What Brett Kavanaugh Can Teach Nonprofits

Two conversations at one time result in consternation. We’ve all been a part of them. Mom is asking Dad about an event on Saturday, and he is answering about an event on Tuesday. Or your builder is talking about the design of bedroom #1, and you are talking about the design of bedroom #2. Until we are both in the same conversation, there is no progress.

Here are the two conversations our nation is having trouble with today…

How Volunteerism Grew JDRF’s Bottom Line

In a recent blog, we wrote about the crucial role that volunteerism plays in the success of peer-to-peer campaigns. Get it right, and good things happen. Get it wrong, and you can expect revenue to flatline, if not decline. We’ve seen it happen over and over. The trick is to build guardrails that give volunteers room to act with some level of autonomy but still give them enough structure to ensure a successful outcome. 

Why Volunteerism is the Key to Your Mission

We spent several days last month at Susan G. Komen’s national peer-to-peer meeting in Dallas. Komen was started by Nancy Brinker in 1982. Like many nonprofits (and people) who are entering middle age, it’s a good time to take stock of one’s successes and shortcomings to better chart a course for the future. If I had to sum up the focus of the three days of meetings in one word, it would be “volunteerism.” To recapture the power of volunteerism that was responsible for the organization’s best days. 

Peer-to-Peer Event Financial Reporting 101

Often when collaborating on strategy for events, we get into bookkeeping territory. A typical question sounds like this, “When determining costs of grassroots events, like a walk or a 5K, do you include staff, event costs, or both?” On the face of it, it’s a pretty straightforward question. But it’s not surprising that we hear this a lot, because there is no standard method of reporting across the nonprofit industry.

Facebook and Rage Donations

An article appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy last week titled, “Nonprofit Leaders Add to Outpouring of Fury Over Border Policies.” It talks about how nonprofits like the Texas Civil Rights Project and Save the Children are responding to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” that has resulted in separating parents seeking asylum at the southern border from their children.

Critiquing Your Organization -- Get Naked, Stay Naked

We recently hired someone to come into Turnkey and figuratively kick us in the shins. We asked her to “secret shop” us. If you’re not familiar with this term, it’s when someone comes in and acts like a customer, (in our case a fundraiser) goes through the customer experience you provide, and then critiques it. What a horrifically painful gut punch.

Trump Buyer’s Remorse? Not Likely…

We were having lunch with friends recently, and the conversation got around to politics. “How,” one person wondered, “could my friends and family members who voted for Trump still be so solid in their support? Through the porn star payoffs, incivility, and daily displays of ignorance that characterizes the dumpster fire that is this administration? How is that possible?”

Millennials – Don’t Bother Leaving a Message if Nobody’s Ever Home

My generation talks about millennials like they are a different species. We think they are different at the DNA level. We study them and develop intricate ways to deal with them, with systems and processes and ropes and pulleys and whispers and shouting and…none of it works very well. And we need to figure out why – and soon.

A Guilty White Man Speaks Out

One of the great pleasures in working with nonprofit clients is getting up every day and knowing that you are helping them do good on behalf of their constituencies. They advocate on behalf of people living with autism, cancers, ALS, and cystic fibrosis. Some support people dealing with the hardships surrounding immigration, homelessness, depression, or drug addiction.

Incentive vs. Recognition…there really IS a difference

I sit in on plenty of calls and speak to lots of nonprofits about rewards, incentives, gifts, prizes, and recognition.  (For the record, the word ‘prize’ makes me wince.)  On a recent call with Kris Eschman and Wayne Baldaro from NAMI, they relayed that overcoming the incentive mentality with their affiliates regarding recognition programs is challenging.  However, they explained, once there is a breakthrough with the chapters and the leadership truly gets it, the fundraising skyrockets.

P2P Data Point War – Participant vs. Fundraiser Average

At Turnkey, we place a premium on analyzing every campaign to provide our clients with the best estimate possible of their return on investment. While reviewing the reports, occasionally someone asks why we report average fundraising of all peer-to-peer participants rather than reporting only the average of peer-to-peer fundraisers (we define a participant as anyone that attends an event hosted by a Non-Profit, and a fundraiser as any participant that raises >$0).