I’ve collected bountiful gifts for you this month — because it’s a good time to curl up next to a warm fire with your laptop and get in some inspirational reading. Remember, my motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it!” I’m dedicated to paying it forward after 30 years of…Details
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of standing up for what’s right, even when it isn’t convenient. There is so much happening in the world around us today, and at such an unprecedented, rapid pace, it’s sometimes challenging to make sense of it all. And, in particular, our place in it all. How will we face the world of 2018 and beyond? What challenges will we take on, and how? What can we do as individuals, as groups, as organizations, and as a community to adapt, stay positive and make a beneficial impact on the world within and around us — ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors and strangers. What can we do, especially, to protect and defend and care for the most vulnerable among us? What can we do that is not just transactional, but transformational?
“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
I have a dream for 2018 – and beyond. I have a dream this is the year your organization will move beyond defining yourself by what you’re not (nonprofit) and will begin to define yourself by what you are (social benefit). I have a dream this is the year your people will move from an attitude of taking and hitting people up (aka “fundraising”) to a mindset of giving and lifting people up (aka “philanthropy”). I have a dream this is the year your staff and volunteers will move from enacting transactions to enabling transformation.
I have a dream you will push yourself and your organization this year. You will take the bull by the horns, adapt to the digital revolution and open yourself to the possibilities change brings. You will give up on the static donor pyramid, ladder and funnel theory of engagement and put your donor at the center of a new, active engagement model that reflects the myriad ways people connect with organizations and causes today. You will find donors where they are.
I have a dream you will learn who your best influencers and advocates are and you will embrace them. You will recognize you are no longer your best messenger. You will understand many forces beyond you influence your donor’s decision to invest with you, and you will expand your thinking and operations from a one-dimensional to a multi-dimensional model. You will allow your constituents to engage with you at multiple points of entry, and to move freely between these points during the life cycle of their engagement.
I have a dream you will think big, because thinking small will not get you where you need to go.Details
It’s that time of year. You know. Best movies of the year. Best bos of the year. Most embarrassing moments of the year. List time! Before we’re any fully into 2018, here’s my “Top Ten” list of the most-read Clairification articles in 2017. Some of them were written this past year. Some in previous…Details
Tax benefits are icing on the philanthropy cake. What to do when the icing is melting? First, the good news. The sky is not falling. Human beings have given long before the existence of charitable deductions. Human beings are generous. They like being helpful. They like making a difference. They like doing the right thing.…Details
You don’t just roll out of bed one day, randomly go visit a major donor prospect and ask for a random amount. At least not without a boatload of advance preparation. Right?
It’s a lot smarter to begin at the beginning.
And then take it step by step from there.
According to a plan.
A plan to secure BIG gifts for you BIG mission.
Since it’s the beginning of a new year, it’s a great time to review what you can do to get yourself and your solicitors (staff and volunteers) ready to make win/win matches between your organization and your prospective major donor/investors.Details
How Do Major Donors Think About Philanthropy?
In my last article we looked at six major donor philanthropic triggers. Today let’s look at a few more; then I’ll suggest some strategies to help you enter into your prospective donor’s world so you can make a win/win match – one that will help your major donors simultaneously help your cause and themselves.
I recently found a back issue of Lifestyles Magazine from 2008 (yes, I’m a bit of a hoarder) and was struck by some of what the publication had to say—a veritable peek inside the minds of major donors. There’s a clue right in the way they describe their mission (highlights are mine):Details
There’s a treasure trove of knowledge and research around major gift fundraising. What works well. What doesn’t work at all. What’s, at best, half-baked.
It’s not rocket science. But there’s definitely art, and some science, involved.
The gestalt way of thinking about the three secrets boils down to simply being:
(2) systematic and
But, I’m pretty pragmatic. So I’d like to give you something more practical.
If I had to pick the top three practical secrets to success, they would be the following:Details
A year ago I had the opportunity to present a major gifts master class where Jay Love, Founder and President of Bloomerang (and a board member and major donor himself) offered his thoughts on major gifts development from the donor’s perspective.
The more that you know, the less they’ll say “No!”
- The more you know what floats your donor’s boat,,,
- The more you know what other things compete for your donor’s attention (not just causes, but also career and family)…
- The more you know how your donor prefers to communicate…
- The more you know how your donor prefers to be wooed…
- The more you know how your donor prefers to be recognized…
If you can’t show your major donor prospect you really know them, how can they trust you’ll be a good steward of their passionate philanthropic investment?
We all want to be known before we enter into a major engagement.
Which brings us to the crux of successful major donor development. Not surprisingly, it begins and ends with the same thing.
Can you guess what that might be?Details
In a recent article I gave you the “Holy Trinity” of fundraising success:
You, Because and Thanks.
Those are essential ingredients for any fundraising appeal.
Today I’m going to give you four more magic words:
Small, Immediate, Expert and Support.
Each of these packs a bigger punch than you might imagine, and tends to persuade folks on the fence to jump right off and land in your court.
Let’s take a closer look at how this works.Details
Do you have that year-end feeling? You know, the one many fundraisers get around this time of year?
Kind of frenetic? Anxious? Stressed?
You’re not alone.
The average nonprofit receives 30% of all donations in December. And 12% arrive in the last three days of the year! So, yeah, it’s really busy. And a lot is on the line.
I was talking with one of my clients, who apologized for acting so frantic and rushed. She said:
“Do you remember having that feeling? Did you get it when you used to work in the trenches? That worry that maybe you won’t hit your numbers? That people won’t give as much as they gave last year? That some of your major donors won’t renew. That maybe you’re not sending enough emails? That you’ll wake up on January 1st and be in BIG trouble?”
Oh, yeah. That feeling…
Of course I’ve felt it! But over the years I’ve learned a few tricks to help overcome that feeling.Details