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...]

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...]

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...]

Fundraising Campaigns of One

Do have that guy on the board who always wants detailed statistics for ever discussion? What about the woman who insists every fundraising piece should have cute kids (even though they are just one part of the population served?) Or, maybe you have somebody who thinks social media is the universal … [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...]

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...]