403(b) Pre-Approved Retirement Plans

The IRS has recently updated its list of pre-approved retirement irs symbolplans that have received an IRS favorable opinion or advisory letter. This means that the IRS has determined that the plan satisfies the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b).Only certain tax-exempt employers are eligible to sponsor an Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b).  Among those employers which may sponsor such a plan are:

  • Tax-exempt organizations established under IRC 501(c)(3)
  • Public school systems
  • Certain ministers:
    • Employed by a 501(c)(3) organization
    • Self-employed
    • Ministers not employed by a 501(c)(3) organization. but functioning as a minister in their dai8ly responsibilities with their employer.

Choosing a pre-approved plan, may be beneficial to eligible employers over individually designed plans by costing less, knowing that it meets legal requirements and will make necessary updates for you.

Additional resources and information:

A Fundraiser’s Journey – Worth It

A Fundraiser’s Journey – Kelly Updike for PCNRC

 What does a 2004 movie entitled The Girl Next Door have to do with fundraising?

While the movie did not do well at the box office, it did generate a notable and usable quote.

I learned about it while having coffee with Ashley Stoneburner, director of advancement and events for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. When I asked her for some fundraising advice to share, she immediately replied:

“Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

These words of advice were often said to Ashley by her former boss at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Ashley says she recalls this phrase whenever she starts up a new task or is embroiled in a particularly difficult situation.

So, two things to take away:

  1. Take the long view and decide if the reward is worth the punishment.
  2. Brilliant advice is everywhere.

 

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

A Fundraiser’s Journey – Get out of your comfort zone

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

As a person who prefers a book to a party, I am drawn to those who exude confidence and poise in public situations.

So it was a surprise to learn from the calm and composed Carolyn Bean, development manager at Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, that she once suffered from stage fright.

Carolyn, who also has worked at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, regularly has to speak in small groups and to large crowds. But holding a microphone and giving a presentation did not make her happy; Carolyn said she had to overcome some mental fears in order to appreciate this important part of her work.

“I enjoy getting out in front of people now because I realized they’re not judging,” she said.

When we have a natural inclination, such as shyness, or we set up barriers, such as a too-busy work week, it’s easy to avoid public-speaking opportunities. Yet our jobs regularly call on us to step up to the podium and share our passion about our work. Take control of these opportunities when they appear before you, and, as Carolyn said, know you are among friends.

With so much happening in our fair city, Carolyn says it’s easy to get involved. “Don’t be afraid to be part of it,” she encouraged. “You gotta get out there.”

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Program June 15th: Knowing Your Audience…

Road Warrior Tips for Successful Fundraising

It is widely known that 75% of income for nonprofits comes from individuals, but how many organizations have staff experienced in donor cultivation?

Louise Jackson1Colchin-Eve (002)Join Louise Jackson and Eve Colchin on Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 9:15-11:15 a.m. in Meeting Room C at the Main Library,  as they share a combined 36 years of development experience in understanding the importance of getting to know your audience before you ever make your first donor contact.

Relationship building requires specific skills and this program, by two experienced professionals, will share what they have learned over the years.  You’ll hear examples of their experiences about how etiquette, attire, generational issues, listening to the donor, and working with CEOs affected their success.  At the end of the presentation they will answer audience questions.

Success in fundraising requires knowing who you are cultivating. It requires a strong belief in the cause you are hired to address. A clear strategic direction helps pave the way for success for the organization as well as the fundraiser. It is that same success which in return strengthens the confidence in the fundraiser and organization. Understanding who your donor is, what their interests are, and how they align with the organization, leads to a successful approach in fundraising.

The following six items will lead the first part of the workshop presentation:

A Focus on the Cause vs the Money – Building the relationship, focus on the cause and the donor’s interests:

  • Understanding your donor and building a strong relationship raises more dollars
  • LISTEN to Donor

You Have Something to Offer Donors – Clearly defined mission:

  • Focus on the mission and building a donor pool that strongly believes in what you are working to accomplish
  • You have to believe before you can make the ask

Are Your Goals Realistic? – Are they attainable?

  • Research your donors
    • History of giving
    • Projects funded

Changing Expectations – Difficult to build and retain donors if vision is blurry or constantly changes. Donors sense this uncertainty:

  • TRUST must be built in order for money to follow

MGOs Seek Competent Leadership -Team approach to meet goals. Every aspect of organization plays a role in fundraising.

  • Is the right person making the ask (know your donor)

MGOs Leave When the Job Doesn’t Fit

  • You have to experience success to build success
  • Knowing when to make a switch & when to stay and make a different

REGISTRATION OPEN

Marketing Seminar Series 2017

You are invited to attend our Marketing Seminar Series of 2017! Join us to get answers from professionals and connect with your peers.

Graphic Design in Microsoft Office

Rachel’s talk will provide you with marketing tips and tricks. She will discuss and show you how to best utilize the tools available in Microsoft Office (namely Word and PowerPoint) to create materials for your organization that are clean and well-designed.

