Philanthropy in the African American Community: How and Why They Give

The face of philanthropy is rapidly changing to become as ethnically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse as our country’s population – and demographic trends show that communities of color are giving at increasing rates and levels. Aligned with the goals of the founder of Black History Month Carter G. Woodson (shown), greater attention is now being paid to the contributions of Black Americans by nonprofits. Here’s what you need to know.

Why African Americans Give:

  • Emergency and immediate assistance to friends and family
  • Religion
  • Education and scholarships
  • Youth programs (at-risk youth)
  • Civil rights
  • Human services
  • Healthcare and research
  • Community and economic development

How African Americans Give:

  • Direct giving through families and friends
  • Black churches
  • Mutual aid societies
  • Fraternities, sororities, and social or civic groups
  • Historically black colleges, scholarship funds
  • African-American civil-rights organizations
  • Community human services organizations
  • Black federated campaigns 

Want to learn more innovative nonprofit solutions? Join The INS Group’s “Ready, Set, Prioritize: The Fundamentals of Strategic Planning” webinar on May 10, 2017 (2 – 3 pm ET). Click here to register.

Posted in Capacity Building, Communications, Fund Development, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management

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Are You Following These 6 Nonprofit Communications Strategies?

  1. wisperingKnow your audience. Take the time to learn their interests and forms of communications, and then tailor your strategy to communicate using those venues.


  1. Have a clear call to action. This includes a clear message and “elevator” pitch.


  1. Connect with your target audiences emotionally. Through the use of focus groups or surveys, find out what motivates your donors to give.


  1. Talk about solutions to needs – give hope!


  1. Be consistent with your language. Your taglines, position statement, talking points, and elevator pitch should employ similar messaging.


  1. Be consistent with your mechanisms. Your organization’s website, emails, social-media accounts, and speeches should have the same “look and feel.”


Find out more about creating an effective communications strategy by contacting The INS Group.


Posted in Capacity Building, Communications, Donors, Marketing/Public Relations, Nonprofit Management, Uncategorized

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How to Motivate Donors to Continue to Give?



Donors of all types are increasingly demand information about what you are working to achieve and how you will know if you succeed. Here are some best practices to help you fully inform donors of your organization’s strategy to help you motivate and inspire them to continue to give:

  • Share multiple types of data, such as the number of people served, the type and quality of services provided, and other measurable outcomes and impact metrics.
  • Demonstrate how you’re building organizational capacity. Funders, for example, are increasingly interested in organizations that leverage resources, collaborate with other groups, and build their organizational capacities. They are increasingly interested in funding successful programs that can be replicated, so implement a digital communications plan in order to communicate impact, news, and making asks.
  • Target messages to your different donor segments. This can be accomplished by balancing and combining different forms of communication for different purposes, using email, snail mail, and social-media.

Want to learn more about The INS Group’s fund development and other services? Please visit

Posted in Capacity Building, Communications, Donors, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Strategic Planning

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The Nuts & Bolts of Building Your Resources Capacity

nutsandbolts2Organizations seeking to develop their resources capacity can take heart in knowing that resources are everywhere. How you identify and use them is what makes the difference. Successful resource development does not necessarily require doing more. Instead, it means being more strategic, thoughtful, and deliberate. Below are the five “I’s” of resource development, distilled from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and questions to ask to help build your capacity.

Identify: Who are potential supporters? How will your organization track their engagement? What system(s) and process(es) should be implemented to maintain and manage good records of past and current donors?

Inform: What, how, and when do you inform potential supporters about advancing your organization’s mission and how you are making a difference? What stories can you share to inform about your cause? What communications channels will you use and how will you manage those channels?

Involve: What volunteer opportunities should you offer to involve potential supporters? What do you need to communicate to potential supporters after their volunteerism to ensure “money follows their time?”

Invest: Are you communicating to potential donors that time, talent, and treasure are all important ways to invest? How do you move time and talent donors to treasure donors?

Impact: Are you tracking all of your board members’ and other volunteers’ time, talent, and treasure to show the impact and to encourage more? Are you communicating to each donor – “your gift of time and/or talent and/or treasure made this impact on our organization and/or community?”

For more capacity-building strategic advice, please contact us at The INS Group

Posted in Capacity Building, Donors, Fund Development, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Uncategorized

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Top Trends in Nonprofit Giving



In the fast-paced nonprofit sector, organizations that stay on top of the latest giving opportunities will come out on top. Here are a few notable trends:


  • Donors will have ability to control how they receive communications based on personal preferences and interests.
  • Improvements in communications technology will allow nonprofits to connect with donors seeking specific information about the impact of a gift.
  • Organizations will allocate communication and marketing resources according to donor preference, rather than making assumptions.
  • “One-click giving” and other impulse-gifting technologies will gain in popularity.
  • Organizations that provide small, impulsive gifting opportunities will be better positioned to strengthen relationships with donors.
  • Donors will provide smaller gifts but will give several times over the course of the year.
  • Donors will continue to drive smaller gifts toward projects where tangible results can be demonstrated.

