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February 5, 2013 - In This Issue:
dog leaning on heart  
The Dark Underbelly of Non-Profit Development

     If you're in non-profit development, chances are that over the past two weeks you've read about the recent CompassPoint study Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Non-Profit Fundraising .  Everyone is talking about it (e.g. here,here and here).

The truth is if you're in fundraising, deep down you already knew what the report found:

  • Most development directors are unhappy and would like to leave their job
  • Most executive directors feel like they can't find development directors who are qualified for the job
  • Many non-profits have no written development plan and don't use any kind of donor database
  • The vast majority of organizations reported that their boards are not doing enough to support fundraising

     As someone who has been in fundraising for a number of years, this report really doesn't shock me.  What it does do is shine a light on the dark underbelly of the non-profit development world... it's something we all know but don't like to talk about in public very often.

     The way I see it, the findings noted above are symptoms of a larger problem, one that has two main causes:

#1: Non-Profits Are Ashamed of Having to Resort to Fundraising

     How many times have you heard an executive director or board member approach a prospect and say something like, "I'm really sorry to have to ask, but we rely on fundraising to keep our doors open.  Would you be willing to buy a ticket to our annual dinner?"  I have heard that fundraising gem far too often.

     Why are you sorry to have to fundraise?  Why do you look forward to the 80% of your day when you can work on programs and outreach and dread the 20% of your day when you have to do fundraising?   Can you imagine working at a company where the CEO constantly apologized for having to sell things?

     This is one reason why so many non-profit executive directors love grants.  They don't seem like fundraising.   They're more like writing a report, and if you get a good grade, you get the money.  So many folks at non-profits would rather do anything then look someone in the eye and ask them for a gift.

     How many development professionals have walked into an interview for the top fundraising job at a non-profit and have had the executive director casually (and constantly) talk about how much she hates fundraising?  How many non-profit websites have you visited where when you checked out the staff listing, the program people were listed above the development staff?  I notice things like this, and the answer is... most!

     When non-profits are ashamed of having to fundraise to support their missions, development offices become miserable places to work.  Who wants to work for an organization that is ashamed of what you do?  Who would choose, day in and day out, to be out in public asking people to part with their hard earned dollars to support the mission of a non-profit that would rather they didn't have to hire you at all?

     How many times do we have to say it?  Non-profits, listen up: Your mission matters.  Without fundraising, you will not be able to carry out that mission.  Neglecting your fundraising is neglecting your mission.   Businesses like to sell more in order to generate more profit.  Non-profits should like to fundraise more in order to do more good in the world.


#2: Non-Profits Refuse to Pay Development Staff What they Are Worth

     Looking for a job in non-profit development is a miserable task.  You walk in and hear that the goal for the position is to write and implement a plan to raise at least one million dollars per year.  The last person in the job failed and was fired.  There hasn't been anyone in the job for 8 months.  The board "isn't a fundraising board," so they don't provide much help.  It's going to be an uphill battle.


     Then, you hear the punchline.  The job pays $40,000 per year.  You have to share an office with two other people.  No, they won't buy you a laptop so you can work in between donor meetings.  Yes, they have healthcare coverage, but you have to pay 85%, they only pay 15%.  And only for you.  0% for the rest of your family.  You also need to work some nights and weekend.  When can you start?  Seriously?  Who puts up with this?  Are you treating your development staff this way?


     If the same person was walking into a comparable for-profit sales job, one that was responsible for generating one million dollars in sales per year, they'd get $100,000 per year at least.  Plus their own office and better benefits.  Plus any technology they needed to get the job done.  And maybe a performance bonus too.


    I know, I know... this is a non-profit.  I can hear you saying it... development professionals shouldn't expect to make the same as their for-profit counterparts.

I say: Why not?  And if you're not paying your folks 100% of what they would make in the corporate world, how about 80%?  Or 70%?  Or even half?  At most non-profits, the true number is more like 35-45%.


