Ruthellen Rubin
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Consulting for Nonprofits and Philanthropies


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  • The Impact of an Infographic
    Prospective donors are bombarded with messages. To get through this deluge of information, we have to stand out in the crowd with . . . . .
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  • Tossing Your Cookies: Grassroots Fundraising at its Best
    When asked, "What is your earliest recollection of making a charitable donation?" most Americans respond: "Buying Girl Scout Cookies." . . . . .
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  • Gen Y or Generation Why They Give
    The members of Generation Y were born between 1977 and 1998. Three of them grew up in my house, so I have a fair sense of what makes . . . . .
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We offer the expertise, resources and personalized attention to help your nonprofit organization realize its full potential. Our team also works with philanthropies to help build strong partnerships.

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The Nonprofit Blog

March Madness

My daughter Allie received this March Madness fundraising email today.  It speaks for itself. 

What a terrific appeal!

Click this:

   Open PDF file ( 99.95KB) . . .

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Michael Phelps Loss / Food Bank Gain: A Unique Fundraising Opportunity

Have you heard the latest Michael Phelps story? Two weeks ago the San Francisco Food Bank received two tons of Kelloggs Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes with the Olympic hero's picture on the front of the boxes. It seems as though this cereal was unsaleable after Kelloggs dropped Phelps' endorsement contract, as a result of the pot-smoking photo of Phelps that appeared in a British tabloid.

This unfortunate series of events was terrible for Michael Phelps, bad for Kelloggs, but great for the San Francisco Food Bank. Cereal is among the most coveted food sought by the increasing numbers of families dependent upon food banks. In commenting on this windfall, Paul Ash, executive director of the food bank was most appreciative and said that the Phelps cereal boxes "flew off the shelves." Now...here's the part I just don't get: It seems to me that a few of these rare and collectible cereal boxes could bring in big bucks on e-Bay. According to the NPR report, Ash said they would not be auctioning these souvenir boxes off on e-Bay -- that would be a violation of their donations policy.

I have no idea how many boxes there are in two tons, however, imagine if the food bank took a mere dozen of those boxes off the shelves and offered them on e-Bay. Each box could easily bring in $1,000 and they could raise $12,000. In my experience, $12,000 buys six times that amount of food at USDA / food bank prices. That's the equivalent of $72,000!! Mr. Ash, make an exception to your donations policy-- sell a dozen boxes and and consider the added value of this extraordinary donation. 

I think you are missing a unique opportunity.

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Obama's Tax Plan = Disaster for Nonprofits

Obama's new tax plan will be devastating for nonprofit organizations.  I expressed this point of view in a letter to the editor yesterday and I have been reading comments of others involved with philanthropy as well.  I would like to draw your attention to the article that appeared yesterday about the recent Bank of America study on the effect of taxes on giving .  Check this out -- the study states: That said, a significant minority (47 percent) of people in the survey reported that they would give less if they could no longer claim a deduction for their charitable gifts. Of those respondents, 37 percent said their contributions would “somewhat decrease,” while 10 percent said their gifts would “dramatically decrease.”  And even more chilling is the fact that this survey of wealthy individuals took place in July - August 2008, before the stock market plunge, Madoff and the current economic crisis. 

There are many ironies to this notion of penalizing wealthy philanthropic individuals.  The most glaring, which has also been mentioned by some of my colleagues, is that the inevitable reduction in philanthropic funding for medical research and for our major hositals will be disasterous for the very system of healthcare that Obama is trying to bolster with increased taxes. 

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March Madness

 Read more...
     Open PDF file ( 99.95KB) . . .

Michael Phelps Loss / Food Bank Gain: A Unique Fundraising Opportunity

 Read more...
 

Obama's Tax Plan = Disaster for Nonprofits

 Read more...
 


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