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...]

The Annual Fund – Capital Campaign Correlation

Is there an annual fund – capital campaign correlation? In one word, yes. The annual fund does much more than supplement your budget. Your annual fund is a key indicator as to whether: Donors support your mission and vision (literally and figuratively) Your development program is donor … [Read more...]

A Passion for What You Do – Nonprofit Edition

Last week I went to a conference where I saw phenomenal speakers. The list included Michelle Obama, Billie Jean King, Selina Tobaccowala, Brit Marling, Issa Rae, Mario Batali and Andy Cohen. The topics ranged from the experience of being the former FLOTUS (or former first spouse as she likes to be … [Read more...]

Pareto’s Principle is No Longer the Standard in Fundraising

I just read a really interesting article titled, The 80-20 Rule is Dead! on MarketSmart’s blog.  As nonprofit consultants, we have long reported that wealth has shifted and we often find that 10% of donors now provide 90% of the funds to a campaign – especially an endowment or capital campaign. Now … [Read more...]

The 3 Cs of Fundraising – Capacity, Commitment and Connection

Sometimes, when I am working on a capital campaign, I spend a lot of time focusing on which prospects have the capacity to give a 6 or 7 figure gift. In a recent meeting when I mentioned the prioritization of the next round of donors based on their capacity someone spoke up. While not contradicting … [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...]

Ten Reasons Ways to Ensure Your Nonprofit Fundraising is Effective

10. Your campaign has a definite timetable: Mini-goals are crucial to keeping the campaign running according to schedule. If you set a goal such as “Raise $500,000 in the first two months,” you will be able to stick to your schedule much more easily than if you set only a goal such as “Raise $1 … [Read more...]

Seven + Ways To Thank A Donor

What is the difference between organizations that acknowledge and recognize a donor once or twice after a major gift vs. seven times or more? Thousands and thousands of dollars. Before you say that you don’t have the time to thank a donor seven times, please know that we do not mean that you, … [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...]

Meaningful Major Gift: From The Heart And The Wallet

Anyone who has sat in a room rating prospects for an upcoming capital campaign knows that it is hard to determine the right number for the ask. We can guess what a person is worth, determine what they have given to other organizations, examine their relationship with the organization and estimate … [Read more...]