pearl-and-mel-shaw_web.jpgWelcome to “FUNdraising Good Times.”

This is your place for how-to information on the often mysterious topic of fundraising. “FUNdraising Good Times” is written for those who manage, work for, or provide volunteer leadership for non-profit organizations and institutions. The column is designed to help you and the organizations and institutions you believe in attract and retain resources and leadership needed for success.

Non-profits play a key role in advocating for families, immigrants, women and others who are underserved. They provide emergency services, educational and recreational programs, healthcare, legal services, job training and mentors to generation after generation.

Colleges, universities, churches and hospitals are non-profit institutions that play a key role in educating, saving, and healing our family members and the community.

Non-profits are staffed by people – paid employees and volunteers – who are knowledgeable, skilled, committed and passionate about making a difference.

For many non-profits, nothing is guaranteed, and an organization’s or institution’s financial health often lies in the hands of its top leadership – its executive director, president or CEO, fundraising personnel, and those who serve as board members, trustees and volunteer fundraisers.

This is true of local programs that counsel people with HIV/AIDS, those that provide after-school programs, and more established institutions such as our historically black colleges and universities.

Board members are committed and skilled, coming together to provide guidance, oversight, policy and direction, often after the end of a long day at work. Executive directors, presidents and CEOs are visionary, talented and often over-worked. Volunteers at all levels look for ways they can make a difference. These are the people for whom “FUNdraising Good Times” is written.

Fundraising is all about people and money. These are the keys to a non-profit’s success, and both need to be used wisely and with great care. In this column, you will find tips for successful fundraising, including easy-to-use, how-to information on topics such as:

a.     Prerequisites for fundraising success
b.     Creating your fundraising plan
c.     How to write a proposal
d.     Building your board of directors – the key to fundraising success
e.    The thrills and perils of special events
f.     Putting the fun back into fundraising

We will also feature interviews with funders, donors, executive directors, presidents, board members and fundraising professionals. Free checklists and other tools are available from the Saad & Shaw website ( for you to use as you put the column’s ideas to work.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the owners of Saad & Shaw. They help non-profit organizations and institutions rethink revenue sources. They are the authors of How to Solicit a Gift: Turning Prospects into Donors. Visit them at or call 901-522-8727.