Reignite your brand management with a new IDEA

Using your brand as a fundraising and marketing tool is becoming outdated. Your brand must embody your mission, requiring everyone associated with your organization to participate in brand management. How do you manage today’s brand?

With the I-DE-A framework.
Julia Shepard Stenzel and Nathalie Laidler-Kylander inThe Brand IDEA give you a framework to revolutionize your brand, increase your brand’s impact and collectively manage it.

The IDEA framework:

I – Integrity:
Does your brand align with your mission and core values?
Does your brand identity (internal) align with your image (external)?
DE – Democracy
Do you engage all your stakeholders in defining and communicating your brand identity?
A – Affinity

Does your brand allow you to collaborate and extend your sphere of influence to maximize your impact?

Join us!

Join CausePlanet founder and publisher Denise McMahan for a lively discussion with the creators of the IDEA framework, and we’ll explore how to apply this innovative lens when making critical brand decisions that affect your mission.

Subscribers, log in and register here.

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Join us for 40 new and improved strategies for fundraising with businesses

Join us for CausePlanet’s author interview with Joe Waters about Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New and Improved Strategies for Nonprofits.

The interview will touch on the following book highlights:

Apply literally dozens of case stories, instructive reminders and highly creative ideas to incorporate business partnerships and revenue to your fundraising plan.

Yield incredibly rewarding company collaborations by adopting the author’s recommended ideas, visual examples and steps for implementation.

Gain inspiration for growing your corporate involvement beyond the single strategy of asking for a check and identify what companies want from nonprofit partners.

Tap into your business partner’s numerous assets, including customer loyalty and employees’ desire to engage the community.

When? Thursday, March 27 at 11 a.m. CST

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your questions answered by one of the sector’s leading experts on fundraising with businesses!

See also:

Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Leveraging Businesses

Cause Marketing for Nonprofits


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Management Café Virtual Book Club returns April 3

You have another chance! You can build your knowledge about best practices and recommended books through discussions with other professionals. All from your desk via webcast! The Nonprofit Cultivation Center, teaming up with our Page to Practice™ book summaries, is offering its next virtual monthly book club. It’s a unique professional development opportunity to explore nonprofit management topics with other nonprofit managers in facilitated discussions.

The first session starts Thursday, April 3, discussing The Power of Collaborative Solutions by Tom Wolff.

Don’t miss this innovative opportunity!

Learn more and register here.

For more information about Page to Practice™ book summaries, visit our summary store or subscribe to our library of recommended reading.

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Tired of asking for a check?

The single strategy of asking companies to write a check is tired. You can leverage a corporation’s involvement in many other creative ways that will help raise more money for your organization.

Nine themes

Joe Waters, cause marketing expert, gives 40 specific, practical strategies you can implement now to further your profitable relationships with businesses. They fall into nine categories: point-of-sale, physical go-tos, social media online, deals, direct gifts from businesses, money from employees, required actions from consumers, nonprofit celebrations and special opportunities.

Seven steps to success

If you follow Waters’ seven steps, you can increase your business fundraising results. They include looking at your assets, targeting your supporters, getting your boss’ blessing, focusing on your brand, maintaining a diversified fundraising plan, preparing for competition and seeking professional fundraising help. Waters offers invaluable advice from 20 years of fundraising experience.

Join us!

REGISTER NOW! Join me for a lively discussion about practical strategies you can use to fundraise with businesses with author Joe Waters.

Questions in this interview will touch on the book’s following highlights:
Apply literally dozens of case stories, instructive reminders and highly creative ideas to incorporate business partnerships and revenue into your fundraising plan.

Yield incredibly rewarding company collaborations by adopting the author’s recommended ideas, visual examples and steps for implementation.

Gain inspiration for growing your corporate involvement beyond the single strategy of asking for a check and identify what companies want from nonprofit partners.

Tap into your business partner’s numerous assets, including customer loyalty and employees’ desire to engage in the community.

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Get the most from your Mondays

Many leaders are bogged down with managerial tasks that prevent them from pursuing true leadership. Three truths include: 1) Your job is to help your people be as successful as they can in order to produce results. 2) You carry great responsibility as a leader. 3) Leadership takes practice.

