Lessons on Turning Around a Bad Experience at Your Nonprofit

I recently read that it takes 12 good experiences to make up for 1 bad one.  Wow.  But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.  If I stopped you on the street and asked you to name a recent bad experience with a business or a nonprofit you could probably come up with something pretty quickly. For me, just … [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...]

Growing Monthly Giving

While driving from one meeting to another last week, I found myself entranced (but, not distracted) while listening to my local NPR station, WGBH in Boston.  It was not the latest news of the interminable election campaign nor was it a favorite piece of classical music. It was the Fall on-air and … [Read more...]

Creating a Monthly Giving Program: A Solution to Donor Retention and Financial Sustainability

Part 1 in Creating a Monthly Giving Program Last Saturday evening, we went out to dinner with friends with whom we went to college more than 50 years ago. One friend asked me if there was something new in fundraising. I wondered what she meant. She told me that they had made a modest—for … [Read more...]

Successful Capital Campaigns Help With Donor Stewardship

Successful capital campaigns not only raise money…but also help with donor stewardship I had a call last week from the relatively new CEO of a nonprofit advocacy agency whom we placed in the position about 8 months ago. She called to discuss a problem she had encountered. She was having dinner … [Read more...]

The Fundraising Committee: Reflecting on a Year – Part I

This year, I started a series as the chair of the fundraising committee (click here to read the first few articles) of a small nonprofit.  Some months there were concepts that would not be appropriate for public consumption - even without names. And during other months I realized that not everything … [Read more...]

Knowing Your Donors: Creating Marketing Personas for Your Nonprofit

The past week has been filled with talk about the Super Bowl - both the game and the commercials. This year, the large majority of the post-game ad talk was focused on the two commercials trying to gain awareness for causes. One was an insurance company that focused on a topic that scared the room … [Read more...]

Making the Ask: Third Point in a Cycle of Life-Long Giving—Part 2

A Four-Stage Plan for Major Donor Cultivation for the Annual Fund When people think about making the ask or engaging another to do a solicitation for the organization on whose board they sit, they procrastinate most often when they contemplate making an appointment to meet face-to-face, the only … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Short Term Goals/ Emergency Fund

On the whole, fundraising is a “long game”—a marathon, not a sprint. Creating one-year, three-year and five-year plans help ensure you will fulfill your mission, vision and strategic plan. But, from time to time, you need to have a short-term plan. What would you do to fulfill a challenge grant in a … [Read more...]

A Four Stage Plan for the Annual Fund

Last month it was the seven ages of man that led us to understand the mandala of the development cycle. This month, I want to introduce you to the way in which you apply the cycle to a disciplined four stage plan directed to engaging individual prospects and donors for an enhanced annual fund. In … [Read more...]