A bunch of birders taught me this…

I spent last weekend with a bunch of birders at the National Audubon Convention in Virginia. I did a storytelling workshop with a bunch of front line workers who are helping stop unwanted teenage pregnancies as part of my work with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. I’m going to Uganda  next… Read more

Why do you REALLY want millennial donors?

“We need younger donors,” seems to be the battle cry du jour from the C-suite lately, so it bears repeating: Millennials only contribute 11 percent of all money donated by individuals each year. Compare that with the more than 75% that comes from Boomers and their elders. And in the immortal words of Monty Python, we’re… Read more

4 tips for when you are feeling uninspired…

I’m an upbeat, can-do creative-type. But lately, I’ve been feeling a little uninspired. That’s a-ok. We all feel uninspired sometimes. It’s what we do to break ourselves out of the slump that matters. Here are some of my techniques. What are yours: Try something you’ve never done before. My sister took her family indoor skydiving a… Read more

Thinking Outside the Elevator

I am not a raging fan of “elevator pitches.” Somehow the very concept leads one to try to cram as many words into a single outbreath as humanly possible. Guaranteed not to inspire. So I was especially excited to see this summary of alternate pitches by behavioral economics guru Daniel Pink. The premise behind the… Read more

What Quentin Tarantino can teach you about fundraising copy

Quentin Tarantino knows how to write dialogue. His characters’ conversations intrigue (from Pulp Fiction), provoke suspense (from Inglourious Basterds) and entertain (from Reservoir Dogs). His dialogue often reveals more about his characters than anything else onscreen. While crucial to screenplays, dialogue is often missing from fundraising copy. But why? I presented at Fundraising Day NYC a few… Read more

Does Your ED Have Bounty Hunter Syndrome?

Fundraisers come in different flavors. EDs often have trouble pinpointing the flavor they have, and predictable conflict arises when the ED has one notion and the fundraiser has another. The vast majority of fundraisers are not bounty hunters, but my guess is a high percentage of EDs of smaller organizations, and especially startups, think that’s… Read more

5 ways to fall gracefully

“The bad news is that you are falling. The good news is that there is no ground.” That’s a lesson my spiritual teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught. When I read that quote, I said to myself, “I guess I better learn to fall gracefully. If there’s no ground, falling with fear and struggle is simply… Read more