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  • The Pickle: Long Term Fundraising Goals, Short Term Fundraising Staff | Imagine Canada
    task facing your organization is two fold 1 to improve staff retention and 2 to prepare for the departure of fundraising staff Decentralize the role Make fundraising an organization wide priority rather than the exclusive responsibility of advancement staff The Underdeveloped study suggests instilling a culture of philanthropy where the majority of staff act as ambassadors for the organization Everyone promotes philanthropy and can articulate a case for giving William Sturtevant a senior fundraiser at the University of Illinois explains that successful charities distinguish themselves by having their leaders including the Executive Director and Board of Directors involved in raising money If this doesn t sound like your organization you re not alone The Underdeveloped study showed that few charities have an organization wide commitment to fundraising Only 12 of Directors of Development report having an organizational culture of philanthropy Nurture internal talent A fundraising position should not be a stepping stone to an external position Make a commitment to hire from within so your fundraisers can envision their career path in the organization Not only will this increase your staff retention decreasing the cost of turnover but it will inspire increased commitment to the cause It can be difficult to train for top development positions After all there s a lot to learn about your organization Senior fundraisers should help potential successors develop the necessary skills and contacts to succeed in the top job This will shorten the transition period after the departure of a senior fundraiser The full package Skilled fundraisers are in high demand They are often recruited three to six months after starting a new position If the recruiter offers an increased salary it is tempting for fundraisers to jump ship Charities often feel like they cannot offer the salaries required to retain their highly successful

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/pickle-long-term-fundraising-goals-short-term-fundraising-staff (2014-10-22)
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  • Imagine Canada announces that 24 organizations add their names to the list of successful Standards Program applicants. | Imagine Canada
    and volunteer involvement Canada s charities and nonprofits rely on the trust and the voluntary contributions of many Canadians to carry out their work Imagine Canada s governance and accountability efforts have played and will continue to play a role in ensuring that charities and nonprofits have the necessary tools to deliver on their mission and serve their communities The Standards Program is a capacity building initiative it helps organizations mitigate risk by ensuring that staff and volunteers understand and meet their legal financial and fiduciary responsibilities Successful applicants are awarded a Trust Mark to use in their public communications to demonstrate that their work and their policies meet these high externally established standards The Aurora Cultural Centre sought Accreditation through Imagine Canada to clearly demonstrate our commitment to charitable best practices We look forward to proudly showcasing the Trustmark on our materials and website says Laura Schembri executive director Aurora Cultural Centre By and For Civil Society Canada is playing a strong international leadership role in this regard The Philippine Council for NGO Certification is the closest to our Standards Program with the Latin American network Rendir Cuentas and Uruguay s Institute of Communication and Development running similar certification efforts Certainly as charities and nonprofits embrace the interests and combat the challenges of citizens around the world it is in organizations best interests to self regulate rather than have accountability mechanisms imposed on them by funders governments or other stakeholders Pathways has a respected track record of maximizing donor investments to put youth first We are proud to be part of Imagine Canada s Standards Program which recognizes our high standards of accountability transparency and results says David Hughes president CEO Pathways to Education Canada The Standards Program would not be possible without the efforts and contributions of our

