The Fundraising Committee: Reflecting on a Year – Part I

This year, I started a series as the chair of the fundraising committee (click here to read the first few articles) of a small nonprofit.  Some months there were concepts that would not be appropriate for public consumption - even without names. And during other months I realized that not everything … [Read more...]

My Great Aunt’s Lesson: Charitable Gift Annuity for the Middle Class Donor

You may have noticed that I don’t write about planned giving very often. In part, that is because it is not our main business - we help clients create planned giving opportunities and aide in planned giving “asks,” but we have rarely, if ever, been engaged just to focus on planned giving. The other … [Read more...]

What I Learned About Fundraising Using Social Media This Week- Part 2

For those of you who read my articles each week, you will know that last week, in the Part 1 of this article, I talked about what I learned at a seminar on fundraising using social media. We did an exercise examining the age demographics of donors and what type of social media we thought they … [Read more...]

In Fundraising – How To Overcome The Initial Objections

I was standing by the front desk at a small local gym when two nicely dressed salesmen walked in. I eavesdropped on the following conversation: Salesman 1 offered a very brief - less than 20 second pitch on hydra something or other. Matt (the trainer and only employee around): I don’t want to … [Read more...]

Knowing Your Donors: Creating Marketing Personas for Your Nonprofit

The past week has been filled with talk about the Super Bowl - both the game and the commercials. This year, the large majority of the post-game ad talk was focused on the two commercials trying to gain awareness for causes. One was an insurance company that focused on a topic that scared the room … [Read more...]

Leveraging the Donor: The Fourth (and Final) Point in a Cycle of Life-Long Giving

A Four Stage Plan for the Annual Fund When I began this series I asked you, “In this coming year, what are you going to do to exceed your fundraising goals?” Well the year is up. How did you do? Did you write down your goals and objectives? Did you meet or exceed your expectations? In this … [Read more...]

New Donors vs. SYBUNTs

The Fundraising Committee Experience, Month 2 Last month I started a series entitled, “The Fundraising Committee Experience.” I gave an overview of my new role as head of the fundraising committee for my town’s education foundation, NEF. Most of the feedback I received was positive, but I did hear … [Read more...]

Nonprofit Stewardship – A Year in the Making

The Donor Retention Project - Week 12 This is the last in my series on my learnings from the Donor Retention Project. We return to the essentials of nonprofit 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 … [Read more...]

Surprise! Donors Don’t Expect Nonprofits to Be Perfect

The Donor Retention Project - Week 10 Improving nonprofit donor satisfaction and retention 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 … [Read more...]

Stop Confusing Your Donors & Start Increasing Monthly Donors

The Donor Retention Project - Week 9: Increasing Monthly 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 … [Read more...]