Fundraising like Linus: what security blanket are you clinging to?

Last week, I sent out a fundraising coaching email to Fundraising Kick subscribers asking them if they were fundraising like Linus. My grandfather loved Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics. Everytime we went to his house, we’d see lots of Peanuts characters: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Pigpen. And Linus. Do you remember Linus? I’d post a picture

Have you tried fundraising in a "vision vacuum"?

I've been a leadership guy a lot longer than I've been a fundraising coach. In fact, one of the things I love about nonprofit fundraising is that fundraising impacts all areas of leadership: mission, vision, values, staff recruitment and retention, communicating vision. Everything. Have you ever been in that situation? Have you ever had to

Watch the fundraising objections fall to the floor

Last week, I was invited to give a full day Ask Without Fear!® training in Kansas City. We had a blast. One of the exercises involved overcoming objections…even before they come up. The process was: The participants pictured someone on their “chicken list” - a person they were afraid to ask for a gift. They

A simple personal leadership tool for executive directors and fundraisers

Or how to answer the question "What do you do with your time?" In the last couple weeks, I've found myself sharing a tool with each of my private coaching clients. So I thought I'd share it with you too! As a fundraiser, I know that I'm raising money most effectively when I'm not at

4 things to check as you begin 2016

I find it so easy to keep looking for the new thing, pressing toward the next deadline, looking for the next big "win," that I tend to forget routine maintenance systems. But just like our cars need routine maintenance or they'll fall apart, so do our fundraising systems. As we begin 2016, here are some

The right use of "we" in fundraising

This morning, I read a great post by Terry St. Marie called "The Critical First Step For Great Leadership: The Journey From 'I' to 'We'." His movement from ego-centricity to inclusiveness is something as critical in fundraising as it is in leadership. Normally "we" is a bad word in fundraising letters. I regularly help my

A surprising way to increase planned gifts

I love that we live in a time of actual research of fundraising. We're finally moving beyond anecdotes to verified research by groups like the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. (In the interest of full disclosure: I am on the Advisory Panel for the think tank associated with the Centre.) The newest findings presented this month