Disappearing Fundraisers … Is Your Board at Risk?

Continuing The Conversation: August 2017

Recently I did some reading that grabbed my attention with evidence of an escalating problem — and a shrinking trend — that impacts a nonprofit’s bottom line. The 2016 Individual Donor Benchmark (IDB) Project, released in mid-July by partners Third Space Studio and BC/DC Ideas, surveyed 155 small nonprofits (budgets under $2 million). Among the […]

Gifts That Can Keep on Giving: Valuing Third-Party Donors

Continuing The Conversation: July 2017

These days, a confluence of issues I’m passionate about come together around peer-to-peer fundraising. There’s embracing technology, encouraging greater diversity, and always, doing more to build relationships with donors. Each time you get a donor by way of another donor, you’re receiving a double gift: a contribution, and an introduction to an individual who has […]

What Counts That You’re Not Counting?

Continuing The Conversation: May 2015

I get a lot of invitations to events. It’s a result of my work and my networking, and it’s a great advantage for meeting experts and getting insights. Recently I had just such an experience at a Marist College UVANY event. UVANY — Upstate Venture Association of New York — works to advance access to […]

If You Got a Million Dollar Donation…

Continuing The Conversation: January 2015

Recently I found a fascinating article online I had missed about a community foundation in Elkhart, Indiana, that received a very lucrative surprise. A Hollywood producer and native son who died suddenly had included the foundation in his will, multiplying the organization’s modest assets overnight with $125 million. This nonprofit version of winning the lottery brings to mind […]

2014 Reflections: Max Out Your Fundraisers

Continuing The Conversation: December 2014

Let’s start with a disclaimer. I know every nonprofit aims to get maximum impact from every fundraiser. But here’s the reality check: too many organizations could make so much more of their fundraising efforts.  I know. As a nonprofit consultant, board member and concerned local citizen, I attend a lot of charity events. What I […]

Keys to Keeping Recurring Donors

Continuing The Conversation: November 2014

In this season of giving thanks, remember your recurring donors. Those individuals truly are your nonprofit’s partners. Their ongoing support – even when a monthly donation is four figures, including cents – is vital. Why the shout-out for recurring donors? Like any relationship that feels secure, recurring donors can be taken for granted. Not intentionally, […]

What I Learned This Summer

Continuing The Conversation: August 2014

Remember that infamous writing assignment on the first days of school, the one that nudged you to recount summer activities and what you learned? That simple phrase – what I learned this summer – has come to mind for me on numerous occasions as I apply my BoardSource training experience from July. Three lessons in […]

Give and Get

Continuing The Conversation: May 2014

My blog readers receiving my new Dashboard (more about that below) may recall that I recently presented at the second-annual Speed Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations in Manhattan. My topic was “Fundraising through Special Events.” First, I want to give kudos to the sponsors, The Foundation Center and Association of Nonprofit Specialists. The event was superbly […]

Reach Out and Retain a Donor

Continuing The Conversation: January 2014

Remember that old AT&T slogan, reach out and touch someone? It’s come to mind lately as I’ve been making phone calls to donors as a board member of a Hudson Valley nonprofit. Yes, full disclosure for first-time readers: the board practices I recommend are ones I know have merit as a nonprofit strategist and from […]

Retiring the Tin Cup

Continuing The Conversation: December 2013

It’s mid-December and the annual end-of-year “ask” is well in progress. Virtually every cause is reminding donors that it’s still around and in need of support. The approach can be overwhelming, with a multitude of letters and emails asking – sometimes, what seems like begging, or worse, badgering – individuals to give. I’m not saying […]