Coach Mark

I’m delighted to share the news that I am now a certified executive and leadership coach and Sea Change now offers comprehensive coaching packages for nonprofit leaders. Why Coaching and What’s In It For You? I need to start with a couple of confessions. First, until 2016 I didn’t realize what coaching was. I thought… Read more

Not dead yet: giving by generations

Among all generations of Americans, baby boomers will rule the giving roost for the foreseeable future. And gen-X, not millennials, will be the next big thing in philanthropy. Those are just two of the big conclusions from our third major study of generational giving since 2010. Led by the Blackbaud Institute, we’ve been proud to… Read more

Fundraisers, you have a choice.

You can either deliver the messages that will raise the most money, or you can raise less money but deliver messages that are more consonant with your organization’s ‘brand personality.’ But make no mistake, it is almost always a trade-off. Organizations, and by this I mean EDs, Boards and communications directors, generally want to project… Read more

The Most Powerful Tool You Never Use

You know you’re supposed to make your fundraising copy and images emotional, right? But chances are you’re using your intellectual brain to decide what is or isn’t emotional. That’s like using a thermometer to light up a dark room. It doesn’t work. The good news is you already have a surefire tool to measure the… Read more

Communicators are from Mars. Fundraisers are from Venus.

I have a confession to make. I know with great intimacy the conflict that occurs between communications/marketing people and fundraisers, because not that long ago I was part of the problem. Throughout most of the 1990’s I was the communications director for a large national organization. Not only did I have a negative attitude toward… Read more

Toward a culture of philanthropy

Today we are proud to release our latest whitepaper, How to Create a Culture of Philanthropy By Treating Systems Instead of Symptoms. We interviewed and surveyed more than 300 senior organization professionals and have come to the conclusion that cultural dysfunction is a far larger impediment to successful fundraising than lack of know-how. We were thrilled… Read more

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