Fundraising is Paper Towels

Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope yours was, too.  So many things to be thankful for - like making new friends! We met a lovely couple who are both donors and volunteers at various local nonprofits, so of course the conversation turned to stories from the trenches. Our new friend spends some time volunteering at … Continue reading Fundraising is Paper Towels

How to Write a Thank You Note

I've just finished signing 617 Thanksgiving cards. My own name has taken on semantic satiation.  BUT, I really became aware of the phrases we use to express gratitude: "Thank You" "We are grateful" "Thanks!" Those are all first-person statements.  "Thank You" is a truncation of "I/We Thank You."  So even gratitude becomes about me and … Continue reading How to Write a Thank You Note

National Philanthropy Day

Here in Las Vegas we're technically a day late - National Philanthropy Day is officially celebrated on November 15th.  Hey, the space wasn't available - Blessed are the Flexible. Feels like it couldn't come at a better time.  We are looking forward to pausing for a couple of hours and honoring the great work in … Continue reading National Philanthropy Day

Implementing Inspiration (Or How to Keep that Post-Conference High)

I attend a fair number of webinars, training sessions and conferences.  I find them rejuvenating, encouraging, stimulating and I always walk away with something I can use or put into practice.  And I really get a lot of energy from being around other fundraisers, annual fund people and smart, energetic, passionate people. The Nonprofit Storytelling … Continue reading Implementing Inspiration (Or How to Keep that Post-Conference High)

What I Learned at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference – Day 2

No preamble, right to the list on this one . . .  This really is the best conference out there.  Other conferences look at it and go, "Dang, that's the conference I want to go to; A human brain can only handle so much Tom Ahern in one day because it just cannot process that … Continue reading What I Learned at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference – Day 2

What I’ve Learned At the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference – Day 1

First and foremost, I should really walk a lot more - especially before coming to these things.  And that I'm 20 years older than I was when I lived in Chicago and 10 city blocks are a lot longer than they used to be.  But I digress . . .  In no particular order: "Data … Continue reading What I’ve Learned At the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference – Day 1

2016 Election Fundraising Results

Yes, exactly what you needed right now was one more article/post/blog/reference to the election.  We're all sick of it. I don't care if You're With Her or you want to Make the Country Great Again, as fundraisers - as annual fund-type folks - we have to pay attention to something very critical, here. Go visit … Continue reading 2016 Election Fundraising Results

What’s in a (Fundraising) Name?

I read a lot about fundraising.  Too much, maybe.  But I'm fascinated by what my colleagues and other fundraisers are doing, what best practices are and what's new and innovative in the field.  There's not a week that goes by that I don't steal something I've read or heard about it and put it into … Continue reading What’s in a (Fundraising) Name?

How to make (Fundraising) Data Fun

I was inspired this week by a colleague, a very talented and smart fundraiser, who was talking about some of the challeng . . . er, opportunities . . . we're both facing and she says, "How do I make data fun?  How do I get my data person to get INTO it and really WANT to … Continue reading How to make (Fundraising) Data Fun

People are People

Fifty years since this seminal book on the art and science of fundraising was published and we're still having the same conversation. It was, is, and always will be about people. "But what about corporate and foundation giving?"  People run those programs. And what do people need?  According to Maslow, after food, air, water, shelter, … Continue reading People are People