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November, 27 2001 - 20 Fund-Raising Tips From Blacktie Panel

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Tucker Hart Adams, chief economist for US Bank, started the program off with grim pronouncement that Colorado is squarely in the throes of a downturn. And it won't be short. "I think we're in for several difficult months," possibly as many as 18, she said. Walt Imhoff, managing director, Hanifen Imhoff/Stifel Nicholaus & Co. Mr. Imhoff told the nonprofits to tighten their belts and never forget that nothing can replace hard-working, well-respected, personalble board members. "Choose your board carefully," he said. "In the end, people relate to people." Sally Rippey, development director, Adolph Coors Foundation, urged nonprofits to "make sure to communicate that what you do is vital, not just important." Americans at this point are hungry to help, "If we could channel patriotism into volunteerism, we'd have it made." Mike Shaw, president of Mike Shaw Chevy Buick Saab, told the audience to run their nonprofits like businesses. He said there are no silver bullets - only persistence and hard work. When times are tough, you have to "come earlier, stay later, work harder and execute better." His best advice was to find "50 rainmakers (among your donors), thank them personally and get their opinions and advice."
Gary Wright, president of G.A. Wright, Inc., owns and operates a direct mail company. Mr. Wright made several points about donors: find out what motivates them and capitalize on it; time your requests according to the life phase they are in (Are their children well out of college? Have they recently settled an estate?), and don't forget to culivate young donors. "It is all about relationship building," he said. Joni Baird, vice president of community relations for US Bank, receives hundreds of requests for grants. Ms. Baird told the nonprofits, "If you plan a capital campaign, make sure you have a real need, and know who your donors are." She went on to add, " your case statement is absolutely critical, it must be laser sharp." The Westin Tabor team that made it happen. Johnathan Johan, catering and sales manager, left, assistant GM Sharon Messbarger; and Susan Stiff, director of public relations  
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