• The Future of Giving in America

    The Future of Giving in America

    June 27, 2018

    Over the past two weeks, there have been two major studies that show conflicting reports about the state of giving in America.  Giving USA issues an annual report that studies trends in giving and reports on the current state of American generosity.  They recently reported that 2017 giving by Americans jumped 5% to over $400 […]

  • A Few Thoughts on Asking

    A Few Thoughts on Asking

    May 29, 2018

    Of all the fears that development staff and fundraising volunteers have, at the top of the list is asking someone for money.  Just thinking of asking others for money can induce dry mouth, sweats, and nightmares.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you think.  Here are a few quick tips to help […]

  • Learn from the Little Guy

    Learn from the Little Guy

    May 5, 2018

    I work with lots of nonprofit organizations.  At last count, I determined that I’ve worked on nearly 200 campaigns over the last twenty-two years as a fundraising consultant.  In that time, I see one mistake repeated over and over by most of the nonprofits I work with: there always seems to be a bit of […]

  • Time to Talk About Planned Giving is Now

    Time to Talk About Planned Giving is Now

    April 18, 2018

    A recent study by Locus Impact Investing found that $9 million in wealth will be passed to the next generation by 2027.  While this figure isn’t new for those who have been following philanthropy, it does shine another light on the importance for nonprofits of beginning the discussion with donors about planned gifts.  If only […]

  • Improving Your Annual Report

    Improving Your Annual Report

    March 30, 2018

    The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers some good advice on strengthening your annual report.  Here are a couple of takeaways to get you started: Focus on using language that appeals to your readers (i.e. volunteers and donors). Don’t let your staff write an annual report that uses insider jargon or high level theoretical verbage that turns […]

  • Stanford Celebrates a Milestone

    Stanford Celebrates a Milestone

    February 8, 2018

    Recently, Stanford University announced that it raised over $1 billion in charitable gifts, becoming the first college to collect that amount in a single year.  That amounts to nearly $143,000 for each of its 7,000 undergraduates. Of course, Stanford isn’t alone in their success.  Harvard, Yale, USC and Columbia all raised in excess of $500 […]

  • Next Gen Donors

    Next Gen Donors

    February 8, 2018

    The Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University recently released an eighty page report that studies trends among younger (next generation) donors.  Using the 21-40 age cohort, researchers surveyed young donors to ask them about their giving and what they expect from the nonprofits they support.  The report has several interesting findings that echo many […]

  • Thinking of Nonprofits in a New Way

    Thinking of Nonprofits in a New Way

    February 8, 2018

    Check out this video from Dan Pallotta.  A very thought provoking discussion at the TED conference. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

  • The First Lesson

    The First Lesson

    February 8, 2018

    I often get the opportunity to meet young development professionals and the other day, one such neophyte asked a great question: “what is one of the most basic lessons I should know about fundraising?” While there are many basic ideas that a new fundraiser can begin with, here’s my favorite: for an individual to become a […]

  • You Never Know

    You Never Know

    February 8, 2018

    I was in a meeting the other day and we were discussing donor recognition and the importance of acknowledging and honoring all gifts to campaigns regardless of the size of the gift.  As the conversation was winding down, a campaign volunteer named Ed offered a story that demonstrated the importance of the point I was […]