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.

The Major Gift Ask Secret to Success

Every contribution is important, of course, but major gifts are “stop-and-think gifts,” according to fundraising legend Bill Sturtevant. They’re different, for example, from those that might result from a direct mail piece or made as a reciprocal gesture to a friend...

In Football and Fundraising, Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing!

At Lighthouse Counsel, we love creating the right strategy for a client. It makes a huge difference. Every project, every organization, every campaign is unique and requires a personalized approach and strategy, undergirded by proven best practices and an understanding of where the organization is and where it wants to go...

Donor Relationships Belong to the Organization

One of the great fallacies in the nonprofit fundraising world is that fundraising professionals take donor relationships with them from organization to organization. It is not an effective strategy, and it is wrong and unethical. It is a significant way fundraising differs from other professions...

Staying Focused During the End of the Year

Focus. As in life, it’s the most powerful tool in fundraising. We’re all familiar with The Pareto principle—the law of the vital few—which states that, for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes...

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...