How you can use your database can supercharge your fundraising efforts

I tend to work for many small nonprofit organizations and oftentimes are called to audit their existing fundraising program with an eye towards future development. Consistently during my audit process, I find that the most overly looked area of organizations fundraising infrastructure is its database. What I often see is nonprofits who are either using […] Read more »

How to segment and personalize your year-end fundraising campaign

It is year-end campaign planning time. Far too often I see organizations using a blanket approach with their donor base. With a few minor tweaks in their strategy, they can increase their revenues by a third, sometimes even double. What strategies do I recommend? Well, what I often see is that one of the most overlooked […] Read more »

How to find new donors for your nonprofit organization

Each year, approximately 10% of your non-profit donor base will attrition naturally through death, moving, or just not giving any longer.  Then you add lapsed donors on top of that natural attrition, and you are looking at an eroding donor list.  Sound familiar? Well, in previous blog posts, I examined how to begin attracting new donors […] Read more »

How to ensure the success of your next fundraising campaign

Often, I get asked, “What is the magic behind a successful fundraising campaign?” Well, it is not all magic.  There is some science.  And, with over twenty years of experience, I am going to share the top tips that have made it all “seem” like magic so that you can too. I am going to […] Read more »

How to follow up on your direct mail appeal letter

Do you mail a spring or fall direct mail appeal letter and hope for the best?  Well, “a wing and a prayer” is not a strategy.  A strategy by definition is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Here are some simple steps that you can take to follow […] Read more »

How to turn your fundraising event attendees into supportive donors

Spring is the season of Galas or so it seems. And, rightly so, the weather is turning warmer and everyone’s thoughts seem to be on getting out after a long winter. I am often asked by organizations who are holding galas or other fundraising events, what is the key to turning event attendees into loyal […] Read more »

Is it time to close our nonprofit doors?

As a nonprofit organization, you are here to meet a mission to your stakeholders.  Maybe long ago, or not so long ago, you were founded to assist a particular group or meet a critical need.  And, months go by, years go by, and you are still in existence.  But, is the need still there?  Are […] Read more »

A season of burnout?

I have worked in the nonprofit world far longer than I can remember.  My job began in the sector back in 1992 or so, when I became a grant writing intern for a local non-profit organization as part of my undergraduate work. Little did I realize that some twenty plus years later, I would still be […] Read more »

Do not take Fund Development best practices at face value!

Best practices. We hear that phrase often. This week, I even read a question asking if “best practices were misleading?” Are we throwing that phrase around to legitimize our field? Our do we have best practices and what are they? Well, I contend that the only true best practice is one that is grounded in […] Read more »

Yep, the Board does have a role in a capital campaign!

What, wait, we hired that Capital Campaign Consultant to run the campaign, and now you are telling me that I have to do something.  No, this can’t be possible. Yep!  It would be unrealistic to think that a capital campaign is left up to the staff to manage.  How could they?  The staff doesn’t have access […] Read more »