Blogs

Aspire to Be Great

In honor of this blog post, I ate a bowl of Frosted Flakes for breakfast today. I saw Tony the Tiger on the cereal cover, and all I could think of was his catchphrase, “They’re grrrrreat!” In any area of expertise, no one should automatically settle to be less than they can be...

How to Promote Legacy Gifts

You’re focused on inspiring donors to give today, right?  It’s not surprising. It’s how we’re wired as fundraisers. Our organizations are tackling urgent needs, and we’re held accountable to make those budget numbers!...

6 Ways to Pay Your Volunteers (Even When You Can't Pay Them)

Like many others in the charitable sector, your nonprofit organization is probably heavily dependent on volunteers. Those people freely give their time, and some of them may be so talented and dedicated that you wish there were money in the budget to make them full-time, paid members of the team. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can show gratitude for your volunteers, even without giving them money...

Other Staff Bloggers
Development

In honor of this blog post, I ate a bowl of Frosted Flakes for breakfast today. I saw Tony the Tiger on the cereal cover, and all I could think of was his catchphrase, “They’re grrrrreat!” In any area of expertise, no one should automatically settle to be less than they can be...

You’re focused on inspiring donors to give today, right?  It’s not surprising. It’s how we’re wired as fundraisers. Our organizations are tackling urgent needs, and we’re held accountable to make those budget numbers!...

How do we get donors and volunteers to take the actions we need them to take? It turns out the nudge may be the best way. Last October, University of Chicago economist Richard H. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Thaler’s work has persuaded many economists to pay more attention to human behavior and many governments to pay more attention to economics...

Leadership Management

Like many others in the charitable sector, your nonprofit organization is probably heavily dependent on volunteers. Those people freely give their time, and some of them may be so talented and dedicated that you wish there were money in the budget to make them full-time, paid members of the team. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can show gratitude for your volunteers, even without giving them money...

Volunteer management best practices have changed as volunteer expectations and the reach of nonprofit organizations evolve. That said, the ultimate goal has always been, and will always be, to provide great experiences to volunteers and impact the community in an organized and efficient way...

Because the goals are high, capital campaigns feel risky. And few people want to be associated with something they fear might not be successful. So you have to take great care in building confidence right from the start. And that starts with getting the right people on board...

Data Management

Raising awareness is in the top five things every nonprofit organization wants. Or so they tell me. What they don’t know is how to not be the best kept secret in your community...

As we scroll through headlines and highlights triumphantly displayed on our social media feeds, it’s hard to feel that we who answer phones, enter gift records, clean office dishes and chip away at “To-Do” lists will ever arrive at greatness. Can you recall the feeling that, although your nonprofit has a meaningful mission, your workweek just feels like uneventful routines and ordinary tasks?...

In a recent blog, we wrote about the new tax bill that doubles the standard deduction, effectively reducing the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions from 30 percent to 5 percent, according to experts. That’s a decrease in roughly 30 million households...

Direct Marketing

I don’t write copy for clients. It’s just not the most strategic use of my time. If you’re the CEO or chief development officer at a nonprofit, chances are this is true for you, too. I have yet to work with a CEO or chief development officer who is fulfilling his or her potential or responsibility in fundraising by re-writing (vs. brief edits) a document...

We’ve all heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Nonprofits routinely use pictures to communicate their messages to their constituents. Usually, the photos are selected to represent the people who will be helped by supporting the mission of the nonprofit...

Today’s Associated Press Style, used by most journalists and professional communicators, seeks to abbreviate copy and save valuable space—whether in print or online—knowing that readership and comprehension both increase with brevity....

E-Philanthropy

Technology projects are their own special type of fun. They can be expensive, there’s usually a percentage of risk involved, there’s bound to be something that you don’t completely understand and, sometimes, they can make or break a nonprofit staffer’s career...

I know there's a lot out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for instance. But there are others beyond the top ones, which include Tumblr, Pinterest and even Skype. If you're a nonprofit leader, even if you're not the one that's managing the day-to-day posts, you have to care about which social networks for your organization...

The explosion of technology tools available to fundraising professionals has become a game-changer, making it easier to gather, sort and store valuable donor data and insights. As fundraising professionals juggle to engage and retain donors and prospects across multi-generations, technology-infused tactics can help boost profits and save valuable time and resources...

Sectors

Around the first of each month, I go through my bank’s drive-through and get some cash in $5 and $10 bills. I keep the money in the console of my car to give away to people on street corners asking for assistance when I’m driving around...

Each year, many young professionals contact me through a variety of ways. In late 2017, several contacted me through coffee sessions, job interviews, visits at special events, AFP lunches, CFRE interactions, contacts as a favor from a colleague, etc. These individuals are either in the nonprofit field or deciding whether to pursue a nonprofit career...

On Christmas Eve 2017, I was driving on Interstate 64 near Charleston, West Va., when I passed the Dunbar exit. At that moment, I mentioned to my wife the impact of my former professor and how that individual affected me academically like no other in my life. She knew every time I would pass that exit, I would say the same thing. I told her I had recently sent a Christmas card like I always do to Dr. Jack Yeager. Dr. Yeager’s influence on me was profound...