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Volume I  Issue 1  February 2009
In This Issue
An Expanded Mission
Top Tip: FUNdraising!
About Us
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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Furthermore..., the newsletter from Further The Work.

Some of you may know us better as RWB Writing Services, so in this issue we explain the name change and our expanded mission.

We know times are tough all over, these days: money is tight, social needs are increasing, and uncertainty fills the air.

So at FTW, we pledge to provide you with flexible, customized, cost-effective options to meet your needs, whatever your organization's budget or stage of growth.

Together, we can turn today's problems into tomorrow's solutions.

All the best,
Rebecca's signature
Rebecca Brown, MA, CFA, CFRE
President, Further The Work 

PS: In each edition of our newsletter, look for our Top Tip - a practical, manageable activity to strengthen your organization, maximize your resources, and further your work.

An Expanded Mission 
Further The Work. An unusual name for a business, perhaps, but it aptly describes our mission - to further the work of social justice by strengthening nonprofits and philanthropies that are working for the greater good.
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Many of you reading this newsletter are more familiar with RWB Writing Services, the company that gave birth to Further The Work. RWB Writing Services was founded in 2002 with a simple, straightforward goal: to provide grant-writing, editing, and marketing services to nonprofits.

So that's exactly what we did, and we tried hard to do it well. Over the years, we brought in more than $10 million for our clients, enabling organizations such as Oasis for Girls, Young Musicians Program, and Family Service Agency of San Francisco to provide vital programs and services that make our world a better place.

Along the way, however, we discovered that our clients were turning to us for more than just grant-writing. Nonprofits didn't need just money - they needed advice and assistance on how to best utilize their resources. Increasingly, they were counting on us for an expanded array of services - services such as strategic planning and support, program improvement and evaluation, and organizational development. 

With times increasingly tough, philanthropic foundations, too, were searching for new ways to maximize the impact of their support. Donors were looking for enhanced grant management, improved communications with grantees, and clarified outcomes.

In response, we've found ourselves offering a broadened array of services. As we realized our company's changing nature, we decided it was time for a new name to reflect that change. Thus, Further The Work was born. 

Rest assured:  although our scope has grown, we're still a small, nimble boutique company at heart. If what you need is grant-writing, then that's what you'll get. When you need more, we're here to help you grow. But no matter what directions you take, our goal, at all times, remains the same: to further your work, and help you better our world.   
Our "Top Tip" Of the Month

FUNdraising: No Pain, and All Gain!

Sometimes, fundraising threatens to drain the life and energy out of Board service. These days, especially, even the most committed Board member may feel the pinch when it comes to fulfilling that "give or get" obligation. And it can be even harder to ask your friends and colleagues to consider making a donation, what with everybody watching their wallets.

But there are inventive methods to help you raise money and increase your organization's pool of friends and donors, without breaking anybody's bank, and while having fun in the bargain. How? Check out these three ideas:

1.  Party for a Cause:  On your own or with other Board members or volunteers, host a champagne and dessert party in your home or business. Each host should invite twenty friends, relatives, neighbors, or colleagues.
  • Hold the party on a weeknight around 7 pm. On the invitation, Blue arrowstell invitees that they will learn about a great organization, expand their networks, and enjoy a delicious dessert (with a glass of bubbly to start things off right!).

  • The day before the party, divvy up the guest list and call everyone personally to urge them to attend. Promise them that the event will be fun, social, and low-pressure. Emphasize the networking opportunities; encourage them to bring their own business cards to exchange with others.

  • Make or buy finger-friendly desserts, such as cookies or éclairs (cakes don't lend themselves to parties). In addition, make or buy a few special items (maybe miniature roses in small pots; some some extra-delicious cupcakes; or note cards hand-made by clients served by the organization) but do not put them out with the other treats.

  • At the party, be sure to have organizational brochures. Play a promotional DVD, if your organization has one, or post over-sized photos of the organization in action. Arrange for one client to speak for three minutes about what the organization has meant to him or her. Next, have one staff person speak for another two minutes. Then YOU explain to the group why you serve on the board and think the organization is important.

  • Ask the group what questions they have, and encourage your guests to make a contribution - of any size - before leaving the party. Ask them, at a minimum, to fill out a contact card, so you can add them to the database. On your contact card, include a line giving them a chance to offer to volunteer their time or services to the organization.

  • As a bonus, offer each participant one of your special treats to take home if they make a contribution before leaving; this gives them a "reason" to write the check tonight, and it visibly identifies them as donors.
2.  Giving By Receiving:  When you have a birthday, anniversary, or other significant event coming up, or at the holiday season, send your family and friends a request that they donate to the organization in lieu of giving a gift to you. Include an organizational brochure and a donation card with your note. Give all of these names, and their contact information, to the organization to be added to the database.

3.  Silk Purses from Sows' Ears:  Hold a community garage sale or flea market with your neighbors or with other Board members or volunteers. Agree to donate all proceeds to the organization.
  • Choose a convenient location that is easy to get to, attracts passing traffic (on foot and in cars), and allows you to spread out and make an event of the sale.

  • Advertise the sale and its purpose on social networking sites, Craigslist, and on plain, old-fashioned signs a week in advance. Reiterate the announcement the day before the event.

  • On the day of the sale, make sure to have organizational brochures, donation cards, and blank contact-information cards on hand. Decorate your sales tables with balloons, and make a few posters, including large-scale photos, to highlight the organization and its clients.

  • During the event, raffle off a desirable item -- it might be something you're ready to part with, or it could be a gift certificate offering your professional skills, such as legal counsel, graphic design, or childcare services. "Sell" the raffle tickets for a minimum donation -- maybe $5. Make sure you collect mailing information and phone numbers for each raffle participant, so you can inform the raffle winners -- and so you can add them to the database! If you offer more than one raffle item, you can conduct multiple drawings, raise more donations, and make more new friends for your organization.
 * Some of these ideas stem from an article in the 5.10.99 edition of CompassPoint's Board Café newsletter, now known as Blue Avocado.
About Us 

Further The Work maximizes the capacity and efficacy of nonprofit, educational, and philanthropic organizations that are working for the greater good. We accomplish this mission by providing strategic planning, project management, and fundraising & marketing services to  clients throughout Northern California. 
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We'll print excerpts in future issues of Furthermore....