Gain more capacity-building insights when you participate in The INS Group webinars. Check our website for the latest schedule.



Posted in Capacity Building, Donors, Fundraising, Marketing/Public Relations, Nonprofit Management

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Grant Writing: The Most Commonly Requested Attachments



When applying for a grant, funders will often ask for specific attachments. Read the guidelines carefully and only send what has been requested. Funders may ask for the following to help shed more light on your organization.

  •  Audited financial statement
  • R.S. Determination Letter
  • Board roster
  • Project budget
  • Organizational budget
  • Letters of support or endorsement
  • Resumes
  • Job descriptions
  • Brochures
  • News clippings
  • Annual report

Learn more innovative nonprofit solutions. Join The INS Group’s free “Grant Writing Made Simple” webinar series on Dec. 15 from 2 pm – 3:30 pm ET. Register here.

Posted in Capacity Building, Fund Development, Grant Research, Grant Writing

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7 Keys to a Successful Collaborative Nonprofit Relationship (and 7 Barriers)


Keys to a collaborative nonprofit partnership:

  • Shared purpose
  • Compatible missions and values
  • Shared power
  • Shared view of interdependence
  • Mutual respect and trust
  • Shared control/stake in process/outcomes
  • Shared indicators of progress


Barriers to a successful nonprofit relationship:

  • Lack of common vision
  • Costs not identified upfront
  • Lack of buy-in
  • Conflict among leaders/lack of trust
  • Leadership lacking the right skills
  • No accountability standards (clear expectations)
  • No means for managing conflict and grievances

Learn more about creating nonprofit connections and contact The INS Group



Posted in Capacity Building, Communications, Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, Resource Development

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9 Steps to Corporate Fundraising



Corporate fundraising is an essential component of nonprofit sustainability that you don’t want to ignore. According to Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014, Americans donated an estimated $358.38 billion – a 60-year high – with 5 percent coming from corporations. Specifically, corporate giving totaled $17.77 billion, an increase of 13.7 percent (11.9 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013 giving.

How can your organization win more corporate donor dollars? Follow these nine steps:

Step #1: Don’t send a form letter

Step #2: Do your homework

Step #3: Send correspondence to the CEO, contributions specialist, or community relations/affairs director

Step #4: Seek sources close in proximity—within the state or city

Step #5: Use your board members and personal contacts to help make connections

Step #6: Ask how to package requests

Step #7: Seek support for big projects

Step #8: Identify ways to involve employees

Step #9: Know the budget cycle


Want to learn more about building your organization’s capacity? Contact The INS Group.

Posted in Capacity Building, Donors, Fundraising, Nonprofit Boards, Nonprofit Management, Strategic Planning

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Are You Writing a Nonprofit Case Statement? Here’s What It Should Answer

The case statement is a core document that outlines the most important facts about your organization so donors can understand the value of investing in it. The document also serves as a plan for long-term strategic direction and should include the following: the organization’s history, the problem (and proposed solution) to be addressed, goals and objectives, and sources of funding. In addition, your case statement should address the sustainability of your organization, how people will be able to donate, the leadership team and their roles as well as the benefits the organization brings to the community

Internally, your case statement can help gain consensus on and enrich the organization’s story. Externally, it can aid in recruiting volunteers, be used to test the market, and serve as a basis for developing materials and presentations.

When crafting your case statement, be sure the following questions are answered:

►What problem are we trying to solve?

►Why are we best suited to solve this problem?

►How much will the project cost?

►Why is solving the problem so important now?

►What is the plan for fundraising?

►What are the benefits to the community?

►What are the benefits to the donor?

For more advice on creating a case statement or finding other innovative nonprofit solutions, please contact us at The INS Group

Posted in Capacity Building, Communications, Donors, Nonprofit Boards, Nonprofit Management, Strategic Planning

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Top Nonprofit Crowdfunding Sites

crowdfunding2Causes: A platform for individuals and nonprofit organizations who want to change the world

Crowdrise: Named the “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist”

CauseVox: A startup social site that focuses on helping small to mid-sized nonprofits raise funds and have a social impact

DoJiggy: A complete online event registration/donation management system where constituents can fundraise

Fundly: This donation platform is easy to use, provides ideas, and scales to any size fundraiser Offers fundraising and event solutions for nonprofits and people (special events solutions, social fundraising, and enterprise solutions)

Indiegogo: An international crowdfunding site that can be used to raise money for charity and nonprofit organizations

Kickstarter: A project crowdfunding website that any nonprofit organization or individual can use to finance an event project

StartSomeGood: Gives “social innovators” and forwards the trend of social entrepreneurship

RocketHub: A crowdfunding platform used by all types of organizations and individuals

Razoo: A movement of people who want to make generosity a part of everyday life


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Posted in Capacity Building, Donors, Fund Development, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Resource Development, Strategic Planning

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