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.

As development professionals, the level of service and excellence in which your organization delivers its mission impacts us directly. We must be ever-vigilant in observing and being proactive in solving situations...

Fundraising is all about relationships: The depth and quality of relationships between donors and the institution—the organization’s staff. It is also all about numbers. You must have a certain number of donors at specific levels to meet your goal (unless you have one donor driving the project, but then you will most likely eventually have to worry about sustainability)…

We are huge proponents of video—carefully planned video with a clear objective. In most campaigns that are focused on major gifts, we are not big fans of a fundraising video, unless there is a reason that prospective donors can’t see impact of the client’s work firsthand...

There is no substitute for effective and focused cultivation. It brings new donors into the fold, and it strengthens the bonds with existing donors. It also helps nurture staff and volunteers—coaching and training them for a campaign...

Build a culture of philanthropy. Challenge your board and staff to embrace a donor-focused, relational approach. Invest in your board and staff and build a development program that is built to last—through leadership transitions and that grows stronger and stronger with the success and capacity-building of each campaign...

Nonprofit board members have a lot on their plate. Some are more educated and prepared to fill the role due to past board experience or an excellent board orientation and an ongoing education and evaluation program...

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