Claire_Axelrad_112_250x412Why Claire is Special

I am convinced Claire Axelrad is the smartest person in fundraising.  Her articles are impeccably researched, deeply thoughtful, and invariably useful to me. Thank you, Claire.
-Tom Ahern, Ahern Donor Communications

Claire is a fundraising ninja
– Joanne Fritz, Nonprofit Charitable Organizations Guide,

If there were a Mount Rushmore for Philanthropy, Claire Axelrad would certainly be on it. Every nonprofit would benefit by ditching forgettable fundraising in favor of passionate philanthropy with Claire.”

– Jay Wilkinson, Founder & CEO of Firespring

Claire is a superb professional, deep thinker and creative spirit in the service of philanthropy. I have worked with her in a variety of roles for nearly two decades, and have admired and supported her work. She is a person of utmost integrity, and a brilliant mind.
– Kay Grace, Principal, Transforming Philanthropy

It’s precisely on target. Your piece on attrition, Claire, is dynamite. Amazing. Congratulations.
–Jerry Panas, CEO, Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners

I just think Claire Axelrad is the most thought provoking and on point fundraiser I’ve ever heard. She has the answers I need to hear.

— Katora Cole, Chief Development Officer, Orchards Children’s Services

Claire Axelrad is Blogger, Consultant, Advisor and Guru. She has a pile of experience – having done it all and seen it all. Not only is her experience both broad and deep, her judgement is superb. She thinks precisely, writes clearly and focuses on substance instead of appearance. She is interested in addressing issues and serving nonprofit leaders – not in hyping issues and impressing those leaders.

– John Burke, Founder, VisABILITY

Claire is an amazing thinker, strategist and collaborator. I consider her a guru of development, with expertise in all aspects of fund raising and marketing. She is forward thinking, an amazing planner, and extraordinarily knowledgeable about what works and doesn’t. In summary, she is the best!

– Amy Rassen, Principal, Rassen and Associates

She is an incisive thinker and strategist, a strong writer and story-teller, has a great ability to cull best practices in fundraising to reach hard-won goals, and possesses an uncanny ability to touch people’s hearts and minds in the interest of a cause.

– Victoria Cooper, Principal, Cooper Communications

I just want you to know that I, too, think you are the #1 advisor to fundraising professionals… I almost always agree with you.

Margeruite McCurry, Ph.D, CFRE

Claire’s approach is a rare blend of experience-based common sense gleaned from 30 years of senior management in the trenches.

– Chris Baylis, The Sponsorship Collective

Claire’s Writing

I shared your article this morning with the President/Founder, and she is ON FIRE!!! She emailed all her staff and volunteers and told them this was the new vision.

Cheryl Cuttineau, Pet Loss Support

This post really DID foment my pursuit to understand the profession and our work. Completely changed the trajectory of my career and I am so grateful. Required reading for all my students.

— T. Clay Buck, CFRE. Nonprofit Management Certificate program, UNLV

Your material is always thoughtful and realistic. Thank you for your candor and good advice, we have no shortage of fundraising experts who publish regularly, but you are one of the few that I read faithfully.

— Richard Ajulani, Senior Director of Individual Giving, LifeMoves

Claire… I don’t know how often folks give YOU a thumbs up… but let me try… I’ve successfully retired 5 times after raising mega-millions for universities and hospitals… I still run my consulting business… every time I start reading your “tips” I shout YES!! Many of the methods are newer…but the basis remains the same. People need you!

— Margie McCurry. Ph.D., CFRE, The McCurry Group

I came across your website and I hit the goldmine! Thank you for sharing so much valuable information!!

– Erica Martinez

One of the best articles re marketing and fundraising that I‘ve read in a long time. I am passing it on to the usual suspects — my boss, Development Committee…

Margot Harrigan. Director of Development. Community Health Awareness Council

Her blog is just a wealth of wisdom.  What’s particularly notable about Clairification is that although the work is based on decades of past experience, Claire is always looking forward as well.  She was the first among her veteran fundraising peers to embrace online and social fundraising and is now one of their most sensible and insightful proponents.  She’s a great resource!

–Keith Heller, CEO, Heller Consulting

I really do wish every small nonprofit would read what you write. Best fundraising read of the week (maybe the month). Thank-you for sharing with us all.

–BT Irwin, Small Nonprofit Coach

You are having a ripple effect in the many nonprofits you inspire through folks like me – and I hope you experience the joy in that every day. Thank you for sending out such great resources. I look forward to your regular emails and the helpful content you deliver.

– Jennifer M. Standen, Development Manager, Bethany Christian Services

We have been loving the work of Claire Axelrad since we came across her work, every blog of hers is insightful, well thought out and enlightening.

– Good Eggs Storytellers

You have a unique voice in the area of how nonprofits attract and retain donors. I am a huge fan of your writing!

– Ronald Pruitt, Founder, 4aGoodCause

We regularly look to your blog for top insights.

– Taylor Gibbs, Double the Donation

I get so much out of your postings on e-mail! I have been in the development world for 25 years and always find ideas I can use in your writing. Thanks for doing such a great job and keep ’em coming in the future!

–Kathleen Pasley, Director of Development, Dacor Bacon

Thank you for your brilliant blog. Please never stop bringing the best out of me! You’re special.

– Anna Henry,

This is the best, most lucid, most succinct checklist I have read on the engagement process. Should be required reading for all concerned with major gift solicitation.

– Giles Pegram, CBE, Fundraising Consultant, London, England

Everybody involved in philanthropy should read this article slowly and with a very opened mind and a willingness to take from it, the necessary components to change the manner and techniques we presently use in order to embrace what philanthropy is all about “Love”. I have no doubt it would be transformational.

– Tom Walsh, Business Development Exec., Active Retirement Ireland

You remind me what is most important and why I love this profession. I find your posts, new and old, so spot on. You nail it.

—Heather Wardle CFRE, Vancouver BC

I read your newsletter all the time and find your advice “spot on” and always usable. I pass it on consistently to the staff and other board members. I really appreciate all you do to help nonprofits. Thanks.

– Hal Leeds, Partner Global Sales & Marketing Consultancy, Working to Eliminate Poverty and Educational Inequality

You consistently remind me of the proven basic facts of fundraising!! Thank you! I consistently share them with our team and with the newbie fundraisers I am mentoring.

–  Margie McCurry, Fund Builders Alliance

I’m subscribed to a million fundraising blogs and the one I consistently open and read most of, is yours. The content is always carefully curated and helpful, not just sales pitch after sales pitch for your own stuff. You stand out, in a good way.

—Juliane McLean, Development Coordinator, Bridgercare

Claire’s Consulting

Engaging your help was such a huge pivot moment for me and the Board.  We would never – not in a million years – have even dreamed of doing a significant challenge at our event without all of the teaching, support, resources and guidance that you brought to us. Sometimes there are these moments in life that you only realize in retrospect were miracles – and that is exactly how I look back at that decision to work with you on our fundraising engine!

– Julia Wilson, E.D., OneJustice

You have been absolutely terrific to work with. Your roadmap and assessment of where we are and where we can go has been so instrumental in having the board stop and think about our future.  Your audit is allowing us to move forward in tangible ways to improve our work so that we may help more clients in need of our services. I will count you among my many blessings throughout the year.

— Silvia Argueta, E.D., Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation

Passion for serving her clients inspires me to help others
I had the pleasure of having Claire be a guest presenter on a recent board development audio series. Not only was her content creative and relevant but as a colleague, her passion for serving her clients inspires me to help others in a more meaningful way.

– Natasha Golinsky, Principal, Next Level Nonprofits

Claire’s Coaching

With a 30% turnover in an already-stretched development department in one year, I needed help. I hired Claire to tele-coach the new annual fund manager who had no experience in that role. Among all the development “voices” out there, I had noted she tackles immediate needs and tasks while holding the long-view and big picture in mind. She does not compromise one for the other. Her coaching was spot on and reflected that simultaneous short- and long-term perspective. I’d rate it a tremendous value for services delivered!  I look forward to using her coaching again.

– Sara Becker, Director of Development, Oakland Zoo

I got so many great ideas I asked Claire if I could get off the phone early… I was so excited to put them in place right away!

– Liz Givens, Chief Development Officer, Opportunity Fund

I was at my wit’s end trying to get my Foundation board to do something — anything. Claire described exactly what I needed to do. Everything she said applied to my board and to me. The steps she recommended were clear, specific, and made a lot of sense.

-Sandy Pollard, Stuart Public Library, Director

It helps so much to be able to have another voice telling volunteers what they hear too often from me.

– Michael McFarland, Foundation for a College Education

I love your ability to bring social trends, business best practice and organizational development into our conversations. As a fundraising executive with an Organizational Development degree, I appreciate your contribution to my own growth.

— G. Meredith (McElwee) Betz, MSOD, CFRE, Director of Fund Development, Nemours Hospital

It was lovely to actually talk to the person behind the blog, and even better to get such helpful advice/thought. Really appreciate you fitting me in on such short notice – it was an incredibly helpful session!

—Jill Freeman, J.Freeman Ventures

Thank you for your incredible support during our phone call last week—it was a game changer! Words cannot express how much you have helped to change my perspective so that I can do a better job of sitting in the donor’s chair.

— David Lessin, Every Veteran

I was a lawyer looking to get out of the profession and into fundraising. I had zero experience but was encouraged after talking to Claire and getting her advice. Well, I just closed my first million dollar planned gift. Pretty exciting stuff! It is just as exciting as Claire said it would be, and I thank, thank, thank her for helping me get to this place.

