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...]

Be Thankful for the Gift and Move On

While at the gym the other day I overheard a woman ask a teenager on the treadmill next to her if she had an extra hairband, mentioning that she had left hers at home.  They didn’t know each other but the teenager had one around her wrist that she offered up.  The woman took it, thanked her, and … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Assertiveness in the Nonprofit Setting

My family recently got a puppy. Training her, as we have been told, is actually an exercise in training the people in the family. Interestingly, one of my daughters has no assertiveness when she is around the dog (that is not true of her in other situations). She says “come” in a soft sweet tone … [Read more...]

How to Ask Someone to Donate $1,000,000

Recently, I have become aware of a theory called rejection therapy. The idea is that to overcome the fear of rejection you ask for seemingly preposterous things and eventually, you will be immune to the rejection and focused on how to turn the “no” into a “yes.” But can you use this theory if the … [Read more...]

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

Asking someone for money feels very personal. You spend a lot of time preparing a fundraising 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 solicitation, … [Read more...]

8 Reasons That You Should Not Feel Bad About Asking For Donations For Your Nonprofit

Asking for financial support for your nonprofit should feel good for everyone involved. Some will never get to that point, but if you, or someone you know, is considering helping your nonprofit, show them this article and feel good about asking for donations for your nonprofit. You are not … [Read more...]

Listening – The Lost Art

Major Gifts - Beyond the Solicitation Series - Part 5 People talk more than they listen. The problem is pervasive in modern society. Many of us don’t listen because we’re too busy talking, texting, blogging, and using Twitter and Facebook to give our point of view. Because most people have … [Read more...]

Exuding Confidence in Life (and Asking For Support)

The other day I was sitting in a board meeting as the group was looking through donor lists to pick out 5 or 6 they would personally ask for support.  As one person in particular was speaking about the people he knew on the list in front of him, it struck me that he would be a strong fundraiser for … [Read more...]