4 Disney Lessons to Transform Your Donor Retention

Adventure Mickey for Donor Retention post

I'm just finishing up another family trip to Walt Disney World. Every time I'm here, I study the culture, habits, and design of the parks and resorts. I'm fascinated by their attention to detail, their ability to create brand new merchandising opportunities, and their ability to engage guests of all levels. I've written about lessons [...]

5½ Things to say at Your Next Major Gift Solicitation

Talking Points for Your Next Major Gift Solicitation

Since writing about the exact words to say on your next major gift ask, many have asked me for what to talk about during the meeting, both before and after the ask. What to say to a donor prospect Here are 5½ things you can say on your next major gift visit: Hi Having a [...]

Your steering wheel: the single most important tool for making effective fundraising asks

Why your steering wheel is the single most effective tool in your fundraising toolkit

The response to my "it's not the donor's first date" post to CEO's has been wonderful! I've received emails, tweets, and comments saying this was the best post they've seen in years. As Heather Stewart points out in the comments to the post, major donors actually get annoyed when the CEO doesn't ask! I completely [...]

Story Conference for Nonprofits: Last day for pre-early bird

Story Conference for Nonprofits

Hollywood expertise for your nonprofit For years, Chris Davenport has creating videos for nonprofits, employing the storytelling techniques he honed in Hollywood. For the first time ever, he's going to share them! I speak all over the world, and I get to work with many great conferences. But I am really excited about a brand [...]

CEO's: It's not THEIR first date!

It's not necessarily the DONOR'S first date

Over the last 18 months or so, I've been hearing a similar phrase from a number of my nonprofit executive coaching clients. The phrase? "I don't ask on the first date." This is often said with a self-righteous smuggness, as though the CEO is taking the moral high ground. Sometimes it's said in advance of [...]

Fundraising certainly is fun!

Fundraising IS fun!

I often remind people that fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes hard work, strategic planning, and most importantly consistent execution of the plans. But it's important to remember that fundraising is fun! We get to connect donors' assets with their passions. Who wouldn't want to be part of that?! In my trainings, [...]

[Guest Post] 5 Principles to crowdfunding success - a case study

Renee Tougas on running a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter

Today it's my distinct pleasure to introduce you to Renee Tougas. I've known Renee and her husband Damien for more than a decade. They're not your typical fundraisers, so when their crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign for $16,000 raised over $19,000, I knew I wanted their story. As a fundraising coach, I'm not advocating nonprofits scrap their [...]