The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Brian Saber

Recent Posts by Brian Saber:

Major Gifts = NO Copying & Pasting ... Ever!

People often ask me how I define a major gift. To me, it’s a gift worth the time and money it takes to cultivate and solicit it.


To Take Notes in Meetings with Donors or Not …That Is the Question!

And the answer is ...

In almost every case I think it’s totally fine to take notes. I have taken notes for 35 years, in more than 3,000 meetings with donors. Not in every meeting, but in the vast majority.


Top 5 Things to Do Before Asking for a Meeting

While being prepared for the solicitation meeting itself is important, preparation has to start before you reach out to set up the meeting. There are two reasons for this.


Why We Ask in Person

Let’s be honest—most people don’t like asking for money. In fact most of us don’t like asking for anything. So, why do we not only solicit individuals for charitable gifts, but do it in person?


The Four Most Important Things To Do Right Now To Get Out Asking

The list of things that can keep us from getting out to ask is really long. Not enough time. Fear of rejection. Not thinking our donors are ready. Not wanting to step on relationships. Are any of these on your top 10 list?

At the end of the day, what gets us out there is mostly a combination of enthusiasm for the cause and a sense of responsibility.


Ask Short Questions … and Hope for Long Answers: The Key to Donor Success

Ask short questions and hope for long answers. That’s one of my key mottos for fundraising.

We’ve all been in a class or at a conference when someone got up to ask a question and delivered a soliloquy. When they finished we might even have wondered if there was a question!

If you do that in fundraising, you’ll be dead in the water. As you start going on and on your donor’s eyes will glaze over.


Three Insights That Will Help You Raise Big Bucks

On September 18, I launched a free online workshop called Don’t Ask, Don’t Get. It’s designed to help fundraisers—development folks, executive directors—anybody who asks one-on-one for donations for a living.

In one part of the workshop I’ll teach you important lessons you need to understand when it comes to asking for the big bucks. Today I want to share three of them with you.


How to Select the Right Prospects for Your Organization ... and for You!

Choosing prospects is critically important. Of course, it’s a no-brainer that if you don’t have the right prospects, you’re not going to raise the funds you need to fulfill your organization’s mission. Yet sometimes, if you’re like most of us, you head out to ask without thinking it through enough.


The Importance of Training Your Board

If we think we can send board members out to fundraise without giving them tools, we might need some analysis. What are we thinking?! It’s a license for complete failure, and the proof is in the pudding. Time and again our board members fail to partner successfully with staff to develop the organization’s resources because we never show them how or provide the training.


Five Things to Do within a Day of the Solicitation Meeting

The meeting’s over and you’ve got the gift, a commitment to think about it, or maybe even a “not now but later.” So what do you do next? How do you further cultivate your donor throughout the year?