A Culture of Philanthropy: Further Reading

For attendees at Rachel Muir’s and my AFP Presentation, and for anyone who is interested, here are the links to the two documents I cited: Haas Foundation Report on Culture of Philanthropy Transforming Organizations

Don’t educate your donors

Don’t try to educate your donors. The refrain of “we have to educate the donors” typically comes from a perfectly reasonable but utterly flawed notion: That if you, the donor, knew what I knew, you’d care about the things I care about. So instead of caring about furry animals with big eyes, I’m going to… 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

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

Caution: Sudden Wealth Syndrome

Mary wins the lottery. A million dollars. Mary goes on a spending spree. She buys her mom a house. She buys a Lexus for her son. She donates a little to charity. In a matter of months the money’s gone. Jack wins the lottery. A million dollars. He hands 90% of it over to a… Read more

Chewy.com, I love your customer service

I get dog supplies from Chewy.com. I could order the same supplies through my Prime account at Amazon. I might even get them faster. But I wouldn’t get that Chewy.com customer service. When I ordered a dish that arrived broken, within 10 minutes of an email I sent, I received this notice: Hi Alia, I’m… Read more