A systems problem requires a systems solution

Following is an excerpt from our new whitepaper, Inside Out Fundraising: How to Create a Culture of Philanthropy By Treating Systems Instead of Symptoms. It is available here as a free download.   Success will require transformational change. That means addressing the challenge systemically, working it from a variety of angles. Robert Gass has developed… Read more

Warning: comms channels make for really bad org structure

I don’t know if it’s lack of imagination, flawed logic, or organizational momentum, but a lot of organizations have ended up with a structure that puts email, social, postal mail, and even telemarketing into separate silos. Sometimes they are silos within a single department; in more than a few cases the silos span two or… Read more

They signed up: Now what?

You’ve come up with a creative lead generation campaign aimed at attracting the right kind of donors to your cause. You’ve secured an advertising budget. You’ve optimized the user experience. You’ve gotten sign ups. Now what? Last week, I very humbly realized that I had neglected the “now what” part. Here is what we got right:… Read more

Chuck Barris, the Newlywed Game and Fundraising

Chuck Barris, the creator of the Newlywed Game, recently passed away. Say what you will about his taste level (the host of the Newlywed Game Bob Eubanks frequently asked couples about how they “made whoopee”), Barris made entertainment out of how well new couples knew each other. I wish non profits had the new donor… Read more

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

When is a fail not a fail?

On Monday, I thought I failed — big time. In early November I became a foster mom to a sweet pit bull pup named Buttercup. She came into my life with intense karma — a stray with mange who had hustled hard to survive on the streets of Decatur, Georgia. As part of my family,… Read more

Stop talking about storytelling. Start doing it.

This week, we are launching the fruit of many years of work developing, fielding, and optimizing Sea Change’s storytelling training. It’s an interactive and detailed 135-page Discover Your Inner Storyteller workbook to accompany our flagship workshop. The workshop covers: The science behind the persuasion power of story Screenwriting 101 and the essential DNA elements of… Read more

I am grateful for you: Let’s ring in this new year

If you are reading this post, I am so grateful for you. Together, we are trying to change the way progressive organizations approach philanthropy so that we can have healthier, more impactful organizations. Lord knows, we’re going to need to be as strategic and as smart as possible these next four years. Thank you for… Read more

Chaotic times call for smarter campaigning

The stakes just went up dramatically for all of us working on social change, so learning how to campaign effectively, manage resources wisely, and punch above our weight has never been more important. Mark and my close friend and colleague Jason Mogus will be leading a training to help social change agents learn how new… Read more