Charity Clairity

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.

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?

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.

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?...

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...

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