Graphic: Arrow Join Now! Graphic: Arrow MY AFP Profile Graphic: Arrow AFP Canada Graphic: Arrow AFP Mexico Graphic: Star MAKE A GIFT


AFP eWire November 27, 2012: Print Version

50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego: Advance Registration is until January 25th—Register NOW and Save BIG!

Advance registration is on for the 50th AFP Annual International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego, presented by Blackbaud—Register TODAY for BIG savings!

Joining us in San Diego will be Bert Jacobs, half of the brother duo behind the “Life is good®” apparel company. He and his brother took a simple idea—that an optimistic attitude can make a real difference in the world—and turned it into the Life is good® Company. Life is good® represents the Jacobs brothers’ values in its emphasis on creating a rewarding and fulfilling work experience for employees. These values carry over into the brothers’ philanthropy. Since 2004, Life is good Festivals have raised more than $4 million to help children overcome such life-threatening challenges as violence, illness, and extreme poverty. The brothers have now founded the Life is good Kids Foundation, to coordinate their work on behalf of children.

This year, our goal is to engage and re-energize our profession. Join us and be a part of our efforts to create balance, focus on critical priorities, and simplify complexities—we’ll explore what it means to beDoing The Right Things…Right! 

Go to for more information and register TODAYSee you in San Diego in 2013!

Top Stories

How to Build the Winning Team (Board) 

Great donors and staff are important, of course, to the success of any charity. But if you ask Tom Nisbett, president of The Nisbett Group, the truly outstanding nonprofits have exceptional board members leading the way.

“I believe every nonprofit is limited and will not reach its potential unless it has a really great board,” says Nisbett, who’ll be discussing how organizations can attain such a board on Dec. 6 during his webinar Building a Winning Team. “The charities that I see finding immense success or are creating extraordinary impact—the one thing they have in common is a board that understands its role. If our organizations can create such a board, we are well on our way to greatness.”

It all starts with recruitment, and for most charities, that’s where the challenges and problems arise. According to Nisbett, the traditional process of having someone’s name come up, giving him or her a call, and hoping for a yes, is where the problems begin. “It’s just too casual—even if you hold formal sessions of throwing out names and seeing who knows whom. It’s got to go deeper than just who’s in the community at large. We need to look at who’s in OUR community.”

Nisbett says that most charities tend to look outside their circle of influence into the community at large, and don’t probe deep enough into their own circle of supporters—people who have been impacted by what the nonprofit does. I always hear ‘We need a lawyer, a CPA’—essentially rich people who know other rich people,” says Nisbett.  “We tend to overlook the dedicated volunteers whose inspiration and dedication can reach people in their circles of influence.”

Perception is another issue for recruitment that Nisbett feels many nonprofits don’t consider. Most charities seem to beg people to serve on the board, but what if instead serving on the board was considered a privilege? Charities should emphasize that there are empty seats on a fantastic and fun board, and that there is a waiting list. If nonprofits can create that sort of buzz around their board, they’re well on their way to recruiting a great board that can help propel them to success and impact.

The Right Process

Of course, to create that sort of buzz about a fantastic and fun board, nonprofits will need to have the right approach and process for recruitment. During his Building a Winning Team webinar, Nisbett will focus on several different aspects of board recruitment, including:

  • The process of identifying and cultivating the right board members, from having an application to building interest in your board and making it a privilege to serve;
  • New ways to motivate, train and develop board members to ensure they understand their role and actually engage in the organization; and
  • How to retire or rotate off inactive or weak board members.

The final point is one that nonprofits don’t always do well or graciously, according to Nisbett.  Maybe they’re just too busy, it’s not a good time in their life, or they haven’t received any training, but board members who aren’t active typically have very good reasons for not being engaged. Very few are out to cause trouble—most simply aren’t a good fit, and it’s critical for the nonprofit to disentangle these individuals from the board without losing their support.

“It’s a sensitive and delicate process, and one that most charities don’t know how to do well, but it’s critical if we want to develop an effective board,” says Nisbett. He’ll be discussing how to evaluate board members, what to do with ineffective and/or inactive individuals and ways organizations can graciously rotate them off the board.

