Posts

Gail Perry and crowd

Your Work as a Nonprofit Leader is So Very Important-Thank You!

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Do you have any idea how important your work is as a nonprofit…
Gail Perry and crowd

What Smart Fundraisers Can Learn from Duke Basketball

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Since Duke has just won the national NCAA championship, it's…
Gail Perry and crowd

Fundraisers are on the Front Lines of the Battle

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The New York Times today ran an opinion article about a new study…
Gail Perry and crowd

Be Contrarian - When Others are Falling Back, It's Time to Move Forward

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I was reading one of my favorite blogs last week - For Impact - and just had to share this with you. Tom Suddes and Nick Fedders (the For Impact folks) are two smart, and contrarian guys.I highly recommend their blog - especially if you are in capital campaign mode.It's a dynamite addition to my "31 year-end strategies in 31 days of October." Here's the most compelling advice you could possibly get to boost your year-end campaign strategy.Here's what they wrote last week."Just saw a note from one year ago today (19 Oct 08) in my journal… from über-investor Warren Buffett:“Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”My parallel thought goes like this:Be ASKING when others are hiding. Be ASKING even when others are asking.JUST ASK. It was almost a year ago when the economy crashed and everyone in the nonprofit world panicked. I wrote NOW MORE THAN EVER, where I basically said that this too shall pass….. and then that every For Impact organization needed to stay in front of its best investors (not hide under the desk).I guess the recession is “officially” over. Dow just went back to 10,000. However, there is still a ton of people without jobs; and, clearly, things will never go back to the way they were.For most of us in the third sector the DEMAND for our services and support has dramatically increased.NOW MORE THAN EVER… we need to be out with our best CHAMPIONS and PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS.Go forth… and JUST ASK!
Gail Perry and crowd

How the Boys and Girls Club Encourages Volunteers to Make Face-To-Face Visits

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Here's what my new friend Dovie Prather of the Boys and Girls…
Gail Perry and crowd

Is Fundraising a Lonely Business?

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It's a lonely time out there with lots of my fundraising colleagues. Especially with this being just about the toughest fundraising environment any of us have ever seen.Being a staff fundraiser has always been a lonely business.(And consulting can be pretty lonely too!)This is the time we need to rally our colleagues, our board members our CEO and have give them all a dose of old-fashioned optimism.iStock_000005667780XSmallHere you are, bravely working for your cause with passion in your heart, trying to create new friends and donors for your wonderful cause.And you have to deal with recalcitrant board members who just can't find the courage to do what you do everyday. And you may have a CEO who also is unsure about fundraising and who won't "do right" as we say in the south.You may have unsupportive colleagues who are jealous that you get to go to all the events and travel around to see donors. If you're part of a large development operation with lots of other fundraisers, they may be competitive and view you as a potential threat.Mix all this in with a major recession, donor reluctance, and a sinking stock market, and it sure is hard to keep morale up sometimes!
Gail Perry and crowd

We're in the Dream Business

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Do you ever consider what we fundraising folks are really up to when we appeal to our donors? Is it hype? Is it promises that we will keep? Is it mission, vision and values? Is it changing the world?Last month at the Bridge Fundraising Conference in DC, I kept hearing a theme echoing through many of the presentations I attended.MLK“We are in the dream business.”It really means that we are selling a happy dream of the future. Of a better world. A better community. People being helped. Smiles. Comfort. Happiness.But in our appeals for help, we forget this all too often. Instead we focus on problems, what's wrong, what we will do to fix things.But the most successful approach - whether you are doing fundraising, sales, bringing together groups of people for a common purpose, teamwork - whenever leadership and inspriation are required - is to picture your dream for the future.Think Martin Luther King, one of the greatest inspirational leaders - and orators - of recent times. His "I have a dream speech" is a spectacular example of inspired dreaming.The dream is so powerful that it's like a great river sweeping everyone up in its path, surging inevitably downstream to a much happier future.When we paint a picture of our dream for happy students, healthy children, cared-for elderly, majestic symphonies, clean sparkling water - whatever we are raising money for - we also capture the power of that mighty river of energy sweeping everyone together.When I work with boards, we talk about dreaming. I tell them they should always be standing high on the hill sharing their vision of a happier world with everyone they know. When they are standing on that hill, solid in their dream, focused on the future, they are more powerful than they can imagine.When you, your board members and your volunteers take a firm stand on the mountain, that's when you have the energy and the power to change the world.That's when nothing can stop you.