3 Steps To Take Before Making an Ask

Marriage symbol. 3D rendered Illustration.

I’m always thinking about new ways nonprofits can systemize the process of connecting board members with donors. In other words, how do you make the simple “act of connecting” a routine part of a board members job? Why? Connection is the heart and soul of fundraising – it’s where all the juice is. Not the…

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Why Executive Directors Must Change…and How To Do It

Concept for procrastination and urgency with torn newspaper headlines excuses reading later, one day, tomorrow, someday, whenever etc

Why do executive directors need to change? Really, it’s nonprofits that need to change under the leadership of executive directors.  According to Seth Godin and others, “because the work they are doing is far too important to play it safe.  Risk, fail, try, risk, fail, succeed.” If you want to grow as a leader, change…

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Why most donors stop giving…and a quick fix

Businesswoman waving goodbye

You’ll be shocked and delighted, or I hope you will, at how easy even a few small changes can make to boost your 2015 fundraising results. The Bad News 53% of donors stop giving because a lack of communications. Ouch! Adding insult to injury – first-time donors only make second gifts 23% of the time? …

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The Vulnerability of the Nonprofit Board Chair


It feels vulnerable to step into any leadership position, but especially one that paradoxically comes with big demands and high stakes, yet, little to no orientation, training, and support. It can be scary to ask questions about things we’re “supposed to know” and scarier still to admit when we feel stuck or unsure. These insights…

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Here’s how to get a quick major gift

quick results speedometer

Do you have current donors that could give more, but haven’t? Here’s how to turn your most loyal donors into heros, quickly. This is a snapshot view of how to get a major gift sooner than you had planned. “Smaller” major gifts from $1,000-$5,000 can fit into this category if you know the donor well…

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This 1 tip will absolutely boost your fundraising results


Nonprofits sell a feeling. It’s the warm feeling that a donor has done something beneficial, useful, important, good, and proper by engaging in a philanthropic act.  Creating these feelings is the job of your communications. Your newsletter, thank you notes, solicitation letters… Do you view your newsletter as getting in the way of fundraising? Or…

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3 easy ways to get your board involved in fundraising


We all know that board members have varying degrees of fundraising experience – and interest. Although every board member doesn’t need to be the one to ask for money – and that’s ok, EVERY board member should be involved in some part of the development process: identifying prospects, building relationships, asking, or thanking. Here are…

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How to Become an Authentic Asker


Do you love your work…but hate the asking part?  Do you worry that you’ll come off as “salesy” when asking for money? Are you sick of feeling like a beggar? You are most certainly not alone!  Here’s the $64,000 question: Are you playing small because of it? This is what motivated me to get over…

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How to raise 40% more from your current donors – this year


Imagine that you could raise significantly more money without additional staff or an exorbitant amount of board time. What’s the best way to inspire upgraded gifts from your donors? Good news. It’s easier than you might think. When I was an executive director years ago, and desperate, I would turn to the outside. I was…

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How to defang the major gifts fundraising monster


Is your fundraising revenue reliable? Is it enough to cover your programs at their very best, and the administrative and fundraising infrastructure to support them? If not, it’s time to invite more people to the party. Asking for money is an age old issue with boards and executive directors, however we no longer have the luxury…

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