Ruthellen Rubin
& Associates

Consulting for Nonprofits and Philanthropies


nyuLearn more about graduate programs
in Philanthropy and Fundraising at
New York University.
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have any questions.

What's New

  • The Impact of an Infographic
    Prospective donors are bombarded with messages. To get through this deluge of information, we have to stand out in the crowd with . . . . .
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  • Tossing Your Cookies: Grassroots Fundraising at its Best
    When asked, "What is your earliest recollection of making a charitable donation?" most Americans respond: "Buying Girl Scout Cookies." . . . . .
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  • Gen Y or Generation Why They Give
    The members of Generation Y were born between 1977 and 1998. Three of them grew up in my house, so I have a fair sense of what makes . . . . .
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Professional Development

  • GetDonors.com
    Complimentary video series with Ruthellen Rubin
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We offer the expertise, resources and personalized attention to help your nonprofit organization realize its full potential. Our team also works with philanthropies to help build strong partnerships.

FUNDRAISING STRATEGIES | BOARD DEVELOPMENT | COLLABORATION | TRANSITION

The Nonprofit Blog

Accountability...to whom?

The villain, Bernie Madoff awaits his sentencing and most people in the nonprofit  sector are hoping for the full 150 years.  What was he thinking when he put so many vital organizations' precious endowments at risk?  Could anyone be that evil?  It’s hard to imagine.  Rather, I believe he actually thought he was doing some of our nation’s largest charities and philanthropists a big favor.  He probably did not even consider the possibility that he could fail.  

Nonprofit boards are highly accountable.  Their business is not private, it is public.  Nonprofits are responsible to their donors, their clients, our communities and to society as a whole.  They must be held to a much higher standard than the business sector.  Maintaining best practices when it comes to board governance and transparency when it comes to deliberations will ensure that special dealings such as the Madoff opportunities are avoided. 

Do I make it sound simple?  It is. The resources are plentiful and readily available.  Summer is a great time to plan a fall retreat to concentrate on your responsibility as a board to set the standards high.

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The Nonprofit Blog: Raison D'Etre

Today's article in the New York Times, "Blogs Falling In an Empty Forest," cites the enormous failure/abandonment rate of blogs.  A 2008 survey showed that only 7.4 million of 133 million blogs tracked had been updated in the past 120 days.  June 09 marks the six-month anniversary of The Nonprofit Blog and I am proud to say I keep it updated with a new post at least two times a month.

The Times article got me thinking about why I write this blog and what keeps me motivated to keep it current.  After my own history of the abandonment of "the book project,"  I recognized my blog as an alternative venue to offer my reflections on the fundraising challenges of the nonprofit sector.  After learning more about website optimization and the value of links, I began to post more and more  link-clicks to timely valuable resources for fundraising/development professionals. 

I find myself referring my nonprofit clients,  NYU students and my workshop participants regularly to the blog for current checklists, how-tos and best practices.   Over the past six months I have truly seen the value of this media over that of my abandoned how-to fundraising book which never would have been able to keep up with the advances in technology and methods to compete for charitable dollars in this depressed economy.

On the other hand, the basic fundamentals of fundraising still reign supreme.  My colleagues Jim Collins and Kay Sprinkel Grace have each written a classic .  These books reside in my briefcase and accompany me to every client meeting and class I teach.

My wisdom for today is to remain true to the fundamentals of fundraising.  At the same time, dig through The Nonprofit Blog and you will uncover a wealth of free information that will help you capitalize on the current and timely resources sucessful fundraisers use to to implement the fundamentals of fundraising in these challenging times.  It's pretty valuable stuff ... if I say so myself.

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The Donor Database

I continue to be amazed at the lack of attention to, and understanding of, the role of a donor database in many nonprofit organizations.  With the variety of low-cost, highly effective donor management software programs on the market today, there has never been a better time to integrate this technology into your fundraising plan, regardless of your budget.

To reiterate my comments of my January 27th blog posting, a donor databse is NOT an electronic rolodex.  It is a powerful fundraising tool.  Again, I invite you to review some of the excellent resources noted in my prior posting. Find the right software for your organization and invest in training in order to learn how to use it properly.  The result will be an accurate, sustainable body of information that will help you and your successors build the partnerships necessary to raise more money for your nonprofit.

 

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Accountability...to whom?

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The Nonprofit Blog: Raison D'Etre

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The Donor Database

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