Results: Athletics, Parks, & Recreation

Grant proposals typically involve some type of ROI proof, but I often find that nonprofit executives struggle with this step in the grant-writing process. Determining ROI does not always come naturally, though the term itself is overused. Everyone from hotel chains to health insurance is…

We have helped numerous nonprofits decrease their dependency on events as a main fundraising source.  But of course, we understand the need for special events. In fact, a well-planned event can serve a significant branding purpose for a nonprofit. It can help to market your…

A few weeks ago, during the  50th anniversary of the moon landing, my husband and I watched “The Right Stuff.” The 1983 movie based on Tom Wolfe’s novel of the same name tells the story of the U.S. space program before the moon landing. Who…

Generation Z, the demographic profile of young people born between the late-1990s and early-2000s, is becoming a key contributor group in the nonprofit world. With high levels of engagement and extra money to spend, their nonprofit giving habits reflect their position as the next generation of donors. They’re quickly catching…

When gearing up for a new campaign, some nonprofits are skeptical about whether to use a fundraising consultant. They may be reluctant to spend extra budget dollars or to bring in people who aren’t native to their organization. The decision to bring in outside counsel…

Everybody’s got a book club these days, so we thought we’d better get in the mix too! The fundraising professionals on our team have centuries of combined experience and are currently raising millions of dollars for nonprofits all over the country. Who better to turn…

The following is a guest post from our friends at Wild Apricot. Many of the top nonprofits I’ve worked with have one thing in common: they regularly use tech tools to help them in every department. In today’s mobile-driven world, that means it’s time to…

The following is a guest post from our friends at Creative Economic Development Consulting. We are always surprised when we hear professionals disparage strategic planning. While some folks may see the process as a barrier to beginning the “real work”, strong nonprofit leaders see a…

As fundraisers, we love donors (or investors, as we prefer to think of them) who possess high propensities and high capacities to give. Their passion perfectly aligns with the organization, and they tend to be at the top of lists for capital campaign chairs and…

Cost Per Dollar Raised. Donor Retention Rate. Matching Gift Rate. Social Return on Investment. The list goes on for metrics and measurements that come across your desk as a nonprofit executive on a daily or even hourly basis. No one can deny the importance of…

As I have traveled around the country in the past 20 years doing lectures and workshops, there has been one sentence that has resonated with all of my audiences:  “If your organization doesn’t demonstrate its value to potential funders,  they’ll fund an organization that does.”    Many of…

The New York Times recently had an article on precrastination, which is defined as “the tendency to tackle sub goals at the earliest opportunity — even at the expense of extra effort,” or the opposite of procrastination. It’s so satisfying to move forward and check…

I recently wrote a post for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management blog titled, “Identifying Effective Board Members.” In the piece, I mentioned one skill board members need is fundraising. This blog will focus on why this is important and tactics to…

Over 20 years ago, the idea of discussing “investors” and “return on investment” in relation to nonprofit organizations seemed preposterous. Today, however, it is not uncommon to hear both terms used widely throughout the sector.

Before a surgeon can operate, the surgical team must check the patient’s vital signs to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Similarly, a capital campaign is a major operation impacting the financial health of your nonprofit. A feasibility study is a critical…

Many nonprofit organizations have been solely dependent on government funding for so long that the idea of pursuing private sector funding can be a bit intimidating. Where do you even begin? I recently had the opportunity to talk about effective fundraising processes at the National…

It’s the end of the fiscal year and you’re a few bucks short of your annual fund goal. The reserves are thin. What should you do to close the gap? Here are the top three things you should never do. 1. Send a mass email and post on social media that you must raise funds by year-end.

Feasibility studies are a critical first step in fundraising. Crafting them with care is extremely important. They typically are 20 to 30 questions in length and give you an excellent perspective on your organization: how people view the board, the effectiveness of the team, and…

Your capital campaign is over. You’ve secured the funding needed to implement your strategic plan, grow your services, make capital improvements, etc. Now what? Having a strong investor relations program is a critical element of every capital campaign.

Does your case for support look something like this? “We have to serve more people, so you need to give us more money.” Unfortunately, many nonprofits tend to put out a similar message. Inevitably, at the end of the fiscal year, you’ll see another one:…

Conducting a funding feasibility study is an important first step every organization must take before launching a capital campaign. This process helps you determine the viability of your project before investing significant time and money into the campaign. A well-executed feasibility study will paint a…

Capital campaigns are a group effort. Simply having a strong executive director or board chair at the helm is not a guarantee of success; it’s all about having the right team assembled. Convergent is happy to share Allison’s guest blog post as it provides valuable…

You’re in a team meeting when lightning strikes: your team just hatched the most incredible idea! It has the potential to answer all your problems, fix community issues, and revolutionize your organization. It is so tempting to go out and try to raise money for…

If we are being honest, on most days our inboxes are buried under a barrage of email. Many of the emails are automated email newsletters from businesses or organizations that we support. Many get marked “read” without us ever opening them or reading them. Really…

Convergent Note: The following is a brief excerpt from the article “Counterpoint: Feasibility Studies and Other Reasons Outside Counsel Can Help Small Nonprofits,” recently published by NonProfit PRO and written by Principal Mark Bergethon. To read the full article, follow the link at the bottom of…

Initiating a capital campaign is an exciting opportunity. It’s a time when you can help move your organization forward in a very dynamic way, although there are always a few challenges that will arise during a campaign. Many Executive Directors & CEOs might find themselves…

By Mark Bergethon We are excited to have Principal Mark Bergethon featured in FundraisingSuccess’s “ProSpeak,” which features essays about “the nitty-gritty of fundraising, written by the people who do it every day.” Here is a quick look at the article: Through the implementation and analysis…

Special events are often a part of a nonprofit development plan. However, the true purpose of a special event can easily get lost in the flurry of planning activity, and the results usually don’t outweigh the effort. When discussing special events with our clients and…

The Central Florida Foundation (CFF) is a public grant-making foundation that serves as a trusted philanthropic home for more than 400 charitable funds throughout Central Florida.    Convergent has had the good fortune to get to know CFF better over the past several months, and…

Throughout this blog, you’re bound to see many posts where we refer to “investors” and nonprofit “investments.” Don’t worry though; you are in the right place. Can a nonprofit truly have investors? Absolutely! Differentiating between nonprofit donors vs. investors is a key part of fundraising,…

A recent article in the The Chronicle of Philanthropy has spurred a lot of discussion among the principals here at Convergent. The article cites a study by Szu-chi Huang, assistant professor of marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, in which she suggests that…

Using A Feasibility Study to Plan A Successful Campaign

How do you generate investments for infrastructure improvements at a community college in a state known as the “granddaddy” of the Promise Program initiative? Can you convince investors to fund both efforts?

Building Your Organization For Its Future Growth

This YMCA had leased buildings from the city and moved from place to place over its entire 125-year existence. How do you find the funding for the permanent home you need in order to provide a vibrant, central hub for youth development, social responsibility and healthy...

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With Convergent's professional assistance, we developed the strategy and tools necessary to inspire greater involvement and investment in our campaign.

Charles E. Rogers, Jr., Scout Executive
Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America, PA