Tag Archives: indianapolis

#MCON2012 Takeaway from an AFP Member

written by Willie Matis.

Last Thursday, local consulting group – Achieve – put on a fantastic VIRTUAL conference that had speakers talking about how nonprofits can engage the next generation of donors, what to do now, and how to prepare for the future because of how technology is changing.

There was A TON of information flowing throughout the entire day, but the one thing that kept being brought back up and resonated the most with me is something that I’ve heard some fundraisers say, but others may be missing the boat.

Tell your story.


flickr photo by rittyrats

Telling your organization’s story is so important to the millennial generation.  And, many of you are probably shaking your heads and thinking – Gosh, I already know this.  We try to incorporate success stories in each of our direct mail pieces.

Well I am telling you that MORE is needed.  We, millennials, know that there is going to be a story in your direct mail piece.  Almost so, that we don’t really pay attention to that story.

Tell your story has a different meaning to us……… because we want to be a PART of your story.

Throughout the day at #MCON2012, you could hear different strategies on how to get millennials involved, how to best engage your millennial employees, and how to let millennials own your brand for a bit to let them get to know your organization better.

Telling your story to millennials means this:

– Constant sharing of successes ANDfailures.

– Asking others how THEYwould suggest giving your story a better outcome.

– Giving ways for others to make THEIR OWN STORYusing your brand’s mission.

Telling your story is a lot more than telling now.  Letting others be a PART of your story and letting go of your brand every now and again is an important step in the right direction of engaging the next generation.

What do you think?  Did you attend #MCON2012 and get a different take?
How have you increased your story telling in your fundraising?
Comment below.. or talk with us on Twitter – @AFPIndiana

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Creating an online community where followers help each other

After an off week, last week, because of the awkward placement of Independence Day.  No one wasn’t going to NOT celebrate the 4th of July at some point last week.

But now we are back in action, bringing you thought provoking ideas on best practices, the latest news on our chapters events and still attempting to get livestreamed events up and running for those who can’t always make it out of the office for our Brown Bags or Education Luncheons.

With that being said, we want to make sure that the AFP online community is bringing you what you need.

A sort of spin on this month’s Brown Bag – “What Do CEO’s Want and Need from Development Folks?” – we want to ask YOU….

What do Development Folks Want and Need from the AFP-Indiana Social Media outlets?

A quick recap of what we have to offer:

– This blog! Subscribe here.
Facebook page.
Our LinkedIn Group (Members Only).
Livestreamed Events.

The mission of AFP chapters everywhere is to encourage and foster growth of development and philanthropy.  All of our social media outlets are tools to be used by all fundraisers – members, non-members, Indiana based and beyond.

1) What would you like to see from our social media outlets in the future?
2) What do you think can be done to help encourage other members to use our social media communication?
3) What other suggestions do you have for AFP?

Comment below.  Start a conversation on FacebookTweet at us. Or start a new discussion in the LinkedIn Group!

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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The Millennial Impact: What it says about Millennial Giving

A couple of weeks ago, a  local fundraising consulting group – Achieve – released another groundbreaking report on Millennials.  The report covered how they learn about nonprofits, engage with nonprofits, give to nonprofits, and even gave us a few case studies on how nonprofits have been able to engage the generation and attract them to give.

The quick and dirty from the infographic – Millennials are giving (75% who answered the survey). and they want to know exactly what difference their gift will make.

How do you show your donors that their gift has made a difference?
How do you do it quickly for the millennials?
Do you have questions on what tools are out there?
Comment below!  Let’s discuss it.


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The effective way to use Ethics to not just discourage wrongdoing but promote giving

post written by Willie Matis.

When I first hear the word ETHICS, I think of a code that a person keeps, leading them to do the right thing and not do the wrong thing.

Okay, sorry I lied.  When I hear the word ETHICS, I think of this…

The story of Billy Madison can help a little.  Having character and ethics and following through with your education can help you to be the most successful.  But let’s take a turn here and get back to the subject at hand.

Today’s AFP Education Luncheon features a FANTASTIC speaker…

Dr. Richard Gunderman from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

He is going to be talking about “How Ethics brings Giving to Life”.  Just from the title, it brings a fresh perspective to what I think is a semi-negative word.  Ethics makes many people think of what they CAN’T do, rather than using it to gain trust and connection with prospects.