After all, Nisbett maintains that executive directors need to spend at least a third of their time in board development until they’ve built a truly exceptional board through cultivation and training. And if you need to spend that much time with people, you need to make sure they’re the right ones for your organization.

Nisbett will present Building a Winning Team on Dec. 6 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. More information on the webinar and how to participate can be found here.

#GivingTuesday is Here!

AFP is partnering with more than 1,000 charities and companies to promote #GivingTuesday, a way to support charitable giving in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Learn more about #GivingTuesday and ways organizations are supporting philanthropy.

Special Announcement

AFP Awards for Philanthropy Nomination Period Open—Deadline Nov. 30

You or your chapter can nominate an outstanding philanthropist, volunteer fundraiser, foundation, corporation, fundraising professional or youth in philanthropy for AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy, which will be presented during the International Conference in San Diego on April 6. Nominations are easy to follow, can be submitted online and are due Nov. 30!


Fundraising News and Tips

Vote to Support the Charitable Deduction

Read the article about the upcoming “fiscal cliff” and the solutions Congress is considering, then vote to support the charitable deduction. And if you can’t participate in “Protect Giving - DC Days,” the Charitable Giving Coalition’s inaugural Capitol Hill fly-in event in support of the deduction, AFP will have letters and emails ready for members to send to their Representatives and Senators in next week’s eWire. Read more.

Take the Project Streamline Survey to Assess State of Grantmaking

Five years ago, with the support of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Project Streamline was created to change and enhance the grantmaking experience. The project is now asking grantee organizations to provide their opinion of how grantmaking has changed and what sorts of changes and methods have proved most effective. Read more.

 Giving Remains Sluggish, Survey Says

Slammed by an erosion in giving by individuals, over a third of nonprofits are raising less money this year than last year, a new survey says. (Philanthropy North Carolina) Read more.

Members: Discuss this topic with colleagues on AFP2P! 

 Ten Things You Might Have Missed (and Need to Know)

 There’s so much information online that you’re bound to have missed some of it. Here’s some of the top items and ideas from last week you need to know about and that can help you find success, including stories on special events, social media, stewardship, direct mail acquisition, fundraising competition and more.


AFP Announcements

It’s Never Too Late to Give….or Send out a Year-End Giving Solicitation!

They say the holidays are a time for giving, and according to Alphonce Brown, ACFRE, that includes charitable giving as well. “December is a big month for nonprofit organizations,” Mr. Brown explains. “AFP’s fundraising surveys have proven this, and many organizations raise a substantial portion of their annual revenue in the last four to six weeks of the year.” And he should know

Read The Digital November/December 2012 Advancing Philanthropy Now!

The latest issue of AFP’s award-winning magazine features an interview with Andrea McManus, CFRE, as she completes her two-year term as chair of AFP, as well as stories on grantseeking, collective impact, collaboration, and direct-response and social media strategies. Learn more.

AFP Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page (Updated for Hurricane Sandy)

AFP’s Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page provides information not only on how to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy, but also how charities can raise funds in the current environment and keep track of ongoing news and events. We know that we have many members who work for organizations involved in the relief efforts. If you don't see a resource or organization listed here and would like it posted, please email the AFP Webmaster ( And please follow the AFP Disaster Relief Blog for all relief efforts and developments worldwide. 


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Involving Your Board Members in Fund Development - Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE

It’s your job to help board members do their job in fund development. But who is “you”? The development officer. The executive director. The board chair. The chair of the board’s fund development committee. No one – including your development officer – does this work alone. This is a team enterprise. Volunteers – especially board members – are particularly important.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University! AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, by Tim Sanders

In Today We Are Rich, you'll join Tim Sanders on his journey as he weaves together heartwarming tales of hardship and triumph with fundamental lessons of building confidence. Tim details his own challenges and the struggles of those close to him, turning them into parables on the endurance and power of the human spirit. Not only will you be moved by his stories, you'll learn the steps you need to take to overcome any obstacle and persevere, even in the face of today's always-on media and internet society.

• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

4300 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203 • 703-684-0410 | 800-666-3863 | Fax: 703-684-0540
©2009 AFP. This site content may not be copied, reproduced or redistributed without prior written
permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals or its affiliates.
Privacy Policy | Feedback | Contact Us | Advertise with Us