Board Building Done Right

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | October 18, 2016

Lately I’ve been having conversations with nonprofits about board development. From job descriptions to strategic recruiting to ongoing training, board development is critical to your nonprofit. Your board should be your biggest advocates, and if it’s an all-volunteer organization, your board serves as your core staff. So how do you go about getting the right…

Planned Giving: The Ultimate Gift of Love

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | September 22, 2016

One of my favorite areas of fundraising is planned giving. There is something completely selfless about making a gift that lasts beyond ones lifetime. It’s also one of the trickier areas of fundraising. Donors will be utilizing non-cash assets to complete gifts. Multiple advisors will likely be involved in the process. I recently attended a…

Retaining Your First Time Donors

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | August 12, 2016

We all know that new donors are the most expensive to acquire. We also know that getting that first time donor to give again is difficult! With one-time donors hovering around 60%, nonprofits are leaving a lot of time and money on the table. Adrian Sargeant says “a 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime…

An Insiders Look at Grants

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | August 5, 2016

I started my career in fundraising by working with institutional funders. I truly enjoy working with foundations and corporations. It’s a great balance of articulating the organization’s work through a proposal and building effective relationships with program officers. I want to share some of the things I’ve learned over the years raising funds from institutional funders: Keep…

Seeking Experienced Development Director

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | July 27, 2016

Recently, there have been a number of local job postings for Development Directors. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is no surprise as the turnover in this field is high. A few weeks ago, I talked with one Executive Director of a nonprofit that is still in its infancy. Luckily, she had the…

Inspiration at Your Fingertips

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | July 18, 2016

Through this blog, I hope to provide you interesting perspectives, information, and inspiration. On a weekly basis, I find my own inspiration from leaders in the nonprofit field. If you don’t already follow this people, I would recommend that you check them out: Veritus Group – Richard and Jeff are the masterminds behind this consulting…

Nonprofit Fixer

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | July 14, 2016

While meeting with a potential client earlier this week, I was asked what I really love to do.  As someone who has often been in a one-stop-development-shop, I have done nearly every area of fundraising. But just like most people I have preferences and strengths. After reflecting on this question a bit, I can confidently…

There’s more than one way to budget

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | July 7, 2016

With many nonprofits starting their fiscal year on July 1, I thought it would be good to discuss budgeting. I know one executive director that loudly sighs when she talks about budgeting. Budgeting shouldn’t be a chore but an opportunity! Budgets reflect priorities. Think about that. Your budget tells the world – your board, staff,…

How to Stop Burnout

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | June 29, 2016

I’ve been there. Your organization desperately needs you. You work long hours. You work evening and weekend events. Your health, sleep, and family time takes a toll. Finally, you dread going to work. It’s not because you don’t like the work or the mission of your organization. You’re just burned out. And you’re not alone.…

#DonorLove

By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen | June 22, 2016

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the AFP New Orleans Conference last week. The conference was headlined by Kim Klein of Klein & Roth Consulting and Jen Love of Agents of Good. These two women are inspiring. Jen Love (her name is so fitting) is one of the champions behind the #donorlove movement. If you’re…