Why confidence is so important to fundraising (and how to boost it)


I’m not particularly confident. Scratch that. I’m situationally confident: sometimes, very much so; other times, not at all. So I spend a lot of time thinking about how to gain confidence. Confidence is quiet. Confidence is a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard. There’s not a fundraiser or nonprofit leader alive who has never sweated before…

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Warmth, love, and your holiday fundraising


If you read any of the “how to” fundraising books, you know that fundraising is not about money. It’s not about manipulating folks with your sad story or “selling” anybody anything. It is about self-interest. Altruism or arm-twisting may be a part of the equation for some, but mostly people share their resources because of…

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3 tips for a top rate year-end letter…but first


December is coming and we all know what that means. It’s the largest giving time of the year – by far. Are you procrastinating? It’s time to kick into gear. If you don’t believe me, check this out from Network for Good.  Everyone wants help writing their letter, and with good reason. It matters. But…

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3 Tiny Tasks to Build Your Nonprofit’s Capacity


Be smart – begin increasing your capacity today by using the assets that you have right now to move your nonprofit forward. With tiny tasks, you’ll be surprised at how energizing it can be to improve something and build it into your daily operations. When you do it consistently, you’ll change the culture of your organization.…

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The Key to Success for Year-End Fundraising

hand holds a key isolated on white

Do you remember Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits? I used to. I recently read an article in Forbes that made me smile. The guy was referring to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He confessed that when it came out 20+ years ago he loved the book, read it more than once, and worked hard…

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#1 Nonprofit Rookie Mistake

I am stuck

I say rookie with all due respect. I know there are many readers who are new to the work and others that have been at this quite a while. Yet we often keep making the same mistake. The notion that “you” can do it alone is an old model of individual, heroic leadership that has…

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Leaping and Playing Big for Executive Directors

Cheerful classy businesswoman on white background jumping while holding binoculars

What comes up when you think about breaking out of your comfort zone and achieving a goal that’s big for you? For me, I can come up with the very best ideas and goals, get all stoked up, make some progress, and fall flat. I might tell myself I’m in over my head or I…

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5 Tips to become more influential


Real influence happens when others will gladly and confidently follow you. Donors, your fellow boards members, staff, community leaders, your kids… If you’re the boss, board chair or development director, pay special attention. “Followers in voluntary organizations cannot be forced to get on board. If the leaders have no influence with them, they won’t follow”…

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When you’re out of stream

A portrait of a mature frustrated woman pulling out hair over white background

Fundraisers and nonprofit volunteers, this is for you. We all know what it’s like to hit a wall. You question your competence and end up making it worse. Then the ripple effect kicks in. If you’re fed up with fundraising and sick of the struggle, try this. Go to your ATM and take out five…

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Do you aspire to be an award-winning fundraiser?

Wondering Woman

I hope so. First – let go of the idea that aspiring to win an award for fundraising is egotistical or being in it for the wrong reasons. Humor me for a minute. Imagine you’re the honoree for National Philanthropy Day at your local AFP chapter. There will be 1000 people in your community in…

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