these materials can’t provide satisfying answers to my curious questions.
Early in my career I was a sought-after marketing and communications guru. When I entered the planned giving world, I quickly learned a sad truth: While these planned giving vendors knew the lingo of their industry, they didn’t know the basics of communication. Continue reading
Andrew J. Gray, CPA, Jeff Comfort, with Viken Mikaelian
Whether that brings joy or fear to your heart, one thing it’s guaranteed to bring to all of us is change.
Our president-elect’s proposed changes to the tax code are going to affect philanthropy. If you want to know how, this webinar is for you.
- Trump’s plan: the bad news for charities
- Trump’s plan: the good news for charities
- What donors think
- The path of Trump’s plan after inauguration day
- A detailed look at the proposed tax code changes that will affect charitable deductions
- What can nonprofit executives do in the meantime, until we know what’s happening?
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, 2 PM EST. Space is limited.
We will revisit this topic again mid summer.