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AFP eWire January 15, 2013: Print Version

Surf's Up in San Diego... On Your New iPad, That Is!
Register Now for the AFP International Conferenceand Be Eligible to Win a New iPad!

 Don't worrying about packing your board to surf in San Diego—simply register for the AFP International Conference on Fundraising before January 25th and you’ll be well on your way to surfing the web on your new iPad! Upon registering, your name will be entered into a drawing for one of two iPads that you can pick up onsite!
Here's the deal: 
• Entrants must "Like" BOTH AFP and the AFP 2013 International Conference Facebook pages
• Winners must be registered for the entire three day 2013 International Conference on Fundraising
• Contest begins NOW, Ends January 25th at Midnight PST. Winner will be contacted soon after (Be sure to check the AFP and International Conference Facebook Pages for announcements on the Winners!) 
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Register Today!
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 be Doing The Right Things…Right! 
Go to for more information and register TODAY! 
Advance Registration Ends January 25th—See you in San Diego in April!

Top Stories

New Study Questions Level of Fundraising Skills, Organizational Support for Philanthropy


A new study of American charities and fundraisers raises strong concerns about the number of skilled professionals available for jobs and the lack of infrastructure in most nonprofits to support effective fundraising and philanthropy.

The study, conducted by CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Hass, Jr. Fund, surveyed more than 2,700 executive directors and development directors across the U.S. and included 11 focus groups with nonprofit staff and board members. Major challenges were found in the skill sets possessed by many fundraisers, high turnover at charities and lack of institutional support for fundraising at many organizations.

One key issue is that organizations are struggling with turnover rates and long vacancies in the development director post. When the development director post is open, it is vacant on average for six months, and nearly half of those organizations reported vacancies longer than that. In addition, half of development directors said they expected to leave their current jobs in two years or less, and that rate was even higher for small charities.

But, according to executive directors leading the hiring, the issue isn’t a small pool of candidates, but a small pool of qualified candidates. Asked about the last time they tried to hire a new development director, more than half of executives (53 percent) said the search produced an insufficient number of candidates with the right mix of skills and experience. Almost one-third of executives are lukewarm about or dissatisfied with their current development director, and one-quarter said their fundraiser has no experience or is a novice at securing gifts.

Robbe Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE, a former chair of AFP and adviser to the study, agrees that more work needs to be done in educating and training fundraisers new to the field. “Demand is strong for fundraising positions, and we’ve experienced a large influx of people new to the profession, especially younger fundraisers, who have a wide disparity in skills and experiences,” she says. “There’s no doubt that associations like AFP and others need to cast a wider net to reach out to different fundraising demographics, and new practitioners need to understand the importance of receiving continuing education and training.”

But for Healey, the real issue is the lack of philanthropic culture found in many organizations and how fundraising is viewed by executive directors and boards. “The study underscores what I’ve seen in my many years of fundraising: there are organizations that truly understand, value and embrace fundraising and philanthropy, and there are charities who still don’t get it,” she adds. “Philanthropy is a program that yields a revenue stream that is unique to the nonprofit sector. It can be incredibly inspiring and transformative for our organizations—IF we view it as part of our core mission and operations, and not something that is ‘distasteful or external to our program and our values.”

No Culture of Philanthropy

To Healey’s point, the survey found that many organizations don’t have the infrastructure, systems and culture of philanthropy to support effective fundraising.

Incredibly, almost one-quarter of nonprofits surveyed (23 percent)—and 31 percent of charities with operating budgets of under $1 million—have no fundraising plan in place. In addition, one in five—and 32 percent of charities with operating budgets of under $1 million—have no fundraising database.

The lack of support extends to the board and executive director. Three out of four executive directors say their board isn’t doing enough to support fundraising, and 26 percent of directors indicated they have no competency or are a novice at fundraising. Almost twenty percent said they disliked asking for money.

Relationships between executive directors and development directors were not as strong as they should be to ensure a strong fundraising program. Just 41 percent of development directors characterized their partnership with their executive as strong, and 21 percent felt their relationship was weak or nonexistent. Curiously, executive directors tended to feel those relationships were stronger than the development director did. In addition, development directors were far more pessimistic about their organizations’ fundraising efforts and the existence of a culture of philanthropy in their workplace than their executive director was.

