Getting Into College Isn’t A Fair Process. Is Getting a Donation For Your Nonprofit Any Better?

The college admission scandal that has hit the news this week is both surprising and, seemingly, inevitable. There has always been an advantage for many people who have the means to do what is now being called, “socially acceptable” gaming of the college system.* The conversation about demographic … [Read more...]

We Did Not Follow Our Own Advice. We Tried to Go At It Alone. A Cautionary Tale

This is a bit embarrassing, but for the past 17 months, we have been working on a new website. Why 17 months you ask? Because we did not follow our own advice. We tried to go at it alone. It wasn’t a conscious decision or even financially based. We thought we were starting to create our website. … [Read more...]

15 Holidays You Can Celebrate with Donor Stewardship

Holidays come and go. We take days off, we celebrate with friends and family and, hopefully you express appreciation to your community through personalized donor stewardship.  At least, I hope that is what you are doing. Any holiday can be used as a good excuse to call, send a handwritten note, … [Read more...]

How Many Solicitors Does Your Nonprofit Need? Look at Your Solicitor Pool

If you are considering how many solicitors you need, you probably don’t have enough. You are probably relying on the Executive Director, a development staff member or two, and/or a few key board members. And, maybe that has worked for the past few years. But you are only one resignation away from a … [Read more...]

Set New Fundraising Goals for the Year? Make Sure You Have the Resources to Succeed

It’s a few weeks into the new year and, hopefully, you have set your new fundraising goals for the year.  And, if you intend to achieve those goals, we also hope that you have a fundraising plan with a stewardship calendar) in place. There is a reason for the adage, “A goal without a plan is just a … [Read more...]

Dealing With Disruptive Board Member(s)

Two organizations with which we have been working have very similar concerns.  At each nonprofit, there is at least one board member who is disruptive to meetings. And both have leadership that want that to change. The Disruptive Board Member(s) Based on a board member’s personal approach—often … [Read more...]

Which is Easier? Getting a Teenager into College or Getting New Donors in December?

We are starting the college process with my 16-year-old twins. What is amazing when you look at the 3000+ colleges in the country is that there are 3,000+ colleges in the country. That means that if a child wants to go to college, there are plenty of options. And not every child wants to go to an … [Read more...]

#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...]

Last Minute Ideas for #GivingTuesday

I think this #GivingTuesday will look different than previous years. Many nonprofits will be asking for money and often forgetting basic fundraising rules - you know, like making it about the donor or telling a story. Instead, consider some ways to up your game during a crowded time period and … [Read more...]

Why Giving to Charity Will Make You Happier Than Buying a $1.6 Billion Lottery Ticket

My brother-in-law has said that a lottery ticket is really a stupidity tax. While I know that logically he is right, I buy them from time to time.  Usually, it is when I am in a store that sells lottery tickets and it is over $100 million.  That turns out to be approximately 5 times a year. Yes, I … [Read more...]