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...]

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...]

The Nonprofit Thank-a-thon

As a board member and fundraising committee representative, I was recently asked to explain a nonprofit thank-a-thon at a board meeting.  To me, it seems kind of obvious.  But I live in the development world. What it is Put simply, a nonprofit thank-a-thon offers board members a way to thank … [Read more...]

Attracting Donations from Millenials

A few weeks ago there was an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy titled, “75% of Young Donors Turned Off by Out-of-Date Web Sites.” Interestingly enough, this generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings want to see the same things that everyone wants to see: success stories, good news about the … [Read more...]

Creating the Major Gifts Plan—Be Disciplined to Succeed

Major Gifts - Beyond the Solicitation Series - Part 2 The annual fund is the foundation of every great development program.  It provides an opportunity to identify, interest, involve, engage and acknowledge generous donors.  A thoughtful approach to creating the major gifts plan, of communication … [Read more...]

Pass It On Packets

I just finished listening to week 9 of 100 Donors in 90 Days.  This week, was a conversation with Pamela Grow of Simple Development Systems.  While she provided tips on success with donor surveys, monthly giving programs, testimonials and grant writing, I want to highlight her Pass It On … [Read more...]

Planning an Individualized, “Foreground” Cultivation Process, Part II

As you continue the planning that is vital for the individualized cultivation process, keep the following in mind: Have two representatives of the organization present so that they can take turns speaking about the organization. While one is speaking, the other can listen and observe the … [Read more...]

Planning an Individualized “Foreground” Cultivation Process, Part I

Last month, I introduced the concept of cultivation and recruitment of prospective candidates for leadership of your agency.  The two key concepts were to plan carefully and to create a series of “background” moves to engage all prospects as a group.  This month, I will focus upon the “foreground … [Read more...]

Cultivate and Recruit New Board Members

As I wrote last month in Criteria for Board Member Candidate Consideration, “every board member should play an important role in introducing prospective board members to the nonprofit.”  Once a prospective leader for your nonprofit has been identified, and, if after reviewing a completed Prospective … [Read more...]

Challenge: Major Gifts Moves Management

Last week we published a Major Gifts Moves Management Field Guide.  This week, we challenge you to pick 3 donors or prospects on your list with potential for growth.  Create a full year of moves for each individual or couple.  Use the Field Guide to help with provide suggestions.  Remember to track … [Read more...]