Jeff Jowdy

Jeff Jowdy

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.

A Nonprofit Board Chair Crisis?

We have been doing a lot of listening. Listening about what I feel is the most important role for a nonprofit: the board chair. 

Success With Grants: Relationships, Research and Communication Are Key

The granting processes can seem daunting. It can be a wasted effort or a program that yields great results. Like with other fundraising, be sure to do your research, have the right approach, establish relationships, follow guidelines, communicate clearly and follow up as appropriate.

Every Donor Is a Planned Giving Prospect

A seismic transfer of wealth is on the horizon. Research firm Cerulli Associates estimates that $68 trillion will transition to heirs and nonprofits over the next 25 years. This presents an incredible opportunity for nonprofits to partner with donors who want to leave a legacy through the missions, visions, values and programs.

Quality Data Is Essential to Maximize Your Fundraising Potential

Quality data is critical in helping to deepen our relationships with our donors. Data can help develop an action plan to use with each donor. It is needed to determine donor interests, appropriate gift requests, appropriate timing and appropriate recognition and appreciation...

Make Succession Planning and Staff Development a Priority

Recently I enjoyed lunch with two friends who also happen to be my mentors. One is a former manufacturing operations guru who, for decades, has enjoyed success in human resources. The other is the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The focus of the conversation ended up on a vital nonprofit and fundraising topic: succession planning...

You Can’t Excel in a Campaign Without a Committed Nonprofit CEO

If you’re looking at a major campaign in the next few years, the time is now to ensure that your nonprofit CEO is 100% committed to its success. If you’re a CEO, it’s time for a gut check and a commitment. If you’re a board chair, or incoming chair, you need to have a serious conversation with the CEO...

An Outside Perspective Can Help Your Nonprofit Succeed

It’s always good to have that outside perspective. That voice of experience. Those fresh eyes. The wisdom of someone trained in your area. That is the role of a good consultant—not only to be that objective voice that can speak to you and others, but to bring needed expertise and experience...

6 Ways to Create Fundraising Urgency

Fundraising urgency is really a way of life. It doesn’t mean panic. Panic happens often when you have not been moving with urgency, and you have to catch up. Think of the duck, calmly moving ahead on the surface with feet moving rapidly below. Set your goals and then make them happen...

Are You Missing Opportunities for Genuine Donor Understanding?

Be fully present in your work and be alert to opportunities and roadblocks. Listen and observe. Know the data. Ask questions. Pay attention to the surroundings. Use your skills and genuine understanding to deepen relationships at all levels for your organization. A key is to always be aware of your circumstances...

Maintain Your Fundraising Relationships

In fundraising communications, it is important to tailor your message as much as possible to the recipient. This can mean segmentation on a larger scale or individual personalization on a smaller scale. The same is true about fundraising relationships.

Nonprofits Need to Earn Respect

Years ago, when we were crafting our firm’s mission statement, there was a lot of discussion over one word: respect. Our mission statement says that we “partner with respected nonprofit organizations.” Unfortunately, organizations sometimes stray, and honesty and integrity are compromised...