Creating a Meaningful Volunteer Experience – From HS to Retirement

Last week there was an article in the New York Times (an Op-Ed by Frank Bruni) titled, “To Get to Harvard, Go to Haiti?”  Through a conversation with a 17 year-old, followed up by interviews with admission officers, Bruni questions the impact of these week-long ‘mission trips’ to Central America and … [Read more...]

How to Ask Someone to Donate $1,000,000

Recently, I have become aware of a theory called rejection therapy. The idea is that to overcome the fear of rejection you ask for seemingly preposterous things and eventually, you will be immune to the rejection and focused on how to turn the “no” into a “yes.” But can you use this theory if the … [Read more...]

Why He Joined This Board (AKA The Importance of Time, Talent, and Treasure)

I was in a meeting recently promoting 100% board participation in the annual fund when a board member stated, in no uncertain terms, that the board benefits from his expertise, he doesn’t also have to give financially. He doesn't believe you have to give time, talent, and treasure. I can think of … [Read more...]

Board Leadership – A Burden or a Blessing?

by Rachel M. Woda During a recent conversation with a friend Sam, he mentioned that he had been asked to join a non-profit board. I began to congratulate him when he started to say “They promised me it would only be a few meetings a year and wouldn’t take too much of my time, so that’s good.” I … [Read more...]

Who Is A Better Nonprofit Leader? The Strategic Thinker Or Worker Bee?

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. But at times I think leadership - especially fundraising volunteer leadership comes in two stereotypes so I will pose the question, who is a better nonprofit leader?  The Strategic Thinker or the Worker Bee? The Worker Bee is always in attendance at … [Read more...]

Should Everyone Be a Fundraiser?

Recently I ran a phonathon as the head of the fundraising committee. While this was not my first phonathon, I did learn a few things. Should everyone be a fundraiser? I know that many people do not want to make the calls or meet with people to ask for money. There are many other ways to … [Read more...]

The Fundraising Committee Experience

Last week I took the helm as the head of the fundraising committee of a nonprofit board on which I serve. That makes it sound like a much bigger deal than it is, but as I sat down last week with 4 of the 5 committee members and 1 staff person, I thought that this was the start of a new chapter for … [Read more...]

A Strong Leadership Team — Elements Of Organizational Success – Part 2

Creating A Culture of Asking Series Last month I outlined the first five of the ten essential elements that will help you realize nonprofit capital campaign success.  All of them have to do with,  “leadership…people who do what they say they are going to do.” Now, while this applies to … [Read more...]

Engaging Volunteer Leadership in the Major Gifts Process

Major Gifts - Beyond the Solicitation Series - Part 4 Last November, I published a piece on Leadership Roles in the Development Function. This month, I want to focus best practices around leadership engagement—both volunteer and staff—in the major gifts process. The key to successful volunteer … [Read more...]

Speaking Engagements to Increase Your Annual Fund

Week 8 of 100 Donors in 90 Days offers a compelling case to pick up the phone and begin to arrange speaking engagements for your development staff.  Or CEO. Or both. Why?  Because sometimes it feels as the only talks that your organization gives are to your inner circle and that you are preaching to … [Read more...]