What is community?

Finding, participating in and building meaningful community takes work and skillful means.  As a fundraiser who wants donors to feel part of community, figuring out what makes a community a community is a super important question. Here are some takeaways from my personal experience and I welcome your thoughts: (1) A community has a clear… Read more

Pick up the damn phone

Full disclosure: I generally hate the phone. I’d mostly be happier in an all-text, all-email world. But that’s just me. And it’s almost certainly not the case for most of your donors. We’ve been helping with thank you calls for a number of organizations and the donors never fail to be surprised and delighted that someone… Read more

Trump bump? Clean out your idle queue

You likely have 100 tasks that take a back seat to your immediate goal of bringing in revenue. But if you are lucky enough to be experiencing a lift in fundraising because of the radical shift in political climate, take this opportunity to clean out your idle queue. That’s right. Plow through those tasks. Look… Read more

Treating donors like $hit is bad fundraising

Why am I telling you something you already know??? Because chances are, you’re treating your donors like $hit. Here’s the problem: knowing and doing are two different things. Before you get all triggered, if you are treating your donors like $hit, it’s largely due to forces beyond your control. If there’s one thing we’ve learned… Read more

Getting the little things right

Continuing last week’s rant about focusing on stuff that’s boring to you but important to donors, my writing idol Jeff Brooks published this list today of steps you can take to build donor trust. Have you heard it all before? Probably? Are you doing all of these things? Unlikely. Jeff’s list (lifted verbatim): Be specific… Read more

Do you work in a culture of philanthropy? Chances are. No.

What is a culture of philanthropy? It’s when everyone in your organization — from the janitor to the board chair — understands that philanthropy and fund development are critical to the organization’s success and that each individual, no matter her role, has a role in the process. Fundraising can not sustainably be done in a… Read more

Get shit done

Can you get something done? Can you finish a project? Seth Godin calls this shipping. I call it getting shit done. He says people who ship are scarce. From experience, I agree. He writes, “If you can get something out the door while your competitors cringe in fear, you win. If you’re the team member that… Read more

Bad guy = more new donors: Keep them

Donald Trump is right out of “progressive bad guy” central casting. And it’s no secret that fundraising for progressive causes tends to be easier when you have bad guys (e.g a President and  Administration that is threatening the very bedrock of progressive values multiple times in any given day). If you are reading this blog,… Read more