Nine needs

If you address the nine needs (four primary and five secondary) of your people, you will increase your leadership potential and the performance of your staff. The primary needs include care, mastery, recognition and purpose. The secondary needs are autonomy, growth, connection, play and model.

Short on time?

James Robbins, author of Nine Minutes on Monday, helps you address all these needs with a question for each. You can ask yourself these questions every Monday morning to set your leadership priorities.

Join us!

Join me for a lively discussion about how to transform your leadership with author James Robbins.

Register now!

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Suggest a book and enter to win a Nook

December is Read a New Book Month! Join us in encouraging one another to delve in a new book that will have you leading your nonprofit with fresh ideas and new approaches.

Simply suggest a book and enter to win a Nook e-reader! Post a relevant business or nonprofit title that you have read or would like to read on our Facebook page and earn a chance to win a Nook e-reader! (Hint: Visit our summary store for ideas! ) Deadline: 5 p.m. MST on Dec 31.

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Raise your hand if you think planned giving is hard

“If planned giving is so good for both nonprofit organizations and the donors who support them, why don’t more organizations have a planned giving program,” asks Michael Rosen, author of Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing. This question is rhetorical because Rosen knows the answer. When Michael and I recently spoke on the phone, he said he likes to ask his audiences to raise their hands if they think planned giving is difficult. When the majority of the room responds, he’s never surprised. His goal with training groups and in his book is to simplify and demystify the process for fundraisers.

Nonprofits are missing major opportunities to cultivate funds due to the planned giving myths of perceived complexity and difficulty of implementation.

Missed opportunities

Rosen says, “First, there is a significant gap in what traditional planned-gift marketing is achieving and what people are willing to consider. Second, traditional planned-gift marketing is just scratching the surface of planned giving potential.”

Debunking the myths

Michael Rosen gives detailed steps to market your planned-gift program to inspire donors. He emphasizes tapping people in their prime and focusing on their motivations. He addresses active recruitment, stewardship and much more. He provides you with an explicit plan to move forward with a planned giving program.

Join us on Thursday, Oct 17, at 11:00 am CST

Register now and join us for a lively discussion about how to simplify and incorporate planned gift marketing into your daily fundraising efforts with expert and author Michael Rosen.

Questions in this interview will touch on the book’s following highlights:

Identify who makes planned gifts and assess your organization’s potential for planned giving.

Understand planned gift donors’ motivations and how these fuel the author’s recommended approaches.

Explore how to educate and cultivate planned gift prospects and professional advisors.

Engage in effective asks and stewardship practices.

Get started now by submitting questions for us to address in the interview on October 17. Simply use the “Reply” box below to submit your question.

See also:

Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing

Relationship Fundraising


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Webinar: The why and how of Millennial engagement

CausePlanet Members: Join us for our next live author interview on Wednesday, September 25 with Kari Dunn Saratovsky when we’ll discuss how to engage Millennials in your organization.

Kari Dunn Saratovsky is coauthor with Derrick Feldmann of Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement. Highlights of the book include:



Examine how Millennials communicate, volunteer, take action, influence their peers and choose to give their time and money.

Apply the authors’ Millennial Engagement Platform in coordination with your marketing, fundraising and strategic goals.

Observe how Millennials view their role in the workplace and how this is reshaping nonprofit culture from within.

Understand emerging Millennial leaders’ motivations and unique approaches to relationships with boards, stakeholders and partners.

Bring your questions for Dunn Saratovsky to the interview or submit them in advance when you register. We look forward to touching on the book’s highlights through your questions.

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Highlights from our live chat about collaboration with Tom Wolff (Audio)

“In its simplest form, collaborative solutions means doing together what we cannot do apart,” says author Tom Wolff. If you find yourself in the position of considering collaboration or you discover your organization is lacking a specific competency or resource, consider Wolff’s book, The Power of Collaborative Solutions, your next read. From introduction to index, it’s full of interesting case stories, web-based tools and useful guidance.

Interview highlights

We recently held a lively interview via webcast with Wolff and he answered CausePlanet reader questions. Wolff opened our discussion by highlighting his book, why collaborative solutions are encouraged, six principles for effective coalitions and concerns with our health and human service system.

Sound bite about what’s broken?