Rachel Hammitt is a graphic designer and photographer living and working in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She does design work for her alma mater, Wheaton College, and a variety of freelance work. Rachel loves to create and design pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Her goal as a designer and photographer is to help bring people’s vision to life, with clarity and heart.

When: Friday, June 2, 2017 1:30pm-3:30pm

Registration is required. Registration is available online, on the phone (260) 421-1238, or by email nrc@acpl.info.  

WordPress for Nonprofits

Need to create or update your organization’s website? This workshop will go over website basics for nonprofits including why having a user-friendly website is important, what makes a website user-friendly, and how to make (and maintain) a website easily with WordPress.

Amanda Neumann is the Director of Theater Operations at Fort Wayne Cinema Center, volunteer Fandom Forward Project Leader at the Harry Potter Alliance, and Volunteer Coordinator for Hobnobben Film Festival. She hold Bachelor’s degrees in Women’s Studies and English Communication.

When: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 10:00am-12:00pm

Registration is required. Registration is available online, on the phone (260) 421-1238, or by email nrc@acpl.info.  

 

Volunteer recognition by generation

Generational differences influence how people seek recognition.

When I was a child my mother volunteered at a local nursing home. She transported patients in wheel chairs and painted the ladies fingernails. Like many of her friends, she looked forward to the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. Ladies understood that this was a dress-up occasion and everyone wore a stunning hat and white gloves. She knew that she would be publicly thanked and receive a small token for her dedication and service. She might even be awarded another service pin announcing the number of hours that she had served.

My how things have changed! I, nor anyone of my friends, would welcome an event like that today!

Maybe it’s the times we live in or the way groups of generations are bottled together? But different age groups are motivated differently. Let’s look at the groups and what motivates them and how they want to be recognized:

The Silent Generation (1925-1945)-This was my mother’s group. These Volunteers who fall in the silent generation are motivated by public and formal recognition events. Honoring years of service, pins, certificates and useful items are ideas on how to recognize people who fall into this generation.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)-This is my generation. Don’t bother with meaningless trinkets. Baby boomers seek recognition that will recognize their leadership, expertise, hard work or commitment to a program. How about providing them with name tags? Maybe send them personal thank you notes that thank they for sharing their time and talent

Generation X (1965-1980)-This group are flattered by being recognized for their creativity and contributions. Avoid public recognition events. Find activities that include their family and children. Connect with them on a one-to-one bases. Email or social media works too.

Millennials (1981-present)-Millennials are collaborators. Avoid traditional recognition events. But reward them by asking for feedback, reference letters, and a verbal thank you. They may like movie passes or a gift card.

Not every volunteer will fall into one of the above categories. So maybe a varied approach to volunteer recognition might be best. As volunteer managers, we have to learn what type of recognition approach works best with each individual and take time to learn what type of recognition is the most meaningful to them. Sometimes it takes a year full of thought and planning. It does not all have to happen during Volunteer Week!

 

*Post written by Jean Joley, Executive Director at Volunteer Center RSVP

Mid-level Donor Cultivation

“donors at the $1,000 to $10,000 levels represented roughly one percent of the donor population, but were giving more than a third of the dollars”

“new donor acquisition has fallen every year since 2005”

So what should you know about mid-level donors?

  1. Mission is important: Mid-level donors seem to care more about the issues in the community that your organization addresses and less about your financial situation. Spend less time explaining why you need donations and include more information about how your programs directly impact the community.
  2. Consistency: When an organization is taking a different approach when asking for donations depending on the method like calling on the telephone, sending an email, or mailing a letter, donors notice that there is an inconsistent message. Make sure that there is a “single, comprehensive view” in every method of reaching out to donors.
  3. Information in the news: Cathy Finney of The Wilderness Society included a New York Times article in their scheduled mailings that discussed the issues the organization cares about without mentioning the organization. Donors responded in a big way because it was focused on why that organization’s work is important.
  4. Name giving levels: Successful funding programs give their mid-level donors a special name like calling that group a “club” so people are more likely to donate. The Nature Conservancy calls theirs “The Last Great Places Society”.
  5. How to contact: Without listing any staff members in an appeal to donors, people feel like the organization is too big or is not relatable. Include at least one staff member’s name as well as a way to contact that person so donors feel more connected and know there is someone willing to answer questions who cares about their individual donation.
  6. Ask less: Mid-level donors were most likely to give when they received fewer asks from an organization. Don’t annoy potential donors with an abundance of calls, emails, or letters. Instead spend more time on asking a few times a year.
  7. Feedback: Donor want to be able to contribute to an organization in ways that often feel more meaningful than simply giving money. Ask mid-level donors what they want to see in the organization or what would make things better for them. Consider sending out a survey or call to do a short interview.

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Beth Raps. “The Middle Way”. Grassroots Fundraising Journal.