This Saturday will be the culmination of three weeks of parties and activities in Louisville that lead up to the Kentucky Derby. After six years of living here, my activities have also fallen into pre- and post-Derby happenings. Plants that are sensitive to frost aren’t safe to plant until after Derby. Nonprofit mailings have to happen either before or after Derby ‘season.’

While your community may not have a three-week festival season that is not commonly known in other areas of the country, you probably still have community-wide activities that are celebrated. In a small town in northern Indiana I lived in as a child, we had the Blueberry Festival. I was so disappointed when we moved to Florida and realized it wasn’t celebrated there!

So how do you continue fundraising when everyone else’s mind is elsewhere? Well, if you can’t beat them, join them! In your mailings and materials, acknowledge the event and try to connect what you’re doing to it. That could be by highlighting a program that is somewhat related or holding an event with a theme that corresponds with theme of the season.

Also, wanted to make sure you can reach me. My office number is now 502-509-5004 (or you can always just reply to this email).

Quote of the week:  Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. - Emerson

Kirsten Recommends:

Members’ Monthly Webinar with Cara Silletto
May 8, 1pm ET (noon CT / 11am MT / 10am PT

They Drive Me Crazy! Bridging the Generational Divide

While the youngest cohort in the workforce is often stereotyped as entitled, lazy and lacking commitment, great rewards can come to organizations and managers who understand what makes Millennials tick and how to get them fully engaged. By putting all the issues on the TABLE (Technology, Authority, Balancing Work/Life, Loyalty and Entitlement), this session will help both older and younger talent within your organization bridge that generational gap and work together more effectively – and will help you relate better with donors of all ages.

Membership in The Nonprofit Academy is an affordable way to get 12-months of training. In May we’ll be covering ways you can communicate and connect with people in different generations. Plus, there are now options to add in consulting help from me as well. Visit to get more information!

Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please forward this to others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!

Awareness / Communications

  • Using Content Marketing to Engage Volunteers VolunteerMatch recently ran a very nice four-part series on using content marketing to engage your volunteers and manage your volunteer programs, using Kivi Leroux Miller's book, Content Marketing for Nonprofits, as a starting point. @kivilm
  • [INFOGRAPHIC] Nonprofits and Communication Segmenting It’s no secret that effective donor communications is the secret to higher donor retention rates – but what makes for effective donor communications? Segmenting your emails, newsletters and acknowledgement letters are a great way to customize and individualize your messaging to donors. But are most nonprofits doing this? @BloomerangTech
  • How to Simplify Your Nonprofit's Story to 1 Paragraph We all pitch now, whether we are hoping someone will open and read our email, or we are trying to get grant money from a foundation, or enticing donors to give for the first time to our causes. @joannefritz
  • The Year Of The Nonprofit Video Here is a fascinating look at the already hot nonprofit videos of 2014. Says the author: “…in 2014, viewers have made it clear that they want as many tear-jerking videos as brands can produce … While any brand can create this type of video, the demand for emotional storytelling is especially opportune for nonprofits. @AgitatorEditors
  • Your Essential Proofreading Checklist: 10 Things You Can't Forget If you're always fixing these 10 mistakes, you'll end up with quite a tidy piece of content -- if not perfect. It's possible that one tiny mistake may still slip through -- you're human, after all. But this list should help you keep your content squeaky clean, all without hiring a proofreading checker. @HubSpot

Fundraising Planning

  • Do You Have the Data to Map a Successful Donor Journey? In order to successfully boost donor acquisition online, you need to hook new supporters from day 1 and learn as much as you can about them to personalize the experience moving forward. @Blackbaud
  • The Great Fundraisers are Charged With Energy Forget everything you learned in high school physics about the definition of “energy.” In fundraising, the definition of energy is, success. Energy breeds success. @jerrypanas
  • The Secret to Creating a Nonprofit CEO Fundraising Machine If you are a desperate CDO (chief development officer) or a drowning CEO, I’ll spare you the anxiety of waiting for the answer to the secret, it’s this: Hire a Fundraising Coach, There, I said it. @jerrypanas
  • 5 things fundraisers need to know about Boomers As Boomers increasingly replace their elders in our donor lists, it pays to know how they are different from the previous generation -- and how Boomers themselves are changing as they age. @jeffbrooks
  • Bringing in donations requires personnel Hospitals are dependent on donations to help offset huge operating expenses. And in this turbulent time of rising costs and shrinking reimbursements, they need all the financial kindness they can get. That’s why investing in philanthropy personnel is important. @HFNewsTweet

Fundraising Tactics


  • Malaria Is The 'Greatest Success Story In Global Health': Nonprofit - Huffington Post About 3.3 million lives have been saved because of international malaria control interventions, the World Health Organization reports, and malaria mortality rates in African children have dropped by about 54 percent. Hopeful statistics like these help...@HuffPostImpact
  • Philanthropy in China: Giving in Despite making vast fortunes in a country suffering from widening income inequality, surprisingly few Chinese fat cats have embraced charitable giving. That may be about to change. @TheEconomist
  • Embezzlement: It Could Happen to You It’s a feeling no association executive wants to know, but many do. A Washington Post analysis revealed in late 2013 that more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States had reported to the IRS a “significant diversion of funds” since 2008, when the IRS Form 990 first included a question about such losses. @AssociationsNow
  • Want your board to give? Find a member who acts like these grandmas. Convincing a board to give. It still is difficult in the Netherlands. Even when it comes to giving in times of a major gift campaign. Even when they know that giving as a board member will be inspirational, that it will set an example for prospective donors. @101fundraising
  • 6 Functions for Creating Effective Budgets Budgeting is an intrinsic and vital part of a nonprofit organization. Often, it requires months of drafting and revising before reaching final board approval.  Even further complicating the budgeting process is the fact that it often involves mostly non-financial staff to develop. @Blackbaud