Friday, July 31, 2015

Nonprofit Pro. Making the Ask: Just Pull the Trigger!

Making the Ask: Just Pull the Trigger!

Like most of us, I do not have a great deal of free time in my life. When I find the time for freedom, I love to read other books, articles, blogs and communication by my peers and colleagues. Whether you are 22 or 72 with nonprofit experience, you have something to share with others. This profession is so dynamic, you better stay on top of what others think. When I read something that sticks, I immediately think of prior situations where I applied or didn’t apply methods for success.
At this time of year I find myself completing a fiscal year while preparing for a new one. It is all about metrics in this business. I get frustrated when hard work and preparation doesn’t totally equate to results. This is due in part to the state and maturity of your fundraising program. In this specific instance I am talking about major gifts and face-to-face interactions.
I recently read an article by Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority, titled “3 Lessons Nonprofit Fundraisers Can Learn from Political Fundraisers.” Joe notes in lesson one that a “bundler” is someone who has the ability to raise a significant amount of funds from his or her network. Lesson two states that fundraising is everyone’s job. And my favorite, lesson three, is for professionals that build relationships but don’t take all day in doing so. (Which means there is a time for asking for a gift by pulling the trigger!)
I love reviewing Indiana University’s major gift process of metrics and accountability. Each major gift officer must have a portfolio and be accountable for moving that portfolio. When I meet someone with Indiana University experience, I assume they are properly trained to close gifts and move prospects. In my experience over time, I unfortunately have hired several “experienced” major gift officers that just couldn’t pull the trigger.
I worked with one individual who was the best relationship person I had ever seen. He was young, hungry and teachable—or so I thought. He knew the wealth in town and interacted easily with wealthy people. I attended an event where a multimillionaire was honored. Several slides on the stage featured the philanthropist with my young colleague. He was by far the youngest member in the slide. I developed a portfolio and sent him for fundraising training. I found out the hard way that he loved to meet and interact with people, but could not close a major gift. The only way he could engage in the process of asking for something was when it benefited him personally. He was the king of quid pro quo. He soon moved out of the fundraising profession.
I worked with another colleague who had the resume and skills for major gift success. He had worked at several universities. He was well-educated and trained. He was an excellent speaker and educator. He understood the case for support and priorities. He knew exactly what was to be sold. That said, when push came to shove, he could build a relationship, but couldn’t pull the trigger. I worked with another colleague with an excellent personality and wonderful skillset on paper. He knew what to say and was great in a group setting, but could not interact 1:1 with others. It was a strange situation. And my list goes on and on. Major gift people that can consistently pull triggers and successfully close gifts are hard to find. If you have one in your shop, keep them!
When should you pull a trigger by making an ask? This assumes you have done your homework and research on these prospects as to capacity, involvement, history, other relationships, etc. Some examples:
  1. When volunteers, board, etc. that work with you feel the prospect is ready to be asked.
  2. When the amount asked is at a low level leading to a larger ask.
  3. When the prospect gives you an indication to go ahead and ask.
  4. When there is a prior history of giving and it is time to give again.
  5. When it is a fundraising board and they are making the lead gifts.
  6. Based upon experience, timing and gut when to ask for a gift.
  7. When you are clear as to the decision maker on an ask (husband or wife).
  8. When you make a gift yourself and you are asking someone of equal donation amount.
  9. When the relationship is strong and the move is right.
  10. When the time period is right through proper cultivation.
The No. 1 reason people do not give is they are not asked. Other nonprofits are asking your prospects for a gift as we speak. When are you going to join the party and just pull the trigger?
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last seven years and has had the CFRE designation for the last 23 years. He has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for over 30 years. He received his doctorate from West Virginia University with an emphasis in philanthropy, masters from Marshall University with an emphasis on resource development and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with emphasis in marketing/management. Currently he is executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. Duke also works on special projects for G. J. Mongon & Associates and Duke Haddad & Associates. Contact Duke

Can the World Unite to Solve Global Issues?
Friday, July 31, 2015

Can the World Unite to Solve Global Issues?

