Takeaways from the 2018 Giving USA Report

Nonprofits, and nonprofit consultants, have learned to value the annual release of the Giving USA Report. It has 470 pages of interesting facts and figures. And if you know what to do with them, and how to benchmark yourself against them (more on that later), they can be very useful tools. If you … [Read more...]

Can Nonprofits Turn Previous Failures Into Future Success?

Listen to any conference speaker, self-help guru or tech entrepreneur and you are sure to hear about their failures. Of course, they are speaking because they turned their failures into lessons that helped them succeed. Can you imagine going to a funder and telling them that you had to close down … [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...]

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...]

#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...]

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...]