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AFP eWire September 4, 2012: Print Version

Attention AFP Members:
Canada Globe and Mail to Publish NPD Supplement on Nov. 16!

The Globe and Mail, which reaches nearly one million readers across Canada, will be publishing in partnership with AFP a special supplement about National Philanthropy Day®. The supplement will highlight donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations across Canada involved in philanthropy, and AFP members can receive special rates on advertising. To learn more, click here.

Top Story

Building a Major Gifts Pipeline Despite BIG Obstacles

Every organization is different with its own unique challenges but start at the beginning and catalogue your strengths, says Adrienne Capps, CFRE, and you’ll ultimately find success.

Capps should know. She’s started, repaired, recharged and/or expanded major gifts programs at four entirely different organizations, dealing with a variety of issues and challenges.

She’ll share those experiences—and what’s she learned—during a webinar on Sept. 13 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

“I went to a business school to build up its major gifts program, and the perception was, ‘oh, a business school, major gifts should be easy there’,” Capps says. “But it wasn’t because there wasn’t a culture or history of major giving. Then I’ve worked at organizations that were relatively new with no established set of major donors, and then at organizations where the cause was sensitive, potentially controversial and didn’t seem to jibe—at first—with the predominant culture of the community.”

Capps, currently the assistant dean for development and external relations and senior management team member at the University of California-Davis School of Education, says that every organization has its unique challenges that the outside world doesn’t always see. Instead of focusing on the challenges, fundraisers need to take stock of what they have, emphasize their strengths and look for ways to be creative and entrepreneurial.

“You may be at an organization that’s never had a major gifts program, or maybe even much of a fundraising program at all,” she said. “But it must have supporters and people who helped create the institutions and have a strong sense of ownership towards it. There are always steps to success—it’s simply a matter of identify and understanding what you have to work with and capitalizing on those assets.”

Hearing New Approaches

During her presentation, Capps will talk about reviewing every aspect of a fundraising program, such as examining annual fund donors, board members and their friends/colleagues, volunteers and their friends/colleagues, and alumni from other areas of the university, among others.

She’ll also be looking at issues related to working with newer organizations that may not have an established major gift program, or work on potentially controversial issues. But she stresses that anyone working in major gifts will appreciate and learn something from the webinar.

“All organizations, whether you’re just starting out or have a long-running major gifts program, are never perfect,” Capps says. “There always need to be opportunities to hear other experiences, listen to new approaches and learn ideas for tweaking programs. That’s what my presentation is—an opportunity to hear new approaches through my examples, and hopefully get some ideas on how you can apply my experiences to your own organization.”

Building a Major Gifts Pipeline Despite BIG Obstacles, presented by Adrienne Capps, CFRE, will be held on Sept. 13, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern. The presentation will help attendees learn techniques to create a robust major gifts pipeline; develop creative and entrepreneurial strategies to find major gift prospects; realize and capitalize on assets and strengths; examine and overcome common problems like no or young alumni, lesser known causes, and working for new organizations. To learn more and register, click here.


Special Announcement

New Donor Retention Study!

Donor retention is critical to success, of course, but what are the benchmarks and how are charities doing in comparison to each other. AFP, through the Nonprofit Research Collaborative is taking the first-ever systematic look at the connection between donor retention and fundraising results through a new survey. Please participate, and you'll receive a copy of the resulting report before it's released to the public. Visit here to begin the survey: survey is open through Sept. 7 and takes about 15 minutes to complete. To make things easy, the questions do not ask for specific amounts or values.


Fundraising News and Tips

Finding the Right Word

An AFP member asked on the association's discussion forums for powerful, descriptive words to help with a fundraising appeal, and his colleagues responded!

Nonprofits Urged to Empower Donors

If nonprofits want to be change agents, they need to move beyond asking donors for money and instead give them the knowledge and tools they need to make change happen. (Philanthropy North Carolina)

20 Simple Tips for Writing a Blog Post that Begs to be Read

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire article. The reality though is that the headline is just the start! (


AFP Announcements

Youth in Philanthropy Resources: National Philanthropy Day® Lesson Plans

Give, a division of generationOn, a global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world, to update LTG’s series of lesson plans on National Philanthropy Day. These lessons can be used in schools, clubs or youth-serving organizations to introduce young people to National Philanthropy Day.
And check out the latest Youth in Philanthropy newsletter:

The Faces of the Next Generation of Fundraising Leaders

The AFP Next Generation Committee is requesting your help in obtaining photos to use on the Young Professionals website page. If you are a young fundraising professional (age 30 or under) or if you know people who could be the face of the new generation of AFP’s leaders, we would like to use your photo. We are looking for individual photos, group pictures and action shots that show young professionals engaged in their work and making an impact. Photos can be sent electronically in .jpg or .eps format. For more information or to submit photos, please contact Pat Bjorhovde at

Sign Up to Serve on AFP’s Committees

Know someone who would make a great candidate for committee service and help steer the direction of your community? Would you like to serve on one of AFP's committees? Now is your chance to do so! To sign up today, click here.


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Intellectual Capital in the Nonprofit Organization - Harvest Development Group, LLC/Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa

The growing power of ideas - as manifested in innovative programs, policies and processes – is the key differentiator for a successful nonprofit organization. This means that the most important resource in your nonprofit is not your donor database, or your special event - it’s the heads that walk through your door every day. These heads make up the differentiator known as Intellectual Capital.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!This Week We Present an AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World, by Jamie Notter & Maddie Grant

Knowing the tools of social media is a must for successful marketing these days, but the real promise of social media is the way it can teach us a whole new way of doing business. Humanize takes the principles underlying social media’s growth and applies them to the way we lead and manage our organizations. Leading organizational consultants Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant help you change your organization, from the culture down to individual behavior, in ways that make it more human—and more effective. 
• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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