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The Three Most Powerful Words in Fundraising

What gets in the way of you and your board raising more money?

For a fundraising trainer like me, this is a key question. Any sort of fundraising education must address the barriers that make it difficult for people to participate.

This list of common barriers won’t surprise you. Perhaps you’ve experienced them yourself.


Beware of “Truths” in Fundraising

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Counterintuitive is usually defined as something contrary to what one would intuitively expect. For example, marketing pros discovered long ago that the fewer choices we’re presented with, the more likely we are to actually choose one, whether it’s a lot full of new cars or a shelf full of pasta sauces in the supermarket.

Fundraising is often counterintuitive as well. Here I’ll share four instances. In my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, you’ll find a fuller discussion of many others.


The Next Big Things in Fundraising

What are the “next big things” in fundraising? With charitable giving expected to fall, demand for services rising, and “donor inequality” increasing, many nonprofits are looking for something new.


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!


Nurturing Your Potential as a Fundraiser

Jerold Panas, fundraising’s most prolific author, died on July 14, with wife Felicity by his side. Mr. Panas prepared this excerpt for GuideStar a month prior to his passing.

Is there a fundraising type? A combination, say, of Elon Musk and Angeline Jolie that is outgoing, people-oriented, well organized, and goal oriented?


Five Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask about Fundraising

Ask practically any executive director or development professional what they want most from their board of directors and you’re all but certain to hear “Help with fundraising!” It’s the nonprofit cri de coeur.

Such help will be more forthcoming if before recruiting a board candidate you encourage him or her to ask the five telling questions listed below. 


Mobile Bidding: 6 Questions Every Nonprofit Needs to Ask

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising, charity auctions are one of the events organizations turn to again and again. However, even though these events have been a staple of nonprofit fundraising, many organizations fail to realize they could be getting more from these events.


The SMART Way to Create Fundraising Goals

If you’re looking to increase donations for your nonprofit organization, your first move will be to improve the fundraising goals you set for your organization. Most nonprofits have fundraising goals, but not all goals are created equal. In 1981, an article by George Doran, There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives, appeared in Management Review. It outlined a five-part method for creating smart objectives that is now used in many industries for project management.


5 Ways to Demonstrate Progress Toward Your Nonprofit’s Goal

Most nonprofits have a single, lofty goal that they’re relentlessly pursuing, whether it’s curing a disease or ending childhood hunger. While your ultimate goal is most likely why your supporters came to you in the first place, it can be difficult to keep up momentum when your lofty goal feels far away. 

To keep supporters engaged on the long path toward your goal, there are several ways you  can connect with your community through your nonprofit’s blog, email newsletters, social media, and other platforms. Complex problems have complicated solutions, but when you show how you’re delivering on your mission even before you reach the finish line, your supporters will be there with you every step of the way.