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How Are You Treating Your ‘C’ List Donors?
March 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about the C-level donors on your portfolio lately. Why? Well, I was reviewing a mid-level program the other day and tracking all the donors that have moved from mid-level to major-gift portfolios… It was quite impressive...

Treat Your Monthly Donor Like Your Best Friend (Until Death Do You Part)
March 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

If you’re an organization that has had monthly donors for a while, you’ll know that some of your monthly donors can and will stay with you for decades! Of course that in part depends on their age when joining. Typically, I’m seeing that those donors continue to give monthly for 5 years to 7 years...

4 Ways Storytelling Persuades Donors
March 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

Throughout the last few years, the entire world has been buzzing about the power of story. On the surface, all this conversation makes it seem like we've collectively forgotten the millennia of storytelling sprawled out before us in museums, history books, novels and campfires...

Why Good Nonprofit Fundraisers Are Hard to Keep: Part 2
March 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

While I do believe too many fundraisers are underpaid relative to their skill sets and performance, I have a hunch it’s not the real chief culprit for fundraiser dissatisfaction. What is?...

Does the Charitable Tax Deduction Motivate You to Donate?
March 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

I spend a great deal of time thinking about potential donors. I believe research is one of the keys to success in fundraising. My excitement comes when I engage with people and ask for a gift. The greatest percentage of a fundraising person’s time, unfortunately, is not exciting...

5 Myths of Evergreen Philanthropy: Part 3
March 23, 2017 at 8:28 am

The entire nonprofit community—in the U.S. at any rate—is obsessed with “major gifts.” You know the ones. Those gifts, which are of such size, that create big waves as they wash up on the beach of the nonprofit...

Creating Compelling Success Stories for Your Nonprofit
March 23, 2017 at 8:27 am

Generating compelling success stories won’t happen by magic. In order to get the stories, you need to help your staff understand the importance of stories in the organization’s marketing and fundraising efforts and to feel comfortable asking clients for their stories...

Fundraising and Spring Skiing: Not All That Different
March 23, 2017 at 8:27 am

Every few years, my husband and I venture out for some springtime skiing—when the skies are bluer, the temperatures are higher and the crowds are thinner. As I catch my breath from a day on the slopes, I’m reminded that spring skiing has some similarities with fundraising...

It’s All About the Mission Donor
March 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

Conventional wisdom says that when people support nonprofits, “it’s all about the mission.” Nonprofit CEOs and other C-suite executives say this a lot. Their supporters are connected to a cure for cancer, global warming, humane treatment of animals, etc. And when you ask constituents why they do what they do for nonprofits, this is exactly what they will say. It’s all about the kids, homeless animals, clean air...

Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Development Plan
March 22, 2017 at 8:31 am

You wouldn’t leave your house and drive your car aimlessly hoping you’d eventually find your great aunt Marge’s house in Tucson, even though you’ve never even been to Arizona. So as a nonprofit professional or volunteer, why would you just start doing random things to try to raise money for your organization and hope that the outcome is enough money?...

State Farm Made Me Cry (I Bet You Will, Too)
March 21, 2017 at 8:36 am

Motivating everyone to get involved is critical. Last week’s blog was about cause marketing. This week’s blog is somewhat similar, but is about a company (hint: the name is in the title of the blog) that is aligning their brand with the idea of community involvement...

5 Tricks to Finishing Fundraising Projects
March 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

If getting things all the way done is a challenge, what do you find most helpful? Think back on the projects you’ve completed. Were there external conditions that forced you to finish? Have you found some other tricks that worked well for you?...

Generate New Monthly Donors With These Top 2 Must-Dos
March 20, 2017 at 8:45 am

In one of the webinars I present on monthly giving, one of the polls is: “How often do you ask someone to become a monthly donor?” The answer in some 50 percent of cases is not at all. Twenty percent say once a year and others more often than that—maybe twice or three times...

Benefits of a Major-Gifts System
March 20, 2017 at 8:45 am

Let me assure you, no matter how much success you have had with your “free-flow” approach, you would have had double the success had you been working with a system that harnessed that energy and directed it towards high-value activity—believe me...

Near to My Heart: William K. Nasser, MD
March 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

The groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed William Nasser Healthcare Education and Simulation Center at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital was held on Mar. 16. I was there to witness a very important and well-deserved event...

Why Good Nonprofit Fundraisers Are Hard to Keep: Part 1
March 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

If you’re a fundraiser, does this sound like you? Show me my money! According to 5 years of research by Penelope Burk (culminating in her book, “Donor-Centered Leadership”), as well as a much-talked-about study by CompassPoint and the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund, half of chief development officers plan to leave their jobs in 2 years or less and 40 percent plan to leave fundraising entirely...

Magnificent Millennials: Changing the World
March 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Millennials are going to change the nonprofit world in incredible ways. Their enthusiasm and capabilities are significantly different than the generations that came before them, and they are motivated to make the world a better place...

3 Key Factors to a Successful Meeting
March 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm

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...

Culture of Philanthropy: Are You Ready?
March 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm

More and more often, we hear this catchy phrase "culture of philanthropy" and how essential it is to high levels of nonprofit fundraising success. Having worked as a staffer for many years, I’m a firm believer. If you want to raise more money and retain more donors, start by looking at your collective mindset toward philanthropy—a culture shift doesn’t start with strategy...

What Should You Do When Your Fundraiser Needs an Update?
March 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm

What do you need to update, either in your program or in your own arsenal of fundraising expertise? This old dog urges you to commit to doing it. Even if you don’t find the next great fundraising breakthrough, you will learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."...