Klein and Roth Consulting helps organizations build strong fundraising programs that are mission-driven. We provide practical, hands-on advice, grounded in social justice values.
For fun and timely fundraising tips, subscribe to the Klein and Roth Consulting e-newsletter - click here.
To read the current issue of the newsletter, click here. You’ll also find back issues you may have missed.
New Successes in "Fundraising for Social Change"
A new study commissioned by the Haas Jr. Fund with Kim Klein and Jeanne Bell, (CEO of CompassPoint) has just been released for free online and looks at what the most successful social change nonprofits are doing to beat the odds and what we can learn from them.
Kim Klein is no stranger to successful fundraising so it was only natural for her to work on the Fundraising Bright Spots report. For more than 30 years, Klein's book, "Fundraising for Social Change," has been the hands on guide to raising money from individuals with a specific focus on organizations working for change, and it is one of the most widely used books in the field and in university degree programs alike.
Now the revised and expanded 7th edition continues what has made this book a classic. It is readable, easy to understand, and able to be applied to almost any nonprofit in need of more money and more donors.
Basing your fundraising strategy on the contributions of individual donors may feel like herding cats but it is the best way for your organization to maintain maximum freedom to pursue your mission.
DEAR KIM KLEIN FUNDRAISING Q & A
This column is published once a month by the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. For previous posts go to their website.
Board Member Paying Staff Person Extra
I chair the board of a small religious organization. Each employee has to raise a certain amount toward their salary and this amount is set by the board, as are the salaries. Recently it came to my attention that one employee is receiving additional support from a board member who provides a designated gift for that individual’s support. I was caught off guard to find that this individual is making more money than we knew and that a particular board member is providing it. This seems like money laundering to me. The board member is making a financial gift to a family, and running it through the non-profit so that it can be tax deductible. Is there an IRS rule, or a piece of governance that would prevent this sort of thing from happening?
I will let readers find the story you allude to. (HINT: Christian testament, Book of Acts). I hope your story does not end quite as dramatically!
Unless the board member is related to the staff person, or in some way financially benefits from this arrangement, I don’t think this would be money laundering. You might check with an attorney or an auditor, but I don’t see anything actually illegal here.
However, there are serious governance issues here and they all lead to one overriding problem: a lack of transparency on the part of this board member. You have one employee who is paid differently (and presumably more) than all the other employees because you have one board member who is disregarding the salary levels established by the rest of the board. (To read more, click here.)
Finding the Time for Grassroots Fundraising
I have tried to follow the advice in the Grassroots Fundraising Journal and from you, Andy Robinson, Stephanie Roth, and other grassroots fundraising experts. What you all say makes sense. Having said that, I hope you don’t find my question rude: where do you find the time to really implement all this advice? I am a relatively efficient person and I already work my 40 hours and then some every week. Being in touch with more donors, doing research on prospects, keeping our social media presence vibrant? Something is always not getting done. Any tips?
~Running out of Time
You are not rude at all and you are raising a key issue for all of us: time. Time is our most precious non-renewable resource. For every living being, it is running out. When we choose to do something, we automatically choose to not do something else, and setting appropriate priorities is a constant balancing act.
I have one overarching tip for you based on a dangerous practice I have of reading between the lines of Dear Kim’s. I read between the lines that you try to do most things yourself and I recommend that you shift your priorities to finding other people to help you. This will not save time—you have to find these volunteers, train them, appreciate them, and often then watch them walk away to something else. But over time, you will build a team of people who can help you. (To read more, click here.)