This is our soapbox

This is our opinionated soapbox on philanthropy, fundraising, the charitable sector and the world. For more information, visit or call 888.883.2690.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Alice Ferris Appears in AFP's First YouTube Video

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) launches a YouTube Channel. The first 3 videos they share celebrate their first 50 years. "Part 1" features GoalBusters Consulting's founding partner Alice Ferris.

Screen Capture from the  first few second of the first video below.

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the Association of Fundraising Professionals! For nearly five decades, AFP has been working to advance ethical and effective fundraising and support charities around the world that provide critical services to their communities. Check out AFP's 50th Anniversary web page too!

AFP 50th Anniversary Video (Part 1) - [Original post: AFPIHQ YouTube Channel]

AFP 50th Anniversary Video (Part 2) - [Original post: AFPIHQ YouTube Channel]

AFP 50th Anniversary Video (Part 3) - [Original post: AFPIHQ YouTube Channel]

Video Production by Rich Tolsma Productions

Connect with the Association of Fundraising Professionals: Website - YouTube - Facebook - Twitter

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jim Speaks Out Against Arizona Anti-Immigration Law SB 1070

I have never attended a City Council Meeting, let alone spoke at one. But I was deeply affected by the pain I believe the new Arizona immigration law will cause.

First, I attended a rally in front of City Hall. Yes, I was the only "white guy" in tie. Next, I decided to go into the City Council Meeting and listen to some of the speakers. I didn't decide to speak until after I heard many other concerned citizens expressing their positions. I tear up now thinking about how so many people are potentially affected directly by this law.

Here are my comments. I am proud to have included references to both Stephen Hawking and Donald Sutherland in my comments. I've indicated in the video where editing took place. The entire evening ran nearly 4 hours. In the end, the Flagstaff City Council listened to our citizens and refused to enforce Arizona's law. They unanimously voted to file an injunction refusing to enforce this bill.

If you'd like to see more of the citizen comments you can watch the entire evening at


Connect with GoalBusters: LinkedIn - Alice Ferris / LinkedIn - Jim Anderson / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Myspace

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rural Fundraising and Respect of Place

We've been working with a long time friend and colleague on a project to build a new clinic in Sanders, Arizona, a remote community near the eastern border of Arizona. If you're driving at speeds like most trucks on the Interstate, you won't even notice Sanders, but there is a growing community of Navajo and others in this rural place.

As we've spent more time in Sanders and in the Navajo Nation, we've been reflecting on how to communicate the stories and needs of this unique place. While there are volumes of stories to tell, it boils down to this:

1. Cover basic needs first. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has been around for a while because it makes sense. In a rural community, very often people are trying to meet basic needs, like food, shelter and clothing. It becomes totally irrelevant to the community if you're trying to pursue lofty ideals if you don't have the fundamentals covered.

2. It takes time to build trust and respect. Rural communities can be a bit of a paradox, in that they are very hospitable, yet it can take a long time for you to be considered a trusted part of the community. They will show you around, but not let you in until they think you're serious about sticking around. When we were conducting our initial interviews of the board and other community members, they were polite. Now, after several visits, they're starting to reveal the real stories.

3. Best practice doesn't always apply. The challenge with "best practice" is that it has very often been vetted by organizations in metropolitan areas. True best practices, in many respects, are the simplest strategies that will work regardless of community size. Just because a strategy worked in a similar size organization doesn't mean it will work in a rural area.

4. Take time to learn how you "fit in." This doesn't mean abandoning your personality, changing your style, or trying to be someone you're not. This means observing community interactions first hand and finding the good in what you see before you immediately suggest change. Think about it--how would you like it if a complete stranger walked up to you on the street and told you everything that they thought was wrong with you?

5. You learn the most over food. This one can be true about a lot of communities, not just rural ones, but is accentuated in small towns. Most of the time, there's one, maybe two places where people hang out. For Sanders, people go to the Apple Dumplin in Chambers, about 5 miles away on the frontage road. In St. Michaels, everyone congregates at the Denny's (which is probably the best run Denny's we've ever experienced)! We've learned much more about a community by eating its food, talking to restaurant staff, and watching the locals than by formal meetings in offices.

With all these points in mind, we look forward to more opportunities to get to know these communities and hopefully bring new resources to improve their way of life. And we hope we'll best communicate not only the people's needs, but their sense of pride and respect for the place they call home.

This entry is a preview of a book in process co-authored by Alice Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE and James Anderson. Originally posted January 2009.

