Results: Human Services

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Each December we find ourselves reviewing our work from the year to determine what to keep, what to throw away, and what to add in the New Year. In over 30 years of working for and with nonprofits one of my most dreaded and frequently…

Can one day impact your nonprofit’s drive for sustainability? A lot is being said right now about Giving Tuesday. I don’t disagree with the strategy behind this much-publicized day of giving and think it’s a very useful tool in the fundraising toolkit for many smaller…

Convergent Senior Project Director Len Romano recently shared his three top tips for conducting a successful feasibility study. Watch and learn from Len or read on to find out his tips below.   The important first step in any capital campaign is the feasibility study…

Convergent Note: The following article was recently published online by Forbes Nonprofit Council and written by Senior Project Director Carlotta Ungaro. That other nonprofit bank account When an individual or business makes that investment in your nonprofit, the funds go into the bank account. But what…

What does a fundraising consultant do? A Beatles lyric was my inspiration for this thought about the day-to-day role of a fundraising consultant conducting a feasibility study or directing a capital campaign. “What would you think if I sang out of tune? Would you stand…

5 Fundraising Misconceptions and How to Address Them Adapted from ROI for Nonprofits: The New Key to Sustainability The original title of this section was “Five Classic Fundraising Campaign Myths,” but that implied that these misconceptions had a strong probability of being false. The fact is,…

ROI and Grant Proposals Tips for Nonprofits 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…

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…

Lessons in Fundraising for Nonprofits for 2019 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….

Is Gen Z the Next Generation of Nonprofit Donors and Volunteers? 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…

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 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…

In identifying effective board members for your nonprofit, fundraising should be a key skill set in your search. This blog will focus on why this is important and the tactics to help build a fundraising board culture in your nonprofit organization. A fundraising board and…

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.

Is Your Capital Campaign Designed For Success? 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…

Moving Your Nonprofit Away From Government Funding 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…

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…

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…

Nonprofit leaders are constantly hearing about how important impact and outcomes are to funders. Articles with titles like, “Study: A Nonprofit’s Impact Is the Most Significant Consideration to Funders,” and, “Why Outcomes, Not Output, Is the Key to Nonprofit Sustainability,” are everywhere.  But taking the…

Convergent Note: The following is a brief excerpt from an article written by Principal Mark Bergethon and published in the Mar/Apr 2017 issue of AmeriDisability, “Florida’s leading publication for individuals, businesses, and nonprofits supporting our disabled community.” To read the full article, follow the link…

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 recently had the good fortune to speak with a number of smart and engaging advocates at the 2016 National CASA/GAL Conference. They are a group of professionals who have dedicated their careers to a cause as worthy as they come: ensuring that every abused…

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…

Tips for Using Special Events to Reach Your Funding Goals 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…

As I mention in an earlier blog post, I recently had the chance to attend the Alliance for Children & Families Senior Leadership Conference in Savannah, GA. It was a great conference with some amazing facilitators conducting workshops, and I was lucky enough to find…

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the Alliance for Children & Families Senior Leadership Conference in Savannah, GA. It was my first time attending, and I was humbled to learn about the Alliance and the impressive work they do, along with each of their…

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…

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?

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...
Most public schools can rely on government funding to assist in bricks and mortar funding needs, but what if you are a public charter school and ineligible for such funding? How do you raise awareness and support for your school amongst the local community, including...
How do you decide who to hire to manage your capital campaign? Do you need a “full-service” firm or is an “of-counsel” consultant sufficient? Is it worth the risk to spend the money needed to hire an outside fundraising firm; will they raise enough money...
What do you do when you launch a capital campaign in the midst of an economic recession, when you face stiff “competition” for fundraising dollars from a series of high profile nonprofits in your area, and when your longtime executive director leaves at the outset...
Duluth, Georgia-based Rainbow Village has been providing transitional housing to homeless families with children for over 25 years. In 2008, the organization’s leadership determined it was time to significantly expand their mission… with a goal of tripling the number of families they serve. They took...

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

It's difficult to receive funding on something that people don't think really exists {human trafficking}. You have to work on having a structure that makes people understand. The Organizational Assessment and Growth Strategy Planning performed by Convergent helped us refine our messaging, develop a replicable Continuum of Care program, and identify key strategic partnership opportunities. It's been a very exciting time for us!

Jill Cohen, Executive Director
The Lifeboat Project, FL

What struck a chord with the entire board was Convergent's insistence that in order to raise significant dollars effectively you really need trained, professional fundraisers. I can tell you of all the things connected to this campaign, the greatest angst for our board was the fear of having to ask for money. Taking away that angst - and replacing it with the reassurance that professionals would be making the ask - instilled our confidence in Convergent to lead a successful campaign.

Rev. Nancy Yancey, Past Executive Director
Rainbow Village, GA