Executive Issues

Stealing Savvy (Green Tights Optional)
September 1, 2006

You might not be a swashbuckling outlaw with green tights and a band of merry men, but read the book “Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes,” and you’ll feel like the lord of Loxley pilfering precious gold from Prince John and the sheriff of Nottingham.

In order to help organizational leaders who might be unfamiliar with marketing principles, author Katya Andresen, vice president of marketing at charitable-giving site Network for Good, shares her own successes with stealing corporate know-how and applying it to good causes in the nonprofit world.

Calling All Agents of Change
August 1, 2006

A few months ago in Tucson, Ariz., I got a shot of reality — and humility, I should add — as I listened to a group of colleagues discuss emerging challenges in nonprofit fundraising. There were several “a-ha” moments.

The DMA Nonprofit Federation brought together about 100 direct-response fundraising leaders and commercial partners to dialog about our industry at its Leadership Summit in early June. We heard keynote speakers from our country and the United Kingdom, and then reacted and brainstormed in small groups.

A Cautionary Tale
November 1, 2005

In his book, “A Broken Charity: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Educational Center,” Jack E. George gives an insider’s view of the events surrounding the IRS raid of the Jewish Educational Center in San Francisco that led to the trial and conviction of the organization’s founder, Rabbi Bentzion Pil.


Building Your Dream Team
November 1, 2005

Do you yearn to work in a development office where professional staff members are considered among the best in their field; where the entire staff works as a team to exceed program goals year after year; where no silos exist and everyone gets along famously; and where it’s rewarding and fun to go to work every day?

Of course you do. Who doesn’t? To make this ideal scenario a reality, you have to start with the team you already have in place.

Nine Successful Habits of Direct-Response Fundraisers
October 1, 2005

This column has always been true to its name, giving you a view from the trenches of technical topics ranging from merge-purge techniques to lettershop relationships. It’s the kind of stuff only direct-response geeks like us could love.

This month, I’m shifting gears and writing the column I always wanted to write.

U.K. Author Finds Out What Makes U.S. Charities Tick
July 1, 2005

Building organization capacity is about systematically investing in developing an organization’s internal systems (for example, its people, processes and infrastructure) and its external relationships (for example, with funders, partners and volunteers) so that it can better realize its mission and achieve greater impact, writes Mike Hudson, director of Compass Partnership, a U.K.-based management consultancy specializing in the nonprofit sector, in his new book, Managing at the Leading Edge: New Challenges in Managing Nonprofit Organizations.

Storms Brewing on Legislative Front
June 1, 2005

As charitable giving continues its steady upward climb and more Americans value the crucial role nonprofit organizations play in sustaining our cultural, social, religious and economic life, a significant threat lingers.

It’s time to identify this threat, speak out against it and unite behind the common cause of advancing fundraising. If we don’t mobilize and speak out, we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves when the most sweeping, intrusive and draconian federal regulation of nonprofit organizations takes effect.

9 Secrets of Successful Creative Brainstorming
May 10, 2005

Often times people confuse creativity with a specific skill, like writing or drawing, says direct mail copywriter and consultant Alan Rosenspan. But those are just techniques that can be learned. Creativity is the process of solving problems, of seeing things in a new way, of coming up with ideas and of connecting things, he says. Does your organization do brainstorming? Rosenspan offers the following tips, including lessons he’s learned in leading and attending hundreds of brainstorming sessions over the years. 1. INVITE THE RIGHT PEOPLE. You might have assembled a bright and creative group of people, but they might have little experience with the

Grow With the Flow
March 1, 2005

Bernard Ross is an authority on fundraising in the nonprofit sector and an inspiring public speaker, but he wouldn’t describe himself as a motivator.

In fact, the influential 50-year-old director of the London-based Management Centre thinks the idea of motivating anyone to do anything often is nothing more than a conceit that managers harbor about themselves.

You Don't Have to Be Big to be Accountable
March 1, 2005

In the days following the tragic Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, I appeared on television and radio nationwide, offering advice to compassionate, yet skeptical Americans about how they could find a charity that would spend their generous donations wisely. From Good Morning America to Geraldo, I offered the same basic advice to donors: “Stick with the large, well-known, long-established charities.”