Doing Well By Doing Good – One

“Harambee” is Swahili for “Let’s Get Together and Push”

We love this word!  It says so much and whether you’ve ever heard it before or not, this is what the Rogue Valley is all about!  This global concept used here so well in the Rogue Valley, at a grass-roots level, is vital to the enrichment and sustainability of our giving communities. The generosity of its citizens in giving of their money, time and effort, has never ceased to amaze and inspire us.

What is “Fundraising”?   What does it enable nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to do, and what makes some projects/programs successful – – or not, are some of the subjects we’ll be addressing in this monthly column. We’ll discuss how NPOs come about, how they are organized and managed, and how they develop their programs, and then must be supported through funding, including grants, individual donors, and the general public.

This community really cares!  It has fostered the growth of a myriad of NPOs and the number has swelled over the past several years. Dee Anne Everson, Executive Director of the United Way of Jackson County, has told us that there were about 950 NPOs 12 years ago; today there are over 7,700! Obviously, with this many charities vying for the attention and funding of supporters, many, with very noble causes, have been unsuccessful in fulfilling their missions. We are finding that many are more similar than dissimilar and, quite often, it’s very difficult to distinguish their differences. We feel there should be more program and fundraising collaboration, alliances, and possibly even mergers of some of these individual entities to make them more cost-effective and financially stable.

To be successful and credible, NPOs must first, and continually, be building a strong network of supporters in creating ‘friend-raising’ programs first to garner awareness and visibility. You can’t just call someone on a list and ask them for money, just because you feel you have a worthy cause; you could, but most likely they aren’t going to give you any, or it may only be once!  Especially today, with an uncertain economy and ‘donor fatigue’, along with increased competition from other NPOs, now more than ever it’s about creating a long-term and lasting ‘relationship’.  Once you have identified that they share your concerns/beliefs; by staying in contact with them; learning about what is important to them; you can grow this relationship to one that ultimately will garner ‘fund-raising’ opportunities.

We’d like to have a dialogue with our readers, so we welcome your comments, suggestions & questions. Please send them to:
– Carpe Diem!     Larry & Joy Marshall

Larry and Joy are the managing diectors
Marshall Fundraising Management. | 488-3121

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