Claire Axelrad

Claire Axelrad

If you like craft fairs, baseball games, art openings, vocal and guitar, and political conversation, you’ll like to hang out with Claire Axelrad. Claire, J.D., CFRE, will inspire you through her philosophy of philanthropy, not fundraising. After a 30-year development career that earned her the AFP “Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year” award, Claire left the trenches to begin her coaching/teaching practice, Clairification. Claire is also a featured expert and chief fundraising coach for Bloomerang, She’ll be your guide, so you can be your donor’s guide on their philanthropic journey. A member of the California State Bar and graduate of Princeton University, Claire currently resides in San Francisco.

How to Tell Prospective Donors What You Do

It’s not about you. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking your organization is the story. People aren’t buying your organization. When someone asks: “What do you do?” they’re not interested in your organization so much as what your organization accomplishes.

How to Ensure Donor Engagement Strategies Actually Drive Nonprofit Contributions

Any engagement other than donor engagement is meaningless — at least if your purpose is to drive contributions. Why care about clicks if they result in nothing more than likes and follows? When cobbling together your fundraising strategy, consider how to get from awareness to interest to engagement to investment.

8 Easy Things to Do to Raise More Money for Year-End

The biggest fundraising time of the year for most nonprofits is here. You’ve no doubt been working on the big things for year-end. Yet often it’s the little things that count and pack a surprising wallop. Here are eight simple efforts that could help your nonprofit raise more money before Dec. 31.

Top 8 Nonprofit Major Gift Asking Blunders

A blunder is a careless mistake. It happens when you don’t 100% have a handle on what you’re doing, so taking good care becomes challenging. Have you ever blundered into disaster asking for a major gift? Let's review the top eight blunders I have encountered.

Top Secret: Underused Strategy to Keep Donors Close 

The sorry state of donor retention has been a topic of discussion for at least the past decade. Yet too many nonprofits still don’t prioritize donor retention strategies. A prompt, personal, powerful thank you is the bare minimum. What do you do to keep donors close?

3 Strategies to Get Creative With Donor Acquisition

So, where do new nonprofit donors come from? From putting yourself out there! Stop saying, “If people only knew about us, they’d support us.” Waiting passively for folks to be attracted to you is a losing proposition. Your job is to proactively attract them...

Should Your Nonprofit Legacy Program Be on Hold?

You may feel talking about mortality right now is a big "no-no." You’d be wrong. I understand the impulse to avoid this subject. Especially now. Because it may feel insensitive. A bit like ambulance chasing. Yet that’s not what legacy philanthropy is about.

How Not to Ask for a Major Gift

Twice in the past month I’ve been asked for a major gift. Pretty much out of the blue. Without much preparation, relationship-building or making of an inspiring case for support. It was clear to me what the charity would get out of it: my money. It was not so clear what I would get out of it. Should I not care?...

7 Reasons to Reframe Your Nonprofit Fundraising Strategy

While you were sleeping, something transformative happened. People began to behave differently. To get their information differently. To communicate with their friends differently. To purchase things differently. We live in a digitally revolutionized, highly connected, hugely networked zeitgeist...

What Major Gift Fundraisers Can Learn From Fairy Tales

Claire Axelrad, JD, CFRE, principal of Clairification, ties enduring moral tales to effective major gift fundraising strategies. There’s a lot of common sense here, and these stories provide important reminders...