9 Secrets to High Net Worth Donors

Don't you wish you could read your donors' minds? Especially…

Five Ideas That Will Make Asking Much Easier and More Successful

We all know that fundraising comes down to one exciting,…

5 Simple Planned Giving Tips To Implement Right Now

Here's a simple approach to planned giving that any organization…

Show Me the Money: How to Move From Friendraising to Fundraising

In my regular column I write for the Guidestar newsletter, a…

Three Secrets to Major Gift Success

Major gifts programs can become a money-raising machine for your…

If You Ever Want to Raise Big Money, Do This Now!

I've been thinking a lot about major gifts this week preparing…

How to Connect with a Lapsed Donor


Here you are, with a challenge gift from a major funder.

[caption id="attachment_3004" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Phone calls don't have to be cold calls"][/caption]

What fun! What work!

You have only $5,000 left to reach your goal, which you must reach in order to get the larger gift from your funder.

And here you sit, picking up the phone to call someone on your donor list.

Your goal is to find some wonderful folks who might be interested in helping with the challenge.

(Note, I didn't say that you were looking for money! No - you are qualifying these folks to find out if they might be potential donors.)

6 NO ASK Fundraising Strategies for Board Members

NO ASK fundraising strategies? What can I possibly mean? If …

The 4 Golden Words That Will Open Your Donor’s Heart to Your Cause


I'm about to reveal my Golden Formula for opening a donor's heart to my cause.

I also use this to find out what a donor is thinking about my presentation.

I use these 4 words all the time - and I get terrific benefits and feedback! I can't tell you how valuable they have been to me.

It's a very simple, single question. And it is guaranteed to evoke a response from your donor that tells you where he stands.

But more importantly, it generates the donor's own thinking about your issue.

It encourages him to ponder your presentation, to digest your material, to think about it, to react to it. It encourages him to embrace what you have just said.

Here is my key to success.

I ask this Golden Question:

"What are your impressions? . . . .

And then I shut up and listen carefully.

This question encourages the donor to think more deeply about what you've presented. She is not going to get hot and bothered about your cause just by listening to YOU do all the talking.

Questions to Ask in an Advice Visit

Here's more on the subject of Advice Visits: If you are talking …

Help Your Board Members Become “Door Openers”

What would you MOST love your board members to do? Many nonprofit…

What's the Goal of Your Fundraising Visit?


One of my favorite blogs (For Impact) is talking today about making fundraising calls.

I hear so many times how excited my friends are when they manage to actually get the appointment.

In their excitement, they forget about planning the details of the visit.

I remember years ago when I was a beginning fundraiser at Duke University. I was walking down the street with the VP for Development at Duke. He was going to accompany me on a fundraising visit.

I was pretty excited but also nervous because he was the head honcho. And I will never forget what he asked me: "what are your goals for this visit?"

How Board Members are Helping the Boys and Girls Club Make Their Year-End Goals

I'm just back from the Northeast Leadership Conference of the Boys and Girls Club of America where I spoke yesterday afternoon at their Regional Leadership Conference. IMG_0117(Love those BGCA folks!) Here's what Dovie Prather, the Senior Director of Development Club Resources for BGCA Northeast Region, shared with me about their year-end fundraising strategies. (That's Dovie in the picture right here along with Glen Staron, Vice President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Northeast Region, and me.) Dovie spends her time coaching board volunteers and staff in the various Boys and Girls Clubs in her region - from Maine to Maryland. She has worked with her share of reluctant board members who don't want to go on fundraising calls. But the staff needs the board members to help if they are going to make their goals. And face-to-face visits are a key part of her year-end fundraising strategy recommendations for her Boys and Girls Clubs. She's counting on those one-on-one calls for $1k or more with key supporters to help the Clubs meet their goals. (See my earlier blog post on Focusing on Individuals to Make Your Year-End Goals). We all know that we can count on individuals this fall far more than we can count on our foundation and corporate supporters. But most of her board members think they won't be successful in face-to-face visits. And she doesn't really want to send the board members out alone anyway. So here's her solution:

Focus on "Friendmaking" to Take the Fear out of Fundraising

Could fundraising be as easy as picking flowers? Maybe! I frequently tell my clients and audiences something rather revolutionary: that I'd rather have a "friend" of my organization than a donor. At first everyone is startled. Then they sit back and consider what it would mean to have "friends" rather than donors. What will friends do for you? They will introduce new people to the cause and bring new friends on board. They will spread the word. They'll help you in any way they can. And when the going gets tough, where are they? They are right there with you at your side. And will your friends contribute money?

Find a "key revenue problem solver" for your board

Alice Korngold, contributing writer for Fast Company Magazine is blogging about building nonprofit boards, one of my favorite topics. I loved her post titled More Bad News for Nonprofit $$: More About Building Better Boards to FIx This, alice-korngold_1She takes a much-needed business person's approach to nonprofit boards. Here's my favorite: she says that the best people she has worked with, or recruited to a board were "key revenue problem-solvers." Nonprofits need to evaluate their business model frequently for missed revenue opportunities and sources of increased earned income. A board member with the right skill set can be invaluable in these cases. She cites as an example a new board member who was the global pricing strategist for a major consulting firm. The new board member "pulled a nonprofit out of the red by helping them revise their pricing strategy, thereby shifting the organization into financial health."

How to get board members feeling comfortable making an ask

Yes, here's the holy grail!  A board member who is willing to…