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David Lansdowne

Recent Posts by David Lansdowne:

The Fundraising Cheat Sheet for Board Members

Attention spans have shrunk today, especially with board members and volunteers who have myriad responsibilities weighing upon them. In this vein, here’s a quick recounting of the most important fundraising truths they need to know.


The Three Keys of Asking for a Gift

When asking for a gift, what counts most, aside from preparation, are three variables: your attitude, your ability to close the sale, and a realistic notion of the next step. In my book, Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face, I address the whole gamut of soliciting major gifts, but here I’ll focus on these three elements.


Stark Realities Every Fundraiser Must Face

In life, there are stark realities no one wants to face. Your child’s growing interest in skydiving, for instance.

When it comes to fundraising, I’ve identified the most inconvenient truths in my book, Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face. In this space, I’ll abbreviate six of the most challenging.


Top Fundraising Challenges Board Members Must Overcome

It’s not quite like sneezing with your eyes open—which I understand is impossible—but still it’s difficult to single out the top challenges board members need to grapple with when it comes to raising money.


Questions I'm Most Often Asked About Raising Major Gifts

I'm not sure who first engaged in organized fundraising. Some say a trio from Harvard College in the 1630s, others point to Charles Ward and Frank Pierce, who in the early 1900s spearheaded the Y's early campaigns.


Making Asking Easier for Your Board

Excerpted from the second edition of Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A 1-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations


Board Misperceptions and Other Issues Related to Major Gifts: Interview with Fundraiser David Lansdowne

David Lansdowne, the author of two books on fundraising, recently spoke with his publisher about raising major gifts. GuideStar has published excerpts from Mr. Lansdowne's books (see the links below), and we're pleased to be able to share his additional thoughts with you.

Let's start with a few misunderstandings boards may have about fundraising. First: Publicity raises money. True or false?

I think it was an Irish poet who said, "All publicity is good, except an obituary notice." So, certainly, publicity can be helpful sometimes. Just don't expect all your well-placed stories to raise money unless yours is an extreme case like the Boston Marathon bombing. To raise significant sums, you have to visit your prospects in person—sit right across from them and ask. Hear your heart thump. Those who think publicity raises money tend to be novices or mildly committed volunteers. They hope the media will do the heavy lifting. When it doesn't, they blame the failure not on themselves but on the lack of exposure.


Hard Truths Your Board Members Must Face If They Want to Raise Big Money

Excerpted from the second edition of Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A 1-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations


"No Surprises" Is a Good Motto for Board Fundraising

Excerpted from the second edition of Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A 1-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations


Three Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face

Excerpted from the second edition of Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A 1-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations


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