2 Fundraising Theories to stay away from

 fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, leadership, year-end giving,This week we heard two expressions we are compelled to share with you, our readers. They are “The Fooling Yourself Theory” and “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” Both can be applied to fundraising throughout the year, and especially in the last quarter. They were shared by women from different parts of the country both of whom are very experienced with fundraising, board service, and nonprofit management. One is a nonprofit executive, the other heads a private business. Here are the details.

The Fooling Yourself Theory. When we heard this phrase we had to stop and write it down right away. Here’s what it means. You are an executive (or board member) and you observe that certain structures, systems or people do not support the organization and its goals. You make the observation and then you ignore your observation. Or you hope you’re wrong. Or you hope it will resolve itself on its own. We have seen this in play so many times. People in leadership know what is wrong, see it clear as day, and yet take no action.

Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. This error can be made by young and old alike. The young may confuse kindness with weakness because they don’t have a history of working within healthy organizations. They may assume that creating a climate of trust and letting people be responsible for outcomes is a sign of weakness. That the executive or board chair won’t notice if work isn’t produced. Older people may have been trained to respond to constant follow up, criticism and externally imposed deadlines. They may mistake a leader’s delegation of responsibility and respect for others’ expertise and autonomy as weakness.

The fourth quarter is a time many nonprofits focus on revenue, and The Fooling Yourself Theory can get in the way of successful fundraising. If last year’s fundraising strategy did not yield the required results, thinking it will work this year may be an example of the “theory” in action. If board members did not solicit those they agreed to solicit last year, you may want a different strategy – or different volunteers – this year.

Employees and board members who show up in body but not in mind and spirit, and those who quietly or boldly don’t fulfill their responsibilities may be surprised when they are asked to resign. It shouldn’t be a surprise: kindness is not weakness. Kind leaders work with their employees and board members and understand the ups and downs of life and the many commitments we all must fulfill. But leaders – mean and kind – know that responsibilities need to be fulfilled. Those who don’t practice the “theory” take action: they are not weak, they are kind and decisive.

Contemplate these expressions and let them inform your leadership and your ability to follow.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Five alternative ways to give back

fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, alternative giving, in-kind giving, loaned personnel, year-end givingThe giving season is upon us. For many nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and colleges the next three months are all about fundraising. You will no doubt see an increase in direct mail and e-mail solicitations, Facebook campaigns, bill boards, print and TV commercials and personal asks made by of you by friends, family members and associates. Some of us have the ability to be most generous. For most, giving is more constrained, focused on a few organizations we believe in. Here’s something to think about: extend your gift by giving more than money. Consider these five ideas:

  1. Serve as an advocate. Volunteer to write an editorial or a letter to your elected representative. Speak at a public event. Advocate through social media. Talk to people you know.
  2. Become a fundraising solicitor. For those organizations you donate to, consider volunteering to host a fundraising event; solicit friends, family and associates; or accompany a staff person or board member when he or she visits with donors and funders.
  3. Recruit and/or train volunteers. Learn what types of volunteers are needed and then work with staff – or on your own – to recruit and train people who can make a difference.
  4. Donate products, services and property. So many organizations depend on product donations. These include food banks, medical clinics, and schools to name a few. Find out what types of products are needed and offer to donate and encourage others to join you in doing so. This is an ideal way for businesses to give back. You can donate your airline miles, or your professional expertise. Consider writing a grant, reviewing an organization’s finances, human resource policies or legal documents. You can donate property, lease an office for no charge or below market rent. You can design a social media campaign or redesign a website. You can donate event planning services, printing or postage. Consider serving on a committee, or being a mentor. If you want to give back to your alma mater consider identifying students who could benefit from attending and help them through the application and financial aid processes.
  5. Provide loaned personnel. If you run a company you can loan your personnel to an organization you believe in. Learn what their needs are and consider loaning an employee who can provide the expertise in need.

There’s to no limit to the ways you can give. Be sure to first talk with someone at the nonprofit to learn what their needs are. You don’t want to donate time, property or services in a way that makes work for the organization, or doesn’t meet their needs. Ask how you can be of service. Don’t be offended if your services or products are not a fit: keep looking to find that organization who needs you.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Leadership and Fundraising: No Money No Mission

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“…the true leader can be recognized because somehow or other his people consistently turn in superior performances…. A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others.  Success without a successor is failure.”  This quote from Robert Townsend was used by Jeanette OBryant, Development Coordinator at the National Civil Rights Museum as she introduced her boss, outgoing museum president Beverly Robertson.