These concerns translate to other service agencies, so I wanted to share them with you in a sound bite from the interview with Tom Wolff. You can follow this list below as you listen (the sound bite covers one through eight):

  1. Fragmentation
  2. Duplication of effort
  3. Focus on deficits
  4. Crisis Orientation
  5. Failure to respond to diversity
  6. Excessive professionalism
  7. Detached from community & clients
  8. Competition
  9. Limited and inaccessible information
  10. Loss of our spiritual purpose
  11. Failure to engage those most directly affected

Professionalism versus democracy

Number six, “excessive professionalism,” resonated with me in particular. Wolff talks about how we’re quick to get a room full of “experts” to solve a problem when what we really need is a more democratic process. In other words, involve those most directly affected by the problem to identify root cause and generate potential solutions. Is it messy? Sure, but it will help you arrive at the answers you’re looking for. Wolff says, “When we are facing serious community problems, shouldn’t we just get professionals to solve the problems and avoid the messy process called democracy? The answer to this question is a resounding no.”

One of our interview attendees, Kim Fossey with Louisiana STEM Works, had this to add to our discussion afterwards:

“This was perhaps the most enjoyable webinar I have attended in some time. The concerns for providing comprehensive services and achieving impact are right on as well as the six “common sense” principles.  My biggest takeaway was the need for applying more values-based discussion to our work and use of the six requirements for effective participation.  I see these both as missing –particularly in education-based reforms.  Thanks for a great webinar.  I plan to purchase the book and recommend it to others.”

In The Power of Collaborative Solutions, Wolff says he shares “the ‘highs’ of seeing coalitions gain momentum, attract and hold a solid membership, set a focused agenda, achieve results, gain early, small wins and reach significant changes in program policies and practices. The book also covers the ‘lows’ when the opposition is fierce, the membership dissolves, our best plans collapse and we feel like giving up.” Find out more at

CausePlanet members: Register for our next live author with Kari Dunn Saratovsky when we’ll discuss the why and how of Millennial engagement and the book she coauthored with Derrick Feldmann, Cause for Change, on Wed, Sep 25 at 11 a.m. CST.

Find out more about the book, The Power of Collaborative Solutions or our Page to Practice™ summary in our CausePlanet library for subscribers or the Summary Store.

See also:

Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances



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Conference generates great “next gen” ideas

What do you get when you combine standing-room-only attendance, one enthusiastic author and the topic of generational fundraising? You have the makings of a terrific exchange of ideas. I had the pleasure of conducting a CausePlanet interview with Emily Davis at the United Way Worldwide Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana this week. Davis’ book, Fundraising and the Next Generation: Tools for Engaging the Next Generation of Philanthropists, was the basis of our discussion.

As some of you know, the CausePlanet author interview is an interactive format where attendees are encouraged to join in by submitting questions and comments for the author along with me. This particular group had some great input that enhanced our discussion about integrating Gen X and Y into your strategic resource planning. A variety of strategies were discussed during the interview and I wanted to pass along two in particular.

Consider these strategies:

Look at your Traditionalists (born 1900-1945) and Boomers (born 1946-1964) and research their family members: Who among these generations is supporting your organization? Do they have children you can involve on a volunteer basis so when they reach their giving years, they’re ready to give? You can’t afford to dismiss the younger philanthropists because their gifts may be smaller. In reality, Davis’ research demonstrates how the younger generation is giving amounts relatively equal to generations that have preceded them. Furthermore, around 63 percent of Davis’ respondents report their financial contributions are affected by where they volunteer.

Consider forming a parent/child program: Another interview attendee explained how he had formed a program that involves fathers and sons working together on behalf of the cause. More than 70 million people are under the age of 30, rivaling Boomers in purchasing and voting power. Generation X and Millennials were raised on community service so they’re going to be receptive to an opportunity to volunteer especially when it involves the added value of family time. While mothers and fathers are more accustomed to traditional forms of giving, their children may have the financial means to deliver a large check or raise larger numbers of smaller donations from their peers, friends, and family through the simple click of a button. Together, these family teams can be an incredible resource.

In light of the fact that Millennials outpace Boomers in size and anticipated wealth, what are you doing to prepare and engage Generation X and Millennials now?

Follow this discussion online, read Davis’ blog or purchase her book at

Or, you can purchase a Page to Practice summary of Davis’ book or numerous other titles in our CausePlanet store or subscribe for complete access to our summary library.

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