Pamela Barden

Pamela Barden

Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at pamela@pjbardeninc.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.

Research for the Future

Many fundraisers can point to specific successes that are a result of doing research and applying the findings to create a new program or refine an existing strategy. While surveys are still used for many research efforts, I had an opportunity to probe 21st century research for nonprofits with Dave Goetz, president of CZ Strategy, a marketing firm that helps organizations make sense of their data and then implement messaging and communication changes based on the findings...

Fundraisers Have No ‘Summer Slump’

For many nonprofits, fundraising energy becomes sluggish as the temperatures rise. It may not be prime event season, donors may be too busy for a visit, mailing an appeal letter might be put off until fall, and online efforts take a back seat to vacation and “summer hours...

Fundraiser, What Are You Selling?

I was speaking recently with Dave Goetz of CZ Strategy, and our conversation turned to challenges facing nonprofit organizations. When he asked what I thought was the biggest challenge fundraisers had to deal with, I didn’t answer with the usual suspects...

Should You Know or Do Fundraising?

I’ve been debating (with myself) lately about the difference between knowing fundraising and doing fundraising. This internal conflict came up as a result of a class I am helping develop. Although I have taught university-level courses in fundraising and nonprofit management, I still consider myself a fundraising practitioner, not an academic...

Mistakes: The Unavoidable Fundraising Nightmare

Mistakes are inevitable, how a fundraiser responds to those errors is what can really set the organization apart. Instead of spending all our time on looking for someone (anyone but me!) to blame, our first priority needs to be our donors...

Get to Know Your Donors

While “winning the lottery” and “find that pot of gold” are nice strategies to dream about, there are some more practical things you can do to get a better understanding of who your donors are—and they won’t require any more expenditure of your already stretched budget...

Random Fundraising Resources and Thoughts

Learn from others. Measure what matters. Start out right. Live out thankfulness. This old dog knows that it takes more than these four things to be a successful and fulfilled fundraiser, but this isn’t a bad place to begin for anyone new to the profession or looking to hit the reset button on his or her career in the nonprofit sector...

Nonprofit: It’s Still a Business

I recently had a few conversations that reminded me of one of my principles of fundraising: You may not consider your nonprofit organization a business, but if you don’t run it like a business, you will go out of business...

Questions I Have for Nonprofit Organizations (As a Donor)

I get a lot of fundraising mail, which is good because to this fundraiser, that’s like food to a starving person. I receive great nourishment from other people’s mail (OPM)—creative stimulation, chuckles, thoughtful moments, emotional engagement, smiles and an occasional tear...

Data: A Fundraiser’s Friend and Partner

More and more service providers are issuing studies based on their client base, and the accessibility of online survey tools makes it possible for numerous reports to be developed on trends in our profession. Understanding data is critical for managing a cost-effective fundraising program, so having access to so many reports can be a windfall—but it can also be overwhelming...

Fundraising and Spring Skiing: Not All That Different

Every few years, my husband and I venture out for some springtime skiing—when the skies are bluer, the temperatures are higher and the crowds are thinner. As I catch my breath from a day on the slopes, I’m reminded that spring skiing has some similarities with fundraising...

What Should You Do When Your Fundraiser Needs an Update?

What do you need to update, either in your program or in your own arsenal of fundraising expertise? This old dog urges you to commit to doing it. Even if you don’t find the next great fundraising breakthrough, you will learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."...

Is It Time to Reassess Donors’ Rights?

Is it time to urge the AFP to launch a formal effort to update the Donor Bill of Rights, incorporating donors from offline and online sources, into a single, updated and relevant document? I argue it is, and that part of this effort should be to invite—and consider—input from the fundraisers in the trenches...