She concluded her remarks with Townsend’s words: “Loyalty to the leader reaches its highest peak when the follower has personally grown through the mentorship of the leader.  Why? Because you win people’s heart by helping them grow personally.”

These words capture the essence of Robertson. She has a strong respect for her staff and has provided them with opportunities to grow and assume leadership. And, she is leaving the museum in a strong position for her successor to build from.

The event we were attending was an intimate breakfast at the newly renovated museum that brought together former board members, volunteers, donors, supporters, staff and community members to hear Robertson’s reflections and tour the museum with her. She began by lifting up current and former staff, board members and volunteers – calling them by name and thanking them for their involvement. She made it clear that her tenure was rooted not the in the status that accompanies her position, but rather in her commitment to the museum and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here are qualities we observe in Robertson that contribute to her success as a fundraising leader. She makes everyone she comes in contact with feel good about their interactions with her and their support of the museum. She invites everyone to the table, while keeping her eye on the prize: raising money. She lifts up her staff, encourages them to move beyond what they perceive as their limitations, and provides opportunities for professional growth. She is a “we” not “me” person. Never once have we heard “I raised the money.” She is clear that fundraising is front and center for a nonprofit’s success. She summed it up with “No money, no mission” followed by a warm laugh that embraced the audience. In our words: you can have great ideas, but without money it is very difficult to bring them to life.

Robertson has served as president for 17 years, ending her tenure with the opening of the renovated museum and the beginnings of an endowment. She will be succeeded by Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a public foundation serving the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia.

We salute Beverly Robertson and we welcome Terri Lee Freeman.

Visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis TN.  http://civilrightsmuseum.org/

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Simplifying Financial Aid

financial aid, paying for college, college access, scholarships, grants, HBCU, first generation studentsTrying to receive financial aid for college? How do you feel when completing the ten page FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid) form? Could reducing it to two questions improve the process? Senators Alexander (TN) and Bennett (CO) believe more students could pursue a college education if the form were simplified. They want to reduce FAFSA to a postcard that asks two questions: What is your family size? And, what was your household income two years ago? Using earlier tax data – and a simple “look up” table – would let students know how much financial aid they are eligible for when they start looking at colleges.

The Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency (FAST) Act proposes to streamline federal grant and loan programs by combining two federal grant programs into one Pell grant program and reducing the six different federal loan programs into three: one undergraduate loan program, one graduate loan program, and one parent loan program.

The bill would also restore year-round Pell grant availability so students who want to accelerate their education by attending college during the summer can do so. It seeks to discourage over-borrowing by limiting the amount a student is able to borrow based on enrollment: a part-time student could only take out a part time loan. It also seeks to simplify repayment options by streamlining repayment programs and creating two plans, an income based plan and a 10-year repayment plan.

Financial aid by the numbers: There are approximately 22 million students enrolled in more than 6,000 institutions of higher education in the U.S. In 2013, taxpayers lent more than $102 billion in new federal student loans to 10 million college students. 9.2 million students received a Pell grant in 2012-2013 with an average award of $3,477 and total federal expenditures of $33 billion.

Here’s what we know: college education is critical to the economic success of individuals, families, and communities. Financial aid plays a key role in providing access to college. Completing FAFSA is complicated and time consuming: many people give up. With bipartisan sponsors this proposed legislation could remove a barrier to education and increase access. We also know policy changes can have unintended consequences. When changes were made to the Parent PLUS loan program the consequences were devastating for students, their families and the colleges they attended. Many students could not complete their education because they were suddenly no longer eligible for these loans. Decreasing enrollment had a dramatic impact on colleges and universities with substantial numbers of first generation students. We don’t know what unintended impacts this legislation could have: we do know that when people come together we can find solutions.

To learn more contact Bob Moran, in Senator Alexander’s office – robert_moran@help.senate.gov or (202) 224-6770; or Juliana Herman in Senator Bennet’s office – Juliana_herman@bennet.senate.gov or (202) 224-1334.

Image credit to the US Department of Education

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Five Questions to Ask When Hiring a Nonprofit Fundraising Professional

 fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, job search, fundraising jobs, job interview, how to interview a fundraiser, fundraising career, how to hire a fundraiser If you need to hire a fundraising professional you are in good company. This is one of the hardest positions to fill. It is even harder to retain a talented fundraiser. We have written extensively on these topics over the years because they are a major issue confronting the nonprofit sector.

