An OB-GYN taught me this about fundraising

Talking to an OB-GYN is usually not something I look forward to. It typically involves stirrups and some forced conversation in an uncomfortable position. But last week was different. During a storytelling training Mark and I led in San Antonio, an OB-GYN reminded me of one of the essential ingredients to fundraising — and building… Read more

The Bottom Line is Love

Someone please explain this paradox: We do what we do out of passion, but when we try to recruit others to our cause we resort to frail logic. I got invited to see Sylvia Earle receive a very 19th Centuryesque tribute at the Explorer’s Club in New York last week. It was a remarkable experience… Read more

Get the best from your fundraising consultant

Fundraisers are in the relationship business. Our job is to create relationships with donors and prospects and deepen those relationships — pure and simple. Fundraisers often rely on partners — like me! Creating and strengthening relationships amongst consultant partners — when using them — is key to fundraising work too, but often takes a back… Read more

Getting Real with Tech

This provocative Seth Godin post is a great reminder about technology. Technology is not an end in itself. Technology is a dumb object of veneration. Technology doesn’t change human nature, though it may amplify it (in good and bad ways). Often, a little bit of technology goes a long way. When one prominent organization with… Read more

Finding the right donor prospects: Case study

I have to tell you something you might not want to hear. An email address doesn’t mean someone is a hot donor prospect. At least half of those names you buy are probably worth absolutely nothing in terms of future donor conversion. But how can non profits separate donor prospect email wheat from the donor… Read more

Worst Metric Ever

Alia and I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days with 120 friends and colleagues at the 2014 Web of Change conference. One of the recurring conversations among this seasoned and accomplished group of digital communicators was the growing problem of vanity metrics. A vanity metric is a measure that looks great in… Read more

Step away from your routine

It’s easy to get stuck when you are doing the same things each day. Weekly meetings become routine. Colleagues become familiar. Expectations become rote. One of my buddhist teachers calls this “building a cocoon.” It feels safe, but it’s actually suffocating. It stifles creativity and it keeps us fearful of change. In a way, it reminds… Read more

Plus Ca Change

I have long argued (and continue to fervently believe) that the Internet has not changed human nature (though it does seem to amplify both the best and the worst of us). As evidence of the enduring nature of humanity, I offer this amazing guide to brainstorming and creativity, written in – wait for it –… Read more

Give your donors some love

Nurturing donors is something we should be doing all year long.  Cultivation helps to increase donor retention and overall revenue. But when things get hectic, cultivation is one of the first things we let slip. With the all important December fundraising season just three months away, now’s a great time to add some high-engagement touches… Read more