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...]

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...]

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...]

The Key to Successful Fundraising is Stop Thinking About Your Nonprofit

I have talked about this topic a bit when opining on annual appeal letters and solicitor training but after a recent conversation, I thought it should be said again. And said in a straightforward, no nonsense way. The key to successful fundraising is stop thinking about your nonprofit. And start … [Read more...]

Lessons to Transform The Case For Giving Into a Case For Asking – That Can Be Learned From A Reusable Grocery Bag

Do you have a culture of giving? Or should I ask, do you have a culture of asking? While nonprofits want givers, few people want to be askers.  And that is often the sticking point. Common excuses include: “We don’t have those kind of big-money donors in our community” “That’s too much to ask … [Read more...]

This Summer, Focus On $50 Donations – 7 Reasons Why

As fundraisers, we spend a lot of time on major donors–whether finding, cultivating, asking, and/or stewarding them. It seems to make sense, it’s quite difficult to meet your annual goal $50 at a time.  But, that doesn’t mean that the smaller donors are not essential to your organization.  In fact, … [Read more...]