Pareto’s Principle is No Longer the Standard in Fundraising

I just read a really interesting article titled, The 80-20 Rule is Dead! on MarketSmart’s blog.  As nonprofit consultants, we have long reported that wealth has shifted and we often find that 10% of donors now provide 90% of the funds to a campaign – especially an endowment or capital campaign. Now … [Read more...]

The 3 Cs of Fundraising – Capacity, Commitment and Connection

Sometimes, when I am working on a capital campaign, I spend a lot of time focusing on which prospects have the capacity to give a 6 or 7 figure gift. In a recent meeting when I mentioned the prioritization of the next round of donors based on their capacity someone spoke up. While not contradicting … [Read more...]

Nonprofit Solicitation: It’s Harder To Get The Appointment Than To Get The Gift

A successful campaign requires that your solicitors understand the nuances of a nonprofit solicitation, also known as, "the ask." Among other things, a successful solicitor will: look to develop a long-term relationship with the donor(s) offer a strong case for giving practice what … [Read more...]

Overcoming the Anxieties of Asking for a Donation

I have been a solicitor of major gifts for more than forty years. Moreover, I have trained both volunteers and professionals around the country in the art of asking for a donation, or what my friend and mentor, Jerry Panas, calls “truly outrageous, consequential gifts.” One of the techniques that … [Read more...]

Meaningful Major Gift: From The Heart And The Wallet

Anyone who has sat in a room rating prospects for an upcoming capital campaign knows that it is hard to determine the right number for the ask. We can guess what a person is worth, determine what they have given to other organizations, examine their relationship with the organization and estimate … [Read more...]

10 Pieces of Paper That Will Strengthen Your Nonprofit

Volunteer packet - Volunteers can be incredibly useful when it comes to ways to strengthen your nonprofit and incredibly time consuming.  Automate some of the systems by creating a packet for volunteers.  You can learn about their interests, explain your priorities and areas of need, and establish a … [Read more...]

Identifying the Second Round of Capital Campaign Prospects

Capital Campaign Volume 10: Identifying the Second Round of Capital Campaign Prospects In Volume 9 of this series, I focused in on the first group who should be solicited on behalf of your capital campaign.  You can read it here but if you missed it, I will offer a spoiler and tell you that the … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Recognize Major Gift Prospects in Your Donor Pool

A guest post by Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President of DonorSearch, a prospect research and wealth screening company that focuses on proven philanthropy. Let’s open here with a quote from a recent post on this very blog. In speaking about increasing the likelihood that a prospect will say … [Read more...]

How Do You /Should You Ask Staff to Donate?

Pick up any donor list and it might include a Head of School, an Executive Director or the Rabbi, often at a significant level. However, very few other staff members donate each year. Is it fair to ask administrative staff to give to support the organization that pays them “nonprofit rates” (Read: … [Read more...]

Why You Shouldn’t Take It Personally When a Donor Says “No”

Fundraising feels very personal when you are asking someone for money. You spend a lot of time preparing a plan, getting the courage to put yourself in this strange position and making the call to get the appointment. Sometimes you have to call more than once. You know that during the face-to-face … [Read more...]