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Chasing Millennials

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Featured | 2 comments

Chasing Millennials

  The most effective way to raise money from Millennials may be to wait until they’re in their 40s and 50s.   So quipped blogger Jeff Brooks several years ago on his blog. His point was that the quest to attract younger people as donors and board members is timeless.   It may even be misguided.   Millennials is the name given to the generation born between 1981 and 2000. They are all now young adults, 18-38 years old, and starting careers and families. They are all now somewhere on the “scrambling” continuum with considerably less disposable income and time than the two...

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One Paradigm Shift in Fundraising that Says it All

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 10 comments

One Paradigm Shift in Fundraising that Says it All

If we could change our collective thinking in just one way, we would all raise more money – and not by just a little bit. That shift in thinking goes like this:   Donors give because they want to.   It sounds simple and intuitive, but it’s not, and we tread all over this idea all the time.   Instead we make decisions based on what’s easier, or cheaper, or more efficient, or more convenient. We fail to personalize appeal letters (it’s WAY more work to match envelopes to letters) We let days or even weeks go by without sending acknowledgment letters (we batch them) We replace...

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How are You Doing on that Diversity Goal?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Board Development, Featured | 0 comments

How are You Doing on that Diversity Goal?

We’re giving a lot of lip service these days to the idea that our boards should look more like our communities. For nearly all of us, this represents a near Herculean task (to pull a white male metaphor out of my bag). But what would doing so actually look like? I worked with a land trust recently who set out to change their all-male culture into one in which at least 40% of their Board members were female. The Executive Director was proud of the fact that they had recently succeeded – seven of their fifteen Board members were now female. It had taken them ten years. Ten years?!? Yes, he...

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On Hiring a Consultant

Posted by on Apr 3, 2018 in Featured | Comments Off on On Hiring a Consultant

On Hiring a Consultant

Thinking about hiring a consultant? (Thinking about hiring me?) I’ve been consulting now since 2004 and full-time since 2009. In that time, I have responded to several hundred requests for proposals, and I have formed some specific opinions about how the process should and should not work. It’s probably time that I wrote a blog about that. There are at least two great reasons to hire a consultant – that they have expertise you can use and that they are objective. The expertise is easier to see when it involves knowledge of the law or of accounting or of sustainable forestry. It’s a little...

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Ideas for Getting the Most out of Your Events

Posted by on Mar 27, 2018 in Featured | Comments Off on Ideas for Getting the Most out of Your Events

Ideas for Getting the Most out of Your Events

It’s time to think about what’s going to happen this Fall. At the very least, we’re in for a whale of an election, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most expensive election seasons in history. (Late October might not be the best time to put your appeal in the mail!) Many land trusts time their donor events for the Fall. I like the timing a lot because it serves to remind donors of why they support the organization immediately before they are asked to renew or join. A little advance thought given to these events NOW – in the Spring – will help you get the most out of them later. I...

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Should We Raise the Minimum Gift for Our Top Donor Society?

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership | 6 comments

Should We Raise the Minimum Gift for Our Top Donor Society?

Over the weekend, Julie S. posted the following question to the Land Trust Alliance Learning Center: Because our land trust and budget have grown significantly over the past ten years, we would like to raise the minimum gift for our top donor society which currently starts at $1,000. The vast majority of our top donors are stuck at this $1,000 entry level and we’ve had trouble moving them up. The one and only tangible benefit of being in this society is an invitation to our annual top donor society. We are considering raising the minimum gift to $1,500 or possibly even higher. Among...

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