Thread Journal

Knowing Your Impact: A Strategic Plan as Your North Star

A conversation with Jonathan Kaufman, Principal at Third Plateau

Strategic plans and development plans *have* to be linked. They need to have a lot of overlapping DNA, embody the same values, and be in constant communication with one another. Thread: How does Third Plateau help nonprofits become more strategic in their work? Jonathan: We lead with relationships in all of our work, aiming to […]

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Riding Submarines into Outer Space

Thread Senior Consultant Holly Richardson paints a picture of how fundraising that is guided by a strategic plan can lead a nonprofit to new heights

Successful fundraising is often described as part-art, part-science. For most fundraisers I know (myself included), the art-part of fundraising is the more familiar and natural of this balance. It’s second-nature to read in between the lines of a text, to listen for what a donor leaves unsaid as much as what is directly stated, and […]

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Multiplying Impact Through a Connected Community

Thread Principal Tracy Shaw shares how Thread's core value of Connected Community came to life during the recent government shutdown.

Being a member of the Thread Strategies team is one of my proudest accomplishments. The experience of defining our core values as a firm was one example of how working with Thread has been so fulfilling. Our final set of core values are meaningful to each of us individually and they express what’s at the […]

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Stretch and Strength: How Values Guide The Greater DC Diaper Bank

A conversation with Corinne Cannon, Founder and Executive Director of Greater DC Diaper Bank

Hire well! No, really, hire well! Create a team of people who all think very differently about the process to accomplish the goal but believe in the goal. Thread: What process did Greater DC Diaper Bank use to define its values? Corinne: “Process” makes it sound so very formal! And some of it was, while […]

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True Life: I’m the Victim of Bad Stewardship

A Cautionary Tale from the Field

One of the core components of good fundraising and development for any nonprofit is stewardship. It is the key to not just retention, but growth – something all nonprofits aspire to. According to the 2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Project, for every 100 new donors gained in 2017, 99 donors were lost through attrition. This means that […]

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Start Your Day Thanking a Donor

A conversation with Emily Ward, Development Manager at Project HEAL

“I see myself as a matchmaker – connecting passionate and justice-seeking Person A with impactful, world-changing Organization B” Thread: Why did you choose development/fundraising as your profession? Emily: Even while completing my degrees in social work, I never saw myself working as a clinician. I chose social work because I was deeply interested in understanding […]

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The Recurring Giving Renaissance

No matter what your organization calls it, there is a renewed energy in our sector around "recurring" or "monthly" giving. Thread Principal Tracy Shaw reflects on this new fervor and highlights a new monthly giving program we are especially excited about from our partners at Art Enables.

This spring, I had the pleasure of joining a few of my colleagues and representing the Thread team at two conferences: The Nonprofit Technology Conference and the Classy Collaborative. Even though I’ve been going to fundraising conferences for years, I still feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose when I’m there – there is […]

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Everyone Deserves a Chance to Connect and to Learn

A conversation with Jeanna Finamore, Executive Director at MentorPrize

“When you mentor someone, you take their story home with you. It becomes part of your story. It changes you and the way you see the world around you.” Thread: Your role at MentorPrize is your first in the nonprofit sector – why did you choose to make the transition from the corporate world at […]

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The Future Is Bright

Thread Principal Tracy Shaw reflects on recent powerful fundraising efforts of the next generation

It’s Valentine’s Day 2018 and my heart is breaking. I’m at my computer, it’s the early afternoon and my social media feeds begins to flood with the horrible news: another school shooting and mass murder, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) in Parkland, FL. Seventeen lives have been lost. Even though I […]

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Smiles Required

A conversation with Jamie Clem, Development Specialist at EarthEcho International

“Touch base in some way at least once a quarter and smile when you’re talking on the phone, even if you’re just leaving a message. It’s all about relationships and well-tended ones often yield exciting results!” Thread: Why did you choose development/fundraising as your profession? Jamie: After a career in sales and marketing in the […]

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