GuideStar Blog

Fundraising Lessons from Freddie Mercury & Queen

Far reach from rockstar superstardom to fundraising glory? Not really! 

Watching Bohemian Rhapsody, I couldn’t help but notice a few standout truths and values from their rise to fame. They apply as much to hardworking fundraisers, dedicated to making the world a better place, as to anyone else reaching for success.


9 Ways to Engage and Motivate Your Board Members to Raise Money

Recently I provided a webinar for Candid (formerly GuideStar and Foundation Center) called How to Engage Board Members in Fundraising in 15 Minutes Per Month (recording available here). There were a number of great questions at the end of the webinar.

I promised the attendees I would respond in a blog post. This is that post, and I thought my regular readers (like you) would benefit from the answers, too.


The One Action Needed to be a Successful Fundraiser

Markita Andrews was thirteen when she was interviewed on NBC morning television. At the time, she was the all-time champion seller of Girl Scout cookies—eleven thousand boxes in a year. 


6 Fundraising Questions to Ask Yourself Today

I recently had the honor to be part of a panel discussion releasing a new report on the state of fundraising in the U.S.


How About a Money-Back Guarantee for Donors?

In the commercial world, money-back guarantees are everywhere. They are a cost of doing business if you want to sell anything to anyone, and theyre increasingly gutsy. We see guarantees of double (even triple) your money back and other elaborate guarantees that might make you ask how those who make these guarantees stay in business.


Why Smaller Donations Are One of 2019’s Biggest Online Fundraising Trends

The Internet is becoming an ever-more central part of our everyday lives, and raising money is no exception to that rule. With the Baby Boomer generation aging, Millennials, and members of Generation Z will soon make up the majority of donors. Failing to adapt to these new groups by not making smart use of online fundraising platforms is a path to financial hardship for even the most deserving organization. 


That Coulda Gone Better: Three Fundraising Mistakes You Don't Have to Make

“Only he who has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep.” So goes the ancient Chinese proverb. And of course there’s loads of truth in it, especially when it comes to creative strategy for fundraising—a road with plenty of potholes to cause problems.


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.


Is Your Year-End Fundraising a Sprint or Part of the Long Game?

As a fundraiser, I’m keenly sensitive to how I act and am treated as a donor. I’ve shared before how last December, I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting. 


5 Best Practices to Strengthen Your Fundraising Cycle

Fundraising is one of the most important tasks that your nonprofit team undertakes year after year. Without the donations of your generous supporters, you wouldn’t be able to fund your projects and act as a champion for your cause.

Every nonprofit professional should know the fundraising cycle: identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. These five steps lay out the groundwork for building and maintaining strong donor relationships and achieving your fundraising goals.

But how can you make sure you’re optimizing each step of the process to ensure that you’re giving donors and members what they want?