working on a shoestring budget

March 21, 2016

Robin is a mom, animal lover and fundraising executive. She’s been a Kansas City Royals fan since 1980. Robin refers to herself as an “overall optimist (note Royals comment),” and believes in giving back.

She has 22 years of combined experience in nonprofit fundraising and public relations. Robin has worked most of her career in the animal sheltering field and has loved every minute.

She’s been a long-time volunteer for The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, YouthFriends and the Girl Scouts.

Her specialties include major gift fundraising, internal and external communications, donor relations, special event coordination, volunteer management, media and public relations … and getting a 4-year-old to go to bed before 9 p.m.


Planned giving creates opportunities for engagement. When you find out someone has included your organization in their future plans—or replies positively to a request to do so—have a plan for reaching out to these donors and nurturing that relationship.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it …” Repeat successful efforts and create systems to replicate that success across your entire nonprofit.


Be a donor yourself. Personally give to five nonprofits you admire and experience how they treat you as a donor. You’ll learn a lot from the experience. Plus, being a donor yourself will give you added confidence when asking others to join you as a donor.

Surround yourself with people you want to be like. Then learn from them. Find nonprofit professionals you admire and read their books, follow their blogs, etc. You become like the people around you, so choose wisely.

Always seek more knowledge. Find ways to put it into action to serve your nonprofit and meet financial goals.

Be bold and be brave. You must ask for the gift. You’ll be surprised how few people will turn you down when you’re being authentic, bold and brave on behalf of your nonprofit’s mission.