The power of wow: A theater case study

The Bushwick Starr is an up-and-coming 70-seat black box theater in Brooklyn. Full disclosure: I’m on their board and serve proudly. Last year, the board was charged with raising money to refurbish the theater’s old uncomfortable chairs. We creatively called it the Chair Campaign — and all 10 of us hit the pavement to raise… Read more

Don’t be Stupid

I never get tired of railing against vanity metrics because people never seem to tire of following them. The most noxious vanity metric in our world is email list size. There are more ways to inflate that number than you can count. They all produce a bad outcome, if you consider list fatigue and a… Read more

There’s a tribe for that

Back packs with meal management systems built in… Branch Chain Amino Acids… Strong Magazine… I didn’t know about these things before joining my tribe — bodybuilders. I sure do now. My tribe hates on cross fitters. We eat different kinds of protein (casein, whey, soy, pea) for different purposes and at different times during our day.… Read more

The Future of Fundraising

Those clever folks over at Blackbaud have wrassled up a nifty new free ebook with short essays from a variety of folks on the front lines of fundraising. We live in interesting times, sad to say. This compendium is a great way to stay up to date with what works, what doesn’t, and what’s coming… Read more

Can you guarantee fundraising results?

Alia and I get asked this question every day. And yet I never fail to be stunned by it. Can you guarantee that it won’t rain tomorrow? Can you guarantee that the business will make a profit? Can you guarantee I’ll catch a fish on this fishing trip? Can you guarantee my stocks will go… Read more

Move the boulder up the hill: 3 keys to integrated marketing

Why is integrated marketing so damn hard? Because it requires operating outside of traditional organizational silos —  communications, digital, programs, direct marketing, etc… All stakeholders must come together and meet their goals within a unified framework. Doing that is challenging, but it can be done! Here are three key ingredients from successful integrated marketing campaigns. Leadership.… Read more

The only thing you need to know about a successful sustainer strategy

Two words: Lifetime value Ok – it’s a little more complicated than that. But understanding lifetime value is where a successful sustainer strategy starts. Too often organizations don’t recognize the tension between lifetime value and immediate budget goals. They want a sustainer strategy to increase their donor pool’s lifetime value, but they don’t want to… Read more