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Claire Axelrad

Recent Posts by Claire Axelrad:

Are You Mindlessly Employing “Best Fundraising Practices?”

I’m starting to get annoyed.

I’m getting too many formulaic fundraising emails.

Maybe it’s partly my fault?

You see, I know I write all the time about “best practices.” And some of these annoying emails are employing these practices―just not in a “best” way, as that word is defined.


5 Strategies to Determine If Your Nonprofit Is Keeping Up

Part 1 of this two-part series, “How to Sustain Nonprofit Relevancy and Fundraising Effectiveness,” suggested five questions to ask in order to determine whether your nonprofit is simply resting on its laurels when it comes to your fundraising strategies. If this is the case, you’ll have trouble moving forward and pushing beyond the status quo to achieve excellence.


How to Sustain Nonprofit Relevancy and Fundraising Effectiveness

The late Jerold Panas*, fundraising guru and author of a bunch of books (two of which, Asking and The Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards, I frequently use with boards to inspire philanthropy), left us with a gem of a final article published in the GuideStar Blog: Nurturing Your Potential as a Fundraiser.


Overcome Nonprofit Board Fundraising Resistance through Storytelling, Part 2

In Part 1 of this two-part series we discussed your board members’ role in fundraising, and how to help them embrace it more fully. It begins with taking away their fears and showing them how to reframe the task from “yucky chore” to “gift of a compelling tale.”

The next step is figuring out the types of tales your board members (and you!) can tell and/or elicit from the prospects they approach for gifts.


Overcome Nonprofit Board Fundraising Resistance through Storytelling, Part 1

Is your board resisting fundraising? Are you having a difficult time motivating them to be a part of this essential activity at your organization?

One way to help your board discover the joy of fundraising is to show them it’s really about telling and hearing stories, not asking!


*Every* Nonprofit Leader Is a Fundraiser and Marketer

I recently happened upon a thought-provoking article: “Note to All Creatives: Marketing is Your Job,” adapted from Ryan Holiday’s Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts. The piece was written with an audience of authors, artists, and start-up entrepreneurs in mind. I firmly believe it applies in spades to nonprofits.

Holiday calls his book a meditation on how to create work that does more than just disappear.


Fundraising in the Era of the New Tax Law

Tax benefits are icing on the philanthropy cake. What to do when the icing is melting?

First, the good news.

The sky is not falling.


Key Strategies for Fundraising by Telephone

Should you ask for gifts by telephone?

Indeed, you should!

Why? Because the number one reason people don’t give is because they aren’t asked.


Guaranteed Nonprofit Recipe for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Results

You’re likely hearing a lot these days about peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising.

It’s not new, having been around quite some time. Katrina VanHuss and Otis Fulton talk about the origins of P2P in their new book, Dollar Dash. They note:

Any time a person uses his or her personal leverage—a relationship—to gain a donation of something of value, P2P is at work."

It works because of one of the most fundamental psychological principles of persuasion (aka “social proof”). We trust our peers more than strangers. Not only do we trust our peers, we also want to fit in with them. To be accepted as someone who does the right thing.


Three Key Strategies Needed to Become a Major Philanthropic Gifts Wizard

While this might sound scary at first, put on your rose green-colored glasses and just imagine what it will be like once you venture through the forest and come out the other side.


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