How to Move Forward

The report acknowledges that fundraising cannot be a solo mission and must be the responsibility of the entire organization. It suggests four signs that an organization is “up to the task” of finding long-term fundraising success. A successful organization will:

  • Invest in its fundraising capacity and in the technologies and other fund development systems it needs;
  • Engage all of the staff, including the executive director, and the board in fundraising as ambassadors, and in many cases, as solicitors;
  • Understand and value fund development and philanthropy across the entire staff and
  • View the development director as a key leader and partner who is integrally involved in organizational planning and strategy.

The study also suggests ten broad strategies for helping charities create better conditions for success, starting with the sector to adopt a “profoundly different stance towards fundraising—moving away from an approach that is passive, apologetic and siloed in nature, to an integrative approach that deeply values donors and constituents and puts them right in the center of our organizations and movement.”

The ten steps include:

1)     Embrace fund development
2)     Elevate the field of fundraising
3)     Strengthen and diversify the talent pool
4)     Train boards differently (to focus on fundraising and create a culture of philanthropy)
5)     Apply the transition management framework to the development director position (apply the same sort of reflection, evaluation and investment in the development director as organizations do for executive directors)
6)     Invest strategically in grantee fundraising capacity (more foundation funding for development director transition and investment in fundraising)
7)     Leverage technological innovation—embrace creativity
8)     Set realistic goals for development
9)     Share accountability for fundraising results
10)  Exercise fundraising leadership

Some of the strategies can be implemented by individual organizations, but others will require a sector-wide effort to educate charities and leaders about the importance and value of fundraising and the internal support it needs to be able to grow.

“Years ago, I attended The Fundraising School when it was still Hank Rosso’s proprietary business, and what he said then still resonates today,” said Healey. “Hank emphasized, ‘The degree to which fundraising will be successful in your organization is directly proportional to the degree to which fundraising is viewed by your organization as a program, and with the same importance as every other program and service in your organization.’ If we don’t value fundraising—if we’re content to simply rely on government contracts and operating revenue, or think the fundraiser alone will create miraculous success—then we won’t be successful. If we embrace fundraising for the long-term, then no matter how small our organization or our budget, we can find success.”

A fully copy of the report is available at the CompassPoint website.

New Year, New Philanthropists

For the last forty years, charities have focused their high-end fundraising on unrestricted gifts from the Traditionalist generations (born Pre-1946). But in the New Year, Brian Sagrestano, JD, CFRE says it’s time to recognize that there’s a new donor in town, the “New Philanthropists” (born 1946-present). 

As co-author of The Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraisers’ and Professional Advisors’ Guide to Charitable Gift Planning, Sagrestano has done copious research to explore why charities and professional advisors must use a collaborative, philanthropic planning approach when working with these rising New Philanthropists. During Sagrestano’s AFP webinar, Transformational Gifts: Using Philanthropic Planning to Partner with Prospects and Advisors, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern, he will outline the key elements that are instrumental in appealing to the New Philanthropist.

What kind of approaches will Sagrestano be discussing in his webinar on Jan 24? “I’ll be highlighting how to build a philanthropic planning program for New Philanthropists by outlining the formula, which is made up of 10 elements.” Special attention will be given to the common elements that are derived from philanthropic planning efforts that have been conducted by Princeton, Harvard, the Heritage Institute and others. Among these elements are family, family values and an understanding of family wealth. Tune-in to the webinar for all 10 elements!

Understanding the New Philanthropists, consisting of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, will strengthen your outreach to these high net worth donors. Other than the obvious factor—age—Sagrestano says there are three other major differences between a Traditionalist and New Philanthropist. “Traditionalists are willing to make unrestricted gifts, whereas New Philanthropists want to make restricted gifts,” he says. Another major difference is that Traditionalists have more trust in charities while Philanthropists don’t have the same level of inherent trust built up for nonprofits. Finally, tying in the trust issue is a stronger sense of obligation that comes from the Traditionalists, as opposed to how a New Philanthropist feels.

