We were live-blogging AR 2009. We brought our laptops to the sessions, took notes, and published those notes for you right here.
For details about Animal Rights 2009, please take a look at arconference.org.
These are my notes about:
Speaker 1 – Lorri Houston from Animal Acres
- a) Administrative operations – this is the key to organizational development, database, office, etc
- database is HUGE, it is lifeblood of organization- members provide majority of funding (I remember this to be true from another nonprofit I worked with)
- etapestry = free for new nonprofits if membership is under 500 (I use meetup to organize database, listserv, etc.)
- b) Bequest program, remind members to remember the animals in their will
- c) Personal touch: get to know the members, calls, handwritten notes, thank yous
- do what you can yourself (because you can’t afford to pay others)
- schedule mailings – 3-4 appeals to members per year, 2-3 appeals to nonmembers
- e) email alerts/ newsletter monthly
- f) Monthly giving – easy for members, regular income for org
- sponship of animals at animal acres provides half of thenecessary funds to care for the animals. It’s a huge success
- g) Special events – annual gala, opportunity to highlight the organization and have fun, make it fancy
- celebs, gourmet vegan food, etc.
- takes 6 months of planning, events planning skills
- h) Volunteering – helps ease funding need, keep good volunteer database, motivation is key
Speaker 2 – Joshua Levine
- Continuum of fund rasing from disorganized, haphazard fund raising to immaculate, planned fund raising and funds management
- Examples of the two kinds and how the donor is more compfortable giving to the organized org
- Make sure all financial records and budgets are clear and up-to-date
- If our org receives a large pool of money/ endowment it should last. We need to protect it, we have a duty to protect it
- Investments need to be “mission aligned” (not invested in orgs working against our org)
- Brand your group’s name – internet, networking, etc
- Partnerships with other orgs that can help fund raising or funds management
- Partnerships with industry, too – restaurants, culinary schools, etc
Speaker 3 – Alex Hershaft of FARM
- Think of resources as more than just money, for example, volunteers
- Other resources: facilities like homes and warehouses, trade and bartering
- Look into payroll deduction campaigns where employees can automatically donate to you
- Resource management – think of ways to save resources, too
- Conservation – refurbished computers, used furniture, telecommuting (logmein.com), use freeware etc, printers use “house paper”,
- Regular schedules for volunteers encourages them to come back regularly,
- Planning can save a lot of money – get the media mail rate, etc.
- Advertising your org on a budget: barter, remainders
- Postage – plan ahead and use bulk mail or media mail
- Phone – skype!
- Emailing – mailermailer.com is current, cheap bulk email provider of choice for FARM
- FARM’s budget – $400,000/ year
- Q: What is the Animal Acres gala budget?
A: Around $25,000. It’s low because they use volunteers, get donated goods, put it on at home base instead of rent a space. Other galas cost around $60-70,000. In order to raise big bucks, it has to be very fancy
- Q: In this economy, should continue the same events?
A: YES, sadly sometimes spending money makes the org seem more successful and thus people are more willing to donate and make it a self-fulfilling prophesy. Long-term special events are a big deal
- Q: How to get new members/ donations?
A: It’s a huge struggle, just keep working at it, highlight the organization
- Q: I’m starting a new nonprofit. I have big ideas/ big goals but little funds?
A: Can be difficult to get grants in our movement because of controversy; work through an existing nonprofit and use a flow-through for funding
- Q: Should we allow family members on our nonprofit board?
A: No, it’s not avisable; try to get a relatively neutral board
These are just my notes and are not official transcripts or anything like that.