     My favorite is walking into non-profits that raise money and give the majority of it out in some form of grant funding to other projects and organizations, and where the person responsible for bringing the money in (the development director) is making $50,000 / year but the person responsible for spending the money (the program director) is making $85,000 / year.  Fundraising is hard work.  It takes skill and patience.  Why aren't you hiring people who are good at it, giving them the tools they need, and paying them a salary that is not only livable but shows the priority you place on fundraising at your organization?


A Call to Action for Non-Profit Organizations

     It's time to change the culture of philanthropy at most non-profit organizations.  It's time for charities to be proud to ask for money, because more money means they can do more good.  It's time for non-profits to pay development directors and staff members what they are worth, hire enough team members to do the job, and equip them for the difficult but important tasks ahead.


     Non-profits, wake up!  You could be doing far more for those you serve, if only you would embrace and prioritize fundraising at your organization.


This article originally appeared in The Fundraising Authority's January 24, 2013 e-newsletter.
Comparing apples to, well, refrigerator magnets
Tim Crum Headshot1       Most client-partners are surprised to learn that I am afraid of flying. I surprised yet another board president with this fear over dinner in Flower Mound, TX.  (I was in Texas to do a study for a humane society in north Texas).  Last year, the fastest growing part of our company's business was helping animal groups with their new animal shelters and as a result, I have been consulting with groups all across the country.  But with all these campaigns comes the task of having to get on a plane and the ordeal of having sweaty palms and a rapid heartbeat for the entire length of the flight. (And let's not mention my concern over every sound the plane makes...)  While I combat my fears, your organization can take comfort in my company's one-of-a-kind approach to fundraising feasibility studies.
     You see, while there are other fundraising consultants out there that can do your organization's feasibility study, there is one major flaw that every one of those consulting companies employ in their approach.  They compare your organization to all the other non-profits out there.  When you receive your report, your organization is benchmarked against hospitals, universities, religious organizations, and social service agencies.  How realistic and meaningful is it to your organization to be benchmarked against your local hospital's $100M cardiac wing expansion or the YMCA's new $25M new building campaign?
When we do your study, your organization is benchmarked against other animal groups - making your study and the results the most accurate, complete and realistic picture of what is feasible.
We compare apples to apples...not like every one else who compares apples to, well, refrigerator magnets.
If you'd like to discuss your organizations plans to build a new shelter, call me, I'd be happy to walk you through the process.
P.S. I'm traveling to Mississippi in two weeks to do another study, so wish me safe travels!
All February Long...
dog leaning on heart   



When you hire Animal Shelter Fundraising to do your fundraising feasibility study, we'll donate two iPad-minis to your organization!


Contract must be signed by February 28, 2013, although the study does not have to be scheduled until before December 31, 2013. 

Not valid with any other offers.




ipad mini  ipad mini


Contact Tim Crum to discuss your organization's need for a fundraising feasibility study. 

     A campaign feasibility study is a tool a non-profit uses to determine whether it should go ahead with a capital fund-raising campaign. It is essential for an organization to assess the likelihood of success for a campaign before entering into it. A non-profit that does not do so puts the campaign, the project for which the money is to be raised, and even the organization itself at risk.


kennel blueprints       An assessment of the feasibility of a campaign can be conducted by outside professional counsel - such as Animal Shelter Fundraising. If the organization is very well prepared (more about that later), it should be capable of making an internal assessment of feasibility. However, if a full-blown feasibility study is needed, then that study is best conducted by outside counsel having no ties to the organization. The reasons for this will be delineated later in this article.


     At one time, a feasibility study for a capital or endowment campaign was little more than a process of identifying where the money was-who had it and how much they might be willing to give.  No longer. In today's donor-centric world, an organization needs to assess the:

  1. Community's perception of the importance of the need for which money is to be raised.
  2. Feelings, both positive and negative, about the organization and its mission.
  3. Size of the potential donor base and its ability to give.
  4. Availability of strong campaign leadership and effective volunteers.
  5. Internal resources available for the campaign and the preparedness of the organization to undertake it.
  6. External factors that could influence the outcome of the campaign.


