Sharpen your saw this July

July can be an odd month in fundraising. Many nonprofits finish their fiscal year, so this is the first month with a new goal. Starting from zero. Even those that don't have fiscal years starting, July is often a challenging month. Donors tend to be less responsive. Even when donors are in your seaside, summer

Are you stuck in "professional" mode?

Today I wore a t-shirt...to make a point! As a nonprofit leader, it's so easy to be "on" all the time. Especially if you live in a small town. I used to spend more time than I'd like to admit wondering if I should get back into "professional" clothes before I went to the store.

Why I pay for the Chronicle of Philanthropy

Years ago, the school that employed me as a fundraiser paid for a subscription to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. So when I began running a development shop, I made sure the Chronicle subscription was in my budget. But then, somewhere along the line, I realized two things: The stack of Chronicles just kept piling up

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

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

Upcoming Leadership Trainings

One of the joys of my work is getting to speak at conferences and inspire boards. Since, I'm often asked "When are you coming to my area?", I thought I'd share my upcoming speaking gigs. March 9-11: Closing Plenary at the New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy's Annual Conference, Portsmouth, NH This just happened, but

Give a lunch for professional development

I run into so many nonprofit leaders who don't "have time" for professional development. "I have so much to do I don't have any time for myself." One of the interesting things about self-talk: what we say over and over, especially with emotion, can hypnotize us. It may not change the world around us, but

[Question Marc] How do I recruit new board members?

From time to time, I have a feature I call Question Marc?. [Pun fully intended] A coaching client who is a board member for an arts organization recently sent me this question: We are trying to quickly build up our board since it is small. I am planning on asking 3 people. I think they