Monthly Archives: April 2008

Raising funds for a non profit organization

In any community, there are a number of organizations which are termed as non-profit organizations. Their main idea is to help people without making profit. These non profit organizations go through a number of legal loops to acquire the status of a non-profit defined in 501(c) (3). Non profit organizations have governing boards that makes them different from a profit making organization. These governing boards receive no remuneration, but still provide governance and fiscal oversight to the operation.

A non profit organization serves the needy people and the services are provided to the individuals in the community at no cost. Therefore, these types of organizations play an integral part of any community.

These days, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of non profit organizations. Although there are number advantages of having large number of such organizations, there are a few specific disadvantages also. The major disadvantage is the limited funds in any community and the non profit organizations must compete for the same limited charitable dollar.

Therefore, it becomes important for the non profit organizations to raise funds more strategically to ensure their survival and meet the needs of the common people. Funds can be raised through specific steps like include the formation of a development committee, development training and a comprehensive development plan.

  • Formation of a Development Committee:

This community includes a group of individuals and it comprises of members from the board as well as non board members. In order to raise funds efficiently, the development committee should have members who have different talents and resources to the mix. There this group can either be a mix of people who are rich or should know some sources who are rich, so that funds can be brought into the community.

Marketing and public relations is an important aspect to deliver the not for profit message to the community and enhance the financial support. Therefore individuals who have marketing or media experience could serve on the development committee or if not, work with the community and provide important leads.

  • Development Training:

Individual training and having the necessary tools is very important for the success of any assigned task. Therefore development staff and volunteers should be adequately trained in the development procedures to accomplish strategic fundraising. Many seminars are conducted for the non profit organizations to enhance their fundraising capabilities. Just in case, if there is no money set aside in the budget, then a possible suggestion of development training can be requested from a non-competing non profit organization.

  • Comprehensive Strategic Fundraising Plan:

Planning has to be very comprehensive in the non profit organization for a successful strategic fundraising. This means that every stream of revenue be explored and maximum amount of money can be brought into the organization. This will help in fulfilling the not for profit’s mission statement. Different streams of revenue that can be fed into a successful strategic fundraising plan are major gifts, grants, participation in United Way, corporate gifts, special events, gifts-in-kind and mail appeal.

Best possible ways of using your credit card

Good credit rating is a must. Always make sure that you are paying your credit card bills on time and in full. Never exceed your credit limit and while you are cautious about your credit ratings, don’t increase your total amount of debt by going for different credit cards. These are the excellent ways of boosting up your credit profile and any future lender will be impressed by looking into your file. Your credit scores will be calculated on the basis of your credit ratings and the three digit number will finally decide your interest caps. Whether you are a risk to any potential lender’s finance or not, your credit score will put your overall picture of your financial situation and you will get better deals on your mortgage and auto insurance. Keep your scores up.

Protect your big purchases. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have the right to withhold any payment to a merchant if they have sold you a damaged or defective item on credit. Your best bet is to resolve the problem directly with the merchant immediately. If this is not working, then you can request your credit card company to investigate the problem. If you are able to prove the credit card company that the item sold to you is defective and the merchant does not co-operate, the charge will not be added to your bill. Purchases made by debit card are not covered under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Check with your credit card company if they offer any extended warranties and other protections on large purchases made on the card. You can get the best credit card offer from your credit grantor. Browse for credit card news on the internet and you will come to know about different companies with such additional offers.

Do safe online shopping. Online purchases are also regulated under the Fair Credit Billing Act. You can get the best deals on the internet by shopping with your credit card. Many credit card companies don’t compromise with security factors. They will offer you a one time use account number for making big online purchases without disclosing your actual credit card number on the internet. A company can easily stand out if they have best credit card offers for their customers in store. Keep yourself updated on the credit cards news.

Use your credit card for a lower interest rate loan. If you have a very good credit rating, you will easily get a zero percent or low interest rate loan. This interest rate on your card might be much better from other companies offering loans. You can make a big purchase on your card without taking any other secured or unsecured loan.

Important facts about consumers credit

It is important that everyone must review their credit copy at least once every six months so that they get an overall correct picture of their credit profile. They will be able to make better purchases, get better secured loan deals, pay for college educations, and manage their personal finance efficiently. Any store will accept your checks; any bank will be willing to offer you their credit or debit cards, businesses to market products, and corporations to better manage their operations to benefit the world’s economy.

Any credit grantor or authorized user who has accessed your credit file will report an inquiry on your credit copy. This way, you will come to know who has accessed your credit report and reviewed your credit. It is not good to have too many inquiries from different creditors otherwise the future lenders will think that you have been often denied of getting new credit, and thus they will consider you to be a potential risk to their finance.

There are many online credit questions and answers which a consumer should be aware of and know extensively about their credit ratings. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law which requires every national credit reporting agency to put correct information about consumer’s credit from their information providers. This law protects the consumer’s rights, such as the right to review and contest information in their credit profiles. If someone is not allowed to view your credit report, he should not be given the access otherwise it will be a violation of the FCRA.

Does your credit get affected if you are divorced? A divorce decree does not intercept the original contract signed with the creditor and will not release you from the legal obligation on any account. If you have a debt with certain creditor, you are legally required to pay it back or seek their legal binding release of your obligation. Once you have got the release from your creditors, they will report updated information to the credit bureaus.

If you have a bad credit and are looking for a credit repair company who can fix your bad credit, beware of them who promise that they will be able to remove accurate negative information from your report. As per the federal laws, accurate negative information will stay on the credit report for seven years. Inaccurate negative information should be disputed with the credit bureau anytime. You should be able to take care of it yourself rather than paying a fee to any company. Only time will heal a delinquent credit history.

If you are seeing certain items on your credit copy that seems to be correct but is hurting your credit, you have the rights to explain it further and put your point. For example, a creditor has reported a late payment on your credit copy and you want to explain the reason of being late due to loss of job or a family emergency, or unexpected medical bill, you may send a brief statement to the appropriate credit reporting agency. By laws, the credit reporting agency has to add your 100 word statement on your credit copy so that anyone viewing your credit in the future will know your point.

Browse through the internet and you will find many other online credit questions and answers. You need to be better informed about your credit and how to take care of it in the most appropriate ways.

Start up finance for your new business

The most important thing that comes to mind when you are going to start up your own business is how to arrange the start up business finance. There are lots of funding options available, which are mainly categorized under debt finance or equity finance.

60% – 70% of all new business ventures usually visit their local banks making the first attempt to arrange funds. When you take a loan from a bank to start your business, it comes under debt finance. This type of loan has to be typically repaid back at an agreed interest rate on the principal amount. Banks give out the loans to the borrowers by keeping their asset as collateral. If the business fails and the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the bank can then claim the asset.

When you have taken the loan from the bank as a debt finance, you become locked into a tight payment schedule and this can often be a problem for the small businesses when they are not able to generate more income than expenses during a period. There are also some other forms of debt finance which have started to gain popularity in the small business sector, such as credit card and leasing. The term leasing refers to the borrowing of money to buy specific equipment or machinery. In this case, the borrower works out repayment arrangements with the store from where the equipment is purchased.

Remember, when you chose the debt finance method for your business, you are mainly borrowing against your reserves rather then giving someone ownership of your shares. Therefore, always keep in mind on the aspect of funding that is right for your business. Don’t take loan from anywhere when you are sure of not able to repay back on the specified terms. Now, if you are in such a situation, you will think how to start the business. To answer this predicament, I bring to your attention, equity finance.

Equity finance is often taken as being risky capital, however it has been the savior of many small/new businesses who are either turned down for a bank loan or can’t keep up with the monthly repayments.

In equity type of financing, there is no guarantee for the investor that if he puts his money, he will get his money back. The big advantage however is that the money that is invested into your business from equity finance never has to be repaid. Those who have invested money into your business are well aware of the risk capital in return for a growth share of your business profit.

The investors will provide you the money that is needed for your business and to cover all aspects of the start up costs such as rent, purchasing of equipment and staff wages as well as making payments of your utility bills for the first few months.

Make sure that you have planned about your business venture in the proper manner and you know well in advance how much money will be needed to start up the business. You don’t want to increase your debt to income ratio in the coming days because of bad decisions.

Small markets making big profits

Many of us feel that if you are working in a bigger market, there is a more chance of making large amount of money. The fact is that it’s not always true. If you are comparing it with McDonalds or Walmart, then it’s something different. Well, look at the size and extent of their business. They are seen in almost all local markets. They have expanded in almost all corners. In fact, few stores are in my area only. They are just nailing the local market.

Few years ago, I started to work in the real estate brokerage business in NYC. I started with one big commercial company. They told me on the first day that if I follow their program, I will have more chances to succeed, but if I applied my own way, I would fail.

Since, I didn’t have any experience, so I started doing as they said. They told me to pick something on which I am skilled. They offered me the options of leasing office space, retail space, industrial space or selling investment properties. I chose selling investment properties.

They connected me with two other people who had experiences in selling small to mid sized properties. The program was like you have to work for a 20 block market, take the initiative and know every property owner, provide them with free market info and work exclusively marketing properties for sale.

I was given an area where I had 350 five to six storey buildings. I was supposed to contact each owner by phone every six weeks or eight contacts by phone per day.

Within 9 months, it so happened that I was well aware of the market. After eighteen months, I had a busy schedule and started to dominate my market. Within 36 months, I was in a better situation to control the market I had. I had every lead and in most occasions, I was the listing broker for over 50% of properties for sale.

I realized the fact that those who didn’t follow the program failed fast. I also found out from others experience who had 500 to 600 buildings delivering poor performance. I was working with 350 buildings and I was doing well.

When new agents came in and started to focus on their own market, they started working together on properties outside their specialty. This resulted the sales to go up.

I was going through this feeling that we are working like farmers who worked in a small plot of land. When it was the time of harvest, the wind blew the seeds into the adjoining land and it started to grow there. The plan works in every market, every specialty.

I am now moved on to e-commerce and I am applying the same strategy. I work on a highly focused market, but my specialty is low. I have a very easy chance to expand my product line but I always want to focus on the same thing and sell it more. I am used to selling 4 products.

I have got lots of appreciation from my customers because they feel that I know my business and my market. And that my services offered to them are great.

I also blog and this is helping to bring in positive results. I find other bloggers kind of embracing me because of my specialty.

I am trying to focus on the market of decorative concrete floors. I have started to build up relationships with furniture bloggers, carpet bloggers, concrete countertop blogs, others who focus on hair salon design and others that blog about developing restaurant floor plans or provide cleaning resources. The list goes on.

Business doesn’t matter too much. It’s the individuals only who need to focus on the market and that is the most critical part. Large markets are profitable when there is a collection of individuals working small markets. Concentrate on the small market and that’s how you build up a big company.