This happens when you take a fundraiser to the field

What happens when you invest in taking an expert in fundraising to visit your programs in the field? New stories are unsurfaced that connect donors more deeply to your work. Program staff get re-energized by seeing their work through a new lens. Organizations are able to report on impact through stories, not just numbers and… Read more

When Worlds Collide: Major Gifts and Direct Marketing Team Up to Maximize Mid-Level Donors

Four years ago, the only thing major gifts officers and direct marketing teams shared was the office bathroom. In 2014, when Sea Change Strategies released The Missing Middle: Neglecting Mid-Level Donors Is Costing Non Profits Millions, we found a miles-wide tactical and cultural gap between direct marketers and major gifts officers that was leaving many… Read more

Get by with a little help from your friends

“I’m so glad I’m in this foxhole with you.” I say these words frequently to my business partner Mark. Having a partner or a community or both is imperative when you are doing tough work you believe in. It’s simply too much to carry by yourself. Not only do Mark and I rely on each… Read more

Missing Middle 2018: Just dropped

We just launched the 2018 follow up study to the Missing Middle: Neglecting Middle Donors is Costing You Millions. Mid level fundraising has evolved dramatically in four years. Based on detailed data and personal interviews with fundraisers from 20 different organizations including the ACLU, Amnesty International, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, WWF, MercyCorps… Read more

Crossfit lessons for fundraisers

Crossfit and fundraising don’t naturally go together like — say — peanut butter and jelly. But they’ve got more in common than you might realize. I’m part of both communities and here are three similarities that might give fundraisers some new perspective on our work. (1) Crossfitters and fundraisers are both obsessive about metrics. Sometimes… Read more

What’s your north star?

What’s your north star? Most fundraisers will answer resoundingly “total revenue raised.” But that metric falls short. It fails to take into consideration foundational elements of a robust fundraising program including the strength of a monthly giving initiative, overall donor satisfaction, and lifetime donor value. Revenue is important, but you must think beyond the big… Read more

Best reward program ever: Bike angels

I’m a bike angel and I feel special. For those who don’t click through, bike angels are annual members of Citi Bike, who earn points towards membership extensions, gift cards and other extras by moving bikes to and from select stations based on supply and demand. When I have time, I simply walk a little… Read more

Stories that have changed history

Abraham Lincoln said to Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” I’ll ignore the diminutive “little” for the purposes of this post to focus on the other salient point. Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was a story that emotionally portrayed the cruelty of slavery in the… Read more

Inside Out Fundraising at NTC 2018

Have you ever faced? Unrealistic fundraising goals? Conflicting leadership demands? Friction between programs, communications and fundraising teams? You are not alone! Internal barriers to fundraising abound. But there are interventions that can help. If you are going to NTC 2018 in New Orleans, please stop by and see me during my session: Inside Out Fundraising:… Read more