Let’s get serious…about midlevel fundraising

If you’re not working on your midlevel program, it’s time to step it up! You’re probably reading this on your iPhone at the beach, so I’m gonna keep it short. Three links to all the midlevel yumminess you can stand: Alia’s recent npENGAGE post on creating love and harmony between midlevel and major gifts teams;… Read more

Coach Mark

I’m delighted to share the news that I am now a certified executive and leadership coach and Sea Change now offers comprehensive coaching packages for nonprofit leaders. Why Coaching and What’s In It For You? I need to start with a couple of confessions. First, until 2016 I didn’t realize what coaching was. I thought… Read more

Do you like your donors?

If you don’t, you have a problem. I know many fundraisers who look on their donors with some measure of disdain. Don’t you believe for a minute that that disdain remains invisible. Jeff Brooks has a great post on this very topic. He writes: “Keep asking yourself, ‘Why would a donor want to do this?’… Read more

is dead’ is dead

Direct mail is not dead. Radio is not dead. Email is not dead. Facebook is not dead. The ‘<blank> is dead’ trope is almost always wrong and almost always tedious. Time to move on?

Warning: Your fundraising job may be killing you

The 5th leading cause of death in America is…workplace stress. That’s the conclusion of Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. He says long hours, lack of health insurance, abusive bosses and other stressors lead to as many as 120,000 deaths a year. And if anything, the situation at non-profits might well be worse than the private sector.… Read more

Not dead yet: giving by generations

Among all generations of Americans, baby boomers will rule the giving roost for the foreseeable future. And gen-X, not millennials, will be the next big thing in philanthropy. Those are just two of the big conclusions from our third major study of generational giving since 2010. Led by the Blackbaud Institute, we’ve been proud to… Read more

Fundraisers, you have a choice.

You can either deliver the messages that will raise the most money, or you can raise less money but deliver messages that are more consonant with your organization’s ‘brand personality.’ But make no mistake, it is almost always a trade-off. Organizations, and by this I mean EDs, Boards and communications directors, generally want to project… Read more

The Most Powerful Tool You Never Use

You know you’re supposed to make your fundraising copy and images emotional, right? But chances are you’re using your intellectual brain to decide what is or isn’t emotional. That’s like using a thermometer to light up a dark room. It doesn’t work. The good news is you already have a surefire tool to measure the… Read more

Communicators are from Mars. Fundraisers are from Venus.

I have a confession to make. I know with great intimacy the conflict that occurs between communications/marketing people and fundraisers, because not that long ago I was part of the problem. Throughout most of the 1990’s I was the communications director for a large national organization. Not only did I have a negative attitude toward… Read more