Tag Archives: Eddie Thompson

RAMBAM’S LADDER – PART 2: Three More Takeaways for Modern-Day Fundraisers

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Julie Salamon writes for the culture section for the New York Times. Her book entitled Rambam’s Ladder chronicles her philanthropic journey from nonprofit involvement, through repeated encounters with a particular homeless man, to a fundraiser who demonstrated equal access to the worlds of both the rich and poor—all in the context of Rambam’s hierarchy of giving. I’m continuing on this topic with a few more applications for twenty-first century fundraisers. Continue reading

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CAREER STRUGGLES: Pursuing Success but Getting Lost in the Process

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I’ve had the privilege over the years of working with thousands of nonprofit fundraisers. These are great people doing great work, and they’re making the world a much better place. I can’t help but notice, though, many are struggling. I’m particularly sympathetic to frustrations and discouragements I hear from young fundraisers working somewhere down on the organizational chart. I was in that very same position many years ago. I finally had to draw a circle around myself and just focus on things that I could control within that circle. If you’re a struggling fundraiser (young or old), I hope my story helps.
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FUNDRAISERS AS MATCHMAKERS: Getting Donors to Fall in Love with Your Organization

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Fundraisers are a lot like professional matchmakers. They regularly introduce eligible people to their organizations, point out all the most admirable qualities, and hope those potential donors will fall in love and begin lifelong relationships. If they can win hearts and minds to their causes, the money will follow. So, how do fundraisers get donors to fall in love with the organizations they represent? Continue reading

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FRANKLIN AND WHITEFIELD: The Immovable Donor Meets the Irresistible Fundraiser

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In a previous post I wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s 200-year endowments to the cities of Philadelphia and Boston to fund apprenticeships. Like so many planned gifts, Franklin’s bequest was motivated by his own life experiences. At age 12 Franklin signed on as an apprentice in his brother’s printing shop. Another experience that factored significantly into the Franklin endowments was his long and highly unlikely relationship with the Rev. George Whitefield. Below are four takeaways for 21st century fundraisers. Continue reading

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THE CASE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY: Why I Love It and Would Feel Lost Without It

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As unusual as it sounds to say, I love personal accountability. Consequently, I’m committed to a process of carefully tracking and analyzing where I’ve invested my time, talent, and resources. Without that process, I’d feel a bit lost. In fact, the more accountable I am, the more secure I feel in relationships with God, family, and friends; with clients and donors; with Thompson & Associates’ staff and associates. Realize it or not—believe it or not, your private and professional relationships are defined and sustained in the context of accountability. Continue reading

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CREATING MARGIN: First Step Toward a Systematic Cultivation of Planned Giving Opportunities

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There’s an irrefutable law of nonprofit leadership: Consistent growth and long-term sustainability are largely dependent on an organization’s ability to monitor and maintain a healthy balance between 1) solicitation of gifts from discretionary income and 2) solicitation of planned gifts from net worth. It’s the latter that usually lags far behind the former. Last month I talked about the reasons for that gap. This month I will offer a few common sense suggestions on closing it. Continue reading

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PHILANTHROPIC PORTFOLIOS: Conservative and Aggressive Charitable Giving Tendencies

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Over the last decade there’s been a lot of emphasis on quantifying and measuring the results of charitable gifts. More and more donors view gifts to a nonprofit as social investments and evaluate their giving decisions in terms of the ROI (return on investment). Strategic donors have long seen themselves as change agents who evaluate their philanthropic investments like venture capitalists. That’s generally a good thing because it constantly reminds nonprofits that it’s not their money. They are stewards of donors’ investments. Continue reading

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