The number of experienced fund development and fundraising professionals is much smaller than the pool of organizations that need such people. The pool of talent gets even smaller when looking for people who have experience with a diversity of fundraising methods. It is most challenging when looking for an individual who can manage the fundraising function for your organization or institution. This is coupled by a structural challenge: good fundraisers are not necessarily good fundraising managers. Yet the pathway to professional success is often tied to a move from fundraising to management. This is not always a good idea as the strengths of fundraisers are not always the strengths of fundraising managers.

To help you make the right hire, we suggest asking some out of the box questions. Whether you need someone to manage your fundraising, or someone to raise money the questions you ask can influence your hire. Try some of the following:

  1.  What is your history of volunteerism and community involvement? This lets you know a candidate’s appreciation for the nonprofit sector and her understanding of the challenges faced by organizations and volunteers.
  2.  Mentorship and training – who has she been mentored by? Worked under? Which seasoned professional or volunteer has shaped her career? Formal training is hard to come by, but good habits are learned from respected professionals.
  3.  Project development and management – what has your candidate created from scratch? What did she start and manage? Don’t worry about success: you want to learn about her initiative and how she approaches a goal.
  4.  How well has she prepared for the interview? What types of questions does she ask in the interview? Do those questions reflect creative research of your organization? How a candidate prepares for an interview is a clue to how she may approach work with a donor.
  5.  What is her work history and track record? Ask about growth with an organization or within a position; impact of her work; and length at previous positions – has she stayed long enough for organizations to benefit from her tenure? Was she a team player or a loner? Listen to language: do you hear “I raised $99 million in 90 days” or “Together our staff, board and volunteers exceeded our goal.” Does she mention working from a plan? Engaging and supporting volunteers?

Consider these suggestions as you prepare to make your next hire: out-of-the box questions can help you learn what you need to know.

Releated Articles:

1.     How to Hire a Fundraiser  http://fundraisinggoodtimes.com/2012/08/21/how-to-hire-a-fundraiser/

2.     To Hire or To Plan – Which comes first? http://fundraisinggoodtimes.com/2011/04/08/hiring-fundraiser/

3.     Fundraising Fables: Retaining fundraising professionals http://fundraisinggoodtimes.com/2014/07/21/fundraising-fables-retaining-fund-development-professionals/

4.     Your fundraising quarterback: Staff http://fundraisinggoodtimes.com/2012/02/23/your-fundraising-quarterback-staff/

5.     I’ll take a percentage http://fundraisinggoodtimes.com/2009/06/03/fundraising-ethics/

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Five things to consider before accepting a fundraising position

fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, job search, fundraising jobs, fundraising careerThe possibility of a new position as a fund development or fundraising professional brings excitement and anticipation. A new position could mean the opportunity to “finally” put one’s professional skills to use. Maybe with a new position there will be greater opportunities to implement best practices and to meet – or even exceed – goals. Maybe, and maybe not. There are so many variables that impact a professional’s ability to work his or her craft, most of which are beyond their control. If you are considering a new position don’t let the allure of “greener pastures” keep you from researching your potential employer. Here are five things to consider before accepting a fundraising position.

  1.  Organization’s or institution’s mission, vision, value, goals. Do you know what these are? Are they consistently communicated by all parties during your interviews? Do you agree with these? Will they motivate you day-after-day?
  2.  Job description, turnover in the position, budget and resources you will have to work with. During your interviews ask questions about the job description: what percentage of your time will be allocated to the different responsibilities? How much time will be spent on “other duties as assigned?” What budget and resources will you have? Will you control their use or will you need the approval of others? What has been the tenure of other individuals in the position over the past 10 years? What were the reasons for their departure?
  3.  Leadership stability and local/national recognition. Is the president or CEO recognized as a leader in his/her field? How long has he/she held the position? The previous executive? What role does the board play in fundraising? How much do they give and raise collectively each year?
  4.  Planning tools, their use and track record/results. Does the organization actively engage in planning and then work from those plans? Are the following in place: financial plan, business plan (including sustainability and growth projections), strategic plan, fundraising plan? What is its financial status? Is fundraising proactive and volunteer driven or is there a history of “emergency fundraising?”
  5.  Public perception. How is organization perceived by local/regional/national leaders, decision makers and funders? What do the people served think of the organization? When you do a Google search, what do you find? What do your neighbors say?