Connect with GoalBusters: LinkedIn - Alice Ferris / LinkedIn - Jim Anderson / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Myspace

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fundraising Tips: A Snapshot of Rural Donors - Press - AFP

From the Association of Fundraising Professionals

(April 6, 2010) Although people from rural communities are less likely to donate to charity, those that do give donate a higher percentage of their income than urban donors, according to a recent study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The research, funded by a grant from AFP, found that all else held constant, rural respondents were almost 5.2 percentage points less likely to be a charitable donor, and donated less, on average, than urban donors, after controlling for human and social capital variables, such as education level, income level, health status, religious affiliation, family composition, and others.

Rural respondents were significantly less likely to be donors to secular charities, and gave less on average to secular causes overall.

However, rural donors donated a statistically significantly higher percentage of their income to charity than did urban donors. Also, rural donors are more likely to donate to religious causes than secular causes. Frequent religious attendance is associated with a higher probability of giving for rural residents, as is itemization of deductions on income tax returns.

Researchers found that rural donors give $122 less, on average, after controls. However, for both urban and rural residents, the amount contributed is closely related to some of the same factors that are associated with the probability of giving: being a college graduate, being married, frequency of religious attendance, level of wealth, level of income and itemizing charitable deductions.

Note: The researchers defined "rural" as those living in small towns with a population of less than 20,000. In this study, approximately 18 percent to 21 percent of respondents lived in rural areas.

College Educated Give More
The researchers offered several suggestions for fundraising in rural areas. Because college education is a factor associated with giving, engage college educated people in your work, researchers recommend. Rural residents who have gone to college give more than those who had not had that opportunity, even after taking income differences into account. Especially for secular causes, it is important to cultivate the interest of people with a college education, and people likely to be itemizing deductions (people who have recently purchased a home, for example).

Segment potential donors by income in order to structure appeal amounts matched to different areas. Values expressed most frequently by rural donors include:
  • Those with more should help those with less (equity of responsibility);
  • Giving is a form of reciprocity for benefits received;
  • Giving is a way to express religious beliefs; and
  • Nonprofit organizations are perceived to be more effective in delivering services than government agencies.
Even with attention to fundraising in rural areas, the total amount of charitable giving from rural areas will naturally be smaller than the total gifts from urban areas, because fewer people live in rural areas.

Urban Communities
Urban residents donate almost 85.4 percent of total charitable giving, according to the study. Average and median giving amounts, whether for overall giving, religious or secular causes, from urban donors were always higher than the averages from rural donors.

Suggestions for fundraising in urban communities based on the findings of this study include:
  • Ask couples to give to charity, not simply the men in the household. Men report lower giving and lower probability of giving to secular causes, compared with women. Married people report giving more than unmarried people of either gender.
  • Segment on income but expect lower rates of return in lower income areas. Structure appeal amounts matched to different income levels. Income is associated with the probability of giving (higher income means higher probability of making a charitable gift) and with higher gift amounts.
  • Structure requests to highlight connections to the prospective donor's friends and family, in addition to the appealing to broader concerns for equity and reciprocity. Urban donors were more likely than rural donors to say they gave to support the efforts of their friends and family.
To visit the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University's website, go to


