How to have an immediate impact in your new fundraising position

You have just been offered a job as a Director of Development and now what? Well, over the past twenty years, I have had my share of jobs and have started some fundraising offices within nonprofits as part of my consulting practice.  As a result, I have gotten pretty good at figuring out what the […] Read more »

How to create donor recognition opportunities for your fundraising campaign

An important part of any fundraising campaign is how you plan on recognizing your donors at different giving levels. While donor recognition opportunities do not motivate all donors, the fact is that some are. And, you need to be prepared to offer this valuable tool to inspire the sights of your donors who are motivated […] Read more »

How to engage your Board in fundraising before the ask or the thank you call.

Just this week, I was working with a client, and we were discussing Board member engagement in fund development. The assumption was, ho hum, “they just won’t participate.”  It was then that I came across a blog article outlining all of the wonderful ways that you can engage your Board in fundraising.  You know things […] Read more »

How you can find prospective donors for even your small nonprofit

One may think that there are only a limited number of donors to go around, but think again. In my work, I assist small to mid-sized organizations in running their first capital campaigns. Many do not have established donor bases to tap into for an already existing pool of major donors. So, I assist. And, […] Read more »

Oh, the woes of a nonprofit fundraising database!

So, let’s talk database. What? That seems like something so mundane. Well, it may be, but it is so critical to fundraising. Throughout my professional career, I have been victim to bad databases, and I have been asked to work with bad databases. One thing is for sure, without an initial thought out structure, problems are inevitable. I […] 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 »

OORAH – What the Marines taught me about fundraising

This weekend I took a little vacation of sorts.  I ran a marathon.  The Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.  Running a marathon is exhausting, but also, reflective.  For you see, you run for 26 miles.  That is a long time on your feet – sometimes, three, four, five, six, or even more hours. Over […] Read more »

“Am I asking my donors too much?” Well, Virginia let me tell you the answer.

So, here it is. I am laying this question and answer right out on the line. Especially now that we are coming to the year-end giving season. I am asked time and time again, “Didn’t we just mail to them, won’t we be bothering them?” No, no, and no. You can never ask enough. Yes, […] Read more »

The “too busy” fundraiser!

“I don’t have the time!” Development professionals probably have one of the most demanding jobs in an organization. There are so many expectations, and the work is full of deadlines that need we need to meet. We work long hours on grant proposals, travel across the country to visit donors, and need to prepare budgets […] Read more »

Is your fear of asking causing you to make assumptions for your donors?

Let’s cut to the chase.  I know, and you know that one of the biggest things that stop us from being effective in our fundraising is fear.  Good old, heart pumping, nail biting, fear. Recently, I had a conversation with some folks, and I asked them the question, “what is your number one concern around […] Read more »