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.

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...

How to Get the Most Out of Working in a Nonprofit

A recent opinion piece by Frank Bruni in The New York Times, "How to Get the Most Out of College," really resonated with me. And not just because I have a stepdaughter—just packed off to her brand new dorm room, filled with a mixture of trepidation and exhilaration...

Are the Rich Motivated to Give Differently?

Probably not as much as you might think. But… a little bit. This article covers how major donor prospects are fundamentally the same as other prospects. After all, first and foremost, they’re people. And people want to feel good...

By Not Asking Donors to Give, You Short-Change Them

Claire Axelrad writes on Clairification about how the most donor-centric thing you can do is ask people for a philanthropic gift. Of course, not all the time. And not without being diligent about matching what you ask for to who you ask and what they care about. And not without tempering your “ask” approaches with “gift” approaches; you do have to do a fair amount of wooing...

Why Would Prospective Donors Give to Your Charity?

Claire Axelrad writes on Clairification about the four criteria that influence donor decision-making, and they're not based on your needs. If you’re relying on prospective donors to deliberate on the merits of your appeal based on the need you convey, you’re on the wrong track...

Nonprofits & IoT: Voice-Activated Fundraising Anyone?

Just when you thought you already had too much to worry about with figuring out how to maximize social media and make your communications all mobile responsive, now there’s one more thing...