October 24, 2019

As a fundraising pro, do you focus on what your non-profit does and how it does it?

What you should be focusing on is the why, because that’s what donors care about.

I often ask fundraising pros why people should make a gift to their organization. They usually answer by talking about its successes, the challenges they face and their future plans.

When they finish, I again ask them to tell me why they do what they do and why they’re worthy of support.

Is it because there is a great need? Or maybe it’s because the executive director has a true passion for the cause.

When you dig into the why you will find that you shift from a rational explanation for the work you do to an emotional state of min...

October 22, 2019

Are you afraid that you’re tiring your donors out? While it’s probably a good thing to be concerned about this, I have a different thought: maybe it’s more boredom than it is exhaustion—especially if you’re sending  communications that are about you and not them.

You see, donors don’t get tired supporting what they believe in and care about. They get tired because you’ve failed to inspire them and you haven’t inspired them because you haven’t talked to them about their impact.

The fact is that much more so than tired donors, you may have a case of donors who are on the verge of not caring. And that’s worse because a donor who has stopped caring is one who will likely stop giving.

The solutio...

October 1, 2019

If you have a board that’s active and engaged, you know the huge difference they can make for you, especially in increasing fundraising revenue.

Perhaps your board isn’t quite as active or engaged as you might hope. Here are a few tips to help you get them to where you need them to be:

• Jump start their engagement with your staff and assign them tasks based on their individual interests and skill sets.

• Be sure to invite board members to community events or workshops you host. If the only time you ever see them is at board meetings, you’re missing out on a lot of what they may have to offer.

• If you’re having a problem retaining donors, having a board member or two focusing on stewardship...

September 23, 2019

I read recently that in the for profit world, roughly half of the reason a customer stays or goes has to do with the service received rather than the product itself.

What this means for you in the non-profit world is that half (or more) of your struggle to retain donors doesn’t have very much at all to do with your mission or the benefits you offer.

Plain and simple, it’s how your team treats donors when they interact with your donor service.

There’s opportunity here and it has nothing to do with avoiding bad experiences. The real opportunity is recognizing that good donor service can actually improve the relationship and is critical to helping to create donors who are increasingly loyal and...

September 9, 2019

Imagine…you’re walking down a beautiful beach in Hawaii. As you walk and feel the water under foot, you think for a moment about how your fundraising efforts are going back home.

It’s not that they’re not doing ok. It’s that they’re just doing ok. Not only that, but as time goes by, it’s getting more and more difficult to grow your base and keep your retention rates up.

As if the above weren’t concerning enough, the cost to raise a dollar keeps getting more and more expensive.

With your eyes looking downward you notice that there’s a grizzled-looking old man sitting on a blanket looking out at the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

“How are you today?” says the wizard.  A bit shocked, you retu...

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