The 2 things to avoid in year end fundraising

The 2 things to avoid in year end fundraising

With 4 weeks left in the calendar year, staying focused is more important than ever. Rather than feeling like you're living out a well planned fundraising year, these last four weeks can often feel like you're missing out on everything. That you're falling short...

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Fundraising is leading - from within

Fundraising is leading - from within

I've said for years that fundraising is all about leadership. And we all have leadership opportunities, even if we don't have leadership titles. One of the best ways to grow in our ability to lead is to get clear on our values. Both personally and organizationally....

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Fundraising in Uncertain Times

Fundraising in Uncertain Times

Last week, I blogged about leading in uncertain times. It's gotten the most feedback of any blog post this year. As I've been thinking about it, the three things that help leading through uncertain times fit perfectly with fundraising too. We shouldn't be surprised -...

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The biggest mistake with major gift asks

The biggest mistake with major gift asks

One of the biggest mistakes I see with major gift solicitations is incredibly easy to fix. If you've ever made an appointment for a major gift ask, you've probably felt the stress of "getting it wrong." The worry that you might offend the other. Or that you won't have...

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Fundraising Kick: Don't Grow Weary

Fundraising Kick: Don't Grow Weary

This issue of the weekly Fundraising Kick seems to have come at the perfect time for subscribers. So I'm sharing it here as well. Fundraising Kick coaching emails are written for busy nonprofit CEOs and my private coaching clients. The goal is to remind people who...

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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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