Creative Arts

Executive Director Belinda Tate of @kalamazooinstituteofarts recognises the importance of arts education and exposure of the arts for today’s youth. Their leading initiative “Art Detectives Program” involves storytelling and hands-on art projects allowing youngsters to gain a broader perspective of the art world while learning about artists and various mediums.

{📸: KIA}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Know the Donor

It’s imperative to talk with a donor and learn about their interests both w/in and beyond the nonprofit. When we get a better understanding of the donor we can best present them with options catered to their needs vs sending them a random “ask” letter.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Easy Giving

It’s about making giving an easy, in-the-moment process.

“There are opportunities to tie giving with GPS, allowing donors to receive alerts when causes they care about are holding events nearby or their headquarters are around the corner. Other intriguing tools out there include SnapDonate, developed in the United Kingdom, which enables giving by taking a picture of a charity’s logo with your phone.” -Katherine Lagana, Fidelity Charitable CTO

{📸: Fidelity}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


No matter your market or product, people buy relationships. The connection you make with a prospect is built on trust, rapport and authenticity . Relational marketing acknowledges a prospects interests, and nurtures the relationship between client and organisation which enhances the overall experience. What are ways you nurture current or prospective donors and customers?

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Museum transparency is key especially when it comes to the community having the opportunity to meet the senior staff, which remains a huge goal for ED Linda Harrison of The Newark Museum of Art.

{📸: TNMA}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Peer Campaigns

Today’s young audience and future donors want to influence the world vs being influenced. They want to create change, be today’s voices, and know they’re establishing an impact on a cause or matter they care about .

NGO’s can perpetuate this connection by encouraging young donors to start their own fundraising campaigns that align with the NGO. This strategy is empowering and makes the young donors fully involved and part of the impact. Also, this strategy makes it easy for young donors to share their mission online with friends, family, classmates and other potential donors.

When you make young donors part of the fundraising process the NGO is enhancing the donors blueprint as an influencer.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Leader Spotlight

The American Alliance of Museums received a $4M grant in early 2019 to support diversity and inclusion at museums in the US with a strong mission of enhancing diversity at the board level.

“Museum trustees and leaders can and must do more. The tone of an institution, the priorities for each museum, the budgets, they’re all established at the board level.
Without change at the top, progress will likely remain slow. Without that strong understanding and solid commitment by the board, this kind of work ends up being nice to have instead of need to have.” -Laura Lott, President and CEO, American Alliance of Museums.

{📸: AAM/Art Net}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Either it be a religious org or an arts institution, many of these tips can be applied to attract millennials and young families.

  1. Baby Steps
    Start with 1-2 programs and go from there. Program examples: parent/young adult study groups (religious or arts/culture related), parenting classes, Young Families/Professional groups/committees, networking nights, a monthly family/young audience newsletter, and young family/young member support groups.
  2. Relationship Building
    Part of building a relationship is being there and listening to audience needs/wants from you. Program ideas: Young family dinners, weekend socials, clergy/staff to attend family/young adult functions, family-based services (once a month beyond traditional services), annual young member cocktail party/young committee gala, creating a family/young professional lounge, create affordable membership levels, enhance volunteer opportunities, seek feedback from core audience through surveys, & consistent online engagement .
  3. Create A Team
    If you want young families and millennials to be actively engaged in the org, the org needs to have recruiting from similarly aged folks: recruit current young audience members and young volunteers to help build relationships with target prospect, and get the younger audience on the staff and board, and actively contributing to online and print content.
  4. Context is Key
    When reviewing ideas consider: audience location in relation to orgs building, days and times of events, making programs accessible online, reviewing current successful programs and reviewing programs that were not successful as a tool to learn from. Ask core audience what they want from you.
  5. Time, time, time
    These programs take time and funds to develop, but with consistently hard work, and a diverse development team, these programs can be accomplished and successful. Consider a pilot program to test response and reaction.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

ED Spotlight

“It’s really important to be able to communicate the operation’s mission and goals in a compelling way, and in a way that intersects with a donor or potential donor’s interests. When you’re dealing with people who are making contributions to organizations they care about, it’s one of the most important and meaningful things that they’re doing” – Katherine Brown, Executive Director, New York City Ballet

{📸: NYC Ballet}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Its never to early connect with future patrons of any age and background. The Cleveland Orchestra is paving the way to engage in future audiences with programs ranging from introductory offers, targeted discounts and student ticket options w/ the focus on addressing economic and geographic barriers one may face. These programs make it possible for anyone to attend concerts and events and embrace in the arts.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit