Does Your Nonprofit Want a Stronger Annual Fund or a Larger Endowment?

I have not seen your specific nonprofit’s budget, annual fundraising efforts, and/or donor lists for the past five years, but I have seen many other organizations’ documents in my work as a nonprofit consultant. The desire to have a stronger annual giving program or a larger endowment fund usually … [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...]

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...]

Why Thank You Notes To Donors Matter More Than You Thought

The Donor Retention Project - Week 6: Thank You Notes To Donors As I listened to the beginning of week 6 in The Donor Retention Project I quickly learned tips and tricks for improving my nonprofit thank you note writing skills.  But, I’ll admit that my initial reaction was surprise.  Really?  A … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Fundraising skills

This week’s challenge is actually pulled from a recent article on fundraising skills (click here to read it). Fundraising Skills Challenge: List 3 ways in which you can improve donor loyalty this fall. Then, describe how you can follow through and who, if anyone, will need to be engaged to … [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...]

Do Your Donors Consider Themselves Members or Contributors?

For many organizations, membership comes with a defined set of benefits.  But if you consider last week’s challenge about keeping language inclusive (Challenge: Is Your Nonprofit Inclusive or Exclusive?), maybe you should be helping your contributors feel like members of your community – even if … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Is Your Nonprofit Inclusive or Exclusive?

Someone recently gave me a copy of “Building a Successful Volunteer Culture – Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish Community.” (You can view the book at Since a portion of our clients are religious-based organizations, I thought I would skim it to see what gems I … [Read more...]

Expanding your Volunteer Pool

Recent articles have focused on volunteers with a stress on board and leadership volunteers.  Nonprofits rely on a steady stream of these individuals – how do you make sure you have enough people feeding the organization’s needs? Current Donors The first place to start is always among your … [Read more...]

Can Prospect Research Be Wrong?

Recently as I was wandering the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Massachusetts Annual Philanthropy Day Conference in Boston, I stopped to speak with a prospect research company with whom I have worked on behalf of various clients. We have found them to have valuable research results, in … [Read more...]