#GivingTuesday Update – Development is Not Just Fundraising

On #GivingTuesday I received 20+ solicitations. On Wednesday, the following day, I received only 2 #GivingTuesday updates. Only 2 organizations thought I would care about the results? Here is a list of excuses I have heard from friends, clients, colleagues, and nonprofits around the world as … [Read more...]

Solicitor Training Techniques

In every nonprofit that we council for fundraising and development, we provide tips, techniques, and training on how to ask for money.  Whether we are talking to staff, board or committee members, we know there is a lot of fear around the ask.  We also know that each and every person can overcome … [Read more...]

The Key to Successful Fundraising is Stop Thinking About Your Nonprofit

I have talked about this topic a bit when opining on annual appeal letters and solicitor training but after a recent conversation, I thought it should be said again. And said in a straightforward, no nonsense way. The key to successful fundraising is stop thinking about your nonprofit. And start … [Read more...]

Assessing Your Nonprofit’s Donors and Prospects: Annual Fund Segmentation Strategies

Solicitation strategies start with assessing the current situation. Do you treat all your prospects and donors the same? Should you? You should have a development plan for all prospects and a stewardship plan for all donors. But, you should not plan on having the executive director meet with … [Read more...]

The Tradeoff of Time vs Money in Fundraising – 7 Considerations

We all know the adage, time is money. Nonprofits often think volunteer time is better to spend than precious dollars. But is it really? The Tradeoff of Time vs Money in Fundraising Let’s say that you don’t want to spend money on a fundraising consultant for a capital campaign.  You believe you … [Read more...]

Who, What, How, Why and When to Follow Up After Each Appointment

Last week, I wrote asked, and answered, What Makes a Successful Fundraising Campaign?  In the list of essential tasks for volunteers and staff, I included, “follow up after each appointment.” I didn’t want this to get lost because follow up from volunteers will, literally, make or break a campaign. … [Read more...]

5 Fundraising Lessons I Learned from Seeing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Last week I was lucky enough to witness Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg have a one-on-one conversation with an old friend, Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya.  While the hour was filled with her soft-spoken inspiration, there was one moment at the very beginning that was meant to be a fundraising … [Read more...]

Prospect Research – Amazingly Informative or Just Too Creepy?

We offer prospect research screenings to our clients.  We think it is a good way to assess the potential of a nonprofit’s current donor base. But, when we describe the process to a committee, invariably, someone asks something like, “is prospect research to creepy for us to use?” I’m never quite … [Read more...]

It’s That Time – Here Are 11 Annual Appeal Tips

It’s annual appeal time at nonprofits everywhere. These next few months will bring in large portions of fundraising revenue for many organizations–on average more than 30%. While we hope your letters are already written, it might not be too late to make a few donor-centric updates before you hit the … [Read more...]

Solicitor Slowdown? 10 Tips to Motivate Volunteers to Continue Soliciting During a Capital Campaign

As a nonprofit consultant, I have found that even the most devoted board and development committee members have periods of time where they slow down and/or stop making calls and setting up appointments. How do you reset their enthusiasm and motivate volunteers to start solicitations again? … [Read more...]