Millennials are now the largest age group, and soon will surpass baby boomers in having the largest buying power by 2017. There is a lot of incentive and opportunity for organizations, including non-profits, to engage with this generation. But millennials have changed the face of communication, particularly with those wishing to advertise to them, and the old ways of fundraising have been become less effective. So how can a non-profit organization best engage with millennials, and earn a loyal following among them? See below for a few tips on how to engage millennials better in your organization.
A joint activity is the combination of fundraising and another function incorporated into a single activity. When accounting for joint activities, the criteria of purpose, audience, and content must be met to allow for the fundraising and other program to be accounted for separately. If these three criteria are not met, the entire joint activity must be accounted for as a fundraising activity.
To achieve the purpose criteria, the joint activity must accomplish either program or management and general functions. Program functions are those that call for a specific action by the audience that will help accomplish the organization’s mission. Comparatively, management and general functions are those that support the continued operation of the not-for-profit organization, apart from fundraising.
The audience of a joint activity must have a reasonable potential for the use of the specific action established by the joint activity or can assist the organization in achieving the goals of the joint activity. Provided that the audience is not targeted exclusively based on its fundraising potential, the audience criteria should be met.
A joint activity’s content may also be fulfilled through either program or management and general functions. To fulfill the organization’s program function, joint activity must call for specific action that will help accomplish the organization’s mission. Similarly, the fulfill management and general functions may be fulfilled through the joint activity to accomplish the content criteria.
The following is an example of a joint activity to meets all three criteria:
The Clean Street Foundation’s (CSF) mission is to limit the abuse of alcohol within the city of Thornville. CSF’s annual report states that one of its objectives in fulfilling that mission is to assist parents in preventing their children from abusing alcohol. As such, CSF mails brochures to the parents of all high school students in Thornville that explain the dangers associated with alcohol abuse. The brochures encourage parents to speak with their children about the dangers of alcohol abuse but also include a request for contributions.
In this example, asking parents to speak with their children about alcohol abuse is a call to action that satisfies the purpose criteria. Additionally, the parents of high school students are a reasonable audience for CSF. Finally, the content of the brochure helps to accomplish the organization’s specific mission through a specific call for action. CSF is able to classify the brochure program as a joint activity because it fulfills the criteria of purpose, audience, and content, while also soliciting contributions.
Most of us agree that nonprofits generally have a positive social impact for society. Just like for profit organizations though, nonprofits still need to operate efficiently as a business in order to carry out its mission and one of the key attributes a nonprofit must have in order to be successful in carrying out its mission is having a strong ability for communication and marketing.
A sizable amount of nonprofits rely on contributions, grants, fundraising, etc. as their source of revenue in order to continue to carry out its missions and a vital part of doing that is the nonprofit organization’s ability to communicate and market to their target audience about its primary cause and raise awareness of their missions. When effectively communicating a nonprofit organization’s mission, the nonprofit organization must understand what is important to their target audience and how their goals are supporting their target audience’s ideals.
Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication researched contemporary, effective trends for communication and marketing in today’s dynamic business environment. Below are the five trends that John Trybus, Center for Social Impact Communication Deputy Director, has identified as contemporary, effective trends for communication and marketing towards each nonprofit’s target audience.
To read more about these trends visit: http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/45/master-of-professional-studies-in-integrated-marketing-communications/news/5405/nonprofit-marketing-trends
I have had the honor of being associated with Bread for the City (Bread) for more than 20 years, the last six or seven as a Board Member and Treasurer.
One key element of Bread’s success has been the longevity of Kristin Foti, their development director. For many clients, Development Directors turn over frequently in line with survey data showing most organizations have a Development Director for about 3.5 years. Although still only in her early thirties, Kristin has been at Bread for more than 10 years, the last six as Chief Development Officer. I spoke to her and George Jones (the CEO of Bread for the last 20 years) on the reasons for their success.
While many factors influence a person’s decision to stay at a job, Kristin noted the stability of the organization as the strongest reason: the programs are well run, the finances are well managed, the Board Members are enthusiastic givers, and the senior executive team have long tenures. She also thrives in her partnership with George, who puts leadership above micromanagement. And she also commented on how it’s fun to work with an organization that continues to innovate and grow, keeping her job interesting and offering opportunities for professional growth.
Bread for the City engages in a fairly wide swath of fundraising activities including private foundation proposals, direct mail annual fund and capital campaign solicitations, annual events and personal solicitation by Kristin and/or George to major donors. The fundraising environment is very strong as George the CEO is actively involved with cultivating and stewarding larger donors, and the Board Members are generous givers who also solicit additional contributions. Kristin also works with a dynamic team, who she considers to be the best in their fields.
Bread’s active donor file is about 11,000 donors. Online donations and gifts solicited by email are the fastest growing source of donations, which has been a strong positive for the organization. Bread also continues to work to grow its major gifts and planned giving programs. (They have several times over the years received substantial testamentary bequests from donors who were not active with the organization while alive.)
There are many social service organizations in the DC area doing great work. The differentiating factor for Bread is the diversity of services they provide, including medical and dental care, food, clothing, social services, and civil legal assistance. All of these programs are fully operational and most have been around for 20 years or more. Vision care is the newest offering, which was launched in December.
While I suppose this is a bit of an advertisement for Bread, an organization I really care about, I hope this blog entry highlights the types of factors that go into a development director having a lengthy stay and the position not being a revolving door.
Learn more about our nonprofit group here: http://www.aronsonllc.com/industries/nonprofit-accounting
As if planning for a fundraising event, such as a silent auction or an annual dinner, wasn’t already one of the busiest times on the calendar for a charity organization, there is the required records and correspondence that needs to be addressed to keep your organization on the up and up with IRS rules. IRS rules? I didn’t know the IRS had rules regarding my fundraising event! What do I do now? How do I comply?
Here is a short summary of some of the records and bookkeeping that fundraising generates:
It’s fairly common knowledge that a nonprofit has to provide a written acknowledgment letter to a donor for any single contribution of $250 or more before the donor can deduct the gift. Lessor known is the responsibility of a charity to provide the value of goods and services provided in exchange for contributions of $75 or more, which is usually the case for fundraising ticket sales. A token exception exists for items of low cost given to entice donors to donate. There are more complicated rules for donation of a car, boat or airplane. And donations of items valued by a donor at more than $5,000 may trigger a requirement for the donor to obtain a qualified appraisal and complete of Form 8283, of which the charitable organization will be asked to complete Part IV.
Many of the required correspondence are for information that needs to be determined before the event occurs, such as the donative portion of a ticket sale or sponsorship contribution. Coordination between those with this knowledge and those who are organizing the fundraising event or contributions in general are vital to a smooth outcome.
For more information contact Kathy Cuddapah at 301-231-6200.
Learn more about us here: http://www.aronsonllc.com/industries/nonprofit-accounting