U.N.’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Under Fire 

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 29 2015 (IPS) - The U.N.’s highly ambitious post-2015 
development agenda, which is expected to be finalised shortly, has come fire 
even before it could get off the ground.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second from left) with Irish Minister and UNICEF
Goodwill Ambassador in Dublin. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A global network of civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner 
United Nations Major Groups (UNMG), has warned that the agenda, which 
includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “lacks urgency, 
a clear implementation strategy and accountability.”

Savio Carvalho of Amnesty International (AI), which is part of the UNMG, 
told IPS the post-2015 agenda has become an aspirational text sans clear 
independent mechanisms for people to hold governments to account for 
implementation and follow-up.

“Under the garb of national ownership, realities and capacities, member 
states can get away doing absolutely nothing. We would like them to ensure 
national priorities are set in conformity with human rights principles and standards 
so that we are not in the same place in 2030,” he added.

The 17 SDGs, which are to be approved by over 150 political leaders at a 
U.N. summit meeting in September, cover a wide range of socio-economic issues, 
including poverty, hunger, gender equality, sustainable development, full 
employment, quality education, global governance, human rights, climate 
change and sustainable energy for all.

All 17 goals, particularly the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger 
worldwide, are expected to be met by the year 2030.

The proposed follow-up and review, as spelled out, lacks a strong accountability 
mechanism, “with several references to national sovereignty, circumstances and 
priorities which risk undermining the universal commitment to deliver on the SDGs,” says UNMG.

“We are wondering how committed member states will be able to ensure genuine 
public participation, in particular of the most marginalised in each society, in 
decisions that will have an impact on their lives.”

This applies also to questions related to financing (budget allocations) in the 
actual implementation of the agenda, says a statement titled
 “Don’t break Your Promise Before Making it”.

“We are keen to ensure that people are able to hold governments to account 
to these commitments so that these goals are delivered and work for 
everyone,” says UNMG, which includes a number of coalitions and 
networks who will be monitoring the post-2015 process.

These groups include CSOs representing women, children and youth, human rights, trade unions and workers, local authorities, volunteers and persons with disabilities.

Asked about the composition of the UNMG, Jaimie Grant, who represents the 
secretariat for Persons with Disabilities, told IPS that UNMG is the official 
channel for the public to engage with the United Nations on matters of sustainable development.

“Across all these groups, stakeholders and networks, we share some very 
broad positions, but there are many thousands of organisations feeding in to it, 
in various capacities, with various positions and priorities,” he explained.

Adding strength to the chorus of voices from the opposition, the Women’s Major 
Groups, representing over 600 women’s groups from more than 100 countries, 
have also faulted the development agenda, criticising its shortcomings.

Shannon Kowalski, director of Advocacy and Policy at the International Women’s
Health Coalition, told IPS the SDGs could be a major milestone for women and 

They have much to gain: better economic opportunities, sexual and reproductive
health care and information and protection of reproductive rights, access to 
education, and lives free from violence, she noted.

“But in order to make this vision a reality, we have to ensure gender equality 
is at the heart of our efforts, recognising that it is a prerequisite for sustainable 
development,” she added.

The coalition includes Women in Europe for a Common Future, Equidad de Genero (Mexico), Global Forest Coalition, Women Environmental Programme, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and 
Development, WEDO (Women’s Environment and Development) and the 
Forum of Women’s NGOs (Kyrgyzstan).

Kowalski also expressed disappointment over the outcome of the recently 
concluded conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Addis Ababa.

“We hoped for a progressive and fair financing agreement that addressed the 
root causes of global economic inequality and its impact on women’s and girls’ 
lives. But that’s not what we got,” she said.

“We expected strong commitments on financing for gender equality and 
ecognition of the value of women’s unpaid care work. We expected governments 
to address the systemic drivers of inequalities within and between countries,
to establish fair tax policies, to stop illicit financial flows, and to address injustices
in international trade structures that disadvantage the poorest countries.”

“We were disappointed that there were no new commitments to increase public
financing in order to achieve the SDGs,” Kowalski declared.

