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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

Your Gala Doesn’t Have To Suck: A Punchlist

Spring is in the air: Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and gala invitations are dropping into our mailboxes at a frantic pace. Like many of you, we’ve spent quite a few evenings these past several months sitting at table rounds set for ten, and we wanted to send over some observations, thoughts, and advice for those of you still planning your big spring soirée.

First off, let us offer a guiding principle: Your gala doesn’t have to suck. And the process of putting it together doesn’t have to be agonizing, either.

But whenever we talk about peer-to-peer fundraising strategy, which is quite often, an overworked staff member invariably brings up the forced march that is planning, holding, and following up on their annual gala. There’s probably no one fundraising activity that causes more stress, annoyance, frustration, and résumé creation than the annual gala.

Topics: Funding

The Five Most Important Things I Tell My Children At Bedtime

How do we teach others to believe in themselves? How do we empower them to make positive choices?

Topics: Inspiration

Strengthening Your Fundraiser Community, Part 1

Community is something all organizations have in common. Whether we’re saving the world’s endangered species, finding a cure for cancer, or ridding the world of hunger, our work hinges upon the trust and vitality of our respective communities. Communities are the root of our collective power, and the source of our programmatic and developmental strategies.

As consultants, we’ve helped countless organizations build healthy and engaged communities that unlock new opportunities for operational success in fundraising, program delivery, event management, etc.

We are bringing that advice and experience from our engagements to the blog. Here are four conceptual tips for developing a rich, vibrant constituent community for your organization. (And stay tuned, because over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting more tips for activating and empowering that same community!) 

Topics: Funding Community

"What Do You Mean Your Board Isn't Fundraising?"

Next week we are teaming up with BoardEffect to host a webinar on how to create strategic alignment with and within your board. (You can register here!) Which is why it felt like a great time to pull this post from the Plenty archives, dust off the advice, and put it to work. Hopefully by now you understand how important the peer-to-peer (P2P) model is to your organization. And if you are already drinking the P2P Kool-Aid, you know that the opportunity to harness peer networks to advocate and fundraise on behalf of your cause is exponential. So, alright then, what are we waiting for? Let's roll that new peer-to-peer program out  right? 

Well, not quite. Chances are you need to get your leadership team onboard with your strategy first, including your board members. This can be easier said than done sometimes, however you have the power of P2P on your side. A great way to showcase the potential of P2P programs is to get your board directly involved in the fundraising efforts. 

Topics: Funding

Strategic Planning For An Authentic World

As Jennifer outlined in her recent post, “We Are The Ones We Are Looking For,” our worldview at Plenty is that we are entering a new era of authenticity – one in which the old paradigms of hierarchy and division are giving way to more collaborative and interconnected ways of thinking and acting. In this world, how we show what we feel is becoming more important than how we say what we know. 

Topics: Strategy

We Are The Ones We Are Looking For

We are very fortunate to be alive during this time of deep human transformation. We are literally living through a global “shift” – a shift in the way we know ourselves, a shift in the way we treat each other, a shift in the world as we know it.

Topics: Wellbeing

The 3 Layers Of All Great Peer-to-Peer Strategies

The internet is filled with infinite possibilities. It hosts a tremendous store of knowledge, but it's far more than an encyclopedia: this powerful aspect of our modern lives is a network, built on sharing and connection. Many nonprofit organizations have realized the potential of the web for both raising awareness and generating revenue. Peer-to-peer fundraising can help your organization harness the power of networks, both on and off the web, with your most loyal, influential supporters at the center.

Topics: Strategy

"What Is Heaven Like?"

Several nights ago, while tucking my two children, Riley and Hadley, into bed we wrapped up our day with our bedtime ritual, words of gratitude. Riley began and they proceeded to alternate on and off until we were complete. Their thoughts were of their Aunt Sue, thousands of miles away, fighting cancer lying on a bed in Boston. Their words of gratitude turned towards prayers as they asked for my Aunt Sue’s spirit to freely pass on to heaven and for my dad’s heart, their “Poppa”, to be comforted and surrounded with love for his dying sister. 

Topics: Wellbeing