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Barbara O'Reilly

Recent Posts by Barbara O'Reilly:

Full Tilt Boogie (for Fundraising)

“Full tilt boogie!”

When I was a coxswain on my college rowing team, this was the call my coach taught me to use for “full steam ahead.”

A boat that is fully engaged feels like it’s levitating over the water. It’s exhilarating. But it doesn’t happen without the total coordination of every rower in that boat. To reach the point of “full tilt boogie” I had to gradually build our pace, ensuring that the rowers were in sync, blades hitting the water at the same time, all pulling with the same degree of intensity. Only when it was time did the call go out, and then the rowers gave their all.

As a fundraiser, you’re at the helm for relationship building and sustainability. So think of the year-end fundraising push as your “full tilt boogie”:


Why Don’t Donors Trust Us, & What Can We Do About It?

I once heard a quote that went something like: “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

If you’ve ever felt betrayed, this sounds on point. It’s true in life, and it’s true in the nonprofit sector.


Are You Building Relationships Or Collecting Checks?

On December 31, 2017, I became a statistic.

I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting.