Blog

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Plain Envelope vs. “Annual Fund Enclosed.” Which wins?

  Competition for the philanthropic dollar is fierce.  As annual fund season is in full swing, how do you make sure your end-of-the-year appeal stands out in a crowded field? Yes, your message must engage the reader and demonstrate a strong social ROI.  But almost more important is the way your message is delivered.    To illustrate this p...Read More

Posted by Jessica Browning on Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Generosity Starts with Gratitude

Giving USA 2016 reported a new high in giving to religious institutions at $119 billion, year over year.  Good news, yes, but giving grew by only 2.7%, making giving to religion one of the slowest growth sectors. In fact, as total donations to nonprofits have risen steadily, church donations have struggled to keep pace with inflation. As the total philanthropic pie grew to over $373 billion, the portion going to churches declined once again. In 1981-1985 religious institutions received more than 58% of all donations to charitie...Read More

Posted by Nikki Rach, Senior Consultant on Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday, September 01, 2016

New IRS Rules May Impact Your Fundraising Future

The IRS has made some new rules that will impact the nonprofit sector.  Here are a few issues we’re keeping our eyes on: More nonprofits.  The IRS lowered the exempt status application fee from $400 to $275 for nonprofit status using Form 1023-EZ.  Additionally, the new EZ form makes for quicker approval of exempt status.  Many believe these changes stem from backlash to the IRS’s 2013 Tea Party scandal (in which the ...Read More

Posted by Jessica Browning on Thursday, September 01, 2016

Monday, August 01, 2016

The Real Value of Summer to Independent Schools

Even if you arenRead More

Posted by on Monday, August 01, 2016

Friday, July 01, 2016

Record Giving in 2015

Americans gave more in 2015 than ever before, according to Giving USA 2016.  The infographic below shows who gave, and where their generosity went.    
Read More

Posted by Laura Taylor on Friday, July 01, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Giving USA 2016 Record Philanthropic Giving Again in 2015

Record Philanthropic Giving Again in 2015 Americans gave a record $373.25 billion in 2015, according to Giving USA, released today.  This figure marks a 4.1% increase over 2014 levels and the first double-digit growth over a two-year combined period since 2004-2005. Giving by individuals rose by 3.8% over 2014, fueling the total increase in giving. Giving by all sources (individuals, foundations, bequests, and corporations) increased over 2014. Giving to al...Read More

Posted by on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Successful Campaign Starts with the Right Campaign Chairs

The success of your capital campaign hinges on one early decision: who will chair the campaign? Understanding the qualities that make a great campaign chair and then recruiting the best possible leader are the most important factors in your ultimate success. When we work with clients to identify and recruit the best campaign chair, we look for the five Ps: Proven A campaign chair must have a proven record of success. A visible, accomplished leader not only brings experience and wisdom to your campaign but also attracts othe...Read More

Posted by ltaylor@winklergroup.com on Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Identifying Your Next Million Dollar Gift

In his book From Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus and then finding them the right seat. As development professionals, how do we identify the right people? More importantly, how do we identify the donor that has the capacity and propensity to make a transformative gift? To ensure that you aren’t overlooking your next million dollar donor, it’s important to follow these fundamental guidelines. First, use best practices to develop prospect lists but don’t let convention overtake the creativ...Read More

Posted by on Thursday, May 19, 2016

Monday, December 07, 2015

How to Turn Your Thank You into a Cultivation Tool

Your year-end appeal has been wildly successful…the gifts are rolling in.  Hooray and congratulations!  But your job is far from over. Savvy fundraisers recognize that a well-written thank you is more than good manners.  They know it’s much harder to attract a new donor than keep an old one, and a good thank you is the first step towards your next gift.  They also recognize the thank yous role in fostering the donor loyalty that will impact your next campaign. So put your thank you to work with these simple tips.&nb...Read More

Posted by Jessica Browning on Monday, December 07, 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015

Five Characteristics of the Perfect Campaign Chair: Part 2

Earlier this week, in Part 1, we learned 3 of the 5 top characteristics in the perfect campaign chair.  Today, we will learn more about the final 2 characteristics you should be looking for when sea...Read More

Posted by Jennifer Richard on Monday, November 02, 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015

Five Characteristics of the Perfect Campaign Chair: Part 1

The success of your capital campaign hinges on one early decision: who will chair the campaign?  Understanding the qualities that make a great campaign chair and then recruiting the best possible leader are the most important factors in your ultimate success. When I work with clients to identify and recruit the best campaign chair, we look for the five Ps: Proven A campaign chair must have a proven record of success.  A visible, accomplished leader not only brings experience and wisdom to your c...Read More