You may find yourself applying for your “dream job.” Don’t let the glow of your expectations stop you from taking a close look at organizational realities. Your negotiating power is typically greatest before you join an organization, so do your homework and negotiate a position and environment you want to work in. Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer: doing so may be the right decision.

Next week: Five things to consider when hiring a fundraising professional

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

How to launch a successful ice bucket challenge

fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, ice-bucket challenge, fundraising infrastructure, annual giving, social media fundraisingLast week we focused on the excitement – and revenue! – generated by the ALS Foundation’s “ice bucket challenge.” We’re talking millions and millions of dollars. And we imagine your nonprofit organization or college is thinking “why didn’t we think of that?!” Or maybe a board member has approached your executive or development director with a request launch your own challenge.

Here’s our two cents: make sure your fundraising fundamentals are in place. We are talking about things such as a board gives and fundraises. Thanking people within 48 hours. Using a donor management system to track gifts, pledges, relationships and interactions. A case for support that defines your vision, what you are raising money for, how the funds will be used, and what the impact will be.

If you are thinking about a “challenge” you want go globally social you may need to consider a few other items. These include: what do you want donors to do and why? What will motivate donors to give and share your message? How will you succinctly communicate your uniqueness, value and impact? What structure will you put in place to launch and monitor your challenge? Who within your network has strong social media networks they are willing to engage? Who has strong in-person networks to engage for events that energize supporters and engage new ones? Who will kick-start your challenge? What are your media connections? Which celebrity can provide a jumpstart? What will be the “buzz?” There are so many social giving campaigns: what will make yours stand out? What about donor benefits? What can you offer donors as an incentive to give at increasing levels? Say $100 instead of $25?

Regarding infrastructure: how will you respond? Do you have technology in place that can automatically respond with a thank you and tax receipt? Do you have people in place to look each day at who is giving, what level they are giving at, and to reach out with a personal touch – a phone call or personal email – to say thank you? Do you have patience, persistence and a “plan b?” Using a “if you build it, they will come” approach to your challenge would be a recipe for “un-success.” Having a plan to promote your challenge – and consistently working your plan – can increase your chances of success. Concurrently working an alternative plan to raise the money you seek from your challenge will be critical to ensuring your organization or institution meets its fundraising goal. Most importantly, if your challenge is successful, what will be your plan to convert your “challenge” donor into one who will support your organization for years to come? Do you have the capacity and infrastructure to nurture and grow your “challenge” donors? Will they become one-time donors or life-time donors?

Photo credit: PeopleAlerts.com

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In the heat of summer having a bucket of ice water thrown on you may not be a bad thing. It’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation – contagious fundraising spurred on by social media, sports celebrities, television hosts, movie stars and international performers. Everyone – it seems – is in on it. Well, except for the two of us. We are enjoying the summer heat with no ice water – but we’re giving to ALS anyway. Here’s the reason: we want to be “in with the in crowd.”

We’ve known of ALS – otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease – for decades. But no one has ever asked us to give to The ALS Foundation. There are so many worthy non-profits to give to, and like most people we have a limited budget. But, how could we not give when the nation is gripped with the ice bucket challenge?

In case you don’t know, here’s a quick overview of the challenge: someone challenges you to give to ALS. If you don’t, you have to have a bucket of ice cold water dumped on you. Even better: have it video-taped and posted on social media. Once you complete the challenge you have to challenge others to give or get wet. Here’s the thing: many people are doing both. It’s fun. The videos are hysterical. And the money is pouring in. The numbers from their recent press release are astounding. “As of Tuesday, August 19, The ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 19). These donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to The Association.”

And ALS knows receiving gifts is just the beginning. “Our top priority right now is acknowledging all the gifts made by donors to The ALS Association,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We want to be the best stewards of this incredible influx of support. To do that, we need to be strategic in our decision making as to how the funds will be spent so that when people look back on this event in ten and twenty years, the Ice Bucket Challenge will be seen as a real game-changer for ALS,” she continued.

The ALS Association is committed to communicating with donors and the public about future plans to spend the unprecedented amount of money it has received over the past few weeks.

So, should your nonprofit or college go viral with a “gimmick” to raise millions? Here are our thoughts: put the fundamentals in place first. If you can’t track and thank your donors, you don’t want thousands of donors: that can become a viral disaster instead of success.

Next week: more about the fundamentals.