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/imagine-canada-announces-24-organizations-add-their-names-list-successful-standards-program (2014-10-22)
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  • Six Tips for a Solid Grant Budget | Imagine Canada
    leave you short on revenue and may raise red flags for the grant application A word of caution tailor your approach to the guidelines of each funder Many will have an allowed percentage for overhead and a few do not allow for it at all Some of the overhead expenses you may want to include are legal and accounting fees utilities office space and insurance Including a percentage of these in your grant budget allows the project to bear some of the organization s day to day operating costs Without these expenses the organization can t run at all and the project described in your proposal wouldn t be able to go forward A simple option for the inclusion of overhead is to list it as a percentage of the total budget e g 15 and as a unique budget line A word of caution tailor your approach to the guidelines of each funder Many will have an allowed percentage for overhead and a few do not allow for it at all Include in kind costs Any expense that is being covered by an in kind gift such as the donated use of a building free advertising or pro bono professional services should be included in your proposal budget Including these costs demonstrates that you have sought creative sources of funding for your project and displays evidence of broader community support In kind donations should be listed in your budget based on their market value If the 1 000 square foot office space being used for your project was generously donated by a sponsor include the average cost of renting an office of this size Unless guidelines for listing in kind donations are given include them in your expenses e g office space as well as in your revenues e g in kind donations This will ensure you have a balanced budget and that the real cost of your proposed project is shown Detail all income sources Show your potential funder that you have diversified income by listing all revenue sources on the grant budget including other grants you have received either pending or confirmed or that you will be applying for This gives evidence that the project will be sustainable and shows that you have garnered community support Other common revenue sources to list include fee for service income unrelated business income special fundraising events and individual contributions If you intend on raising revenue from the beneficiaries of your project by charging them fees for participation for example ensure that your proposal explains why and the mechanisms in place to accomplish this Show your calculations Remember grade nine math classes when the teacher insisted that calculations were shown along with your answer Well it s the same with proposal budgets Funders need to know how you arrived at the budget lines in your grant Earlier in this article we described how to calculate the expense for an Executive Director who contributes 10 of their time over 6 months to

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/six-tips-solid-grant-budget (2014-10-22)
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  • Mission Drift: Avoiding the Slippery Slope | Imagine Canada
    better address community needs This article addresses the first scenario when an organization inadvertently changes direction Why is Mission Drift Bad The mission is the raison d etre of an organization It provides direction and purpose for the organization motivates staff and volunteers is the appeal to donors and other supporters and provides a means of evaluating organizational achievement Paterson tells us that your mission gives passion to the people around your organization and deviating from this can reduce your effectiveness and stature within the community Your mission that you have so proudly framed and stuck up on the wall doesn t mean a whole lot if you are getting money for a whole bunch of things that are a little off target Richard Grassby Lewis former CEO of NGO Index warns that charities adapting themselves according to funding opportunities can lead to an overlap of services This is especially a problem when charities do not have the expertise or structures in place to be moving into these new areas Mission drift may also unintentionally affect a charity s standing with the Canada Revenue Agency CRA One of the most obvious but often missed areas of charity compliance is the requirement to comply with the organizations stated objects A charity is restricted to carrying out activities within the scope of these objects which are contained in its letters patent articles or constitution Avoiding the Slippery Slope The transition into mission drift is more shades of grey than it is black and white I don t think there s any particular boundary that once you ve crossed it you ve sold your soul to the devil Paterson tells us How much of a problem it becomes depends on far the drift is allowed to go Paterson encourages charities to bring any

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/mission-drift-avoiding-slippery-slope (2014-10-22)
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  • Super Credit, Super Opportunity. | Imagine Canada
    assured that the budget document would make a commitment to work with Imagine Canada to continue to strengthen incentives to giving I was pleased to see that commitment made in the budget and rest assured that we will capitalize on it While the Super Credit is not the Stretch and while we will not rest until we get its full implementation I am pleased that we ve been able to get the government to finally recognize the need to provide better incentives not only to wealthy Canadians but modest and middle income Canadians to start giving Our message from the beginning has been that philanthropy shouldn t just be for the wealthy That message has been heard loud and clear Now if well communicated the Super Credit can serve as a powerful message to all Canadians about the importance of giving and of engaging in community and that even small donations can make a real difference The Stretch has two broad goals The first one is to get Canadians from all walks of life who are already giving to start giving more i e stretch their giving The second goal is to get those Canadians who have not been giving to start giving so that we actually start broadening our donor base in Canada a strategic imperative for charities as we look toward the next decade The Super Credit begins to address that second goal and that s crucial as we continue to work towards the full Stretch It begins to put in place the base and the structure for the Stretch in the years ahead It s common in Ottawa to see tax credits announced and then built upon and reinforced in the following years And we have also seen cases in which the provincial governments have followed suit

