today in black history

June 20, 2024

Piano prodigy Andre Watts, the first artist to appear on "Live from Lincoln Center," was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1946.

FUNdraising Good Times

POSTED: December 05, 2014, 10:30 am

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Last week we shared a little of the history of this column. We hope we conveyed why we are committed to these weekly writings, and most importantly our belief in you, our readers. While we have met very few of you in person, we hold you up before us in our minds as we write. When we have the opportunity to meet you in person we are always delighted. Now and then people come up to us in the grocery store or on the street to let us know they read our column. Others let us know when we meet in business settings. Now and then we get an email or phone call.

Here’s who we think of as we write. We think of people who are committed to nonprofit organizations, those who volunteer, those who provide executive leadership, and those who are charged with fundraising. We think of receptionists and vice presidents, long-term donors and committed alumni. From our experience we know that some of you are well connected professionals, others are grassroots activists. Some are devoutly religious, others are more secularly focused. We conjure up the diversity of your life experience, and the diversity of the organizations and causes you believe in. Mostly, we salute your humanity, your leadership, and your willingness to get involved. We want you to succeed.

That’s what drives us to write each week. You. As we prepare to celebrate 10 years of writing this column we look back at its evolution and the diversity of topics we have addressed. We share them with you here to encourage you to look for past columns on our blog www.FUNdraisingGoodTimes. As you prepare for 2015 there may be columns you missed with content that can help you.

For example, early columns focused on “how to” topics. These included how to create a case for support, how to create a fundraising plan, how to write a proposal, how to solicit a gift, and how to host a friendraiser. We moved into guidance and suggestions related to ensuring special events generate revenue, recruiting board members, and the difference between staff-led fundraising and volunteer-led fundraising. We expanded into interviews with philanthropic leaders, donors, bookkeepers, technologists and grant writers. Guidance grew to include topics such as “answer the phone” and “how to keep a fundraising job” and “how to sabotage your fundraising.” We highlighted organizations that were successful in their fundraising. The prerequisites for fundraising success have been featured throughout our columns, and in fact our book Prerequisites for Fundraising Success is an outgrowth of this column.

As you prepare for 2015, contemplate what you are willing to do in support of nonprofits you believe in. If you would like us to address a specific topic, let us know. We’ll get busy writing.

Copyright 2014 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your fundraising visit or call (901) 522-8727.

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