Blogs

Leadership Must Be Focused, Engaged for Campaign Success!

The campaign was stalled, and a friend called for advice. A large national consulting firm had developed a campaign plan and early counsel. Soon after its engagement ended, the campaign seemed to stall...

The Perfect Business Partner/Client Relationship

The business partner/client relationship does not have the best reputation. From the vendor perspective, this YouTube video pretty much sums up what the worst relationship can look like from the business-partner perspective. This is not fiction...

Advice to My Younger Fundraising Self

If you’re like me, you didn’t start out intending to be a fundraiser. I stumbled into fundraising more than 16 years ago when I transitioned from working for a regional grant-making foundation to my first development director job—and it was love at first sight. I loved my job. And I’d finally found my passion! But after two short years, I walked out the door. Why did I leave? And what can you learn from my departure from what remains, to this day, one of my favorite jobs?...

Other Staff Bloggers
Leadership Management

The campaign was stalled, and a friend called for advice. A large national consulting firm had developed a campaign plan and early counsel. Soon after its engagement ended, the campaign seemed to stall...

The business partner/client relationship does not have the best reputation. From the vendor perspective, this YouTube video pretty much sums up what the worst relationship can look like from the business-partner perspective. This is not fiction...

If you’re like me, you didn’t start out intending to be a fundraiser. I stumbled into fundraising more than 16 years ago when I transitioned from working for a regional grant-making foundation to my first development director job—and it was love at first sight. I loved my job. And I’d finally found my passion! But after two short years, I walked out the door. Why did I leave? And what can you learn from my departure from what remains, to this day, one of my favorite jobs?...

E-Philanthropy

Facebook users tell us what works and doesn’t relative to Facebook videos. How do your videos measure up? As people scroll through their news feeds, videos start automatically but are silent in the beginning. If this is not managed properly, it creates confusion with the viewer and most likely a missed opportunity. The videos that ranked the highest used visual cues during the no-audio period...

In part one of this article, we looked at how nonprofit marketing, fundraising and sales are synonymous. Sadly, they too often have been siloed—resulting in inconsistent messaging, confused donors and money left on the table. Let’s get practical. It’s been crystal clear since the explosion of media and messaging post digital revolution that if you still are thinking outbound marketing, you’re a dinosaur...

People are far more distracted than they were a decade ago, which means that even the most experienced fundraiser must continually evolve—something the industry has found difficult at times—and leverage new outlets to increase donations. Is it possible that our inability to adapt or unwillingness to change is a primary reason for our industry’s declining performance?...

Direct Marketing

There’s an old joke about a minister who preaches the same sermon three weeks in a row. When confronted about it, he replies, "When you start doing what this sermon teaches, I’ll move on to another topic."...

If only there was an easy answer to our fundraising woes—too much to do, too little donor loyalty, too many unrealistic expectations. While I don’t have the final answer, I do have two suggestions based on science...

I spoke at a client’s conference this past winter. I was in Little Rock, Ark., with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) at its leadership conference. After my return home, I received a handwritten thank-you note from Nicole Dolan, my client and one of the organizers of the meeting...

Development

"There is donor fatigue," one of the community’s top philanthropists shared in a recent feasibility study interview. Donor fatigue is a term often used. Is it real? It means a donor feels tired, worn out by requests from organizations. Are there causes? Yes, usually poor fundraising that is not donor focused...

Data Management

Strategic planning is a passion of mine. It is energizing and rewarding to provide the tools and resources for a client to determine his or her future. My first foray into strategic planning was when I was leading a capital campaign that would hit goal and had the ability to overachieve it by far...

It seems like ages ago that everyone had personas in their marketing plans—and then they didn’t. All good things come back around...

In most cases, the question of who benefits from your nonprofit is directed at the end-user: What are your program’s outcomes? How does your nonprofit benefit society? But that question is not often directed toward the for-profit businesses that also benefit from your positive outcomes. By digging deep into this question, you will be able to find new funders for your nonprofit...

Sectors

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...

Separating mission work from fundraising work is a deeply rooted practice in nonprofit. I challenge that. I challenge the idea that there is any scenario where a complete separation is necessary or more productive than collaboration. Here is a good illustration of what could be....