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 FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board.

We have been moving at a rapid pace—researching, studying, asking, evaluating and communicating. A steady, but rapid pace. Too often we see nonprofits not planning ahead, and then suddenly trying to rush a study process and then rush a campaign. If you are looking at a major campaign, begin taking the right steps at least a year in advance—and ideally two. Hurry up, slow down and prepare. It will put you in the fast lane toward a successful campaign.

Transitions—especially positive ones—can be very strong for you as a professional and for your organization. Make your fundraising a program, built to last.

If you aren’t building a pipeline of major donors through an intensive program of visits and building a pipeline of annual donors through a comprehensive direct-appeal program, your organization simply will not achieve its fundraising potential.

In our profession, we have to focus on people who can make the biggest difference. But in doing that, we have to be careful. Prioritize your top donors and prospects—and be sure that everyone feels special.

We have to be out there—identifying, cultivating, engaging and asking prospective donors. The best way to ensure that this is being done is to set goals and to measure activity and success.

It only takes one person—and it has to take one person—to start a movement or an organization, to turn around a nonprofit, to take a university to the next level, to start or transform a fundraising program. That is the spark.

More Blogs