Blogs

6 Steps to Volunteer Happiness

For many people, the outcome of living in a consumer society is the belief that more stuff equals more happiness. So we look forward to the boost in happiness that the next new car, bigger house or the upgraded-thing-of-the-hour will provide. But, the upgrade doesn’t get us "happy," at least not for long. When the buzz from the Beamer quickly wears off, we start to focus on the next thing that we think will up our happiness quotient...

How to Maintain Campaign Discipline

As major campaigns near their ends, often there is a tendency to lessen the focus on best practices and the campaign discipline that has been key to your success. I believe that campaign goals should be met with major gifts. This strategy always should include plans to maintain and increase your ongoing annual support...

The Quintessential List of Best Books for Fundraisers

What are the nonprofit fundraising and communications books you turn to, time and time again? What are those books that may have brought about a shift in thinking or a new way of doing your work? These are the books that line my bookcase. What’s your favorite? And which books are missing from my shelf?...

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

For many people, the outcome of living in a consumer society is the belief that more stuff equals more happiness. So we look forward to the boost in happiness that the next new car, bigger house or the upgraded-thing-of-the-hour will provide. But, the upgrade doesn’t get us "happy," at least not for long. When the buzz from the Beamer quickly wears off, we start to focus on the next thing that we think will up our happiness quotient...

Each candidate must be prepared for a job search and what that entails. A major piece of that process is the dreaded job interview. You would think experienced professionals, over time, would improve in this area, but, sadly, many do not improve because of lack of focus and preparation...

It’s a fact of life that between 20 to 30 percent of a nonprofit’s budget is spent on managing the other 70 to 80 percent of the budget. But it doesn’t mean that 100 percent of your budget can’t be used to generate reportable outcomes that are worthy of sharing with your donors...

Development

As major campaigns near their ends, often there is a tendency to lessen the focus on best practices and the campaign discipline that has been key to your success. I believe that campaign goals should be met with major gifts. This strategy always should include plans to maintain and increase your ongoing annual support...

What are the nonprofit fundraising and communications books you turn to, time and time again? What are those books that may have brought about a shift in thinking or a new way of doing your work? These are the books that line my bookcase. What’s your favorite? And which books are missing from my shelf?...

The frequency of giving from a pair of donors, two elderly sisters living together near Seattle, surprised me. The donor relationship had started as a one-time gift in response to a television show we had produced. It then segued into a monthly pledge, which increased over time. In the midst of all that regular giving, there were other one-time gifts, some $100, others $500...

Direct Marketing

At the Bridge Conference last week, I had the opportunity to attend several breakout sessions. Like any conference, there were hits and misses, but I learned a few things, was reminded of many things and had some other things I was convinced of confirmed. So, all in all, it was a good investment of time and money...

One trip, three brands and personal communication that went in opposite directions...

How many emails did you wake up to this morning? If you’re like me, it was a lot. Dozens, maybe even 100 or more. But how many did you really read? Unfortunately, communication from nonprofit organizations—even those we support and really care about—can end up quickly deleted. There’s simply too much going on in our lives to treat every piece of communication equally...

E-Philanthropy

Donald Trump has risen to power; as of last night, he is the Republican nominee for the president of the United States. To some, inexplicable. According to the mechanics of the human mind, however, perfectly reasonable...

With more than 1 billion websites across the digital landscape, we know there are some elements that are mandatory for effective web experiences...

Social media is one of the powerful tools that fundraisers have sitting in their back pockets. At no cost to the nonprofit or to the participant, powerful fundraising messages can be communicated to the participant’s personal network. This includes many potential supporters that the fundraiser may not have been comfortable contacting directly. Additionally, this is an effective method for increasing the visibility of both the nonprofit and the participant’s upcoming event...

Data Management

Recently I did a session on peer-to-peer fundraising at the DoGoodData conference in Chicago with Otis Fulton, Turnkey’s psychological expert. From that conference, we actually got the idea for a webinar on how to talk to your boss. As attendees talked, I kept hearing people saying things like, “Yeah, I could prove something all day long with data, but my boss will just ignore it.”

Three in every $4 are donated by individuals, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014. Given this statistic, it’s imperative that, as fundraisers, we master the principles of people-based marketing. The principles are based on the evolution of a single idea: By understanding the unique characteristics of a donor, we can build highly customized experiences that will drive increased giving, improved retention and enhanced donor satisfaction...

A dollar bill’s value is very different depending on the state where it is being used. So, are charities getting the most bang for their donor-contributed bucks? Because of the variability of the dollar, and the always-increasing need for programs and services by charities, one obvious solution is to stay ahead of the curve by continuing to increase donor gift size...

Sectors

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...

The payday loan industry generates $11 billion in revenue. It is also a hated, predatory sector that uses its size to influence legislation in order to keep it alive and growing. It goes where banks are afraid to tread and preys on the "unbanked"—nearly one-third of the U.S. population is "unbanked" or "underbanked." That’s a lot of people in need of affordable financial services. Much of this population is also the population that the nonprofit sector serves...

When I talk to others about time, talent and treasure, I ask them how they were affected by philanthropy. Most of the time they will mention a story about when they were young and the philanthropic seed was planted. We all know if you start early in life, roots may grow strong. Philanthropy training must begin with our youth...