On “The Annual Fund”

I'm honored to have been invited to speak at the AFP Silicon Valley chapter.  The topic?  My favorite:  The Annual Fund Isn't Annual. I'm equally as honored that there were so many responses to a random Twitter question I posted: I mean, goodness, Simone Joyaux even blogged about it! The over-arching, most common themes and … Continue reading On “The Annual Fund”

On Storytelling – The Good, The Bad, The Meh, Whatever

Whether you loved it, hated it, didn't watch it or obsessively tweeted about it, it's inarguable that Game of Thrones captured the world's imagination and was, possibly, one of the most phenomenal series in television history. Not phenomenal as in great, but phenomenal as in - it was a phenomenon - a "remarkable person, thing … Continue reading On Storytelling – The Good, The Bad, The Meh, Whatever

On Gratitude and Culture

I love this question from Tim Sarrantonio at Neon. Do we think enough about what gratitude is, what it means and how we truly express gratitude to our donors?  Sure, we talk about donor retention rate and the crisis it is in our sector, but do we really, truly express gratitude? Or are we implementing … Continue reading On Gratitude and Culture

What’s In a Name? In Praise of Development

WONDERFUL post today from Amy Eisenstein on Nonprofit Job Titles.  Touch of humor and some really good points.  We're seeing trends in all sectors that job titles are changing to be a little more fun, a little more descriptive - saw one the other day that was "Chief People Officer" and another one was "Head … Continue reading What’s In a Name? In Praise of Development

Are You Literally Losing Donors?

Yes. Thank you for attending my TED talk. OK, let me elaborate.  If you're not proactively managing your data, you are literally losing donors and letting real money walk out the door. And I'm not talking about the general and to-be-expected lapsing donors, or donor retention rates.  I'm talking about just the data itself - … Continue reading Are You Literally Losing Donors?

The “F” Word & Fundraising

Sat through another meeting where Fundraising was referred to as "the F word" . . . . ha ha ha, giggle giggle, 'cause it's a bad word. I failed. I should have confronted.  I should have taken the opportunity to correct, teach, coach. I should have stood on the table and shouted with all the … Continue reading The “F” Word & Fundraising

Tree-Top Fundraising

Trees can die from the bottom up. Photo by Sebastian Engler on Unsplash Especially with Evergreens, if they're not getting enough water, the lower branches and needles will die out to allow more hydration to get to the upper branches - the ones that get the most sun.  The lower branches may also be blocked from the sun … Continue reading Tree-Top Fundraising

Why Fundraisers Have It Best

There's a lot of ugly in the world right now. There's a lot to feel angry and dejected about and there's a lot of negativity and frustration and hopelessness.  It's hard to hold on to the good and the right and the true. But aren't we, as fundraisers, really lucky? Think about it for a … Continue reading Why Fundraisers Have It Best

What does hockey have to do with Fundraising?

Right here, right now I will totally admit this is an opportunistic blog. I can't help it; it's the year I became a hockey fan and, like the rest of my community, I might be a little obsessed.  And I do tend to relate everything to fundraising. The Las Vegas Golden Knights have just lost … Continue reading What does hockey have to do with Fundraising?

The Absolutely Foolproof Five-Step Fundraising Plan

Everything anyone needs to know about fundraising can be summed up in a five-step process. Find prospects who are concerned about The Problem your mission exists to solve. Connect with them. Ask them to solve The Problem with their financial support. Thank them - profusely - for doing so. Report back to them - tell … Continue reading The Absolutely Foolproof Five-Step Fundraising Plan