The Real Reason

Recently during a nonprofit board meeting, a board member asked the following questions and received the following responses from the advancement team members: Q: Won’t asking for major gifts over the next 3 years hurt our annual giving results? A: There is no evidence that will occur. We will be asking everyone to make or…

Segmenting and Aggregating

Whether we have 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000+ donors, when we decide to invite each of them to make a gift we have choices to make. Typically, the first and most discussed choice is focused on segmenting our donors, or deciding which of these donors will receive which of our specific invitations. If we are doing…

It’s All About The Fundraising Results

Except when. . . it’s really about creating a culture where more people care enough to respond generously; it’s really about growing the board’s understanding of their philanthropic leadership; it’s really about helping the CEO experience the joy of inviting others to be supportive; it’s really about encouraging others to embrace the act of giving…

Of, For, To, and With

Advancement professionals routinely talk about their desire to “create a culture of philanthropy.” Far better, I think, to “create a culture for philanthropy.” Our cultures shouldn’t be of philanthropy. Our cultures shouldn’t be idly possessed or inactively influenced by philanthropy. Instead, our institutional cultures should be for philanthropy. Our cultures should actively promote, enthusiastically inspire,…

Taking “No” For An Answer

Our culture celebrates those with the grit, determination, force of will, and interpersonal skills to bend reality in their favor. It can be easy, for instance, to embrace the notion that the best development folk, “never take ‘no’ for an answer” from a donor. The effective fundraisers, this ubiquitous thinking goes, are the ones with…

Inviting Effectively

There are 2 primary components that lead to effectively inviting people to engage more deeply. First, we have to have clarity in what we want them to do.  What, specifically, are we asking of them? Give for the first time? Attend an event?  Be a member of the governing board? Increase their giving to a…

The Pressure For Gifts

There are two types of pressures gift officers can embrace. On the one hand, many gift officers can feel pressured to invite the biggest possible gift from a donor as quickly as possible. This pressure can cause gift officers to feel as if they have to “ask big,” and “not leave money on the table,”…