Generosity in quotes: John F. Kennedy

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither […]

The importance of cultivating BFFs for your organization

When I ask fundraisers what they most want from donors, the answer is almost always “more money.” And that makes me sad, although I understand the reasons behind the words. Organizational well-being depends on meeting this year’s fundraising goals. The burden of out-sized expectations weigh heavy on fundraisers’ minds. It’s little wonder that increased giving […]

Generosity in quotes: David Lose

“Here’s the thing: it’s hard to be generous and brave and compassionate when you’re afraid, or feel like no one hears you, or suspect that no one or is looking out for you. And while there are a lot of conclusions that someone can draw from the 2016 election, one of the conclusions I’ve drawn […]

The wow of fundraising as ministry

As part of her year-long Skype-based coaching contract with me, a ministry head from California and I are reading Henri Nouwen’s beautiful little book, A Spirituality of Fundraising. We leave a few minutes at the end of each call to share phrases or ideas that caught our attention from the reading assignment du mois– a […]

Generosity in quotes: Henri J. M. Nouwen

“Indeed, if we raise funds for the creation of a community of love, we are helping build the kingdom. We are doing exactly what we are supposed to do as Christians. Paul is clear about this: ‘Make love your aim’ (I Corinthians 14:1, NJB).” Henri J. M. Nouwen, a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer, and theologian, […]

Generosity in quotes: Peter Harris and Rod Wilson

“Philanthropy for Christians is first about people rather than about money, the possibility of relationship rather than resources. We must stand against anything that turns persons into wallets or friends into banks.”   Peter Harris, founder and president of A Rocha, and Rod Wilson, former president of Regent College, in Keeping Faith in Fundraising

Tips for insuring the show goes on, despite a smaller cast of characters

Among the small to mid-sized nonprofits and ministry organizations to which I offer consulting services, staffing adjustments (down-sizing, right-sizing, and plain old lay-offs) are more the rule than the exception. The North American nonprofit sector is no stranger to getting by on less. But these days less is edging toward subsistence, with budgets and personnel […]

Generosity in quotes: Hamdi Ulukaya

“Yes, I built a $450 million plant and all that stuff, but the part I love the most is becoming this hub for building lives. Refugees have gone through so much . . .  And seeing them smile and full of energy, it’s like a new world is created—while you’re making a cup of yogurt! […]

Stop calling everything fundraising. Everything isn’t.

I bump into it all the time — development folk in small to mid-sized nonprofits and ministry organizations running themselves ragged with activities they call fundraising, but which aren’t. Some of what they’re doing could actually raise a few bucks – maybe even significant money — if done better, before, during and after. But most […]

Is that a choir I hear singing the praises of fundraising as ministry?

When a colleague commented on the ease with which I respond to questions about best practices in board governance, I shrugged off the compliment by pointing to my almost 30-year focus on the topic. “There’s not much I haven’t said by now,” I quipped. “Again and again and again,” he added with a chuckle. My […]