Alice Ferris (100) Jim Anderson (72) AFP (41) ACFRE (39) goalbusters (32) GoalBusters Consulting (31) CFRE (30) fundraising (29) Training (23) nonprofit (22) 100 days of gratitude (21) Association of Fundraising Professionals (19) Presentations (18) 100 days (17) AFP Conference (16) 2009 (15) 2014 (15) Social Media (15) gratitude (15) 2010 (14) AFPNAZ (14) 2013 (13) philanthropy (13) 2012 (11) Workshop (11) travel (11) 2011 (10) How To (9) Flagstaff (8) KAWC (8) arizona (8) thank you (8) 2008 (7) Facebook (7) Marketing (7) Video (7) Volunteer (7) YouTube (7) 2017 (6) FAQ (6) Food (6) Public Radio (6) Storytelling (6) Tips (6) LinkedIn (5) Making the Ask (5) NFCB (5) Planning (5) Social Networking (5) Webinar (5) restaurants (5) rural fundraising (5) 2016 (4) Air Travel (4) Chinese New Year (4) Christmas (4) Donor (4) Hopi (4) KGHR (4) KUYI (4) Lowell Observatory (4) Major Gifts (4) Native American (4) PBS (4) Planned Giving (4) Pledge Drive (4) Public Broadcasting (4) Public Television (4) SlideShare (4) Special Events (4) Stevenson (4) Video Production (4) board development (4) ethics (4) stewardship (4) 2015 (3) Arizona PBS (3) Baltimore (3) Brand (3) Canada (3) Capital Campaign (3) Chinese (3) Community (3) Conference (3) Development Staff (3) Donor Acquisition (3) Economy (3) Elf (3) Elves (3) Goals (3) HEEF (3) Haiku Deck (3) Health Care (3) Holiday (3) Jimisms (3) KAWC Colorado River Public Media (3) Manifesto (3) Mission (3) North Country HealthCare (3) Passion (3) Photography (3) Promotion (3) Research (3) Small Shops (3) Wisconsin (3) Year-End Giving (3) customer service (3) diversity (3) phoenix (3) prescott (3) resolutions (3) yuma (3) 2007 (2) AFP TechKnow (2) Accreditation (2) Advancing Philanthropy (2) Alice's Restaurants (2) Books (2) Business Strategy (2) CFRE International (2) Chronicle of Philanthropy (2) Coaches (2) Commentary (2) Communication (2) Congress (2) Dancing (2) Dr. John H. Caskey III (2) Elta Foster (2) Foodspotting (2) Fundraising Campaign (2) Funny (2) Guiding Principles (2) Honor (2) Hopi Education Endowment Fund (2) House of Philanthropy (2) Humor (2) Immigrant (2) Jib Jab (2) KAET (2) NAU (2) Navajo (2) New Orleans (2) Partners (2) Plan (2) Press Release (2) Profile (2) Prospecting (2) Relationships (2) Respect (2) Resume (2) Reviews (2) Sanders (2) Schultz Fire (2) Singing (2) Strategic Planning (2) TechKnow (2) Toronto (2) Trust (2) Twitter (2) VIP (2) Values (2) Velvet Rope (2) Visionary (2) Vora Finacial (2) accountability (2) anniversary (2) appreciation (2) award (2) career satisfaction (2) change (2) checklist (2) code of ethics (2) crisis communication (2) cultivation (2) culture of philanthropy (2) development (2) development cycle (2) diverse communities (2) education (2) goal setting (2) habits (2) introspection (2) jobs (2) lapsed donors (2) las vegas (2) lessons (2) new year (2) personal (2) san diego (2) tripit (2) washington DC (2) 2019 (1) 30 day plan (1) 50th Anniversary (1) 60 minutes (1) AFP Foundation Canada (1) AFP Meeting (1) AFPeeps (1) ALD (1) AWC (1) African American (1) Alexis de Tocqueville (1) Alpha Lambda Delta (1) Andrew Philips (1) Animoto (1) Anna LaBenz (1) Annagreta Jacobson (1) Apps (1) Arizona Daily Sun (1) Arizona University (1) Arizona Western College (1) Ask the Experts (1) Bequests (1) Bill Ferris (1) Blink (1) Bloomerang (1) Boot Camp (1) Boudros (1) Branding (1) Broadway (1) CAN-SPAM (1) CN Tower EdgeWalk (1) CPB (1) Career Change (1) Case (1) Center on Philanthropy (1) Certified Fund Raising Executive (1) Charity Channel (1) Cheerleaders (1) Children (1) Chris Adams (1) Church (1) City Council (1) Cleveland (1) Cold Call (1) Colorado (1) Commission (1) Community Service (1) Compensation (1) Cook (1) Corporate Giving (1) Credential (1) Credentialing (1) Dan Coughlin (1) Data (1) Dating Game (1) Dave Ferris (1) Dave Tinker (1) Desert (1) Dharmesh Vora (1) Discovery Channel Telescope (1) Domestic Violence Shelter (1) Donald Sutherland (1) Donation (1) Douglas Adams (1) Downton Abbey (1) Dr. Carl Myers (1) Dr. William J. Rugg (1) EAA (1) Ed Renzi (1) Efficiency (1) Elevator Speech (1) Entrepreneur Magazine (1) Extraordinary Donor Journey (1) FM (1) FTC (1) Family (1) Fan Pages (1) Farm (1) Fast Food Nation (1) Feasibility Study (1) Feedback (1) Fight Club (1) Flagstaff Community Partnership (1) Flagstaff Shelter Services (1) Flood (1) Flowers (1) Food Bank (1) Foundations (1) Founders Medallion (1) Frances McAllister (1) Free (1) Fundraising Effectiveness Project (1) Gallup Q12 (1) Ginny Z. Berson (1) Girl Scouts (1) Giving USA (1) Global Philanthropic (1) Goldilocks Proposals (1) Granite Mountain Hotshots (1) Grant Writing (1) Grants (1) Grants Step by Step (1) Halifax (1) Hash House A Go Go (1) Hawaii (1) Healthcare (1) Hey Eleanor (1) Hiring (1) Hispanic (1) Homeless (1) Hopi Foundation (1) Hospital (1) Houston (1) IAIA (1) ICON (1) IHQ (1) Identity (1) Immigration (1) In Kind (1) Indiana University (1) JC Patrick (1) JLB Project (1) January (1) Jetpack America (1) Jim Collins (1) Jimmy LaRose (1) KUAT (1) Kaleidoscope (1) Karla Williams (1) Ken Lain (1) KonMari (1) Kristin Taliaferro (1) KristinCoach (1) Latino (1) Lawrence Welk (1) Le Pavillon (1) Legacy (1) Living Social (1) Lodging (1) Los Angeles (1) Lotus of Siam (1) MIP (1) Mabel's on Main (1) Madison (1) Makeover Series (1) Malcolm Brett (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) Margo Hudson (1) Marshall Rosenberg (1) Mary W. Black (1) Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1) McDonalds (1) Meeting Facilitation (1) Methodist (1) Mexican (1) Michael Nilsen (1) Middle East (1) Mike Geiger (1) Montessori in the Park (1) Mr Rogers (1) MySpace (1) NAFB (1) NANOE (1) NPR (1) NSU (1) NaNope (1) Nan Bain (1) Nepal (1) New York (1) News (1) Nietzche (1) Nonviolent Communication (1) Northern Arizona University (1) Organizational Readiness (1) Orlando (1) Oshkosh (1) Ottawa (1) PMDMC (1) PRPD (1) Pacifica (1) Parade (1) Partners in Recognition (1) Paul Helford (1) Philanthropist (1) Pittsburgh (1) Plenary Speaker (1) Politics (1) Porgy and Bess (1) Prezi (1) Proposal (1) Publications (1) Quentin Lee (1) Questions (1) Racial Profiling (1) Raku (1) Review (1) Rick Swanson (1) River City Grill (1) Riverwalk (1) Robbe Healey (1) Robert Kiyosaki (1) Ronald McDonald House (1) Rose Marie Ferris (1) SB1070 (1) SEO (1) SWOT (1) San Antonio (1) Saskatoon (1) Scottsdale (1) Service (1) Serving Your Community (1) Shared History (1) Soroptimists (1) Speaker (1) Sponsors (1) Sponsorship (1) Spring (1) Stephen Hawking (1) Stereotypes (1) Steve Ferris (1) Strategic Thinking (1) Super Size me (1) Suze Orman (1) Sweets Raku (1) Taco Trucks (1) Target Marketing (1) Team (1) Teamwork (1) Television (1) Teri Sanders (1) Texas (1) Thanksgiving (1) Tim Burcham (1) Timothy Sandoval (1) Toolkit (1) Tough (1) Tough Economy (1) Train (1) Tucson (1) Tweets (1) United President's Club (1) Vernon Kahe (1) WBAI (1) Watters Garden Center (1) Whitney Anderson (1) WikiHow (1) Wills (1) Winnipeg (1) Wisconsin Public Television (1) Women's March on Washington (1) Woodford Reserve (1) Yarnell (1) Yarnell Fire (1) Year in review (1) Year of the Sheep (1) Yellow Pages (1) administration (1) adventures (1) assessment (1) beliefs (1) birthday (1) board of governors (1) board service (1) breaking up (1) brochures (1) budget cuts (1) business practices (1) career (1) career development (1) cats (1) cliques (1) community radio (1) conversations (1) crisis (1) difficult people (1) dinner parties (1) donor focused (1) donor pyramid (1) election 2016 (1) end of relationship (1) essay (1) federal funding (1) firefighters (1) for profit (1) high school (1) hotels (1) ikigai (1) inspiration (1) jetpack (1) job seeking (1) keynote (1) leadership (1) lemons (1) live your dream (1) loss (1) memory (1) mentoring (1) millennials (1) monthly giving (1) motivation (1) multicultural (1) nomination (1) oklahoma city (1) organizational culture (1) outstanding professional (1) peoria (1) personal growth (1) potlucks (1) productivity (1) receptions (1) recognition (1) red flags (1) remembrance (1) sales (1) san francisco (1) scholarships (1) science (1) setbacks (1) star thrower (1) starfish (1) sustaining members (1) tempe (1) thirtysomething (1) three cups of tea (1) to do (1) transformational (1) volunteers (1) wildland fire (1) winslow (1)