Paul Bunyan vs. Leonardo Da Vinci: Make it real

Paul Bunyan was a giant lumberjack whose superhuman exploits and love for one big blue ox named Babe have been chronicled in music, plays and stories for over a century. Leonardo Da Vinci was a future-seeing thinker, inventor, artist, musician, mathematician and engineer who envisioned machines that would not be invented for another 400 years.read more

Bring Out Your Biggest Brain

We’re in a confusing, chaotic and tumultuous moment here in the land of philanthropy (and everywhere else for that matter). Fundraising is perhaps harder right now than it has ever been. It’s human nature to cling to the familiar when things get crazy. We look for tweaks and small adjustments to cope – a littleread more

Plant Your Flag

Fundraisers — what legacy do you want to leave for your organization? A new year is a great time to take stock of the 2-3 strategic objectives you want to accomplish. Start a mid-level donor program to bridge a gap between membership and major gifts? Increase monthly donors? Organize your multi-channel program to maximize life-timeread more

The Lethal Perils of Organizational Narcissism

As you read this, a non-profit CEO is about to write a six-figure check to a “branding consultant” when there is nothing wrong with their brand. …Another CEO has demanded that the fundraising team find more millennial donors, even though their donor file is productive and growing… …A board chair is pressing her organization getread more

When branding goes wrong

No one gives to an organization they don’t know. That’s true. But brand communications aren’t necessarily always fundraising communications. Why? Because the way an organization WANTS to be perceived is not always the way the organization IS perceived by current donors. Therefore, when that glitzy agency presents your new brand mantra, it doesn’t always equalread more

Screw the resolution rut

Resolutions rarely stick because they don’t show immediate short-term results. Losing weight, quitting smoking, meditating every day… these noble aspirations often get neglected when we don’t see immediate satisfaction for our sacrifice. Sadly, the most important things we do for long-term health and well-being too often fall into the category of “too little too late”read more

Wow: A gratitude post

This will be my last post of 2014 — and I’d like to sum it up in three words: I’m so grateful. I’m grateful because: I get to work and play each and every day with Mark Rovner and Sann Knipple. They are the most amazing colleagues, friends and co-conspirators! I am truly indebted toread more

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