Pedaling Hope
January 1, 2006

Development at the Lance Armstrong Foundation embodies seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s demon drive to empower cancer survivors.

Cartoon Chaos
November 1, 2005

Think about pushing the envelope to get potential donors’ attention, and the first thing that comes to mind isn’t usually the Smurfs.

Those beloved blue lumps are as safe as mother’s milk and just as much a part of the lives of little ones around the world.

But shock — and pulling folks out of their comfort zone — does get donors’ attention. And that’s why UNICEF Belgium used Smurfs to bolster its latest campaign, aimed at raising at least $100,000 for UNICEF projects in Burundi, a densely populated African nation.

Whither the Winds of Change
September 1, 2005

The fundraising world is changing rapidly, and those who aren’t prepared will be left behind. Are you ready for these changes? Are you, in fact, leading your organization to embrace these changes? If you’re not, or if you don’t like change, perhaps now is the time to think about a career change.

Here, from my perspective and experience, are some of the more significant changes happening right now. Perhaps you can grab hold of these opportunities, change your fundraising, and soar.

Broadening the Appeal
April 1, 2005

The Children’s Aid Society, New York City, founded in 1853 to serve needy children and families through a broad network of services, including education, health, counseling, adoption, foster care, arts, recreation and emergency assistance. 

The Fundraising Landscape, Circa 2005
January 1, 2005

You might be thinking that the new year will just bring more of the usual fundraising grind, slogging forward step by step, scratching for every dollar.Well, I have good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, the smartest fundraisers are paying attention to what promises to be next in breakthrough fundraising trends, strategies and tactics that will revolutionize the way funds are raised in the years ahead. So get on board if you want to ride the coming surge of fundraising effectiveness.

Building Houses, Building Hope
January 1, 2005

“If we’re going to eradicate substandard housing from the face of the earth, we need to be focused and organized.”

So says John Cerniglia from Habitat for Humanity International, which has been providing affordable housing to low-income families since 1976.

And he means it. His word choices sometimes make a face-to-face visit to a major donor sound more like a covert operation for Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt than a friendly chat between board member and prospect.

Piecing It All Together
November 1, 2004

Multi-channel fundraising is simply the idea that an organization uses more than one medium simultaneously (mail and telephone, for example) to conduct fundraising campaigns. Integrated fundraising is merely the process of making sure these campaigns are designed to work synergistically with one another.

Political Direct Marketing 2004
September 1, 2004

Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.

To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.

Start Spreadin' the News
July 1, 2004

Newsletters, especially of the online variety, allow fundraisers to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders long before they even think about anteing up the greenbacks. Donors and prospects alike can now get engaged more often, and with more personal relevance — making it easier and more cost effective for nonprofits to forge links with individuals primed for giving.

Ring of Fire
May 1, 2004

When Kwi Brennan came to New Jersey’s Rutgers University in 1996, volunteers culled from the alumni and student body were raising about $2 million a year through telemarketing. Not bad, but not exactly blazing either.

Then Brennan, the senior director of annual giving, and his supervisor, Victoria Wilt, turned up the heat. Telemarketing revenues jumped up to $2.5 million in 1997, $2.9 million in 1998, $3.1 million in 1999, $3.7 million in 2000, $4.2 million in 2001, $5 million in 2002 and $5.1 million in 2003.