The Rundown 10.11.2017

What are you willing to actually do to make what you're doing successful and effective? This is a question I've been asking myself lately. There are a million roads to travel, a million "best practices" a million voices telling us what to do, why, when and sometimes--but rarely--how. 

But what are you really willing to do? Because I've found that without a focus, without a vision, without a strategy or purpose, it's just a bunch of stuff and random actions. And yes, maybe you have a few successes, but where is it all going? So this week? Some bright ideas, rolled in vision. Enjoy. 


Create the Perfect Fundraising Pitch with this Easy Template

  • Nothing makes me happier than a mix of humor, wit and intelligence. So when you find a blog with those attributes, you know I'm going to share it.
  • Taking a literal "Mad-Libs" approach to creating an effective elevator pitch for donors, Jean Wong at INSTRUMENTL offers an inspired tool using a beloved childhood favorite. 

4 minute read | originally shared by Victoria Thorne @ the InfoShare Network

Three reasons why it’s time to stop talking about amateurs and professionals

  • Do you believe that volunteers are less dedicated, talented or suited for more difficult tasks than "paid" professionals or staff? Then you are a terrible person. No, just mostly, kinda, sorta, (not really) kidding. 
  • Helping to smartly dispel the myths that often shackle volunteerism and it's opportunities and purpose, Rob Jackson breaks it down to reset the ideas of anyone thinking volunteers are amateurs by design or default. 

3 minute read

How to Determine an Exact Ask Amount for Each of Your Major Gift Donors

  • Maybe "exact" is a strong word, but sometimes you just need a really smart approach to ask for a gift amount from your individual donors that isn't too far above or below their ability to give.
  • Offered in both video and blog format (love that) Amy Eisenstein at the GuideStar Blog walks you through a thoughtful process to identify the best ask amount and strategy for major gift solicitations. 

6 minute video and/or 4 minute read

Rhinocorn Launches Its First Nonprofit Conference for Engagement Professionals: ER2! 

  • Are you a fundraiser, volunteer manager or executive leader feeling unsupported educationally, with the pressure and stress of your day-to-day verging on personal or professonal burnout? 
  • Then ER2: An Engagement Refinery & Retreat for Nonprofit Engagement Professionals is the conference for you! A unique one-day conference in NE Ohio, January 2018 - focused on nonprofit Engagement Professionals and their unique and often unmet educational and self-care needs. 

Click the link for details and to get the Early Bird rate!



We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones?  Welcome to the "Lexicon" section of The Rundown: new thoughtfully or playfully terms we think should be introduced into the nonprofit lexicon. 


noun A standard or point of reference that's past its prime or no longer effective but it's been happening for so long or it's so well known, that an organization can't seem to stop doing it. 

"We haven't made good money off this event in over seven years, I'm worried it's become a trenchmark for our fundraising."


What is the one piece of work-related technology you could never give up?



"No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."  Edward Hopper