The biggest challenge in appealing to the New Philanthropists is finding a common ground between them and charities, and helping charities understand what the New Philanthropists want out of their gifts. “Charities prefer unrestricted money with no accountability, whereas New Philanthropists want to give restricted gifts with maximum accountability”, says Sagrestano. The New Philanthropists want to know exactly where there gift is going, and the charity needs the resources to be able to adapt to this growing demand and be able to provide the pertinent information about the gift.

Though New Philanthropists are now in their peak earning, giving, and planning years, Traditionalists are still making an impact. Although they are a shrinking minority, Traditionalists still make-up 18 percent of the giving population and continue to give significant amounts. Sagrestano’s key point: there are two vastly different approaches needed when appealing to the two different generations—one size does NOT fit all.

To learn how your charity and organization can hone their approach towards the New Philanthropists, while maintaining appropriate tactics to reach the Traditionalists, tune-in to Sagrestano’s webinar, geared towards the advanced practitioner, on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

If, after attending Sagrestano’s Webinar you’re itching to dive deeper and further pick the co-author’s brain, you can catch him at AFP’S 2013 International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego, on Tuesday, April 9, from 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. Pacific. Sagrestano will be joined by his co-author, Robert E. Wahlers, CFRE, and they will open up the discussion to YOU and help you tailor their formula for your specific cause, charity, and donor base.

With New Philanthropists come new approaches, and it’s time to get on board!


Fundraising News and Tips

AFP’s Leadership on Fiscal Cliff Issues Recognized

The Charitable Giving Coalition, co-created and chair by AFP, has been named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the Five Leaders Who Will Influence Public Policy in 2013. In addition, Jason Lee, AFP’s General Counsel, was named one of the Key Players in the Fiscal Cliff Tax Issues (password required). AFP’s work helped bring about a positive conclusion to the fiscal cliff debate, but the charitable deduction will remain up for debate throughout 2013 as Congress considers additional tax reform.

What Nonprofits Can Learn from Public Radio about Storytelling

If nonprofits want to learn how to create content that both engages audiences and creates devoted supporters, we need look no further than the gold standard offered each day by public radio. Think about it: Radio producers can create stories that keep us in the car for "driveway moments" even when we've reached home, just so we can hear the ending. (NTEN)

Can Fundraisers Ever Be Too Tenacious?

Tenacity might be key to good fundraising, but, Beth Breeze asks, can British fundraisers afford to up their tenaciousness? Interesting piece on fundraising approach, philosophy and culture.   (

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 using webinars for donor acquisition, donor retention, ensuring your emails don’t end up in the junk folder, communications trends and cats.

AFP Announcements

Fundraising Leader Bob Carter to Chair 2013 AFP Board of Directors

Robert (Bob) Carter, CFRE, has begun his service as chair of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest association of charitable fundraisers in the world. Carter, the president and CEO of Bob Carter Companies, based in Sarasota, Fla., will serve as chair through 2014.

New Canada AFP/Globe and Mail Supplement to Focus on Youth in Philanthropy

Canada’s Youth: Driving the Future of Philanthropy will be published on May 28 and will contain inspiring articles about young people involved in fundraising and charity. Special advertising rates are available for AFP members, and space closes April 16. Future of Philanthropy 2013 Spring Sellsheet.pdf

The Winter 2013 Digital Issue of Advancing Philanthropy is Now Available! 

In this issue of AFP’s digital magazine you’ll tap into the minds of “Askers, Ambassadors and Advocates”, learn how to cope with CEO’s reluctance to ask for funds, see how to create-and recognize-the right opportunity to make the ask, get insight to the special technology section, and more!


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! -

AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals: Control the Conversation and Connect with Your Customer—without Saying a Worda, by Mark Bowden

Whether calling on a potential client for the first time, delivering a presentation, analyzing a client's needs, or making a sale, how the message is delivered matters as much as—or more than—what's being said. Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals unlocks the secrets of nonverbal communication to give sales specialists an unbeatable advantage.
• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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