November 1, 2017

It’s one thing to have a good story. Delivering it live or is the difficult part. I find storytelling is all in the specifics. Here’s an example of what I mean:

A client of ours had this short line in her 2 minute story: “We teach children financial literacy.”  When I asked the client for an example of what that meant, she said, “We show them exactly how much they can save if they buy a large bag of potato chips at the grocery store and bring a small baggie of chips to school each day instead of buying the single serving packages in the cafeteria.”

I told her that her explanation to me was what he should be saying (even though it was longer). When an audience hears your story, especially fo...

April 3, 2017

There once were two storytelling brothers, Lem and Clem. Lem was a true storyteller to his core. He could take the most ordinary event, like a trip to the grocery store, and weave it into the most interesting incident you’ve ever heard.

Clem, on the other hand, though, also a spinner of stories, yarns really.  He’d over exaggerate to get his points across—so much so that he came to be known as too fantastical to be believed.

Lem loved telling stories about common, everyday people his listeners could relate to while Clem, his younger brother, believed that making his characters larger than life resulted in a more entertaining tale.

Lem was always “in” his stories in one way or another, but ne...

September 14, 2016

The goal of fundraising seems obvious. It’s to raise money, right? When we dig a little deeper, however, the goal is to connect donors and prospects to those who are impacted by your cause, rather than to the cause itself.

In the case of healthcare fundraising, for example, the goal is to bring together donors and prospects and the patients and caregivers they have relationships with.

While most donors don’t believe they can conquer cancer or end violence, for example, they can believe that their gift has a direct and positive impact on an individual who lacks the skills to better his lot in life.

When organizations tell these individual stories, that’s when donors and prospects believe that...

June 9, 2016

Not too long ago I had breakfast with an exceptionally generous person.

He had just made a multi-million dollar gift to his favorite nonprofit. He also had recently given a nearly equal amount to his church.

There is nothing about this person that screams wealth. He’s very humble and hardworking, The business he built did so well that when he sold it, he was able to share some of it with organizations that aligned with his own deep personal values.

During the breakfast, I asked him why he had decided to support the two causes he’d given to. I was expecting that he’d tell me about the research he’d done or maybe the numbers he’d crunched.

Instead, he told me the following:

“I got a letter in th...

October 27, 2015


Eastern philosophy has been making its way into western culture for sometime now, and many of us are now seeing things like science, medicine and world events through a more holistic lens.  We've started to incorporate some of its practices into our everyday lives.  


Concepts of Buddhism are especially commonplace.  Mindfulness, mental wellness and spiritual health are now a part of corporate health programs, and hundreds of Buddhist meditation centers have popped up across America.


If you grew up in the 60's and 70's (as I did), the concept of practicing mindfulness and compassion, balance and wisdom were quite foreign.  Could you ever picture an All In The Family episode tha...

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