Knowing How to Listen Will Improve Fundraising and Your Family Dinners

No doubt, people have had trouble listening for thousands of years.  Sure, while modern technology makes it easy to multi-task (and thereby decrease focus on the primary task at hand), I have a feeling the cave people were as easily distracted by a future hunt as you are by your wondering what you … [Read more...]

Strong Presentation Skills Increase Donations

Last week, David offered a webinar titled, “Keys to Managing the Major Gifts Process: It’s All in the Execution.” As with many of his webinars, people appreciate his voice almost as much as the content.  And, while he does have a great radio/webinar voice there is more to his presentation skills … [Read more...]

Biases In Development and Fundraising

Recently I attended a talk given by Rand Fishkin, CEO + founder of SEOmoz - @randfish.  He was a keynote speaker at a conference and the presentation had some long name that would probably bore most of you.  However, the speech was great. He was talking about the prejudices that impede our … [Read more...]

What I Did Before Writing This Article

This morning, I made two phone calls, spent forty-five minutes on email, changed the laundry (I do work at home), and drank 1½ cups of coffee.  Why am I telling you this?  And more importantly, why do you care? Because one of the biggest complaints Mersky, Jaffe & Associates hears from … [Read more...]

You Have a New Mission and Vision – Now What?

There are many reasons to ensure your mission and vision are still relevant and supported within your organization. Here are a few: You are about to start a strategic planning process You have had a major change in staff or board leadership You are considering a capital campaign You want … [Read more...]

Q. How do we do fundraising without too much exertion?

A. At first look, this question is the epitome of stereotypical American culture. So much so, that I almost took it as a joke and deleted it. And then, I decided that if it was intended to be heard with a bit of sarcasm, it was too common a question and deserved an answer. Sometimes it is stated … [Read more...]

Q. What is the best way to involve board and staff in a collaborative strategic planning process?

A. It is essential to the success of any strategic planning process—in fact, any aspect of the organization’s endeavor—to have an effective partnership of lay leadership and staff. As strategic planning process is the opportunity to determine the direction of the agency for the next few years. And … [Read more...]