Last Minute Ideas for #GivingTuesday

I think this #GivingTuesday will look different than previous years. Many nonprofits will be asking for money and often forgetting basic fundraising rules - you know, like making it about the donor or telling a story. Instead, consider some ways to up your game during a crowded time period and … [Read more...]

Why Giving to Charity Will Make You Happier Than Buying a $1.6 Billion Lottery Ticket

My brother-in-law has said that a lottery ticket is really a stupidity tax. While I know that logically he is right, I buy them from time to time.  Usually, it is when I am in a store that sells lottery tickets and it is over $100 million.  That turns out to be approximately 5 times a year. Yes, I … [Read more...]

Lessons Learned While Prepping for a Strategic Planning Board Retreat

I recently offered to help a friend, Jen, plan her nonprofit’s retreat. We met for coffee and she explained that she had decided to start off her term as board president by holding a 3-hour strategic planning board retreat (replacing the second board meeting of the year).  The executive director … [Read more...]

Is it Worth Investing in Electronic Prospect Research Screening for Your Nonprofit?

When researching a prospective donor for an initial gift, or possibly an upgraded gift, many nonprofits stop and question, “Is it worth investing in electronic prospect research screening? Is it the path to the pot of gold? Or, is it too general to be helpful to your nonprofit (i.e. does it matter … [Read more...]

A Guide to Powering Up your Board Member Recruitment

Let me start by saying that before you focus on board member recruitment, you need a standing committee on governance and leadership development. If you don't, read this or this first. OK, now we are on the same page and everyone understands the importance of a standing committee on governance … [Read more...]

Say Goodbye to a Board Member Without Saying Goodbye

A close friend, Alex, told me an all-too-common, disheartening story about a nonprofit board she left a few years ago. She was a founding member of a small nonprofit’s board of directors. She was an active volunteer, and one of their major donors, for two terms before deciding it was time to step … [Read more...]

Why the Next Note To Your Donor Does Not Have To Be A Highly-crafted, Over-thought, Well-designed Piece Of Perfection

In the past couple of weeks, I have written notes to two different people who are going through some medical issues. While I am not particularly close with either, they are people I truly like. And, in both cases, I heard about the issues from a mutual friend who had called to let me know. In … [Read more...]

What Would You Do With 1,000 New Donors?

Imagine if an article about your nonprofit started getting forwarded on Facebook. By a lot of people. Suddenly, you receive 1,000 new donations from 1,000 new donors. Seems like it would be a good problem, wouldn’t it? But, it would still be a problem.  In all likelihood, you could not accept, … [Read more...]

Why Every Board Member Should Write An Annual Appeal Letter

Here is a great (and relatively short) exercise to encourage donor-centric thinking among your board and/or committees. Use this with anyone and everyone you can.  In addition to a new way of thinking, you can improve donor retention and have new ideas about what to write in your donor appeal … [Read more...]

Solicitor Training Techniques

In every nonprofit that we council for fundraising and development, we provide tips, techniques, and training on how to ask for money.  Whether we are talking to staff, board or committee members, we know there is a lot of fear around the ask.  We also know that each and every person can overcome … [Read more...]