Posted by Jennifer Richard on Monday, November 02, 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Hit, Tackle, Block: Focus on Fundamentals to Raise More Money

Hit, Tackle, Block was emblazoned across the chest of a vintage high school cotton liner.  One of the guys on our college football team had come across this relic and wore it often.  I remember the slogan to this day because of how it simply and accurately described what winning football teams do.  Even to this day, with offenses running sophisticated spread option attacks, wild cat formations, and disguising their defenses, the team that does the best job of hitting, tackling, and blocking is usually the one that wins the game.  Of cours...Read More

Posted by Timothy M. Winkler Sr., CFRE on Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Guest Blog: Discover Your Best Prospects & Maximize Giving with Affinity Scoring

Today's blog comes from one of our go-to people in the fundraising industry: Jim Bush. Jim is the Principal Consultant at Omatic Software and has over 20 years of experience as a successful fundraiser and consultant to many ins...Read More

Posted by on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why You Should Stop Procrastinating and Get Your CFRE

Last week I did something long overdue.  I sat for the CFRE exam.  I had procrastinated for too long.  Year after year, I came up with excuses—my kids kept me too busy to find time to study, my travel schedule kept me too busy to find time to study, AFP chapter board service kept me too busy to find time to study, my clients needed me—how could I find time to study?!  Our AFP chapter has been working for years to promote CFRE certification among our members as a demonstration of c...Read More

Posted by Jennifer Richard on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carly vs. Hillary. From a Donor’s Perspective, Who Wins?

Yes, political campaigns are vastly different from capital campaigns.  But they share a common denominator: the donor.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at two campaign web sites from a donor’s perspective.  Hillary vs. Carly.  Which would I, as a donor looking to fuel a campaign, be more likely to support?  My own political bias aside, who wins at converting observers into donors? For this little experiment, I’m only using their websites—nothing else.&nbs...Read More

Posted by Jessica Browning on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Borrow These Six Ideas to Build Your Campaign’s Brand

The College of Charleston—located just miles from the Winkler Group’s main office—recently entered the public phase of its $125 million Boundless campaign.  All across town, elements of the campaign’s case for support are popping up on billboards, banners, and computers.  Their messaging is simple, but effective.   Read More

Posted by Jessica Browning on Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why Attending Conferences Increases Your Nonprofit’s Influence - Part 2

This week’s Winkler Group blog is guest written by Stefani Zimmerman Drake, one of our favorite social media and communications experts.  Earlier this week we examined how attending a workshop improves your organization’s social media and content. Today, we will look at the third reason why attending professional conferences is important: networking. In the nonprofit field, relationships are critical because they lead to valuable strategic partnerships.  But building these relationships in an increasingly busy world i...Read More

Posted by Winkler Group on Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why Attending Conferences Increases Your Nonprofit’s Influence - Part 1

This week’s Winkler Group blog is guest written by Stefani Zimmerman Drake, one of our favorite social media and communications experts.  You’re contemplating attending a workshop for a couple of days and you immediately think of seven reasons why you can’t go. Sure, attending a conference or seminar has the potential to stack your inbox even higher, but if you maximize the opportunity, a conference can help you and your nonprofit shine.  Here are some reasons to go. Reason number one. Social media. Yo...Read More

Posted by on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

JOIN US IN CHARLESTON: CAMPAIGN WORKSHOP SEPTEMBER 24-25

Are You Ready for a Campaign?  Find out September 24-25 in historic Charleston, South Carolina, during the 2015 Charleston Conversation. Winkler Group campaigns average 117% of their original goals.  This exhaustive campaign course taught by leading campaign experts will show you how.  This course is not an average one-way delivery of information, that’s why we call it a conversation.  There’s plenty of opportunity to get personalized feedback and to meet with other development colleagues.  ...Read More

Posted by Winkler Group on Monday, August 10, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crowdfunding shoots for the moon

ICYMI: Crowdfunding for philanthropy made the news again this week, thanks to the Smithsonian Institution and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. A quick background: The Smithsonian Institution, because of the federal funds it receives annually and its unique board composition—which must include the Vice President of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and other elected public servants as members—has been exploring new ways to reach a wider swath of potential donors to fund special projects, ...Read More

Posted by on Thursday, July 30, 2015