• 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 […]

  • The New Science of Giving

    The New Science of Giving

    February 8, 2018

    Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.  It highlights the Arnold family and their approach to giving away their billions.

  • What Motivates Giving?

    What Motivates Giving?

    February 8, 2018

    The Nonprofit Times recently featured a study that tested donor motivation.  In a nutshell, researchers found that donors are more likely to respond to emotional appeals that logical appeals.  This is an interesting read for two reasons.  First, it backs up my anecdotal experience that the vast majority of donors are motivated to give via an […]

  • Do We Need a Feasibility Study?

    Do We Need a Feasibility Study?

    February 8, 2018

    I often get asked by nonprofit leaders and Board members if they truly need to do a feasibility study before initiating a capital campaign.  The answer:  not always.  I can think of plenty of examples where nonprofits don’t need a study to determine whether or not the time is right to raise money.  One example: […]

  • Are We Ready for a Campaign?

    Are We Ready for a Campaign?

    February 8, 2018

    As nonprofit organizations consider initiating a capital or advancement campaign, they need to examine several areas of the organization to help assess their readiness to begin a major fundraising effort.  Smart organizations check off the boxes on a “readiness checklist” that helps to tell them if they’re adequately prepared for the task ahead.  The checklist usually includes […]

  • Seven Steps to Your Case for Support

    Seven Steps to Your Case for Support

    February 8, 2018

    The first step in raising money is always answering the question “why do we need the money and how will we use it?”  Board and staff leadership must arrive at an answer to this question (usually through some strategy sessions) and then begin the process of building a “case for support” that persuades donors to […]

  • Recruiting Campaign Leadership

    Recruiting Campaign Leadership

    February 8, 2018

    When an organization begins to plan for a campaign (capital, endowment, operational, or a combination of the three), the first big question they must answer is “who will chair this effort?”  Finding chairs is never an easy proposition.  The individuals you seek as chairs are already busy and successful.  So, how do you identify your campaign […]

  • Optimizing Your Website for Online Gifts

    Optimizing Your Website for Online Gifts

    February 8, 2018

    Is your organization’s website up to snuff?  Ask yourself these questions: Once a visitor opts in for regular emails or newsletters, do we ensure that we send one within one week of the opt in? (nearly 40% of organizations don’t send an email within 30 days of a visitor signing up to receive one.) After […]

  • Exceptional Fundraisers: Worth Their Weight in Gold

    Exceptional Fundraisers: Worth Their Weight in Gold

    February 8, 2018

    The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes a salary study each year that documents the pay of fundraisers around the nation.  This year, the Chronicle found that two fundraisers exceeded $1 million in pay for the first time ever.  Fifteen fundraisers earned more than $600,000 annually.  This can all be a bit unseemly as casual observers of […]

  • Conversation with a Donor

    Conversation with a Donor

    February 8, 2018

    I had the opportunity the other day to have a nice conversation with a well known, West Michigan donor (let’s call him Mr. Jackson).  Mr. Jackson has made millions in charitable gifts throughout the region and I was interested in how he perceived area fundraisers.  As we spoke, there were several key points Mr. Jackson made that I […]