Results: Chambers of Commerce

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…

A few years ago, the Omaha Chamber’s economic development arm initiated an award-winning awareness campaign around a double entendre slogan: “Omaha … We Don’t Coast.” Creative design and art, clever video footage, and great social media distribution were all part of the pitch. It was…

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…

The 2018 ACCE Convention did not disappoint! Very strong content and wonderful network development for EVERYBODY but the real star of the show may have been the place, not the program. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many raves about the host city and chamber…

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…

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.

We’ve all been there. You go in to meet with a potential investor, begin to outline your strategic plan and funding needs and are having a great dialogue. Frankly, you’re in the zone and loving it. After all that great banter you get the all…

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.

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…

I love business-led, civic-economic nonprofit entities (chambers of commerce), but the affection is seldom nurtured by their electronic identities. I know and respect what they do and who they represent! Why don’t chamber websites and social media accounts demonstrate and amplify their initiatives, services, and…

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…

The search for Amazon’s second HQ in the United States has thrust economic development into the national spotlight. In fact, one of my favorite sessions at IEDC‘s 2018 Leadership Summit was the Tuesday morning special plenary session, “Chasing the Big Deal,” which focused heavily on…

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…

Just when you thought you might be free from my meddling, I stumble back into chamber life. I am proud to announce my new affiliation with Convergent Nonprofit Solutions, a firm that has proven itself to be a formidable resource for chambers and development organizations. While…

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…

This year’s Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ (ACCE) Annual Conference was, quite possibly, the best ACCE conference we’ve ever attended! From line dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon (what a hoot!) to ACCE President Mick Fleming’s moving goodbye toast, it was definitely an experience…

Every year Mark attends the MAKO Chamber Conference. This annual meeting of chamber professionals from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma has grown drastically since its inception, and this year had the largest attendance yet. After each conference, Mark usually shares a few of the “Frequently Asked Questions” he heard about chamber fundraising and our services during the conference, but this year, we thought we’d change things up a bit.

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…

I very much enjoyed yet another Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) conference this year. Kyle Spurgeon and his team from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce were out in full force playing gracious host and did a great job all around. Special personal congratulations were…

I pulled up to the hotel and heard familiar sounds, sensed the savory smells and felt the energy that was unmistakably Savannah made. The Florida storms had wreaked havoc on the interstates, so it was too late to make an appearance at The Chairman’s Gala that…

Testimonials are a powerful way to deliver a convincing message. The credibility of third party endorsement is gold, and that credibility is even stronger when the testimonial comes from a familiar face. That’s why testimonials can be so effective for chambers of commerce and other…

This article was originally written for and published in the International Economic Development Council’s “ED Now” newsletter. We are excited to make it available to non-IEDC members here for the first time. Economic development organizations increasingly are joining forces with like-minded organizations to tackle complex economic issues….

We had a great time in Montreal and we hope you did as well! As always, the ACCE Annual Conference provided a great opportunity to meet up with old friends, clients, and colleagues, and make new acquaintances, too. Throughout the conference, we consistently heard attendees commenting…

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…

New IOM graduates, pictured left to right: Larkin Simpson, IOM, Chamber Director & Project Manager, Jones County Chamber of Commerce (MS); April Bragg, IOM, President & CEO, Milledgeville­Baldwin County Chamber (GA); Brian Tucker, IOM, Director of Economic Development, Georgetown County Economic Development (SC); Lindsay Frilling,…

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…

By Mark Bergethon Every year chamber professionals from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma gather together at Big Cedar Lodge to learn from one another, and this year the main goal was to “Get Real.” Session topics focused on “Real Chambers, Real Challenges, Real Solutions,” 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,…

“Thomasville, NC is an All-America City!” As a Chamber Executive, this is one of my favorite things to say. The National Civic League presents only 10 All-America City awards each year and after much hard work, Thomasville earned that designation in 2013. The All-America City…

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recently released a study titled “Raising the Bar Together: Successful Strategies for Workforce and Economic Development Collaboration.” It is certainly worth a read for anyone involved with Chambers of Commerce or Economic Development Organizations. Of particular interest to the…

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…

Can a rural community Economic Development Organization (EDO), which has never run a capital campaign in the past, launch a major fundraising initiative? How do you generate full buy-in from a business community that has never been presented with an “ask” of this nature? These are...
Why should an Economic Development Organization (EDO) that has run successful capital campaigns for years seek professional fundraising counsel? What is the benefit of conducting a full feasibility study prior to launching a campaign? How do you get longtime investors to significantly increase their investment...
How does an Economic Development Organization (EDO) that has depended primarily on an annual fundraising event for years make the leap to launching a multi-year capital campaign? How do they secure buy-in and support from the regional business community? These were the primary concerns faced...

Tell Us About You

We’d love to hear more about your organization’s fundraising concerns and goals to see how we can help.

Convergent is certainly among the best partners in our chamber/association and economic development industry. They have the experience and success that is needed in our ever-changing nonprofit sector. I urge you to give Convergent every consideration during your due diligence period (as we did at TAB) as you will not be disappointed in their work.

Chris Wallace, Past President
Texas Association of Business, TX

Convergent has done two campaigns for our local economic development foundation. Both were very successful. The Convergent team has a practiced approach to their entire process from program planning all the way through to campaign wrap-up. On both occasions, the Convergent rep "on the ground" doing the fundraising represented the organization and cause very well. We got nothing but good feedback from people they approached whether or not a pledge was made.

Mac Williams, President
Alamance County Area Chamber, NC

Convergent's work resulted in a significant increase to our previous investment amounts. The succinctly messaged our campaign and strategy in a way that resonated with Gainesville businesses.

Susan Davenport, Past President & CEO
Gainesville Area Chamber, FL