Learn more at http://www.alsa.org. #IceBucketChallenge

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse leads by example

Dr.-Raymond-Burse, fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, HBCU Kentucky State University, KSU, Raymond Burse, leadershipHave you heard about Raymond Burse, the newly appointed interim-president of Kentucky State University who voluntarily reduced his salary by 25% in order to ensure that all university employees would make a minimum hourly wage of $10.25? That’s right, this HBCU president gave up a total of $90,125 so that 24 employees– some of whom were making $7.25 an hour – could receive a wage increase. On top of this he has pledged to give up additional salary to ensure no future employees make less than $10.25. He initiated the proposal to the university’s board of trustees and they made the changes to his compensation package.

“Who is this man?”, you may ask. He is a past-president of KSU (1982 – 1989), an attorney, and former vice president and general counsel at GE. In our minds he is also a master at generating good will and national media attention. His decision will directly improve the lives of impacted employees. It also shows that he has “skin in the game.” He is willing to personally sacrifice in order to advance the institution and its standing in the community. His action can help break down the walls that too often divide administration from faculty, staff and students, and the university from local residents. His decision reallocates existing resources and demonstrates commitment to the institution.

Our minds were racing when we heard the news. Too often we hear statements from nonprofit leaders that include “what can I do?” or “we don’t have any resources” or “no one knows about our organization.” Burse’s actions caused people all over the country to take notice. When we heard him interviewed on television he mentioned a result of his decision: people are making inquiries about enrolling and giving. These are two priorities that confront almost every institution of higher education. While his decision was a personal one based on what he believed was right, it has had national impact. He defined his agenda and presented it to the board of trustees.

When we look at Burse’s decision through the lens of fundraising we ask nonprofit leaders – including university presidents – to take time to contemplate and articulate your vision and to then do what you can do to bring that vision into life. Burse is an African American leader who took initiative. What actions can you initiate? Burse reallocated resources. What resources can you reallocate? Burse’s decision attracted positive attention and will certainly help to reposition KSU. What actions can you take that will reposition your nonprofit?

We believe Burse’s decision was an ethical one with many positive implications. What resources and relationships are available to your nonprofit that have not yet been fully utilized? Are there opportunities you are not yet taking advantage of? Take time to reflect and when appropriate, take ethical action.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

The importance of processing nonprofit gifts within 72 hours

first 48 investigation,  fundraising, gift processing, gift acknowledgement, donor attrition, donor retentionAsking for a donation to your nonprofit is one component of fundraising. How that gift is processed once it is received is another. Both are important. Your actions can strengthen a donor relationship, or contribute to its demise. “The First 48” is a TV crime show that stresses the importance of the first 48 hours to the overall criminal investigation. Create guidelines for “The First 72” to keep fundraising on track. Letting gifts “pile up” and processing them once every week or two may appear efficient, but this process may require investigation!

Here are questions to answer when creating your First 72.

Is this a new donor or returning donor? If a new donor, ensure all contact information is entered or imported into database. If you know who solicited or referred the donor, record that information. If a returning donor, ensure contact information is up to date, name is spelled correctly, and you are not inadvertently creating duplicate donors. (Don’t laugh… Andrea Johnson, Andrea Tammy Johnson and Tammy Johnson may all be the same person!)

Who should thank the donor? Is an email enough? When should you send a letter? Who should sign it? Should a telephone call be made? By whom? Figure these things out in advance, and be consistent.

Is the gift an “unrestricted” or “restricted?” This refers to the wishes of the donor. This issue typically arises with larger gifts, when a donor requests that funds be used for a specific program or purpose. Make sure you honor your donors’ requests. More on this topic in a future column. For now, be sure to document gift restrictions and honor them.

What information will this donor receive in the future? Will they receive all communications? General communications plus those related to a specific area of interest? Add them to appropriate lists. Make sure they receive appropriate, timely print and electronic information going forward.

Does the donor have questions or concerns? Who will call or email the donor in order to respond? Don’t let these slip through the cracks! Related to this, was a premium promised? If yes, make sure it is sent out quickly. When a major gift is received make sure staff and leadership know the gift’s impact. Don’t keep good news a secret!

Finally, run gift reports each week and share with leadership and fundraising volunteers. This helps build fundraising momentum, and lets solicitors know who has made a gift so they can personally say “thank you.” Leadership can review these reports and make decisions regarding future cultivation and potentially increase a donor’s gift.

The First 72 is critical to sustaining and growing your donor base. Treat donors well from the beginning to avoid a donor attrition investigation.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.