Featured

Transactional Donors Are Not Really Donors – Yet

Posted by on May 15, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 0 comments

Transactional Donors Are Not Really Donors – Yet

“Jorge” gives $250 to play in your golf “outing.” “Aliyah” gives $50 to become a member and immediately saves $80 on the cost of putting her two kids in the two-week nature camp you offer. “George” and his wife give $150 for two tickets to the Gala and then successfully bid $600 on one of the auction items.     What do these “donors” have in common? They are each “transactional donors.” They have purchased something and have gotten equal or greater value in return. If this is their first “gift,” great! But the chances of getting a second gift are significantly diminished unless the...

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On the Value of Sabbaticals and How Are You Using Your 40 Hours This Week?

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Featured, Staff Development | 2 comments

On the Value of Sabbaticals and How Are You Using Your 40 Hours This Week?

When I first started at The Nature Conservancy, the Employee Manual defined “full-time” work as 35 hours per week. Later, we would joke that we’d like to meet someone who could actually do their job in 35 hours. Hah! Over time, as I became aware of how I actually spent my time, I began to wonder whether I even worked 35 hours a week. To be sure, I was “present” for 40 and even 50 hours or more. But was I actually “working”? Now, a lot older and somewhat wiser, I have begun to question what should actually count as “work.”   Does reading the New York Times online (or on your phone) count...

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Fear of Fundraising

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Featured | 1 comment

Fear of Fundraising

In fundraising, the majority of our work involves building relationships with donors – with people. This should be easy. It should be fun. It should be painless. Right? So what’s holding us back? What’s getting in the way? The simple answer turns out to be: just about anything.   When I ask this of most groups, and especially groups of Board members, I get variations on four themes: Opportunity – I don’t know any rich donors. I don’t run in “those” circles. So-and-so won’t answer the phone. They live in Florida half the year and when they’re here they’re too busy. Distraction – I’m too...

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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 | Comments Off on How are You Doing on that Diversity Goal?

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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