What is a major gift fundraiser to do with all this free time?

For decades, we’ve known that face-to-face meetings were the best way to raise major gifts. Talking directly to people. Taking them on a tour of the project. Being in the same space as the donors. Meeting face-to-face is so important, most major gift officers’ job performance is measured by how many in-person meetings they have,

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Be strategic and curious – not a jerk

Did you read the “Outspoken Donor” article in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy? I didn’t like it very much. But some of the donor’s experiences with fundraisers are chilling. For example, she says: “Development officers sometimes think that because you gave money to one particular cause, you’re expected to give to something else, too, and

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How to effectively interact with donors

So many fundraising problems can be solved by interacting with donors. Getting to know them. Asking about their interests. Learning their stories. I call it “seeing donors in their natural habitat.” But if you’ve had years and years of only focusing on your nonprofit and what you do and how great your staff is, interacting

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Setting up solicitations based on hardwiring

.One of the hardest stages of asking for money is getting the appointment. The good news is that getting the appointment is mostly about consistency and polite persistence. But hardwiring plays a role too. In my Quadrant 3 Leadership training, I show participants how our hardwiring can impact our leadership: abilities, behaviors, and motivations. Most

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Email deliverability is more than double opt-in

Nonprofits love sending email. It doesn’t take all the printing time of direct mail. And it costs less. But what if your emails aren’t getting to your list? In the last few weeks, Google and Yahoo have tweaked their algorithms – the systems they use to determine if your email is wanted or unwanted. In fact,

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When in doubt, write a JTOY

Excellent fundraisers know that fundraising is about a relationship with a donor. Since they’re a “donor,” the relationship is centered around their giving. But it is a relationship. That giving is linked to a donor’s values and passions – things that make her uniquely human. And it’s those values and passions that contribute to a genuine

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Who’s leading the army?

Last month, at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, I saw Jeff Brooks help nonprofits understand donor communication by sharing a great image. I wrote about it to my Fundraising Kick email subscribers. But I wanted to share it here. Hopefully it’ll help as you write your next fundraising letter or thank you note! SUB: Who’s leading

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[Guest Post] 3 Surprising Things I Learned From Making Recurring Donations to 115 Nonprofits

Monthly giving is important for nonprofits. But are we doing it well? To test, Brady Josephson ran an experiment involving giving to 115 nonprofits. And I’m honored that he agreed to write about his findings. Brady is the Vice President of Innovation and Optimization at NextAfter – a fundraising research lab. No stranger to nonprofits

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He’s rich. Now what?

I’ve been getting the same type of question from a wide variety of nonprofit leaders in many different sectors. The question goes something like this: “This guy is rich. What’s my next step?” Part of me wants to applaud them. These leaders are doing the hard work of trying to expand their fundraising. But most

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6 Lessons Learned on the Capital Campaign Trail

Capital campaigns are both wonderful and stressful times in a nonprofit. Here are six lessons I’ve learned after 30 years on the capital campaign trail. 1. It’s About the Vision—Not The Money While preparing for a fundraising campaign can be a daunting enterprise, internalizing key lessons learned will help ensure your success. The first is

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