Blog

Read the latest from the TGC team. Below we share our knowledge, experiences, or the latest news.

Addressing COVID-19

March 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

By now you and your organization have likely already developed and started to implement a plan to address the concerns your staff, volunteers, and donors share as they relate to COVID-19.
At TGC, we, too, are adapting to the current state of the world and have been working remotely, utilizing technology to stay in touch, and being creative in how we work with our client-partners to ensure consistency and continuity in service.
While it may set us back in our development cycle when spring events are postponed or even cancelled and when we have to reschedule donor visits, it is a good opportunity to reach out and assure donors that their gifts are still being carefully stewarded and the impact is still being greatly felt.
Drawing from our extensive and varied backgrounds, we have assembled a few lessons we’ve learned about helping donors feel secure in their investment when everything else seems uncertain. Here are a few of the big ideas we thought we’d pass along:
1. Be up front and share how your organization is reacting and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communicate the steps you are taking to ensure the health and safety of your staff, volunteers, and those served.2. Remind donors that despite the cancellation of events, meetings, and other gatherings, your organization will continue to operate efficiently and will incorporate creative strategies to ensure your overarching mission and those it serves remain a priority.3. Communicate the importance of continued support and the vital role donors play, and will continue to play, in the success of your organization. Be sure to remind donors of the reason they support your organization and that despite any challenges it currently faces in light of this pandemic, their support and involvement is extremely valuable, now more than ever.4. Maintain constant communication – by phone, email, text – and reassure those associated with your organization that this is a temporary situation. Remind those you are in touch with that your organization has overcome other obstacles and this is simply a bump in the road and an opportunity to demonstrate resilience and creativity in managing the situation.
We are hopeful that you and your teams are staying safe and healthy and we look forward to resuming our normal business practices soon. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to any of the TGC team members with questions or concerns you may have.

Creative Ideas for Giving Tuesday

September 4, 2019 in Acquisition, Donor Relationship Management, Fundraising, Giving Tuesday, Marketing & Communications

Giving Tuesday falls on December 3 this year. GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated in the US on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday starts the charitable season, when many focus on end-of-year giving.

According to the GivingTuesday website:
In 2018, 75% of those making financial contributions on #GivingTuesday were repeat donors, with a mean gift size of $105. Data shows that the holiday creates a net bump in overall yearly giving, and has proven not only to engage new donors, but to motivate existing donors to give more. Your organization will have the opportunity to join thousands of organizations around the world to encourage more generosity.

That is great news in terms of number of donors and gift amounts but it also presents a challenge as we are competing with thousands of other charitable organizations around the world. So we’ll want some creative ideas for our campaign that grab donors attention, are simple, and make it easy for them to give. Continue reading »

Don’t Wait: Start Planning Your Next Capital Campaign Now! (Part 2)

August 1, 2019 in Donor Relationship Management, Fundraising, Uncategorized

Part 1 of this series focused on the need to identify and recruit potential capital campaign chairs several years in advance of a campaign. If they are not already serving as leadership volunteers in your philanthropy program, you can take the following steps:

  1. Invite these prospective campaign chairs and leaders to become involved in your program.
  2. Teach best practices in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  3. Emphasize the vital importance of listening to donors to better understand their interests and motivations.
  4. Roleplay solicitations to demonstrate calling for an appointment, presenting your case, working as a team, making the ask, and dealing with objections.
  5. Have them accompany you on solicitation visits so they can observe you in action, participate in the conversation, and become comfortable with the process.
  6. When they are ready, allow them to take the lead during the visit, and then critique their performance afterward.
  7. Evaluate their potential as leadership volunteers and donors.
  8. Strategically groom them for a leadership role.

Continue reading »

Don’t Wait: Start Planning Your Next Capital Campaign Now! (Part 1)

July 20, 2019 in Fundraising, Leadership & Management

Keep smiling, you tell yourself.

Your CEO is informing you, the chief development officer, that your organization’s board just approved a major building project that hadn’t been on your radar. What also wasn’t on your radar: a $10 million capital campaign (or $25 million or $50 million) that’s needed to supplement other funding sources.

Maintain a good poker face, you think. After all, a well-planned, successful capital campaign will take your philanthropy program to a higher level.

And there’s more news: your CEO wants to break ground in six to 12 months if fast-tracked approvals can be secured. And who, she asks, should lead the capital campaign? Continue reading »

Unexpected Estate Gifts and the Importance of Stewardship

July 11, 2019 in Donor Relationship Management

They spoke no English and hadn’t been shaving for too many years when they arrived in the United States soon after World War 2. The three brothers came here to build a better life for themselves and, once settled, they eventually combined their skills to open a small business carving cemetery monuments. They led quiet lives that didn’t include wives and children, and they were never known in their community much beyond the granite headstones that circled their business. Certainly, no one would have guessed that they possessed the means to leave almost $2 million to local charities. Continue reading »

Take Steps Now to Keep Continuing Education in Your Budget

April 4, 2019 in Fundraising, Leadership & Management

Are you doing that annual dance with your CFO to keep professional membership and conference fees from being cut from your development/advancement budget? One CFO I worked with years ago eliminated the money from my budget, never to be seen again. He reasoned that since I didn’t need the funds that year (because he wouldn’t let me spend the money), then I certainly didn’t need them in the future. Okay then . . .

Continue reading »

Tax and Jobs Act – What Gift Officers Need to Know

July 2, 2018 in Fundraising, Taxes

There are a lot of studies, some positive and most negative, about the impact on giving based on the Tax and Jobs Act of 2017 passed and signed into law in December 2017. Although we don’t know what the impact will be as of yet, there are things we do know. Below is a summary of what you should know as a charitable gift officer.

Continue reading »

Sending the Message Loud & Clear

April 24, 2018 in Marketing & Communications

Frequently, we hear from clients that they just can’t seem to get the right message across to generate excitement or create a compelling need for donors to give. After reviewing their past attempts at connecting with their audience or looking over the direction they would like to go, sometimes we find that they are just too close to the organization to be completely objective about what is and what is not important to donors.

When this is the case, we encourage those developing the message to take a step back and remember why they became involved and/or have stayed involved with the organization. We ask what the key benefits that individual sees and feels, and how can we build on that feeling as we try to pique the interest in others? Oftentimes, once we realize what drives those closest to the organization, it’s easy to create a compelling message that others connect with and want to support.

The hardest part of crafting a message is recognizing the most relatable aspects of your organization and clearly showing how others are impacted or benefited by the work it is doing. Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective.

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