top of page
Countryside Road


When I started working in the nonprofit sector, I quickly realized there is a lot to learn and not a lot of time to learn it. That is why I created this blog, to help small shop fundraisers make the most out of their limited time and resources. I am passionate about ensuring that small shop nonprofits, and all of their quirks, can grow their programs and raise more money!


You have to survive before you can thrive.

Working in a small shop nonprofit may make you feel like you are working in a rolling emergency room, or a million things you need to get done leaves you with no idea where to start. I know that I have felt this way many times.

I am going to talk about two types of self-care, one type is finding self-care when work seems unavoidable (like in an event week), and the other type is finding self-care time in a 'usual' week.

My number one rule for self-care of any kind is PLAN. Plan to take care of yourself, plan your day, and plan out your goals for the week. Whatever planning means to you, do it!

During a busy time, like an event week, I do a couple of things to take care of myself...

  • Participate in walking and standing meetings.

  • Set boundaries and communicate those boundaries.

  • Practice mindfulness or meditation. This can be done simply by breathing or listening to soft music.

  • Close your door! Sometimes it's as simple as not allowing people to barge in.

  • Remember to eat and stay hydrated. Try not to binge on bad foods.

During a regular (but still busy) week, I do a couple of things to take care of myself...

  • Continue to do all of the self-care tips mentioned above.

  • Make a plan or make a list. This tends to bring me joy and is the number one thing I do to take care of myself.

  • Exercise. I am an avid Orange Theory participant. I love Orange Theory because it allows me to zone out for precisely one hour, and then I can get right back to what needs to be done.

  • Do something for yourself. Sometimes it's as simple as getting a pedicure, massage, cooking, writing, or whatever brings your joy.

  • Make your needs known. If you don't communicate your needs and allow yourself a break, you can't expect people to understand.

These are just some small tips for taking care of yourself. Working in a small nonprofit shop can often lead to burnout. We are all passionate about our jobs, and therefore we must take care of ourselves if we want to care for others adequately.

It is in everyone's interest to protect their employees from burnout, and it is everyone's job to encourage self-care. As leaders in our small shop nonprofits, we must model self-care and prove our commitment to wellness. Make self-care a priority for yourself and those in your organization. Please drop me a comment with your favorite self-care tips! Thanks for reading.

As I have said in earlier posts, a small shop nonprofit comprises just one to three fundraisers. This means that if your small shop only employs one person, they are not only the fundraiser but also everything else in between (including the person in charge of marketing and social media!). Therefore, I wanted to provide some practical advice on getting started in marketing and social media. This post is dedicated to a small shop that does not have a marketing/PR/social media professional.

First, start by identifying your audience(s). Who do you, or your board of directors, want to get more involved in your organization? Do you need more volunteers? Do you need more donors? Are you trying to appeal to families? When it comes to marketing, start by identifying your audience(s). This helps to develop messaging, graphics, and content that appeals to them.

Second, your small shop should have a strong web presence. A strong web presence means an up-to-date website and an up-to-date Facebook page. This might be different for your small shop. Start by identifying two communication channels that your target audience is using. For most, these two channels will be a website and a Facebook page. Without two strong communication channels, people that may be interested in your mission will never find you. When it comes to your website and Facebook, make sure you have locations, keywords, and events that help you reach your target audience organically.

Third, keep your content current. This means updating your website and posting on your Facebook page three or more times a week. I strongly suggest you develop a content calendar that spells out what you will post or update for that entire month. Keep it short, simple, and easy to accomplish. For example, dedicate Mondays to recognizing your volunteers and staff, Wednesdays to telling your small shop's story, and Fridays to your fundraising efforts.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a small shop nonprofit is spreading your organization (and yourself) too thin by trying to do everything. This is especially true when it comes to marketing and social media. For example, it is unreasonable for you to expect yourself to manage several different social media channels effectively. Instead, develop messaging that targets a specific audience and stick to just two communication paths.

Having a clear strategy in place for your marketing and social media will prove more fruitful in the long run and preserve the energy and time that should be dedicated to fund

Year-end is my favorite time of the year, not just because I love #GivingTuesday. Year-end giving is a perfect time to share your nonprofit's message with an audience in the mood to give. Therefore, I am excited to share ten steps to make your year-end giving campaign perfect for your small shop nonprofit.

  1. First, start by reviewing the previous year's totals and goals. What was your goal last year? How much was raised? Who contributed? What strategies did you use?

  2. Take some time with your board and your finance committee and review your current financial position. How are you doing on your budget? How close are you to your fundraising goal for the year?

  3. Use this information to set some serious goals.

  4. Identify your resources. Do you have a board that is active in fundraising? Are you able to rally the support of volunteers? How much time do you have? What materials do you have at your disposal?

  5. Set your scope. Start by segmenting your audience. Audience segmentation means dividing your donors into groups based on their interests, behaviors, and communication preferences. This will allow you to identify donors who can be instrumental in hitting your year-end giving goals.

  6. Find your anecdote, decide on a theme, and figure out your messaging.

  7. Identify your timeline. In most cases, I suggest starting on #GivingTuesday, if you can. Your social media push on #GivingTuesday can be used as a soft launch for your year-end giving campaign. Make sure your timeline works for your organization.

  8. Make the ask(s). Use every appropriate communication channel to make your year-end giving requests. You should use social media, direct mail, email, one-on-one meetings, newsletters, websites, and phones.

  9. Develop a follow-up plan. Remind the segmented donors who have not yet given to your year-end campaign, and vary your follow-up appeals across multiple channels. Many donations come in on the last day of the year!

  10. Always thank your donors; if you can, thank them at least twice. Regardless of gift size, try to send each donor a personalized thank you. Whether that means a customized thank you by phone, email, or note, always tell that donor about the impact of their donation and express your sincere gratitude.

I want to hear about your year-end giving successes and challenges! Drop a comment below and let other small shops know what has or has not worked for your year-end fundraising.


Small Shop Fundraising provides online training for other fellow small shop fundraisers!


 Covering a variety of topics that will help improve your small shop. These trainings are quick because we know you are short on time. Each training includes a video under 10 minutes, AND an interactive download.

bottom of page