     Animal Shelter Fundraising is the leading provider of fundraising feasibility studies in the animal welfare industry.  Let us provide your organization with the industry's most comprehensive feasibility study report.  Contact Tim Crum today by e-mail or by calling: 623.975.1234.

by Tony Poderis appearing on the Raise-funds website

April 19-20, 2013 in Phoenix, AZ

> Is your board struggling with its duties and responsibilities? 

> Does your organization have a difficult time attracting and retaining board members? 

> Are your board meetings excessively long and seem to accomplish little? 

> Do board members overstep their boundaries?


If you answered YES to any one of these questions, then your board could benefit by attending our professional training and development course.


Animal Shelter Fundraising will be offering a two-day board training and development on April 19-20 that is ideal for board members and executive directors here on our campus in Surprise, AZ.   This comprehensive and in-depth training will focus on your non-profit board's legal and ethical duties and responsibilities and will even cover all the policies and procedures that will have your board on the path to success.  The two-day session includes a workbook and flashdrive with dozens of documents from  handbook to policies

 to orientation.



Eight reasons why you should attend this board training: 

1.) You have a newly formed board and people will be working together for the first time;

2.) You have many new board members-most of whom have never served on a nonprofit board;

3.) You have just experienced a significant turnover of board members;

4.) Your board may have been in existence for a while, but they have never received any formal training on how to be a board member;

5.) Your board has been working together for a while, but they could benefit from a training on fundamental board principles;

6.) The board wants to undertake a capital fundraising campaign;

7.) The board is having problems getting things done;

8.) The board is not accepting their full duties and responsibilities;


For boards to perform effectively, they must first have knowledge of their legal and ethical duties and second, be able to implement policies to successfully guide the organization.


Our workshop provides the knowledge and training for boards to work effectively.


Our two day course covers the following:

  • Review of your organizations mission
  • The Board Manual - what documents should be in it
  • Board Roles and Responsibilities - understanding your legal and ethical duties
  • Board Structure - officers, committees and chairs
  • Board Operations - understanding and creating bylaws, policies, committees, strategic plans, structure of meetings, agenda, minutes
  • Board Evaluation - best practices to evaluate the board and its individual members
  • Board Recruitment - how to attract and retain board members
  • Board Member Characteristics - understanding the composition of a healthy board and what qualities to look for in board members

Early bird registration is ONLY $199/person. (regularly $249)


Includes workbook & flashdrive w/ dozens of board documents

Looking for a motivational speaker for your next conference
Want a dynamic and engaging speaker to train your staff and board?
TIM CRUM  is regularly called upon to speak at national and regional conferences.  Audiences value Tim's knowledge and experience while taking delight in his enthusiasm and wit. 
Tim Crum - Engaging and Dynamic Fundraising / Motivational Speaker
Tim Crum - Engaging and Dynamic Fundraising / Motivational Speaker

We encourage you to patronize the following industry leading companies...

Mason Company has earned the reputation for providing the finest animal enclosures on the market. They use only the highest grade raw materials and, unlike some of their competitors, they manufacture everything in the U.S. rather than overseas. 


The Mason Company has sold and installed more kennel systems than anyone else in the world. No matter what your unique needs, chances are the Mason Company has built it before.

Kuranda USA, based in Maryland, makes and sells dog beds.
GIVE the gift of COMFORT to a homeless pet.    

Day in and day out thousands of shelter dogs languish on cold, hard concrete floors, while cats seek a soft place to rest in their cages. But you can make a world of difference in a homeless pet's life by donating a Kuranda bed to the shelter of your choosing.

Special 28% donation discount. Beds ship directly to the shelter.