Your brain is not enough

Critical thinking is important, but it’s also over-rated. When faced with choices and decisions, you have at least two equally important sources of wisdom and guidance. First there’s your heart. Second, and surprisingly, there’s your gut. You have roughly 100 million neurons in your digestive system, so much that scientists refer to it sometimes as… Read more

The bounty hunter thing, again

Small wonder that the average tenure of a development director is only slightly longer than the lifespan of a fruit fly. If donors are walking ATMs to many executive directors, then development directors are bounty hunters. And too often, scapegoats. Great piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy this week succinctly titled “Development Directors are not… Read more

Forget about the money

I often am introduced as a “fundraiser who doesn’t care about the money.” It always gets a laugh at conferences, but the irony is that in many respect it’s true. To me, the rewards of fundraising lie in fostering a community of people united around an urgent cause. That they express their solidarity with their… Read more

When intuition fails

As an aspiring storyteller I love the Flannery O’Connor quote “I find everyone thinks they know what a story is until they sit down to write one.” It’s hard and there’s so much more to it than you think. And much of it is not intuitively obvious. I’ve come to realize that the same can… Read more

Data Shmata

Maybe I am the only one who feels this, but the hyper obsession with data – big, small, hairy, long-limbed – seems a bit over the top. I’ve been listening to Dan Goleman’s Primal Leadership on tape, and he raises some big questions about the limit of data-driven anything. What about intuition? What about heart?… Read more

Don’t Give Me Money

“Don’t give me money” is not an everyday call to action coming from an organization that depends on contributions to survive. So when i got an email from Emily Jacobi, the founder and CEO of Digital Democracy, saying just that, it caught my attention. Under the subject line “Don’t Send us Money,” Emily alerts her readers… Read more

Brand building vs. direct marketing

I believe that non profits, by the nature of what we “sell,” should align our strategies with the brand building game, not the direct marketing game. Why? Here’s what Roy H. Williams had to say about the difference. (And here’s a link to the whole post): “Direct response marketers usually sell products that have a… Read more

Rage is Sexy

Rage is all the rage. There of course many good reasons to be feeling rage. How can you not feel it on behalf of members of our society who have been oppressed, bullied, attacked, ignored or left behind? How can you not feel it in light of the outbursts of pure unadulterated hate blooming around… Read more