Tag Archives: philanthropy

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: How Everything Decision Affects Fundraising

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Every aspect of what nonprofits do and how they do it trickles down to donor relations and fund development. Of course, some things have a more direct and immediate impact than others. This might not matter so much to you except that higher-ups routinely evaluate and grade the performance of individual fundraisers and fundraising departments. Occasionally, one of those higher-ups is not inclined to connect the dots—the mutually dependent relationships between organizational performance and fundraising performance—which creates an awkward situation for fundraisers. Below are a few examples. Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

UNFORTUNATE FOCUS ON CASH: Donation Types as Predictors of Future Growth

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Dr. Russell N. James III is a diligent researcher with a nose for sniffing out the most relevant data for nonprofit fund development. So, whenever Dr. James publishes a major research paper on fundraising, everyone in the profession should sit up and take notice. The research question of his most recent paper was this: Would the type of donations reported by nonprofits in 2010 (cash-only, non-cash gifts, and/or securities) become a predictor of the future growth or future decline in total contributions over the next five years? The finding were quite amazing. Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: Senior Development Executive’s Role in Evaluating Donor Visits

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Nonprofit leaders are very good at tracking past performance—each donor’s giving history and each fundraiser’s contribution to the budget. However, nonprofit leaders tend to be far less committed to consistently and carefully evaluating our ongoing donor visits. In other words, our evaluations are so focused on past performance that we’re usually not as good at identifying future giving signals in our ongoing conversations with individual donors. Two conversations illustrate my point. Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE PREPARATION HABIT: Making the Most of Your Donor Visits

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Building long-term donor relations is an acquired skill that’s perfected over time. You can’t just wander in and expect to be successful because you “really, really love people.” Nor can you build a successful career by simply working hard. If it were as simple as that, a lot more fundraisers would be a lot more successful. The truth is, there are communications, management, and organizational skills at every level that are just down right essential. Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

RULE OF RECIPROCITY: Exchanging the Currency of Philanthropy

This gallery contains 1 photo.

One of the most powerful social norms is the rule of reciprocity. When we receive gifts, favors, invitations, or random acts of kindness, it creates a very real sense of personal indebtedness—a felt-need to pay back the favor. If, however, receiving gifts creates such a strong feeling of personal indebtedness, then career fundraisers are on the unfortunate side of that equation. Below are several ways fundraisers use the “currency of philanthropy” to build genuine reciprocal relationships among major donors.

Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

GOOD TO GREAT: Maximizing Fundraising Performance and Donor-base Potential

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Confronting brutal facts with unwavering faith, according to leadership consultant and best-selling author Jim Collins, is one of the characteristics of “10X companies” that were able to go from good to great. In this blog I talk about a Gift Clarity in-depth assessment, a strategic plan for fund-development, and a sample five-year staging plan—the overall objective being to maximize fundraising performance and donation potential. Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DONOR VISITS: Setting Up Those Relationship-Building Conversations

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Imagine having a long list of major donors just waiting for the chance to spend a little time with you. They all want to tell you about themselves, hear about your cause, and hope to build a long-term relationship… Early in my career, I dreamed often of such a job but unfortunately would wake up and return to the reality that there was nothing unusually interesting about me that would attract attention. I was just a regular guy who felt great compassion for those his organization served. As excited as I was about the organization, it was very difficult to find people willing to meet with me to talk about it. “Maybe,” I periodically said to myself, “I was not cut out for this kind of work.” Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments