Claire Axelrad

Claire Axelrad

Claire Axelrad , J.D., CFRE was named Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and brings 30 years frontline development and marketing experience to her work as principal of Clairification. A sought-after coach and consultant, Claire is a frequent contributor to leading nonprofit resources including 4GOOD, Nonprofit Hub, Nonprofit.about.com, npENGAGE Experts, 3rd Sector, the Foundation Center and Guidestar. Claire writes a bi-monthly column, “Charity Clairity” for Nonprofit Pro and a monthly nonprofit social media feature for Maximize Social Business and is a “Top 100 Content Marketing Influencer” on Twitter. Clairification was named “Best Fundraising Blog of 2013” by FundRaising Success Magazine. A member of the California State Bar and a graduate of Princeton University, Claire currently resides in San Francisco California. Connect with Claire on Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn.

Friendship-Building Secrets to Build Donor Loyalty

Ever notice how sometimes when we put on our work hats we cease to be human? How we somehow morph into little robotic “professionals” and become enamored of jargon? “Lybnts.” “Sybnts.” “Recaptures.” Not that those things aren’t important. You need goals and objectives...

5 Ways Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Are Like PB&J

Think about it. When you decide to make a PB&J, you give thought to the type of ingredients you’ll add to the mix: Crunchy or smooth? Strawberry jam or grape jelly? What are you, or those for whom you’re creating this delight, in the mood for? The same holds true for marketing and fundraising collaborations...

Wisdom from My Mom to Supercharge Your Fundraising

My mother was known for having impeccable manners. At her memorial service, it seemed as if every other person who shared a memory talked about her manners. They did so not in a nitpicking way, but in a loving way. It seemed she always knew just the right thing to do to show her appreciation...

One Key Idea to Simplify Nonprofit Donor Retention

A prompt, personal thank you is a beginning. Yet it won’t have lasting effect. You must go above and beyond the “donor receipt”—even if you know how to write a killer donor-centered "thank you" letter...

5 Keys to Discovering Social Media Fundraising Opportunities

When was the last time you purchased something you didn’t really need because it jumped in front of you? Perhaps because you saw it on a sidewalk stand while walking down the street. Or at the check-out line. Or it popped up as an ad or sidebar on your computer...

Why Good Nonprofit Fundraisers Are Hard to Keep: Part 1

If you’re a fundraiser, does this sound like you? Show me my money! According to 5 years of research by Penelope Burk (culminating in her book, “Donor-Centered Leadership”), as well as a much-talked-about study by CompassPoint and the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund, half of chief development officers plan to leave their jobs in 2 years or less and 40 percent plan to leave fundraising entirely...

How to Find the True Meaning of Fundraising? Keep a Donor-Gratitude Journal

It may sound hokey, but try to keep a gratitude journal. Not just any gratitude journal, but a donor-gratitude journal. Write down five things each week about why you’re grateful to your donors. You can be grateful to specific donors or to donors as a group. Just get in the habit of thinking about what you’re specifically grateful for...

7 Strategies to Create Happier, More Generous Donors

Nonprofits need to tell a compelling story the donor wants to enter into. Make what you say relevant to people’s experiences. I may not have a daughter with a disability, but as a parent, I can relate to wanting my daughter to have all the best life has to offer...

7 Strategies Every Nonprofit Should Master in 2017

Last year, I gave you five priorities for success in 2016. I called them “Dive the Five.” This year, I’ve expanded my thinking a bit. I give you “Seven is Heaven.” I promise if you focus on these fundamental areas, you will hear the angels begin to sing and your mission will take wing. Some of these areas will seem familiar, but the way you employ them may need to be tweaked in order for you to survive and thrive...

12 Friends You Absolutely Need to Boost Online Fundraising

Being online is a critical part of your donor’s life. It’s also a critical part of their experience with your organization. So your year-end campaign must be online, too. In fact, to succeed in today’s environment, year-end campaigns must be multichannel — not just direct mail, but also email and social media.

3 Secrets to Inspire Board Members to Be Successful Fundraisers

It’s your job as a staff member to help your board members connect with your mission in a manner that connects with their own values. To inspire them to connect with and lead from their personal passion. Doing your job is easy if you remember these three simple things...

Motivate Nonprofit Board Members to Play 'Follow the Leader'

Human beings are, first and foremost, social creatures. We use the brains of others to think for us, and as storage space for our knowledge about the world. For folks considering whether and how to get involved with any nonprofit, what leadership is saying and doing will have a big impact. That's why you need to motivate nonprofit board members to be influencers...