A Guide to Powering Up your Board Member Recruitment

Let me start by saying that before you focus on board member recruitment, you need a standing committee on governance and leadership development. If you don't, read this or this first. OK, now we are on the same page and everyone understands the importance of a standing committee on governance … [Read more...]

Why the Next Note To Your Donor Does Not Have To Be A Highly-crafted, Over-thought, Well-designed Piece Of Perfection

In the past couple of weeks, I have written notes to two different people who are going through some medical issues. While I am not particularly close with either, they are people I truly like. And, in both cases, I heard about the issues from a mutual friend who had called to let me know. In … [Read more...]

What Would You Do With 1,000 New Donors?

Imagine if an article about your nonprofit started getting forwarded on Facebook. By a lot of people. Suddenly, you receive 1,000 new donations from 1,000 new donors. Seems like it would be a good problem, wouldn’t it? But, it would still be a problem.  In all likelihood, you could not accept, … [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...]

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...]