Hopefully you can join us today!  If not, do you have any questions you’d like us to pose during the seminar?  We’ll tweet the answers with the hashtag – #AFPedlunch.  Leave your questions in the comment section!

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How to answer two major questions: Become an AFP member? Get a CFRE?

post by Willie Matis

Honestly, I can only speak on the benefits of becoming an AFP member.  I do not have a CFRE, and I am currently not on track to get my CFRE because I have yet to be in the industry long enough.

BUT! We have the power of the web…

and, today’s Brown Bag Luncheon is on this very subjectAFP Indiana members and guests will be meeting at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful office to listen to four great fundraisers about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming an AFP member and getting your CFRE.

What do YOU consider to be benefits of being an AFP member or getting your CFRE?

You can comment below.  Join the discussion on our Facebook page. Or, tweet at us and let us know!

I’ll go first….

“AFP member benefit –> being able to use the Chapter as a tool to meet people who have experienced things you are currently going through”

“AFP member benefit –> now there are NEW member categories to make it affordable to access the AFP network!”


Filed under Chapter Events

The Wait and See Attitude – not a good one for you or your donors.

written by Molly Hahn

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Anne Frank

It seems that May brings a time of transition for many – the ending of a school year and looking forward to summer affect all of us even if we don’t operate on the school calendar. It’s always busy – trying to fit in parties and graduations, and if we’re lucky, lots of fundraising work. For me personally, this month represents a rather large shift in my personal life and professional career. For the first time in more than 15 years, I won’t be working full time, but I’ll be staying at home with my kids. I think many of us get caught up in “wait until the next stage” or “we’ll see how it goes” instead of acting as soon as we have the inspiration. For me, I feel like I’ve been putting off activities like volunteering because of my professional demands and the lack of balance I was feeling between that and home.


flickr photo by klynslis

This month’s AFP-IC half day workshop will focus on integrating annual fund, planned giving, and major gifts – all of which improve the world around us greatly. How often do we talk to donors who have the same “wait and see” or “this isn’t the right time” mentality? Waiting to pay off kids’ college tuitions, to pay off a house, to save up enough money to give. How can we as fundraisers inspire those donors to not wait a single moment? For whatever our cause – from illness to homelessness to education to the arts – we and our donors are together changing the world.

One of the keys to success in fundraising is balancing what is really important to get done yet still acting when inspired. As I approach life as a full-time mom, I realize that I won’t be able to do it all right away. While I want my children to know that giving back is important, I know I will need to balance that with family time and other priorities as well.

As you think about your fundraising plan for this year, what are your priorities? What are your donor’s priorities? To truly work together, you have to balance those and keep the end result in sight.

Whatever that balance is, know that you don’t have to wait a single moment longer to get it started.

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Great fundraising begins with great leadership

post by Molly Hahn.

Do you feel like your organization has been in a stalemate in the last few years?


flickr photo by frankblacknoir

If you do and you want to point to something besides the economic downturn, you might examine how board members are chosen and what expectations you have of them. While this may seem like a no-brainer, finding the right mix of personality and strengths on your board is a fine art.

For instance, while you may seek high-profile public figures or people with wealth, questioning their belief in the cause is truly an essential step in the nomination process. Some questions that you might ask board candidates:

  • Are you willing to invest both financial contributions and time in this board?  Be specific.
  • What is your interest in the cause?
  • What other nonprofits have you been involved in, and to what extent?
  • What expectations do you have of staff?
  • Are you willing to ask your peers for donations?
  • Are you a big thinker or a detail person?

Once a new member joins your board, then what do you do to bring them up to speed on the various programs and initiatives? Do you as the staff member ask for input enough to make their presence valuable? Do your board members have specific tasks, which are meaningful and also limited enough to seem manageable?

Finally, have you as a development professional experienced the board perspective yourself? Just last year, I was elected chair of my church’s parish council. I find there is a fine line between relying on the staff to manage the day to day and having them do so much that the council feels unused. We have had an ongoing discussion about leadership from the various committees and on our council, and yet I wonder if some people know the staff will step in and do not take their presence at meetings seriously.

In all, bringing out the best talents of your leadership is a road that is not always easy to navigate. But plugging through it mile by mile makes the journey worth it in the end!

What obstacles have you come across when gearing you leadership to act more like fundraisers?
What are some things you have done that WORKED?
Share below or join the conversation on social media through our Facebook page or Twitter account!

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