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Resources – Newsletter Archive

December, 2006

Welcome to "Karen's Fundraising Tips." Today's newsletter (which you can read in 3-5 minutes . . . tops) includes ideas and tons of resources for new nonprofits (or even a seasoned organization) to jump start their fundraising, list building and professional education.

With regard to my newsletter in general - on the second Tuesday of each month I share tips, news items, and resources all tailored for the non-profit world and folks directly responsible for raising funds. My goal is to make your job a little easier and to help you increase your donor contributions.

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What's your biggest challenge? What would you like to see in my newsletter? How can I help you?

Send me a short note with one or two of your biggest challenges. I'll share suggestions on making them less of a challenge in a future issue. Just send an email to and I'll take it from there.

How a start-up nonprofit gets funding
(Answer to "What's your biggest challenge?") [292 words]

This "challenge" is from "Al in Indy," a reader of Karen's Fundraising Tips newsletter:

"I know of several small scale (but growing) missions that have recently gotten their start. Neither has figured out how to fund itself yet, and I'd like to help them. Can you recommend a good way for a person new to the fundraising arena to educate themselves on the best ways to fund your mission?"

The first goal is to get donors. And the first step toward this goal is to build a list of potential donors.

List building experts recommend starting with people you know. This includes family, friends, co-workers, and anyone you see during the day. Examples of this last group could be your bank teller, hairdresser, barber, grocery store clerk, dentist, doctor, and so on.

Everyone on your staff, including volunteers, ought to be constantly adding names to your mailing lists. Your lists are your greatest business assets.

As you go about your day, talk to people about your wonderful mission. Then ask permission to send updates and information from time to time. Get their complete mailing address and email address. And with a smile, mention some of these notes may even ask for a donation. Oh, and in the emails ask your donors and prospects to "please pass this on to a friend."

How do you maximize communications with your valuable donors and prospects? How do you get maximum results - including donations - in the least amount of time? Hire a professional copywriter who understands your nonprofit world. Hire a trained pro full time, use an agency, or go freelance.

Why? Because you've got a lot at stake. Your expertise is probably operating your organization and helping people served by your mission. We all have our areas of expertise.

So when the stakes are high don't hesitate to bring in another expert for those areas you're not trained in. Unless you're a professional copywriter, I recommend you invest in such an expert to write your fundraising letters and all your communications. This way you can keep your focus on your true passion . . . those you help every day.

That's the tip of the iceberg. The Hot Tips of the Month article below has more resources for you. These include how to build your donor file and raise funds, plus some outstanding professional organizations whose missions are to help you. And in case you missed it, there are a few relevant ideas in the Hot Tips of the Month article from the November 2006 issue of Karen's Fundraising Tips newsletter.

Al, this ought to bolster the funding resources for your start-up nonprofits. The best of good fortune for you and your friends.

In a future issue I'll share ideas on how to build awareness and get free publicity for any nonprofit organization.

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A Greeting from Me to You

This is a special time of year . . . Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, and all the wonderful celebrations of the season. So many joyous reasons to celebrate and be thankful. My best wishes to you during this wonderful time of year!

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Hot Tip of the Month - Resources for nonprofits

I come across a number of resources during my work and have included several here. The companies all provide valuable services. Yet I'm not qualified to directly endorse any because I'm not a nonprofit and therefore don't use their services. I just like what I saw when I discovered them so I'll pass along the information to you.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals is an exception and I can endorse them. I'm a member of this organization and very happy with the benefits I've received.

I believe all are worth your time to check out. And if you're concerned with such things, I don't receive any kind of referral fee whatsoever from any of them.

  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is an international organization of over 27,000 members working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.
  • Specialize in "door-to-door" fundraising and they do the knocking on doors to recruit new supporters to build your donor base. 703-321-1101
  • Their software system helps nonprofit organizations manage their online presence as well as various membership and fundraising activities. As far as I know there are no upfront costs to the nonprofit. Jim Barney, 1-866-999-2542
  • Affinity4 has helped raise $75 million for their nonprofits in the past 10 years. "When an organization partners with Affinity4 it can increase its charitable funding, without cost, while Affinity4 does all the work." Melissa McBride at 1-800-311-2411
  • Their specialty is charitable auctions online and they've helped over 1,000 nonprofits increase their fundraising since 2002. For any event type there is no-risk e-consignment. 1-866-621-0330
  • This software/web service company is called GiftWorks 2006 at 1-888-323-8766, extension 2.
  • This software/web service company is called DonorPro by TowerCare Technologies at 1-866-935-8281 (especially useful for smaller nonprofits)
  • A blog to follow for grant writing.
  • and are two links to areas in the Foundation Center website with resources for grants, workshops, proposal writing, databases for finding funders, and more.
  • The Grantsmanship Center offers training to nonprofits to gain knowledge needed to be successful in applying for and receiving grants. Other resources include daily tips, a magazine and funding sources at the local, federal and international levels.
  • is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing FREE services to other nonprofit organizations to help you save money and further your own mission.
  • The Center on Philanthropy includes The Fundraising School which helps fundraising professionals from around the world. They offer a variety of courses on the art and science of fundraising and philanthropy.
  • Jones and Bartlett Publishers have a variety of books on the nonprofit sector. They also offer special or bulk orders - Linda McGarvey at 1-800-832-0034, extension 8229.

Feel free to forward my newsletter to a colleague. Plus, here's how they can sign-up to receive it directly:

1. Just click on this link, In the email message to me, please include the first name and email address of your colleague. I'll take care of signing them up.

Or ...

2. You can sign them up directly on my website by following this link:

"Karen's Fundraising Tips"

Thanks for joining me and until next time . . . enjoy this wondrous season and always keep your donors in the limelight.

All the best,

Karen Zapp, Fundraising & Sales Copywriter
Perceptive Karen

P.S.  Have a project coming up soon? I'd love to work with you on it.


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Call anytime and we’ll chat about your needs: 800-794-1609
I look forward to helping you prosper.

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