Should I ask my friends?

Should I ask my friends?

One of the scariest things about fundraising is the fear that you'll ruin relationships. One of the most common questions I get as a fundraising coach is "Should I send this appeal to people I hangout with?" Last week, an accomplished nonprofit leaders asked me just...

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3 problems with the major gift as carrot analogy

3 problems with the major gift as carrot analogy

Have you ever been about to ask for a major gift only to be warned about the carrot in the garden? It goes something like this: "Sure, you could ask them now. But it might be better to wait. You see, if you were to pull a carrot now, it might come up really small. But...

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4 specific tips for each stage of the ask

4 specific tips for each stage of the ask

When it comes down to it, successful fundraising is about successfully executing the basics. When you want to raise money for something, be sure to do these fundraising basics: Research Remember, run your dollar goal through a gift range calculator. This helps you...

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We're not selling t-shirts

We're not selling t-shirts

Fundraising isn't just about raising money one time. If it were, we could sell t-shirts. Fundraising is about connecting values - the values of donors with the values of your cause. Sure, there are times when we just need the transactional. We need to pay the bills....

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Thanking donors is NOT an activity report

Thanking donors is NOT an activity report

Fundraising is filled with things that seem to make sense, but don't. One of those areas is when it comes to thanking donors. When we thank donors, we think we need to prove to them that we did great work. So we fill our donor newsletters with Statistics (we fed X...

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Asking is (almost) more about listening

Asking is (almost) more about listening

In the last few weeks, I’ve had interesting conversations with people about asking. CEOs who think that asking is a “schpeal” – a precise formula of words that will get the prospect to give generously. Or that asking is a step by step process so precise that they can...

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Leadership and Fundraising in a Pandemic

Leadership and Fundraising in a Pandemic

This week, I was honored to be the guest on Eliz Greene and Thom Singer's show, The Webinar Talk Show. We talked about leadership, fundraising, events, and sales in a pandemic. I loved Eliz's story about a fundraising appeal that wowed her. And Thom's observations on...

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How NOT to write a fundraising letter

How NOT to write a fundraising letter

Have you ever written a fundraising letter? A fundraising letter you felt really proud about? One that presented your nonprofit in an amazing light. That showed how good you were working in your cause. One that was sure to convince donors to give to you? I have too....

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A different look at "Deadlines drive donations"

A different look at "Deadlines drive donations"

Today is the start of the last week of the fiscal year for many nonprofits. And one thing we know about fundraising: deadlines drive donations. Year after year, we've seen even arbitrary deadlines like galas or the end of the fiscal year generate fundraising bumps. Do...

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Donor generosity is astounding

Donor generosity is astounding

When we entered the pandemic lockdown here in the United States, nonprofits were rightly concerned about potentially plummeting donations. Those of us who'd been in fundraising through disasters and economic downturns, knew there'd be an initial spike in giving. But...

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Shifting focus in crowdfunding

Shifting focus in crowdfunding

This week, international crowdfunding expert Anita Gallagher came to The Nonprofit Academy to teach us the latest trends on successful crowdfunding. The shift in messaging may surprise you. Appealing to the Head or Heart? For a long time, nonprofit fundraisers have...

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