Ruthellen Rubin
& Associates

Consulting for Nonprofits and Philanthropies


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Professional Development

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

Making Our World Better

We fundraising professionals are always looking for ways to improve our work.  With our success comes the direct result of increased resources to further the mission of our charitable organization. The more money we raise, the more people we can feed, the more students to whom we can provide scholarships, the more children we can vaccinate, and so on...  With successful fundraising our programs improve, additional services become available in our community and our social sector grows stronger and more effective.

How can we continually improve and become the very best we can be at fundraising for our nonprofit?  As is the case in most jobs, professional development will enhance our current competencies and help us develop new skills and knowledge. The sharing and brain-storming that occurs in a classroom of professional fundraisers further elevates the collective learning to develop even higher level competencies and fresh ideas.  The majority of professional fundraisers have limited ability to advance their skill sets while on the job.  I don't mean to undermine the priceless value of on the job experience and the continuous learning that goes along with the daily adventures of working with our donors.  However, that is just one part of the equation. The application of new technologies, understanding current giving trends and advancing timely stewardship opportunities will help us keep pace with our donors in a way that will continue to nurture the partnerships between our donors and our mission, that are fundamental to a successful social sector.

Sharan Kaur, President of Medals4Mettle shared the following after a recent class at the Heyman Center for Philanthropy at NYU:

Medals4Mettle (M4M) is an all-volunteer nonprofit, consisting almost entirely of endurance athletes. Our mission is a simple one - we collect earned race medals from marathoners and triathletes, and we then gift these medals to sick children who are running marathons of their own. To date, we have gifted medals to over 40,000 children.

When M4M first started in 2005, most of the fundraising was kept at the grassroots level. That seemed to work fine for a while. However, due to some media attention that we received in the last couple of years, M4M has expanded so rapidly that our  previous fundraising methods have not been able to keep up with our growth.

As President of the organization, I have been trying hard to come up with a structured and sustainable development program. But due to our limited resources, I was at a complete loss as to where to even begin.

Then on January 6th and 7th, I took 2 courses that were life-changing. The courses, specifically, were The Annual Appeal (taught by Ruthellen Rubin), and Online & Mobile Fundraising (taught by Liz Ngonzi). Wow. I was amazed by how well laid-out and informative the courses were. The material presented was so useful in helping us take our nonprofit management to the next level! Never have I been in a class where I managed to stay alert during the entire day, from 9:00 - 5:00!

After class concluded on January 7th, I went through all my class notes and did some research of my own. I then prepared a plan, which I submitted to our Founder, Dr. Steve Isenberg, the same night. In my plan, I outlined some basic infrastructure that our organization needs to put in place immediately. Not only did Dr. Steve love the ideas, but he submitted them right away to a foundation, who has agreed to fund the implementation of these ideas! There is so much excitement amongst the leadership team at the moment. We are thrilled to finally have some direction with regard to national fundraising.

It is impressive how these 2 courses have had such a huge impact on our organization. To give you some perspective, M4M has 75 chapters within the US, Canada, Japan, and at the Air Force Base in Osan, Korea. So we are hardly a small organization. 

I feel so grateful to have taken these courses. Ruthellen and Liz are amazing teachers. They educate AND inspire their students! Thank you Heyman Center for giving nonprofit professionals the opportunity to learn from the best!

Opportunities for professional development abound.  In the month of March, I invite you to join me on the 7th in New York City for a brand new class on harnessing the power of the donor database.  From March 13-15, I hope you can join the coolest people in the nonprofit sector at my favorite annual conference, the 2014 NTC in Washington, DC.

 

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