Creating a Story Bank

Stories are how humans learn and make connections. A simple story can motivate someone to action by bringing people and situations to life, making your mission more than an abstract idea. The tips below will help you reap the benefits of storytelling: Practice storytelling: Spend a little time at each board or staff meeting talking about recent successes and experiences serving beneficiaries. Create a story…

Creating a Simple Case Statement

The current state of affairs has us facing and placing large amounts of information. To make sure that your audience isn’t missing important updates from your nonprofit, your messaging needs to be focused and uncomplicated. Not only will this simple framework help you streamline your communications, but it will save you time and frustration as well. Four Elements of a Simple Case Statement: 1. A…

Evaluating Your Funding Mix Exercise

PURPOSE AND INSTRUCTIONS In light of COVID-19 and the new challenges it presents, many nonprofits are examining their funding sources and having to adjust their plans for the future. By knowing exactly where your funding comes from, you can determine if you have a good mix of income streams or whether you are too dependent on only one or two sources. That way, when decisions…

The Parking Lot Facilitation Tool

Being respectful of your board members’ time and energy is important to retention. The “parking lot” is a useful facilitation tool for keeping your meetings on track and on time. It allows open issues or ideas not on the agenda to be “parked” for discussion at a later time, keeping the meeting on track. But more importantly, it sends a message that everyone’s contributions are…

Nonprofit Expert Roundup: What is the most important thing to remember when fundraising?

Every nonprofit, whether they’re brand new and an established organization, has heard a wide variety of advice when it comes to fundraising. Whether seeking funds from private donors or larger foundations, nonprofit staff and board members have a lot to consider. All of the information can be overwhelming, so we asked a variety of nonprofit experts, “What is the most important thing to remember when…

What Small Nonprofits Need to Know about #GivingTuesday

Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been known as #GivingTuesday. This annual day of giving, recognized around the world, serves to bring attention to philanthropy and encourage generosity after the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While many organizations debate the return on investment of #GivingTuesday efforts, it can’t be ignored that donations made on this day are increasing. In 2017, #GivingTuesday donations…

Planned Giving – Continuing the Legacy

This month, we have a guest post from Elena Fracchia, a Wealth Advisor for one of CNS’s sponsors, Columbia Bank. The parents of Baby Boomers have often been called “the Greatest Generation” by historians. While their contributions to society are beyond reproach, to the nonprofit community, those Baby Boomers deserve their own place atop great generational achievements, as they largely created the industry of nonprofits. And…

Why Do We Give? Emotional Connections Drive Donating

In 2007, researcher Paul Slovic from the University of Oregon wanted to study why we ignore mass genocide, and he explored ways to help humans care about larger tragedies. In his extensive study on human emotions (source), he referenced and expanded on a study that tested storytelling and measured the impact of different stories. Two Similar, But Different Approaches The first story centered around a…

Getting Ready for #GivingTuesday

Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been known as #GivingTuesday. This annual day of giving, recognized around the world, serves to bring attention to philanthropy and encourage generosity after the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While many organizations debate the return on investment of #GivingTuesday efforts, it can’t be ignored that donations made on this day are increasing. In 2017, #GivingTuesday donations…

Is your donor the hero of your fundraising story?

By and large, fundraising equates to great storytelling. Stories are how human beings learn and make connections, and studies show information shared through storytelling is better absorbed and evokes more empathy. All too often however, nonprofits make the mistake of confusing fundraising with marketing. Great marketing strategies capture the attention of your target audience; they build people’s confidence in your organization and its services, and…