Fundraising: Donor Discovery Visits Find ‘Treasure’

What’s the most effective way to raise money? Special events, direct mail, phone calls? The reality that many board members of nonprofit organizations often find difficult to confront is that face-to-face visits remain the most effective strategy for fundraising, far outpacing special events, direct mail and telephone calls. Personal visits for fundraising fall into three…

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Considering the Context – Lifecycle of a Social Issue

Few people would equate grantmaking with farming, but the comparison may be apt. Farmers adapt their crop decisions to different variables of soil and climate and develop a keen sense for when their crops are ripe and should be harvested. Like a farmer, a grantmaker must consider conditions, timing and ripeness to be effective. For…

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Connecting with People

In the fundraising consulting business, like institutional development, we deal with people. If we are to deal with them effectively and successfully, we have to be able to connect with them personally. To the degree that we can make that personal connection and work to build and strengthen that connection, we are then able to…

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Communicating the Ask

“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”  (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)  This is excellent advice to everyone, and most especially fundraising professionals or people seeking support for charitable organizations.  All charitable organizations need the contributions of generous people to meet their obligations and to…

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How to effectively Communicate and Persuade in a Nonprofit Environment?

You have seen it written many place before:  fundraising is, at its core, a profession based on communication. We work hard everyday to help people understand our values, our mission, and our task. More than just communicating, though, we seek to persuade. Not just to help people understand our mission but to convince them to…

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Building a Strong Solicitation Team

Whoever said, “God is in the details,” must have spent some time as a fundraiser. It never ceases to amaze me how minutely this business is analyzed. Every conceivable aspect of how to raise money has been placed in the balance and weighed against the alternatives. This is most evident in the manner in which…

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Choosing a Stellar Campaign Leader

Dedicated volunteers are worth their weight in gold to the regular fundraising operations of your charitable organization. These high-level volunteers provide credibility and undertake the essential relationship-building that helps attract friends, supporters and financial resources to your organization. In conducting a successful capital campaign, the importance of volunteers—particularly committed, high-performing volunteer leaders—simply cannot be overstated.…

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Building a Campaign Leadership Team

They are known by lots of names, but every successful capital campaign requires an effective, committed leadership team. For purposes of this article, I will refer to this ‘core group’ of leaders as the Campaign Executive Committee (CEC). Building this team is one of the very first priorities of a campaign. The team is responsible…

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