Which is Easier? Getting a Teenager into College or Getting New Donors in December?

We are starting the college process with my 16-year-old twins. What is amazing when you look at the 3000+ colleges in the country is that there are 3,000+ colleges in the country. That means that if a child wants to go to college, there are plenty of options. And not every child wants to go to an … [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...]

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...]