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Andrea Kihlstedt

Recent Posts by Andrea Kihlstedt:

How to Ask Your Campaign Committee Members for Their Gifts

One of the characteristics of most successful capital campaigns is that they ask for gifts from the “top-down, and inside-out.”

That’s shorthand for saying that you’ve got to solicit the people who can give the largest gifts first and the people who have been most involved with your organization and your campaign—that is the campaign committee members and the board.


A Simple and Effective Activity to Engage Your Campaign Volunteers

A Simple and Effective Activity to Engage Your Campaign VolunteersIf you work with volunteers, you probably wrestle with how to keep their work fresh and exciting. Here’s an exercise you can use to overcome two different challenges you’re likely to face.


A Surefire Way to Help Your Executive Director Complete Fundraising Tasks

A Surefire Way to Help Your Executive Director Complete Fundraising TasksHave trouble getting your executive director to make their calls and schedule appointments with major donors? You’re not alone.

Executive Directors Often Mean Well, But ...

The other day, I spoke with Marlene, a campaign director, whose executive director is wonderful in most every way, except—and it’s a big exception—that he had trouble actually getting around to the critical major gift calls he had to make for their campaign.


Year-End Fundraising: Give Donors What They Want

President Harry Truman once famously said:

The secret of raising children is to find out what they want to do and then encourage them to do it.”

I think that’s great advice—and so did my kids!

Note to self (and to you, too): Apply the same advice in your outreach to donors.


Virtual Meetings and Today’s Effective Nonprofits

My business relies entirely on virtual meetings. I use them to meet with my staff. And all of my client meetings are virtual too.

In the beginning, I wondered if virtual meetings would be as effective as meeting in person. I worried about losing the sense of immediacy and close connection that come from face-to-face interaction. I wondered if virtual meetings would inspire the kind of follow-through I expect from in-person meetings.

But in more than three years of virtual meetings, I’ve learned that not only do they work well, but in most cases, they are more efficient and more effective.


Is a Do-It-Yourself Feasibility Study a Good Idea?

Imagine this ...

Your organization is planning a capital campaign to raise $4.5 million for a new building that’ll more than double the number of people you are able to serve.

This will be your first capital campaign. Your board members have little campaign experience and you are all appropriately anxious.


A Cautionary Tale: Not Enough Time to Raise Money

I recently spoke with Nancy, the development director of a small social service organization. Over a few minutes, she outlined for me the things she was called on to do in her job.

Nancy has a problem that you probably have too.


The Right Way to Prepare for a Donor Conversation

Nick Fellers’ first rule of fundraising is “Just Ask!”


Eavesdropping: A New Way to Make Your Case for Support

Having trouble figuring out how to communicate the impact of what you’re planning?

I’ve found a great new exercise to help you understand and communicate in a compelling way the impact of your capital campaign. It’s a simple idea. But like some simple ideas, it’s powerful.


Stop Using These Three Common Fundraising Phrases

In my last post on the language of fundraising, I suggested changes to the way we talk about asking for gifts. In doing the research for that post, I received several suggestions from colleagues about getting rid of common fundraising jargon.