Stop Dreading Mondays: How Fundraisers Can Start the Week Right career fundraisers fundraising major donors major gifts success May 08, 2024

I clearly remember walking into the development office, dreading opening up the CRM to start my fundraising week. 

Sometimes It was because I'd worked all day Saturday, and worried part of Sunday about the work that was waiting for me on Monday. Other times because there was a...

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Jump-starting Year-End Gift Conversations fundraisers fundraising major donors major gifts philanthropy relationships Nov 30, 2023

"Donor, would today be the right time to speak about your impact with [charity]? Our impact continues to [impact]."

If you still have donors or prospects on your list who you meant to ask, tried to ask, or have been trying to have a conversation with... now is the time to get engaged in...

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"That donor I don't have to worry about..." donors fundraisers major donors major gifts relationships success Aug 08, 2023

One of the great joys I have, being a fundraiser, is meeting donors who are true fans of our mission. 

You may have had donors like that - they're supporters and they give regularly. They may attend events or volunteer. They talk about your work to others. You may not even realize how much...

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Want Loyal Donors? Communicate Well communications donors fundraisers fundraising major donors relationships Jul 03, 2023

I believe that the most effective fundraising is connection-based fundraising.

Sure, you can "get donations in the door" with simple transactions. But most nonprofits are in it for the long haul, to create lasting, positive change in the world. So you want lasting donor...

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Why are fundraisers down on DAFs? - Part 1 donors fundraisers fundraising major donors major gifts transformational gifts May 30, 2023
I hear fundraisers complain about gifts received through Donor Advised Funds, known as DAFs.

"I never know who is actually giving."

"I can't steward these people properly!" (nor cultivate the donor for a second gift.)

"We have major donors who have stopped giving - how do I know if they are...

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Making the Ask: Guiding Phrases for Securing Major Gifts donors fundraisers fundraising major donors major gifts transformational gifts May 22, 2023

Yesterday I came across a document from my early fundraising days in Canada. The Director of the nonprofit asked me for phrases she could use when asking for large gifts from donors.

I'd forgotten that I had created this document and "Key Phrases and Next Steps when Asking...

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Working the Room - Getting the Right People in the Room donors events fundraisers fundraising major donors relationships teamwork Oct 05, 2022

In a previous post, I offered some practical tips on  ensuring that your nonprofit events maximize donor, volunteer and prospect relationships and help move them forward (and how to deal with challenges here).

But much of this can start even earlier - at the invitation stage.

What typically...

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Working the Room - When it's a Challenge donors events fundraisers fundraising major donors relationships teamwork Oct 05, 2022

Recently I've been talking about Working the Room - how to get the most out of donor relationships during event. Then I wrote a post about getting the right people to the event.  The posts outlined practical steps about how fundraisers, board and staff can focus on the donors and not...

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Working the Room donors events fundraisers fundraising major donors relationships teamwork Oct 05, 2022

I had a colleague who told me, as we prepared to attend a pre-opening donor event at an art museum, that these events were very difficult for her.

"They aren't hard for you, you like talking with people," she said to me. "For me, it is different."

Yes and no. There is no question that I get...

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Adjust Your Mindset for the Big Ask donors fundraisers fundraising major donors major gifts transformational gifts Jan 20, 2022

Get ready for inspiring your donors for the big ask...

Making a big ask isn't about being fearless, it's about being sure-footed. 
Fearlessness is all about you - it's a solo act. Fundraisers, though, are in business of relationships. You and the donor are climbing together to the mountain...

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