The Hidden Price of “Both/And”

Has this happened to you? The CEO pronounces that she wants you to double the number of donors and increase net income by 25% — by the end of the year. You know you can’t do both at the same time. The cost of acquiring new donors being what it is, growing the donor rolls… Read more

What will you stop doing?

Here’s a question. “How can non profits invest more in middle donors  when there’s simply no more money to invest?” The short answer. Stop doing something else and invest that time and money in middle donors. I was on a webinar hosted by the fantastic Justin Perkins at Care 2 discussing the Sea Change Missing… Read more

Stop Making Excuses

Stop making excuses for your lack of stewardship communications and other cultivations for middle donors. Good stewardship could make the difference between happy, loyal and generous donors on the one hand and one-and-done tippers on the other. Here are some of the excuses we hear every day. “We can’t afford pure cultivations.” The truth is… Read more

Donor pancake vs. pyramid: Do you need syrup?

I was talking with a smart fundraiser the other day who just started a new gig. He said, “We don’t have a donor pyramid. We have a donor pancake.” Basically, the organization he works for has a thriving low-dollar membership program. But they have very few major donors. As he restructures his department, he sees… Read more

Walmart and Nordstrom’s

Fundraising models look an awful lot like private sector business models. And looking at the up- and downsides of these approaches could inform our fundraising. Take Walmart. Walmart’s model is high volume, low profit margin. They may only make a penny or two on everything they sell, but they sell a ginormous amount of stuff.… Read more

Efficiency is a flawed metric

The baker who bakes a cake fastest and cheapest usually doesn’t have the best tasting cake. And the fundraiser who yields the most immediate return for the least amount of dollars spent usually doesn’t have the happiest, most generous donors. Efficiency is a flawed metric. In our latest study, The Missing Middle: Why Neglecting Middle… Read more