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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

What To Do When Your Fundraising Platform Isn't Perfect

So, your fundraising platform isn’t perfect.

In interviews or sales conversations, we hear this often, in various levels of severity, as we talk to our clients about their fundraising software and back-end systems. Sometimes, this means that your CRM was “custom built” for your organization…10 years ago. Other times, it means that your third party platforms don’t speak the same language. Or maybe you’re running a new program on a crowdfunding platform with limited capability. Even clients with high-dollar solutions that look great on paper suffer the occasional headache. 

We could brush off these challenges, or say that technology isn’t as important as your people, or reminisce about an era where in-person outreach was the norm. But platform problems are valid, and they can impact your ability to execute on fundraising and stewardship strategies. Further, the day-to-day hurdles that put barriers between your team, your data, and your constituents often translate into frustration for your hard-working staff, who may have to spend precious time on workarounds.

Topics: Funding

The #1 Reason Fundraising Programs Fail

In recent months, I've had the opportunity to work with several organizations on their fundraising programs. It is always interesting to explore events through discussion with staff and volunteers, and dive into the data that surrounds an event. But where I truly find great joy is in working collectively to surface the greatest potential of an event and then to provide the recommendations needed to make it a reality. 

So you can imagine how fulfilled I felt when I found Plenty, because that is exactly what our team does! Here at Plenty, in addition to providing leadership, strategy, and wellbeing expertise to change-makers all around the world, we also help nonprofits optimize their peer-to-peer fundraising programs. One way we do this is through our Seven Success Factors Framework. These seven components are the basic building blocks for peer-to-peer fundraising growth. We use these seven factors to analyze program performance, spot weaknesses, identify opportunities for growth, and discover any misalignment within the organization that may be impeding progress.

Topics: Funding Leadership

Your Fall Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Tune Up

As the formal start of fall quickly approaches and 2017 planning begins to gear up, we’re having frequent conversations with leaders about their 2016 results. While the verdict on the whole environment is still out, from what we can tell so far the summer peer-to-peer revenue landscape has been kind of a mixed bag: Some groups are growing, some are cooling off, a few are seeing exciting growth, and a few are experiencing truly disturbing declines. 

Topics: Funding

Success is in Surrender: Four Ways to Let the Universe Help You

Standing in the closet putting my clothes away, I spoke on the phone to a dear friend. Of course, I was multi-tasking, like I’ve learned to do as a mother, partner, dreamer and doer. While I folded clothes, he showered me with support and praise for seeing my dreams and hard work pay off. It was really wonderful to hear his genuine enthusiasm and encouragement for what is transpiring with Plenty.

Topics: Wellbeing

The Single Most Powerful Tool in Fundraising

Stories. They are the heartbeat of the human existence. They are a powerful, emergent, evolutionary form of communication, possessing the ability to resonate and empathize with the experiences of your listener. In sharing stories, you can connect new, revolutionary information to your listener’s existing knowledge of the world in such a way that inspires him or her to act.

I have always loved fundraising, but more importantly, I love what fundraising can do to impact lives on a great scale. As fundraisers, we hold immense power; we are not simply telling a story to an audience, we are helping people to share theirs. It is not our job as fundraisers to tell the story of Joe, the six-year old whose life was impacted by our organization’s leukemia research. It is our job to give Joe the avenue by which to share his story and engage our audience to see the problem, possible solutions, and their part in them. Our job is to help listeners become the hero of the story by way of giving and engaging in our organization’s work.

Topics: Funding

Stopping the Search for "More"

I have been a seeker my entire life. For 43 years, I have been searching for the answer. The answer to what you might ask? The answer to everything.

I have been searching for knowledge, awareness, expression, higher states of consciousness, happiness, health, wellbeing, fitness, community, connection, authenticity, joy, memorable experiences, leadership opportunities, recognition, admiration, beauty, love, expansion, peace… and the list goes on. This search has motivated my actions, creations, and pursuits. It has informed how I show up in the world and how I like to be seen and perceived.

I want to matter. I want to make a positive difference in the world and despite my mom always telling me that “showing up is enough,” it never felt like it was. So, I’ve been searching outside of myself for the answers and fulfillment. This search has also left me with an unquenchable thirst for more on the path towards human potential, both mine and others. More knowledge, more wisdom, more experiences etc., but its accumulation has left me exhausted, depleted, and stressed.

Topics: Wellbeing

The New Paradigm and You

We had an incredible experience last month giving the keynote to over 1200 people at the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC), the annual gathering of the leaders of PBS and NPR stations across the country. Like we do in so many of our other speeches, we set the stage by discussing the profound shift we are living through as a human species. 

We outlined our belief that a new paradigm is emerging — one where wholeness, community, and connection reign over separation, heirarchy, and competition. Over the last ten years, our world has changed dramatically and permanently. We are increasingly connected to one another in a global, persistent, and constantly evolving web of information and interaction. Our social circles and networks have expanded exponentially, and more profoundly, our ability to reach out to and mobilize those networks has expanded as well. And, when we mobilize those networks with a click of share, ask, or button, the impact is immediate.  

Topics: Strategy

The Most Important Question in Fundraising

It’s easy to have a general sense of who your audience is — and there are probably aspects of that sense that are right on target. But have you taken a look at your constituent database recently to truly uncover who is coming to your events, visiting your website, or fundraising for you? You may find that a different segment is driving each activity or that one key audience is engaged on all levels. There is no one right path to success, but knowing who is helping you achieve it is crucial for your organization's acquisition and retention efforts.

Topics: Funding

Financial Wellbeing Tools for Change Makers

As a change maker, you may be someone who looks at money as a necessary evil, a distraction from your service driven life. While this mindset may be prevalent in those across the social good space, it's simply not true. Your financial wellbeing is just as important for being a change maker as is emotional or physical health. In order for you to truly make a difference, it is important for you to understand that you will have so much more to give others if you learn to have a healthy relationship with money and tend to your needs first. “Put your own oxygen mask on first,” so to speak. 

In our fourth installment of the Wellbeing for Changemakers series, I’d like to share three key ways for you to develop and build a healthy, prosperous financial approach while creating a thriving relationship with money.

Topics: Wellbeing