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April 29, 2015

A Few Fundraising Resources for Geeks

3033599853_e90e5a4809_zWe’re a little geeky when it comes to fundraising. We love reading the latest research on everything from donor retention and how volunteers give, to the dramatic rise in donor advised funds and the influx of new nonprofits. We want to know what channels are performing best, who’s got the best new ideas around staff retention, and what we can expect giving to do in the months ahead.

While we hope Front Range Source is your favorite fundraising resource, here are a few other resources you might want to add to your list. These are just a few of the resources I find myself referencing frequently and that satisfy the geek in me. As a matter of fact, it took me forever to write this blog because I got waylaid by all the great stuff in these resources as I was gathering their URLs!

Science of Philanthropy Institute

This site will satisfy your deepest desires to understand fundraising from a scientific point of view. Headquartered at the University of Chicago – need I say more? – this team of researchers is using rigorous scientific method to better understand donor behavior. The outcomes are practical tools that you can use to improve your fundraising. One recent white paper details their findings about how donors respond to matching gift opportunities and has the potential to change the way you structure a matching gift offer in the future.  You can find their website here.

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Part of the Indiana University system, the School offers one of the few degree programs in Philanthropy and related fields. They have a robust research function, particularly in the areas of faith and giving and women’s giving. Just click on “browse research” and you’ll be lost for days!  You can find their website here.

Association of Fundraising Professionals

I’ve been a member of AFP for years and continue to stay connected for a variety of reasons, including their resource-rich website and online bookstore, but their monthly magazine Advancing Philanthropy is one of the main benefits I get out of my membership. It’s one of the best reads around and will keep you feeling all current and smart and such. Check out the magazine here.

National Center for Charitable Statistics

This website, affiliated with the Urban Institute, has all kinds of great data and special reports about the nonprofit sector as a whole. You can see it here.

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

This collaborative is designed to help nonprofits grow their fundraising faster. It not only tracks trends in donor retention – an initiative in which 6000 nonprofits are participating – the “Fundraising Fitness Test” is a free tool for measuring your fundraising performance over time.  See what you can learn about being more effective here.

Giving USA

This is an oldie, but goodie. It offers an annual summary of giving statistics in the States and it’s a standard in my annual budget. The numbers don’t lie – showing your board and others where the money really comes from and where it really goes will help you keep them focused on the highest yield fundraising efforts.  You can check it out here.

Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

This is a specific research study that you should read and then you should pass it along to your CEO to read, too. It’s all about the turnover in development staff and what we can do to stem the tide.  Get this free, must-read publication here.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg.  Of course, there’s the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Times and countless consulting groups that offer fabulous resources.  Hopefully, the ones we’ve listed here will satisfy the geek in you.  And, please return the favor by letting us know what resources you love!

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