— Tina Mangalick, Chief Development Officer, University of Detroit Mercy

Claire’s Teaching

I am LOVING this course – printed it all off, been running the reports to do assignments, reading through all it. Thanks for all you do!

—Valerie Sherrer, Organizational Development Director, Novoministies

It’s awesome! I’m participating in your Winning Major Gifts Fundraising Strategies course and have to say, it’s awesome! The information is extremely relevant and helpful.

—Jen Simon, Development Director, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper

Your End-of-Year fundraising training was stellar!

– Andrey Gidaspov, American Geosciences Institute, Development Director

Just had to let you know how damn good the anatomy of an appeal letter book is. I’m in the midst of writing a proposal and took a break to look at it just now, and I’m glad I did- your commonsense, candid approach will definitely make my strong proposal, much stronger and more compelling.

—Noreen Collins

Your Major Gifts and The Power of the Thank You courses have been so beneficial. I always enjoy reading your material because I find practical tips to implement or spark other ideas. I want you to know of a success that happened today as a direct result…

—Heather Leser, Development Liaison, Novo Ministries

This morning I received a $10,000 donation … Thank you for your help, your training material, blogs and tweets have helped me hit the ground running as an MGO.

—Robert Byrne, Relationship Manager, The Shepherd Centre

Thank you, Claire, for the excellent and timely lesson based on the fundamental principles of great communications. I will be sharing your link with my students.

– Mariana P. Danely, J.D., Professor, UCLA; Ashford University

Claire gets the importance of fundraising technology and the value that it brings to fundraising operations. She’s committed to having it and seeing that it’s done right and well. As our society, donors, and fundraising support technology get increasingly more sophisticated, it’s important that fundraisers embrace technology as Claire does.

– Bill Connors, CFRE, Independent Consultant/Trainer on The Raiser’s Edge

It was–bar none–the best webinar I have ever attended. Since I am a trainer and speaker myself, I know a good presentation when I hear/see one. Great work.

– Diana Brooks, Principal, Diana Brooks Associates

Many thanks – this is terrific, impressive data! You are an impressive source. And I’ve been around a long time.

— Sara Becker, Oakland Zoo

Your slides are exceptional.  I’ve printed them out and am sending them around the office for everyone to read.

Karen Bonner, CFRE, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System Foundation

I attended your Attitude of Gratitude Webinar and was really impressed with your knowledge and insight.  Honestly, it gave me a bit of an attitude adjustment and the push I needed to keep going.

— Char Cole, Founder, Still Waters Equestrian Academy

Claire does a great job of presenting information. Also appreciate her mentioning other resources and books on the topic. Great job – A+

–Terry Graves, Graves Fowler Creative

Thank you for the enlightening presentation on the value of Thank Yous. Your perspective resonates with me, a lot.

— Jeri Shumate, CFRE, Lifeline Connections, Vancouver, WA

I hope to be able to focus on applying your amazing teachings this year. Your work has made a difference to me. Claire, you really do bring clarity.

— Rezwan Razani, Footprint to Wings

Thank you Claire for being a general genius in areas of nonprofit development. Highly recommend Clairification for her blogs, free webinars, and more.

–Stefanie Millette, MBA, Program Manager, STRIVE

Claire’s Attitude

Wow! Inspiration out the wazoo! Many thanks — I keep up with trends and lots of blog-posts to stay on top of my game. This goes way beyond technique and reaches deep inside to remind me why I’ve done this work for 40 years!

– Pam Montgomery, E.D., Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley

Claire, I knew the day I stumbled across your generosity, your wisdom, your compassion and your love for humankind I had discovered the very best. I hope you will take my using your inspiration as a sign of great respect and humble appreciation of your “clarity” on all matters philanthropic.

– Rich Geisel, Founder, Orchids of Light Foundation

The title of your blog is exactly what our profession can use — clarification. You help us keep faith with the past while making sense of the present and future. You have a balanced and respectful understanding of what this is all about. Thanks.

– James M. Schaffer, Partner, Charity Springs

You are a forever flowing fountain of enormous information and a wealth of ideas. Thanks for being there for all of us small non-profits.
— Sharon Coleman, St. Francis House

My spirits are lifted and my pages of notes will move me forward in a more meaningful way. Thank you!
— Ellen Bilney

We love that you’re visionary and no-nonsense…resonates big time here.

— MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving)

Thanks for your continued encouragement and positive view of life through your Clairifcation posts.

—John Briggs, Mission Builders International

You embody the philanthropic spirit in your work.  We are all better at our craft because you inspire, teach, love and care about the joy of philanthropy and the difference it makes for people, places and needs.

— Sue Gaub, CFRE, Phoenix Rescue Mission

Sitting here with a massive smile on my face. Your words and approach are truly inspiring!

— Keith Wright, Founder and Marketing Director, Love Is