Fundraising Therapy, Part 2—It’s Not About You

If you’re a fundraiser, it’s often helpful to think like a donor.

When leading workshops, I encourage people to flip this mental switch. “How many of you have ever given away money to anybody for any reason at all?” Of course, all the hands go up.

Then I ask people to pair off and talk about why they give. These small groups generate a long list of reasons; here’s one of the most popular. Giving feels good.

I test this with the participants. “How many of you have ever made a charitable gift and felt good about it?” Again, everyone raises their hands.

This leads to another challenging question: Why are we so uncomfortable asking people to do something that makes them feel good when they do it?

Tales from the Crypt: Dead People Are Better Donors Than Corporations

Today’s title might suggest morbidity, but actually it’s a tale of profitability. It’s a story about what happens to a donor’s money that isn’t spent during their lifetime.

Let me start at the beginning.

Step Into Your Power

Successful fundraising often requires assuming more confidence than you actually feel. I got a new insight into that while leading a workshop last year. The workshop, on how fundraisers can build a major gifts program, was one that I had presented many times before. It focused on six elements of success: a willing board, a charismatic executive director, a compelling mission, individual donors, prospects, and a plan for low-pressure donor cultivation.

Social Fundraising Deconstructed

While social fundraising is a critical concept to understand, it can also be a complicated one. But when you can embrace the idea and add it to everything your nonprofit is doing, it can be a powerful force that can help take both your fundraising goals, and your awareness goals, to the next level. 

Power Questions Your Major Gift Donor Will Love

Here’s a natural, friendly and much more successful approach to major gift fundraising.

I’m showing you how to develop a warm, easy relationships with your major gift prospects. Relationships where they feel heard and understood. A relationship that builds trust and credibility.

When you take a donor-centered approach to a major gift, you let the donor lead the way. She feels entirely in control. She never feels “presented” to or pushed.

And she’s much more likely to end up with a generous major gift coming from her heart—and she’s with you for the long term.

5 Proven Strategies to Boost Fundraising with Matching Gifts

As a fundraising leader, you’re probably aware of the many benefits matching gifts have. When organizations receive matching gifts, they’re essentially receiving two donations for the price of one.

Earning a GuideStar Seal of Transparency Pays Off—Gold and Platinum Seal Holders Received the Most Donations in 2017

Yesterday, we looked at the growth in donations made through the GuideStar website in 2017. Today we’re examining the impact having a GuideStar Seal of Transparency and mission had on these gifts.

Is This the Reason You Aren’t Raising Major Gifts?

All nonprofits want to excel at major gifts fundraising. Or don’t they?

In my 30 years in major gifts fundraising, I have seen familiar roadblocks get thrown up to keep money from flowing into the organization.

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.

How Quickly Should You Thank a New Donor?

Research has shown that first-time donors who receive a personal thank-you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. Yes, thanking in 48 hours equals a 400 percent improvement in renewal rates.

First-time donors are ardent, as I discuss in my book, What Your Donors Want ... and Why. But that ardor cools fast if you don't sustain it. It's like a campfire ignited by match from tinder. It blows oxygen across an ardent new donor, keeping that small flame alive, excited by your mission, your vision, and your potential in their lives.