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/super-credit-super-opportunity (2014-10-22)
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  • Five Common (and Avoidable) Grantwriting Mistakes | Imagine Canada
    identifying appropriate funding prospects for your organization check out Building Your Prospect List What Makes a Good Funder Mistake 2 A Circular Need Every grant application should have a well written statement of need As we ve said before it is the underpinning of any grant proposal and the opportunity to tell the funder about the impact of your work In their Proposal Writing Short Course the Foundation Center warns against using circular reasoning in the statement of need This is when a proposal argues that a lack of resources is the problem that will be addressed with additional money Instead a proposal should focus on the impact that will be achieved with support from the funder For example a circular need such as we need to hire a program coordinator because we do not have one is not very persuasive A stronger argument would discuss the outcomes that will be reached with extra resources we will hire a program coordinator which as past results show will allow us to extend our services to another 150 individuals in 2014 Mistake 3 The Cookie Cutter Request When seeking funds with limited time many grantseekers will send a single proposal to hundreds of funders hoping that with such a high quantity of applications at least a few will have to be successful In his book Six Rules for Developing Grant Proposals David Bauer explains that funders react to this type of proposal the same way people react to junk mail He argues that because it is better to submit one successful grant application rather than 100 unsuccessful requests it is essential for charities to tailor their proposals Kelly Meighen President of the TR Meighen Family Foundation agrees and explains that successful grant applications describe how the project intersects with the interests of the Foundation They should be able to justify and explain how our criteria are going to be met Mistake 4 Disregarding Application Procedures Some funders ask for grant requests to be sent via email in a short letter of inquiry Others a full proposal submitted through their online form Many prefer written requests which as they will specify must include your most recent audited financial statements and a listing of your current board members It can be tempting to overlook these preferences You re almost positive that a funder will be so captivated by your proposal and your cause that they won t mind that you didn t use their online application form It may seem inconsequential in the overall evaluation of a grant application but funders like the RBC Foundation receive tens of thousands of requests per year One year the Ford Foundation one of the largest grantmakers in North America counted every letter of inquiry e mail and full proposal and the total was around 144 000 requests Application procedures are designed to ensure an efficient selection process so not adhering to these guidelines provides an easy excuse for funders to reject your application The Complete Idiot s

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/five-common-and-avoidable-grantwriting-mistakes (2014-10-22)
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  • Sponsorships and Donations: What’s the Diff? | Imagine Canada
    Sponsorship Objective Pure sponsorship is when cash or an in kind gift is given in return for a specific commercial benefit When done well it is mutually beneficial for sponsors and charities alike The real thing sponsorship provides is the ability to transfer images through the association between the two parties says Professor O Reilly That s how sponsorship works in its best scenario the brand image of the sponsor and sponsee are transferred and then we as consumers associate those images with the product That sets to change the brand in the short term or the long term leads to positive word of mouth and sales Out of this World Sponsorship On October 14 2012 Felix Baumgartner transcended human limits Supported by a team of experts Felix ascended to 128 100 feet in a stratospheric balloon and then made a free fall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds His feat truly redefined the limits of cool What does this have to do with sponsorship Google Felix Baumgartner and you are guaranteed to see the name Red Bull The Red Bull Stratos Mission has ten sponsors detailed online but the most prominent partner is the well known energy drink whose tagline is appropriately Red Bull gives you wings This is a stellar example of great sponsorship because the images we associate with the Red Bull brand and the Stratos Mission energy high performance flight reinforce one another ultimately strengthening both brands In an interview with Forbes Magazine Ben Sturner President and CEO of Leverage Agency went a step further and called it perhaps one of the greatest marketing stunts of all time The value for Red Bull is in the tens of millions of dollars of global exposure and Red Bull Stratos will continue to be talked about and

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/sponsorships-and-donations-what%E2%80%99s-diff (2014-10-22)
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  • Finance Committee report recommends the Stretch Tax Credit | Imagine Canada
    report Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving in Canada It recommends the Stretch Tax Credit for Charitable Giving as proposed by Imagine Canada during our appearance before the Committee for further consideration by the Finance Minister In recommending the Stretch the Committee noted the overwhelming support it had received from charities that testified or submitted written comments The Committee s twelve recommendations include a number possible tax incentives as well as

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/finance-committee-report-recommends-stretch-tax-credit (2014-10-22)
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