Happy Holidays

So i was so looking forward to a Buddhist/Jewish Christmas of Chinese Food and opening day of “The Interview.” I don’t think I ever thought I’d have the opportunity to say North Korea has harshed my holiday buzz, but there you go. Meanwhile, you all relax, hug your loved ones, and gird yourself for anotherread more

Make a good first impression

Chances are this December you’re going to get new donors! What will their first impression be? As anyone who has ever been on the dating scene knows, first dates are important, but follow up afterwards is crucial. That’s what takes a fleeting meeting and turns it into the beginning of something special. You have aread more

Raise Less Money

Here’s a thought experiment for 2015. What if you stepped off the mad whirling merry-go-round of churn and burn fundraising? What if you valued retention over acquisition? What if you postponed gratification and invested in creating a happy, inspired, and committed donor base? Maybe you would raise less money in year 1, but maybe you’dread more

Interview Guide: Donor Point of View

There is rarely a messenger more credible to donors and potential donors than a donor herself. That’s why I often interview donors — to gather their stories — to repurpose into appeals, testimonials and stewardship pieces. Of course, before any interview I do pre-requisite research on the individual to customize the questions as much asread more

Conventional Wisdom Takes a Hit

Among women who are not religiously affiliated, younger women are donating more than twice as much to charity as  are older non-religious women. That’s one of a number of surprising finding from a study released recently by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. As the number of people who tick the “none of the above”read more

The Rule of One

Check out this inspiring Chronicle of Philanthropy piece on the evolution of AARP’s social media strategy. We have long taken the position that social media is important, but not necessarily in the ways we expected. Both the process AARP followed (lots of experimentation) and the resulting “AARP Studios” are worthy of emulation. I’m especially enamoredread more

Asking Shouldn’t Make You Cringe

Here’s how an Executive Director went from magic to misstep in 10 seconds flat. Last week, I spent a full day in community with the membership of my meditation center — my spiritual home — and met the leader and teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, a rare treat. It was transformational. After the event, the Executiveread more

Not Dead Yet

If I wasn’t a baby boomer myself, I’d probably hate us too. But the reality is, the era of boomer-dominated philanthropy has just begun. Consider this — the youngest of us is still in their 40s. The last baby boomer will turn 50 next month. Buckle up. It’s gonna be a long ride.