About Cheryl Black

As Marketing Campaign Manager, my job is to share best practices, new ideas, and research with fundraisers. I LOVE fundraising and nonprofits – my passion was sparked in college when I took a nonprofit communications course in pursuit of my bachelor degrees in American History and Mass Communication. I’ve been involved in the sector ever since; professionally, with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and personally, as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts, Young Nonprofit Professional Network of Austin, and even the Cancer Council in Australia. I’m particularly geeky about Girl Power, influenced by my philanthropic experiences as a TriDelta and my time at Girl Scouts. On the home front, I have a firefighter hubby, young son, and very spoiled puppy.

Why Lifetime Giving Matters


Lifetime giving, or lifetime value, is one donor data point that is often overlooked. It’s not for malicious reasons, of course. It’s simply because other data points – like gift size, address, and name – are required to process individual gifts, and therefore, take precedence.

But, lifetime giving data isn’t really that hard to come up …

How to Celebrate National Philanthropy Day


It’s National Philanthropy Day! Woohoo! Pop open the bubbly, enjoy a pedicure, take yourself out for a round of golf. CELEBRATE, people!

Hold on – what? Oh, that’s the WRONG kind of celebrating (but, save those ideas for your birthday).

As the Association for Fundraising Professionals says, “NPD is also a grassroots movement to increase public …

#Giving Tuesday and End-of-Year Fundraising Mistakes to Avoid


#GivingTuesday has gradually picked up steam since its inaugural year in 2012, and is now the official start of the holiday charitable giving season. Last year alone, 700,000 people donated $116,000,000 in 70 countries on #GivingTuesday! Some argue it should be the Tuesday BEFORE Thanksgiving, not the Tuesday AFTER Thanksgiving. Maybe they’re right, but whatever …

How to Run a Birthday Fundraising Campaign


At some point in life, we don’t need more “stuff.” Our closets are exploding with clothes (some of which we can’t wear). Our kitchen cabinets have (mismatched) Tupperware falling out of them. And, don’t even look at the garage! That’s the perfect time to transition a birthday celebration from “stuff” gifts to charitable gifts.

Yes, yes, …

Nonprofit Fraud: 4 Risk Factors You Need to Know


What kind of jerk would steal from a nonprofit? The jerkiest kind of jerk, that’s what kind.

And, unfortunately, these jerks exist and they don’t just prey on major corporations like Target or Home Depot. Nonprofit organizations, big and small, are victims of fraud, too. In fact as part of its 2016 Global Fraud Study, the …

Communicating the New FLSA Overtime Rule to Your Nonprofit Employees


On December 1, Fair Labor Standards Act updates – often called the “overtime rule” – will go into effect. In a somewhat oversimplified nutshell, this means more employees will be non-exempt (eligible for overtime pay). 

Currently, employees have to earn at least $23,360 annually to be exempt, but with the update, that minimum will be $47,476 …

If You Like BuzzFeed Quizzes, You’re Gonna LOVE This!


Last year the Abila fundraising team launched, in my very biased opinion, an incredible fundraising recommendations tool: the Fundraising Advisor. In short summary, it starts with a six-question quiz about your fundraising practices, then applies some Abila secret sauce and produces a tailored-to-you infographic of ideas. 

To make the “secret sauce” we consulted findings from research …

Collaboration: Why To Care, How To Do It


After volunteering, 73 percent of donors say they’re more likely to make a gift.

After attending an event, 74 percent of donors say they’re more likely to make a gift.

A whopping 72 percent of donors say they might stop giving to an organization if it sent them poor content.

Besides a lot of 7s, the common thread …

Storytelling Can Ease Board Members into Fundraising


At AFP’s International Fundraising Conference in Boston, I attended a session led by fundraising expert Gail Perry on helping board members make those valuable introductions for major gifts. However, most of her ideas weren’t limited to major gift fundraising. They were relevant for any level of fundraising in which your board is engaged. The trick …

1 New Routine for Successful Fundraisers


Shannon Doolittle and Beth Ann Locke presented a (livestreamed!) session at the AFP International Fundraising Conference earlier this month on the habits of successful fundraisers. They engaged the audience and talked through how to develop habits to overcome five or six different pain points.

Developing new habits is basically a “Pavlov’s dog” approach. First, you have …