Happy (Fiscal) New Year

Happy (Fiscal) New Year

Years ago, I recorded this "Thank you for fundraisers." I wanted to get it out early this year to give you the extra "umphf" to push through these last few days of the fiscal year. (If your fiscal year ends in June!) Thanks for your hard work. Our world is better...

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Will you take the Red Pen Challenge?

Will you take the Red Pen Challenge?

Fundraising is a counter-intuitive profession. But it is a profession. Experts research fundraising tactics and test strategies to find out what works. Often, the results seem illogical. Like is the case in writing fundraising letters that actually raise money. The...

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What do you offer?

What do you offer?

Listen to a direct mail specialist like Tom Ahern or Steven Screen talk about fundraising for any length of time and you'll hear them constantly talking about "offers." You need clear offers. Test various offers. What is your offer? This can confuse the rest of us....

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Are you able to sharpen your saw?

Are you able to sharpen your saw?

I've been talking to a lot of amazing nonprofit leaders and staff. Our sector is full of some of the most dedicated people! But dedication seems to go only so far, doesn't it? With all the hard work, doesn't it just feel like there's more to do? In our latest...

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He's rich. Now what?

He's rich. Now what?

I've been getting the same type of question from a wide variety of nonprofit leaders in many different sectors. The question goes something like this: "This guy is rich. What's my next step?" Part of me wants to applaud them. These leaders are doing the hard work of...

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6 Lessons Learned on the Capital Campaign Trail

6 Lessons Learned on the Capital Campaign Trail

Capital campaigns are both wonderful and stressful times in a nonprofit. Here are six lessons I've learned after 30 years on the capital campaign trail. 1. It’s About the Vision—Not The Money While preparing for a fundraising campaign can be a daunting enterprise,...

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Guilt, stories, and fundraising

Guilt, stories, and fundraising

A while back, I received a call from an ALS Foundation. The call was awful. So awful, I've waited over a year and a half to write about it. Long enough that I don't remember exactly which ALS organization it was. But fresh enough that the emotions linger. And I want...

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Are you a BFF?

Are you a BFF?

I've been seeing a disturbing trend of late: a sharp rise in what I call are BFFs: blunt force fundraisers. Nonprofit leaders willfully skipping planning to jump straight to asking. As the author of Ask Without Fear!®, you know I am an advocate for asking. But the...

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3 Common Capital Campaign Mistakes

3 Common Capital Campaign Mistakes

Capital campaigns are a wild roller coaster ride of vision-fueled excitement followed by long stretches of slow. slogging. work. The slow parts require incredible discipline to stay on course. I know because I’ve helped run 18 capital campaigns at schools,...

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

I'll be on the road quite a bit this fall. If you'll be at one of these events, let's try to meet up! Atlanta - August 14 - YNPN 2017 I'm looking forward to giving leadership trainings on taking charge of your own career. They've let me offer a $30 discount to people...

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The danger of seeking 100% online giving

The danger of seeking 100% online giving

Online giving definitely is growing. And if you listen to the growth statistics, you may feel you can fully fund your organization using online giving tools. If that's you, stop. Seriously. When something grows from 1% to 2% it's 100% growth, but it's still not the...

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Are you just putting out fires?

Are you just putting out fires?

Here's the text of an email I sent to subscribers of the free #FollowUpFriday email list. Versions of this process helped keep me sane as a fundraiser so I thought I'd share it here. Good morning! Yesterday I felt overwhelmed by the demands on my time. Projects...

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It's not about scaring, but caring

It's not about scaring, but caring

I recently blogged about a storytelling tip for nonprofit leaders that I learned from Kindra Hall. The tip is especially powerful in nonprofit fundraising. Kindra took the millenia old story structure - beginning, middle, end - and reframed it as normal, explosion,...

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Nonprofit Payment Processing: The Ins and Outs

Nonprofit Payment Processing: The Ins and Outs

Passion may be a key player in determining a nonprofit’s success, but without the necessary funds to make it happen, your nonprofit will only get so far in making a difference. That’s why in order to gain real traction with donors, your nonprofit must first set up a...

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Are there other ways to fund your nonprofit?

Are there other ways to fund your nonprofit?

Have you ever been asked by a board member, "Isn't there some other way of funding our work rather than asking for money?" Or have you thought that yourself? Well, NonprofitHub's CEO Randy Hawthorne says, "Yes!" He is experienced at generating revenue for his...

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Is fundraising hurting itself?

Is fundraising hurting itself?

Today, the fundraising think tank Rogare published "Less Than My Job's Worth." In this important "green" paper - a paper created for discussion - Rogare's director Ian MacQuillin exams the questions "is fundraising a profession?" and "does it matter if fundraising...

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