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.

What Is Your Passion?

I serve on a fraternity foundation board, and we invite donors to fund programs that help college students find causes that they’re passionate about and want to dedicate themselves to working for. This is something that I’m very passionate about…

Are They Coachable?

Especially if you are looking at a chief development officer position, will the CEO, your peers and the board listen to you? Do they understand that fundraising is an established profession with educational programs, professional associations (that you should be connected with) and an established body of best practices?...

It Is All About the Donor

I felt the potential donor’s pain. It was very clear, and their level of frustration high. A friend had long been involved with a college at a major university. Over nearly a decade, the college’s chief development officer had become a good friend to the prospective major donor and their family...

Why It’s Important to Know the Numbers

This week, I was having breakfast with an incredible leader. He owns three significant businesses in a metropolitan area and is one of the region’s most respected leaders, fully engaged in the civic affairs and direction. One of his affiliations is with a university. He was sharing with pride the caliber of the university’s current and past presidents and how, while with different leadership styles, they have taken the university to another level...

Be Clear and Consistent With Your Board

Take a few minutes, step back and think of ways you can improve the consistency and clarity for your board. You’ll see immediate and positive results!...

Fundraising Success: Role of the Board in P2P Fundraising

When you are invested in an organization with your time, talents and treasures, you are fully invested. Board members should be passionate enough about their organization’s mission to be joyfully engaged in its fundraising...

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...