Bedrocks & Beacons

Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.

Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.

Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.

Leadership makes the difference! Of this, I have no doubt. Effective CEOs can transform an organization, and donors look to the CEO as a benchmark when considering a major investment. However, I believe that there is one leadership role more important to an organization—and more critical to its short and long-term success...

Relationships are a part of life. They are essential to fundraising, and they take time to develop and deepen. There are times when an organization is not quite ready for a major campaign. It may mean spending time refining their case...

Transitions are a part of life in a nonprofit. According the American Council on Education, the average college or university president serves seven years. Also, the average tenure has been decreasing. The average tenure for a nonprofit CEO/executive director is even shorter...

I’ve seen great turnarounds in poor-performing nonprofits. I’ve also seen many fail terribly. To map out a plan for greater mission focus, increased impact, heightened leadership and transformational philanthropic support are invigorating. But to get to that vision, you must first deal with reality—where you are. And that often means making tough decisions...

Be sure that the meetings you hold are needed. If so, take a few steps to ensure that you have the right people at the table, you have the right agenda to achieve your goals and you guide the meeting to keep the discussion on point and on schedule...

We are working with a client with several high net-worth board members who have been donors, but not at a level commensurate with their giving capacity. This organization is moving from a focus on special events—where their annual giving was a program of event sponsorships—to a relationship-based culture of philanthropy. The reality is that while…

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