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GuideStar Blog

David Lansdowne

Recent Posts by David Lansdowne:

The 20 Biggest Fundraising Mistakes, Part II

Last month, we published fundraising mistakes 1-10. This month, we complete the list.

Excerpt from The Relentlessly Practical Guide to Raising Serious Money

11. Failing to Have a Strong Rationale

Before setting out to raise money, each organization must think through the rationale for its appeal: why do the funds need to be raised, what will they achieve, and who will benefit?

The 20 Biggest Fundraising Mistakes, Part I

Excerpt from The Relentlessly Practical Guide to Raising Serious Money

Call them what you will—gaffes, blunders, oversights, or errors—mistakes creep into everyone's professional life. But in fundraising—unlike other fields—where thousands if not millions of dollars are often at stake, mistakes can be especially hazardous.

Who hasn't forfeited a significant gift, or received but a token one, due to some serious miscalculation?

While there may be hundreds of them, 20 potentially costly fundraising mistakes stand out. They can't really be ranked, since circumstances alter their impact. But here they are in an effort to ward you away from them.

Beware Publicity When Raising Big Gifts

Excerpt from Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face (rev. ed.)

Don't expect publicity to raise money. It doesn't, at least most of the time.

The reasons are simple. To raise substantial money you must ask people in person, regardless of any well-placed stories. Second, most campaigns depend on a relatively small number of major donors—about 10 percent of the prospects—whose decision to give won't be much influenced by the media.