Blogs

3 Key Strategies to a Successful Board

When I visit with nonprofit leaders—staff and board alike—the need for high performing board members who clearly understand their roles is often the greatest need cited within our field...

A Parent’s Guide to Motivating Fundraisers

I know that recognition is the most impactful approach for motivating fundraisers as I have worked in peer-to-peer fundraising for over 25 years. I should have known that this would be the key area of impact for my grandson. I just didn’t make the connection until recently...

Client/Agency Relationships: Carrot or Stick?

Most nonprofits work with agencies in the marketing and fundraising arena. But some of those relationships are not “healthy.” Is it about management style? Is this a “carrot versus stick” debate?...

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

When I visit with nonprofit leaders—staff and board alike—the need for high performing board members who clearly understand their roles is often the greatest need cited within our field...

Most nonprofits work with agencies in the marketing and fundraising arena. But some of those relationships are not “healthy.” Is it about management style? Is this a “carrot versus stick” debate?...

There is definitely the tendency in our sector to write off “in-memoriam” donors as one-time donors, yet I think we must understand the emotional connection and make an effort to grow that relationship—with tact and in the gentlest, most-loving way possible...

Direct Marketing

I know that recognition is the most impactful approach for motivating fundraisers as I have worked in peer-to-peer fundraising for over 25 years. I should have known that this would be the key area of impact for my grandson. I just didn’t make the connection until recently...

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...

Are you confused between opinions and facts when it comes to email marketing? Here’s a list of 104 answers for you…

Development

A stalled campaign is NOT the time to sit back and wait until the money comes in. Unless you take a bold and clear initiative, your organization is likely to be left with a failed campaign, a big debt and a black eye in your community...

All of us in major gifts know that there are different stages in the major-gift process. Many brilliant major-gift people have written about it. Words like identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship come to mind as descriptors of some big stages or phases of major gifts...

Each day we work hard to promote our specific organizations and promote our profession. Without a chance to view other organizational activities, this could lead to tunnel vision and singular focus. If you are fortunate, you will be able to witness concepts in our profession placed in action by other organizations also dedicated to enhancing our profession. I recently took advantage of an invitation to attend a special event, and I am very glad I did...

Data Management

I truly believe the profession involving fundraising and nonprofit management is a calling. You must be honest, ethical, committed and dedicated to service before yourself. I am proud of being a fund raiser. Just like any profession, there are some members that give the profession a bad name, but they will come and go.

When we attend the same conferences, see the same people and hear from many of the same people, we are not growing as much as we can. One of the things I love about our consulting practice is that we work with clients of all sizes and stripes. We learn from each engagement, which we are honored to work with...

As an industry, I think we have trouble innovating. Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about our desire and ability to test. We love testing. We love setting up objectives, stating hypotheses and looking at things from a statistically valid perspective. Most of those tests are tactical, and when it comes to really moving the marble, those won’t work. What I’m talking about is strategy innovation, audience innovation or even brand-wide offer innovation...

E-Philanthropy

On Facebook, it is ridiculously fun to quip, banter, engage, taunt, delve, disembowel and titillate. It is so much fun that a few times I have wandered into “Not-Niceness.” I had to find a way to stop being not nice. And I did. I Facebook-friended every church friend I could find, including my pastor. I friended them all so that they would see what I wrote. I thought that would constrain me. And I was right. It did make me nicer. But why? And more importantly, how could I make use of this behavior modification technique in fundraising?...

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...

The problem with gamification is that often it turns into a pay for play system, rewarding fundraisers for behaviors, instead of reinforcing in fundraisers the idea that they love fundraising for their nonprofit. How can we avoid this?...

Sectors

I will do damn near anything to avoid hurtful political conversations with my family. This year, with so much potential for such conversations, I volunteered to help house homeless women in our church from Dec. 23 to Dec. 31. That pretty much cleared the social calendar of any kind of gathering that could cause ill…

Give Kids the World Village, (GKWV) is a nonprofit situated on a "79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families." Since 1986, more than 146,000 children and their families have come to the resort to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions. But until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of it...

Last week, I went home to West Virginia, but I did not expect to drive right into a 1,000-year flood. Disaster hit my home state in a big way. That said, what impressed me the most when seeing the flooded areas was how West Virginians are working very hard to survive in any way possible...