Home > The Gardner Report > ACE, Gift Acceptance Policy, Tech Considerations and Planned Giving

Gardner & Associates recommend that Arkansas NPOs join the Arkansas Coalition for Excellence (ACE). It is an excellent resource for research, networking and training. We find the monthly ACE newsletter and weekly updates informative on Arkansas events and projects. We also find their connection with National Council of Nonprofits helpful in keeping informed on national trends.

Check out the ACE website at www.acenonprofit.org.

A gift acceptance policy provides guidance to your NPO board and staff in what types of gifts it will accept (or not), what it will expect from the donor and what actions the NPO will take once the gift is made. Such a policy ensures clarity and transparency throughout the cultivation and gifting process.

Gardner & Associates recommend that each NPO include a gift acceptance policy in its policies and procedures manual.

Developing a gift acceptance policy is a helpful capacity building process to follow your strategic planning. Once your strategic plan outlines your goals, a NPO should outline what types of gifts is feels it can accept to achieve that mission. Doing the research and discussing the aspects of gift acceptance is a helpful capacity building undertaking. It ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the types of gifts accepted and the action steps to secure those gifts.

The May/June Advancing Philanthropy has two excellent articles on this topic.

If your NPO has an interactive website or is active on Facebook and Twitter, consider five ideas that Gardner & Associates have identified to enhance your marketing effectiveness:

1. Keep your message and image fresh.
When prospects connect with your NPO via web page, Facebook or Twitter, they don’t want to see the same exact items posted to all three channels. Change up the wording in your social posts. Use a different image in your profiles. Segment your message based on the media; website for content and Facebook or Twitter for events or program updates.

For example, if you post an article or blog post, you can highlight one aspect on Facebook and another on Twitter.

2. Invite volunteers, prospects and donors to a special event at your NPO.
Give each a reason to drop in by hosting an event. Make the event a friend raising one, not a fund raising one. Celebrate recent successes of your NPO or its volunteers. Give prospects a chance to meet your NPO leadership, ask questions about your mission and learn how they can become engaged.

3. Introduce a new program or service.
Tell people about your latest program or newest service. Highlight the reason your NPO has added it and the impact expected in your community. Make sure that those on your email list get the news first, before those connected with you on social media hear about it.

4. Say thanks!
Let your volunteers and donors know how much you appreciate their commitment? Send an email that says simply, “Thank you for helping our NPO achieve its mission.” Tell them how their engagement has helped make a difference, met a need or define the impact it had.

5. Share videos.
A short video featuring a vital aspect of your NPO’s mission can have a dramatic impact on volunteers, donors and prospects. Why not create an awareness campaign around a new set of videos you’ve created? They could be casual messages from NPO leadership; client testimonials about your services, or highlights of recent programs or events. People love to watch video, so give them something to view.

The goal of this type of campaign is to break your awareness/marketing efforts into smaller tasks, you can be more nimble and can engage your volunteers, donors and prospects on a more frequent basis.

Timothy Logan of RuffaloCODY outlined how to develop a planned giving marketing plan. Two of his comments deserve specific attention NPOs whether or no you anticipate a planned giving effort. Both relate to loyalty or trust:

1. Frequency and consistency in annual giving is a indicator of loyalty and passion for your NPO. It is a solid indicator of planned giving potential.
2. Volunteering an email address is an indicator of trust. It is a signal that the individual is open to greater engagement with your NPO.