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Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson is a trainer and consultant based in Vermont. Learn more at www.andyrobinsononline.com and www.trainyourboard.com. A brand-new video series, focused on effective board training, is available at www.boardtrainingvideos.com.

Recent Posts by Andy Robinson:

The Three Most Powerful Words in Fundraising

What gets in the way of you and your board raising more money?

For a fundraising trainer like me, this is a key question. Any sort of fundraising education must address the barriers that make it difficult for people to participate.

This list of common barriers won’t surprise you. Perhaps you’ve experienced them yourself.


The Unspoken Truth about Boards and Fundraising

Does everyone on your board raise money?

If the answer is “No!”—perhaps the question makes you laugh or groan or grind your teeth—you’re not alone.

How do I know? By far, the most popular service I offer is board fundraising training. Because so many boards struggle to raise money, demand is endless. (Note to consultants: if you want to build your business, improve your skills as a fundraising trainer.)


The Crucial Role of Silence When Asking for a Gift

In my book, How to Raise $500 to $5000 from Almost Anyone, I offer a multitude of fundraising how-tos, from identifying prospects to setting a goal to offering meaningful thank-yous. But perhaps the most difficult aspect of soliciting a donor is what I want to focus on here.

By now, we all know the importance of asking a donor for a specific amount—“I’m hoping you’ll be able to join us with a gift of $500.” That’s challenging enough for most of us, but here’s something even harder: asking for a contribution and then remaining silent.


Fundraising Therapy, Part 2—It’s Not About You

If you’re a fundraiser, it’s often helpful to think like a donor.

When leading workshops, I encourage people to flip this mental switch. “How many of you have ever given away money to anybody for any reason at all?” Of course, all the hands go up.

Then I ask people to pair off and talk about why they give. These small groups generate a long list of reasons; here’s one of the most popular. Giving feels good.

I test this with the participants. “How many of you have ever made a charitable gift and felt good about it?” Again, everyone raises their hands.

This leads to another challenging question: Why are we so uncomfortable asking people to do something that makes them feel good when they do it?


Five Options for Nonprofit Board Orientation

Joining a board without a proper welcome and relevant education is like landing in a foreign country without a map or any knowledge of the local language and customs.


My Big Fundraising Failure—and What You Can Learn from It

In October, I rolled out a fundraising appeal for our new Training, Facilitation, and Consulting Certificate Program with Marlboro College.


Hiring a Consultant? How to Be an Even More Savvy Consumer

In October, I published a post about hiring consultants.

This piece was passed around, re-posted, and featured on other blogs, including GuideStar. If you read it and shared it—thank you!

Because there’s lots more to say (and learn) about this subject, here are five more tips you can use to build productive relationships with consultants.


Hiring a Consultant? How to Be a Savvy Consumer

Do you need help?

Silly question ... who doesn’t?

As the gig economy expands, many nonprofits and businesses are turning to consultants and contractors to help with a variety of tasks, and to supplement staff capacity.


Who Is Your Board Fundraising Spark Plug?

Imagine the following scene.

The lonely staff fundraiser—let’s call this person Executive Director or Development Director—sits alone in a very small room, thinking about a very large fundraising goal.

“Hello, board!” the fundraiser cries out. “Are you there?”

A long pause. Nobody answers.


Four Board Behaviors Requiring Mr. Fix-it

In my book, What Every Board Needs to Know, Do, and Avoid, I make clear that the success of a board is determined in part by its collective ambition. It is easier to create a great board if you strive to be great.


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