Do You Segment Your Annual Appeal Personalization? Why You Should.

Like most of you reading this post, I have started to receive year-end annual appeal letters.  Unlike most of you, I read them in detail. Among other things, I look if I am being asked for a specific amount or not. I notice whether they are asking me to increase my contribution from last year to … [Read more...]

How Nonprofits Create a Connection with Donors

Recently, Michael Katz, of Blue Penguin fame, posted an article on why birthdays are such easy connectors between people across countries, religion, age, politics, race, etc. With only a few exceptions, saying it’s your birthday (or someone else’s) will elicit a similar response, “Happy Birthday!” … [Read more...]

Make Your Nonprofit Stand Out Through Stewardship

Anyone who has worked in fundraising and development for more than a minute has heard the term stewardship. What we have learned during speaking engagements, webinars, and while working with clients is that the way to translate the idea of stewardship into the reality of a nonprofit environment is … [Read more...]

Does Your Nonprofit Want a Stronger Annual Fund or a Larger Endowment?

I have not seen your specific nonprofit’s budget, annual fundraising efforts, and/or donor lists for the past five years, but I have seen many other organizations’ documents in my work as a nonprofit consultant. The desire to have a stronger annual giving program or a larger endowment fund usually … [Read more...]

Lessons on Turning Around a Bad Experience at Your Nonprofit

I recently read that it takes 12 good experiences to make up for 1 bad one.  Wow.  But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.  If I stopped you on the street and asked you to name a recent bad experience with a business or a nonprofit you could probably come up with something pretty quickly. For me, just … [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...]

Growing Monthly Giving

While driving from one meeting to another last week, I found myself entranced (but, not distracted) while listening to my local NPR station, WGBH in Boston.  It was not the latest news of the interminable election campaign nor was it a favorite piece of classical music. It was the Fall on-air and … [Read more...]

Successful Capital Campaigns Help With Donor Stewardship

Successful capital campaigns not only raise money…but also help with donor stewardship I had a call last week from the relatively new CEO of a nonprofit advocacy agency whom we placed in the position about 8 months ago. She called to discuss a problem she had encountered. She was having dinner … [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...]