Getting Ready for the New Year

On the first day of the New Year, I found a few things that gave me pause for thought as I clear the decks and begin getting ready for the New Year. At the end of the year, most organizations judge their success by one question: Did we meet our budget goal?But growing future giving means … [Read more...]

The Role of the Executive Director in Nonprofit Governance

Managing relationships among lay leadership and staff. Navigating the relationships between senior staff and lay leadership is critical to mission driven work and seamless operations.  We believe this so strongly that we even wrote a book about it.  You can get your own copy—either electronic or … [Read more...]

Good Fundraising Data Can Enable You to Have the Best Year Ever

The turn of the calendar page to June is a sure harbinger of warmer days ahead, and, as summer approaches, a development officer’s mind often turns to planning. Today, a clear understanding of your fundraising data is the foundation for sound development planning.  Are you and your colleagues … [Read more...]

Award Season for Philanthropy and Fundraising

With the announcement of the 2017 Tony Award nominations at the beginning of this week—and, aren’t all you Tolstoy fans excited about the 12 nominations for Natasha, Pierre, and the Comet of 1812—I began to think about these “seasons” which every industry seems to experience. From the Golden … [Read more...]

Uncovering A Hidden Planned Gift

I recently participated in the solicitation of a rather peripherally involved 82-year-old donor of one of our clients.  We were going to ask for $100,000, when, before we could even begin, the donor said that he had already provided a $100,000 planned gift for the congregation in his estate … [Read more...]

Nonprofit Solicitation: It’s Harder To Get The Appointment Than To Get The Gift

A successful campaign requires that your solicitors understand the nuances of a nonprofit solicitation, also known as, "the ask." Among other things, a successful solicitor will: look to develop a long-term relationship with the donor(s) offer a strong case for giving practice what … [Read more...]

Value the Nonprofit Donor More than the Donation

Showing how much you value the person is vital at every stage of a relationship—initial engagement, involvement, solicitation as well as stewardship.  Here’s a story that shows what a difference that can make with a nonprofit donor. Martin, a leadership gift prospect who was the retired CEO of a … [Read more...]

The Most Common Fundraising Mistakes …and How Not to Make Them

In the past, we have touched on overcoming anxieties when confronted with the opportunity to share the joy of giving with a prospective donor on a face-to-face basis. We are anxious, mostly because we are afraid that we will make a mistake. Think about that for a moment! What is the worst thing that … [Read more...]

Overcoming the Anxieties of Asking for a Donation

I have been a solicitor of major gifts for more than forty years. Moreover, I have trained both volunteers and professionals around the country in the art of asking for a donation, or what my friend and mentor, Jerry Panas, calls “truly outrageous, consequential gifts.” One of the techniques that … [Read more...]

The Habits of Highly Successful Fundraising

What follows are the nineteen habits of highly successful fundraising. In this way, you can work to introduce these habits into your daily routines so that your next encounter with a major gift prospect will have the best possible outcome, a meaningful gift to your campaign. Habit #1: … [Read more...]