Jeff Jowdy

Jeff Jowdy

Looking for Jeff? You’ll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.

Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.

Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.

Be Prepared for the Inevitable Storms

This week, I was without power for a while and carefully eyeing some tall pine trees that were swaying way too much for my comfort. Being without power and having meetings cancelled was a minor inconvenience, especially with the widespread loss of property and even life because of storms during this hurricane season...

Have a Volunteer Engagement Strategy

Does your organization have a volunteer engagement strategy? Engaging volunteers takes an investment of time and also yields incredible benefits. It’s the time, treasure and talents: Research shows that people who volunteer donate five times more than those who do not volunteer. People give greater gifts to where they volunteer...

Align Your Organization’s Values With Your Donor’s Values

This week’s solar eclipse was heavily anticipated and highly celebrated. About 16 percent of the U.S. was able to experience a total eclipse, including Nashville. Here in Nashville, hotels were sold out as visitors came to view the eclipse, and there were plenty of viewing parties and events as everyone geared up for the magical experience...

Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone

There was a disconnect. The client was well connected to area foundations, communicated with them regularly and made annual visits. Moving beyond foundations to major individual donors—and even the organization’s own board members—were not as connected or committed...

Involvement Yields Insight and Money

As a strategic planning practitioner, I love the process and the outcomes, but I am saddened when a well-conceived plan just sits on the shelf. From a fundraising perspective, a strategic planning process that engages key constituencies and great minds is a wonderful cultivation opportunity, and the resulting plan should give confidence to donors who might invest in making the plans a reality...

Don’t Be Out of Your Major Donors’ Minds!

How often is “enough” for a prospective donor to see you? Often, organizations have stewardship and cultivation plans that may outline five, 10 or even more “touches” for donors...

Be Prepared, and Enjoy Great Success

If you are contemplating a major campaign, make it a multi-year process. You will find your eventual campaign will be much more successful, more rewarding and more fun for you, your staff and volunteers, and your donors...

Maximize Holidays and Celebrations

Independence Day was a welcome celebration of the founding of our country. It provided an opportunity for us to remember what we have in common, and it seemed, in most cases, a welcome respite from what can seem like a constant partisan bickering...

Fundraisers Are Problem-Solvers

As development professionals, the level of service and excellence in which your organization delivers its mission impacts us directly. We must be ever-vigilant in observing and being proactive in solving situations...

Be Sure It Is All About the Donor and Not All About You!

Fundraising is all about relationships: The depth and quality of relationships between donors and the institution—the organization’s staff. It is also all about numbers. You must have a certain number of donors at specific levels to meet your goal (unless you have one donor driving the project, but then you will most likely eventually have to worry about sustainability)…

Make Video a Powerful Tool, Not a Wasted Resource

We are huge proponents of video—carefully planned video with a clear objective. In most campaigns that are focused on major gifts, we are not big fans of a fundraising video, unless there is a reason that prospective donors can’t see impact of the client’s work firsthand...

Cultivation Builds Confidence and Yields Results

There is no substitute for effective and focused cultivation. It brings new donors into the fold, and it strengthens the bonds with existing donors. It also helps nurture staff and volunteers—coaching and training them for a campaign...

Don’t Shortchange Your Philanthropic Potential

Build a culture of philanthropy. Challenge your board and staff to embrace a donor-focused, relational approach. Invest in your board and staff and build a development program that is built to last—through leadership transitions and that grows stronger and stronger with the success and capacity-building of each campaign...

5 Red Flags Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Watch For

Nonprofit board members have a lot on their plate. Some are more educated and prepared to fill the role due to past board experience or an excellent board orientation and an ongoing education and evaluation program...