Ice Cream for Breakfast: On Nonprofits and Happiness
August 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

Give Kids the World Village, (GKWV) is a nonprofit situated on a "79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families." Since 1986, more than 146,000 children and their families have come to the resort to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions. But until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of it...

When Disaster Hits Home: Relief Efforts at Work
July 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

Last week, I went home to West Virginia, but I did not expect to drive right into a 1,000-year flood. Disaster hit my home state in a big way. That said, what impressed me the most when seeing the flooded areas was how West Virginians are working very hard to survive in any way possible...

Steal This Sector: Payday Loans
March 25, 2016 at 11:02 am

The payday loan industry generates $11 billion in revenue. It is also a hated, predatory sector that uses its size to influence legislation in order to keep it alive and growing. It goes where banks are afraid to tread and preys on the "unbanked"—nearly one-third of the U.S. population is "unbanked" or "underbanked." That’s a lot of people in need of affordable financial services. Much of this population is also the population that the nonprofit sector serves...

Do You Have a Youth Philanthropy Initiative?
March 18, 2016 at 9:29 am

When I talk to others about time, talent and treasure, I ask them how they were affected by philanthropy. Most of the time they will mention a story about when they were young and the philanthropic seed was planted. We all know if you start early in life, roots may grow strong. Philanthropy training must begin with our youth...

The Unfortunate Separation of Mission and Fundraising
February 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Separating mission work from fundraising work is a deeply rooted practice in nonprofit. I challenge that. I challenge the idea that there is any scenario where a complete separation is necessary or more productive than collaboration. Here is a good illustration of what could be....

A Modern-Day Santa: The Salvation Army's Angel Tree
December 24, 2015 at 9:00 am

Along with the familiar red kettles, the Angel Tree program has become one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts. In my position at The Salvation Army’s Divisional Headquarters in Indianapolis, I was able to witness this miraculous program firsthand when it came to central Indiana for the first time this fall....

Exploring the Connection Between Faith and Giving
October 23, 2015 at 8:45 am

I have a unique role, attempting to educate, inform, stimulate and encourage ministers to direct fundraising programs with a long-term emphasis on major and planned gifts. The act and process of giving is all about how you perceive it. Whether the giver is religious or not, the proper way of engaging a prospect is to consider the giving process a form of ministry for you and those you work with on a daily basis...

The Impact of 9/11 on Philanthropy
September 11, 2015 at 9:08 am

According to a Sept. 2, 2011 CNNMoney report, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 inspired Americans to help their neighbors in need like never before by donating billions of dollars to families that lost family members during the 9/11 attacks. Many Americans gave willingly to assist those in need after 9/11. That said, however, many 9/11 charities were under scrutiny for failing to raise money for victims...

The Ice Bucket Challenge Movement
July 24, 2015 at 2:36 pm

In last week’s blog, I discussed the characteristics of movements. One person, a “lone nut,” typically initiates movements. It is the subsequent followers, who are embraced as equals, who really lend power to the movement. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a movement the likes of which are rarely seen. I had the opportunity to hear about this from the inside over dinner last week with Lance Slaughter, chief chapter relations and development officer of the ALS Association...

Continuing Education for Fundraising Rockstars
July 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

I’m writing this article earlier in the week than usual because I am heading out of town for a few days. No, it’s not vacation—it’s continuing education. Like you, I don’t have time to attend training. I don’t have money to waste on training that doesn’t teach me anything new. And yes, I admit my main incentive for signing up for this training was the tri-annual renewal of my CFRE credentials...