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...]

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...]

Assessing Your Nonprofit’s Donors and Prospects: Annual Fund Segmentation Strategies

Solicitation strategies start with assessing the current situation. Do you treat all your prospects and donors the same? Should you? You should have a development plan for all prospects and a stewardship plan for all donors. But, you should not plan on having the executive director meet with … [Read more...]

How Do You Treat Former Board Members?

I have a pet peeve about this.  I do not understand why nonprofits do not treat former board members (FBM) as more than run-of-the-mill donors.  It seems to me that someone who has given their time and energy to your organization for 3, 6, or even 10 years is someone who should be cultivated more, … [Read more...]

Prospect Research – Amazingly Informative or Just Too Creepy?

We offer prospect research screenings to our clients.  We think it is a good way to assess the potential of a nonprofit’s current donor base. But, when we describe the process to a committee, invariably, someone asks something like, “is prospect research to creepy for us to use?” I’m never quite … [Read more...]

Do You Segment Your Annual Appeal Personalization? Why You Should.

Like most of you reading this post, I have started to receive year-end annual appeal letters.  Unlike most of you, I read them in detail. Among other things, I look if I am being asked for a specific amount or not. I notice whether they are asking me to increase my contribution from last year to … [Read more...]

The Impact of Religion on Philanthropy: The Highlights

Yesterday, The Giving Institute conducted a live webcast titled, “The Impact of Religion on Philanthropy.” Full disclosure, I don’t have a written report yet so this is relying on my memory. And, because I am used to receiving a copy of a webinar or their slides, I didn’t even take detailed notes. I … [Read more...]

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...]