Carvalho of Amnesty International said, “It will be impossible to achieve truly
transformative sustainable development and to leave no one behind without 
conducting regular, transparent, holistic and participatory reviews of progress 
and setbacks at all levels.”

“The agenda acknowledges the need for international financial institutions (IFIs) 
to respect domestic policy, but does not go far enough to ensure that their activities 
to do contribute to any human rights violations.”

“I think we need to strengthen the argument for the agenda to be universal – 
when all countries have to deliver on their commitments and obligations.”

These, he said, include Official Development Assistance (ODA) and tax justice.

Meanwhile, in a statement released to IPS, Beyond 2015, described as a global 
civil society campaign pushing for a strong successor to the 
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said “for the SDGs to have a real 
impact on people’s lives everywhere, people themselves must participate in 
implementing the goals and reviewing progress, and be active agents in 
decisions affecting them.”

The Beyond 2015 Campaign said it welcomes the focus on inclusion and 
participation reflected in the current draft that is being negotiated at the 
United Nations, and “we count on governments to translate their commitments into action as soon as the SDGs are adopted.”

In implementing the SDGs, it is crucial that states honour their commitment to 
“leave no one behind”.

“This means tracking progress for all social and economic groups, especially
the most vulnerable and marginalized, drawing upon data from a wider range 
of sources, and regular scrutiny with the involvement of people themselves,” 
the statement added.

Additionally, an even higher level of participation and inclusion is needed, at all 
levels, when implementation starts.

“People must be aware of the new agenda and take ownership of the goals for real 
and sustainable changes to occur.”

The Beyond 2015 campaign also welcomed the commitment to an open and 
transparent follow-up framework for the SDGs, grounded in people’s participation 
at multiple levels.

“We believe the current draft could be improved by including specific time-bound 
commitments and endorsing civil society’s role in generating data to review 
commitments,” it said.

“We insist on the need for governments to translate the SDGs into national 
commitments as this is a crucial step for governments to be genuinely accountable 
to people everywhere.”

Edited by Kitty Stapp

The writer can be contacted at

Emergency Management Magazine. Personalizing Individual and community preparedness. Planning is the key.

Let Your Community Teach You Their Needs

Risk Must Be Personalized

Risk communication must be understood and believed and it has to be confirmed.

"Preparing people for emergencies is about changing the way they think, not just before disasters, but also during them. What will make our communities more disaster resilient is to use emergency preparedness outreach as training for individuals to become effective disaster decision-makers: to teach them how to think in a crisis; to know what the disaster environment looks and feels like; to adapt; and to be empowered to take the necessary actions once decisions are made"\


Emergency communication is just as important before a disaster hits as it is during and after. Reaching the public with the correct message in the correct way – or in many correct ways – is key to ensuring they know what to do when faced with an emergency.

During a crisis, the public will often communicate their needs for future communication and education by showing gaps in their response.

Taking a look over your agency’s response to an emergency or disaster is wise, but do you also take a good look at how the public responded? Their actions or inactions will tell you a lot about where to focus your energy, time, and money in the future. It will also tell which group is listening or following a specific type of media and where gaps in messaging might be found.

Another concern is the focus of your pre-disaster messaging. As Emergency Management Magazine recently stated, “if the goal of our risk communication is awareness, we’ve already lost the disaster resilience battle.” The vast majority of your community is aware of their risks, so focusing on risk is unneeded.

Transforming their awareness into action is the ultimate goal. To do that involves making the risk personal and asking for small steps towards reducing their risk, which will lead to more confidence and larger steps towards the goal.

A community’s needs in a disaster vary widely and many locales have minimal resources to spend trying to find where they can improve. By watching and listening, you can identify and address communications gaps, overlooked populations, and education needs.

(Source:  Emergency Management Magazine)

The Black Emergency Managers Association International support(s) the Sustainable Development Goals

The Black Emergency Managers Association International support(s) the Sustainable Development Goals

Job Opportunities\International: DevelopmentAID January 2020

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..Haiti. We will not forget.


Mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. We attract African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans to business Ph.D. programs, and provide a network of peer support on their journey to becoming professors.