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?

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.

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 to Prime Your Donors for the Ask with the Jedi Mind Trick

Let me be honest. Its no secret—asking for a major gift is ... scary. It’s one of the biggest challenges fundraisers face.

It’s a personal question which enters what is considered a taboo area of conversation—someone else’s money. Even after years of experience, every donor conversation is personal and therefore different. There’s always the unknown.

Donor Retention vs. New Donors: Donor Retention ALWAYS Wins

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.

Mind Reading Is NOT in a Fundraiser’s Job Description

The master fundraiser Steve Haddad once said to a development novice, “Your job as a fundraiser is to ask for the gift. The donor’s job is to decide how to respond. Don’t try to do the donor’s job.” That simple distinction, if taken to heart, is very liberating.

Key Strategies for Fundraising by Telephone

Should you ask for gifts by telephone?

Indeed, you should!

Why? Because the number one reason people don’t give is because they aren’t asked.

How to Request Year-End Donations from Important Donors

The end of the year is fast approaching and, since nearly 30 percent of all annual giving happens in December, this is an important time for any nonprofit organization.