Nonprofit Stewardship – A Year in the Making

This is the last in my series on my learnings from the Donor Retention Project. We return to the essentials of stewardship, this time with Dan Blakemore. The importance of stewardship came to him a few years back when he joined a nonprofit that was in the process of trying to reap the rewards of a … [Read more...]

Surprise! Donors Don’t Expect Nonprofits to Be Perfect

There is a general theory that nonprofits should run a steady course and not upset donors. Of course, we all hear the stories of the organizations that found some unique and creative way to dramatically change their nonprofit that resulted in increased donor support and a lot of fabulous press. … [Read more...]

Stop Confusing Your Donors

In Week 9 of The Donor Retention Project I listened to a very interesting audio conversation that used dating as a metaphor for donor retention.  It worked surprisingly well from the acquisition/blind date/bar approach to the “bequests/’til death do us part.”  You can read the details in the Action … [Read more...]

Finding and Keeping Millennial Donors

You may consider Millennials a future source of revenue for your nonprofit, something to focus on when you have more capacity or someone to drive social media.  But that would be a mistake.  Did you know that Millennials are now the largest generation?  According to Ian Adair who is interviewed for … [Read more...]

The Psychology of Nonprofit Board Members

This may seem like a strange title for my analysis of week 5 of The Donor Retention Project.  It’s true, Gail Perry of Fired Up Fundraising, gave excellent advice about how to handle the, “Donor Abyss” which considers how hard you work to get donors and yet how little effort there is to make them … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Bowling and Dice Rolling

Last week I asked whether you were a bowler or a dice roller.  (If you didn’t see the article, you can read it by clicking here) I gave an example of a board member meeting that went awry, but there are so many pieces of the development process that can be regarded in this way. For this week's … [Read more...]

Successful Major Gifts Moves Management

You have identified a potential major donor from among your most faithful contributors. She has made an annual gift every year for the last 12 years and in the last three years she has steadily increased her giving from $25 to $250. You called her when she made her first increase and every year … [Read more...]

Stewardship Events Made Easy

Week 3 of The Donor Retention Project is a conversation with Shannon Doolittle about events. Not fundraising events, but stewardship events – after all, this is about donor retention and not donor acquisition. While she focuses on the steps to a successful event – I wanted to pick up some other … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Young Donors

Last week, in the article, “Attracting Donations from Millenials,” I listed ways to encourage these up and coming gifts.  But, I want you to do more than go back and read the articles in that issue of the newsletter. I want you to put the ideas into action. For this week’s challenge, list 3 … [Read more...]

Identifying Your Best Prospects—They are Closer than You Think

Are you having trouble finding new donors or even prospects for new first time gifts?  Welcome to the club! For a variety of reasons, donors exhibit an ever-increasing level of anxiety when asked to contribute to —for them—a new organization, no matter how compelling and worthy the enterprise and … [Read more...]