August 18, 2016

If you want to energize a board and other volunteers  that are less than, shall we say, impassioned, here are some recommendations to give them a good, old kick (I mean jumpstart):

  • Offer regular reports on major initiatives that are being funded;

  • Present campaign updates often;

  • Explain budget and funding needs more completely;

  • Clarify what you need them to do…don’t make them guess;

  • Don’t focus only on fundraising;

  • Communicate and have more contact with board members between meetings and in different ways;

  • Acknowledge and give feedback to volunteers who introduce prospects;

  • Understand board and volunteer preferences and their experience;

  • Create a...

January 19, 2016

It’s important that your board of directors understands how labor intensive fundraising work is. I say this because I know that the board often pushes the executive director to operate lean and mean. The problem with this is it often stops fundraising in its tracks.

Do you have “enough” fundraising staff? If you do, count yourself lucky and a rarity.

A major institution like a large university may have a fundraising staff of 75-100 people but still need 50 more to do all that is needed. A small, community-based program probably expects the executive director to handle all of its fundraising needs with little to no administrative assistance.

There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to...

August 4, 2015

Whether you’re a director of advancement, major gifts, or an executive director, you’re a leader. I wonder, though, how many directors of development or major gift directors view themselves that way.


A lot of times what I see is nonprofit development people waiting for someone (anyone) to lead.  It’s sort of like a Saturday morning at the Rescigno house. I usually look around and think everything is fine until I see the expression on Sue’s face: it says, “Hey Bucko, if we want to have a nice weekend, let’s do some straightening up, then we’ll both be able to relax.” Now I may not always like it, but that’s leadership! So I usually end up saying, “Just tell me what you’d like me to do, and...

July 27, 2015

Have you heard these excuses before?


“We were forced to fundraise when I started on this board.”


“I do the golf outing. That’s how I participate in the annual campaign.”


“For me, it would be a conflict of interest, so I don’t fundraise.”


“It’s the responsibility of the staff to raise money.”


Rescigno’s has worked with many nonprofit leaders over the years and we’ve yet to come across one who doesn’t deal with issues like the ones just cited.


If you’re at your wits end and just want to scream, consider the following:


We work with many leaders of nonprofits and they all deal with the same issues. Don’t give up on your board until you consider their attitudes and fundraising abilities.

Most b...

June 22, 2015

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times in the last couple of months: “My board really doesn’t want to get involved in the fundraising process.” I think to myself, well, duh! Didn’t they know when they came on that fundraising was a very important part of their responsibility as a nonprofit board member?


I know, I know, you’re thinking that I don’t understand, but I really do. If you’re like many of the clients I’ve worked with, getting your board engaged in the fundraising process is critical to your success. You’ve got a very tight budget, a limited amount of time, and the need for more resources to really have the kind of impact you’re capable of having in your community....

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