This one thing for year-end fundraising success: focus

FOCUS. During this jolly, holly time of year, staying the course isn’t easy. Distractions lurk around every corner. The siren call of one more good idea or activity tempts. However, when fundraising success at year-end is your goal, you dare not/must not be pulled this way and that by the events of the day — […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: trust

  TRUST. All the hoop-la and hand-wringing that comes with the “gold rush” at year-end can knock the trust out of even the most faithful of fundraisers. In fact, what with the carrying on that characterizes the season, you may find yourself worrying that you should be worried if you’re not weighed down by worry. […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: listen

LISTEN. We fundraisers tend in the direction of extroversion. We’re talkers, schmoozers, people-people. We have the gift of gab. Which is all good — most of the time. We are, after all, expected to be winsome. To make a compelling a case for the organization we represent. To tell a good story. And of course, […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: keep calm

KEEP CALM. Fundraising is stressful work any time of the year but especially so at calendar year-end. With so much riding on the results of so few weeks, panic is just below the surface in most development offices. A couple of disappointing donor calls or a slow mail week and entire fundraising teams go into […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: Embrace social.

EMBRACE SOCIAL. Development folk are cautioned that the best gifts come with one-on-one interactions. “Real” fundraising, we’re taught, is intimate work. The more specifically tailored the better — a segment of one, if you will. All of which is true, at least some of the time and always when a major gift is the goal. […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: Tell a good story

TELL A GOOD STORY. “Any brand of toothpaste is peddled with far more sophistication that the life-saving work of aid groups.” Nicholas Kristof Which, as FastCompany blogger Adele Peters explains, is why and how nonprofits that are represented by staff who can tell a good story, get noticed and get gifts at year-end. And in […]

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: Ask

ASK. According to the folks at Better Fundraising, it’s the ONE THING you (and every other fundraiser) should do for sure at year-end. “The job of your fundraising from mid-November on is to remind your donor to send in a gift, not to persuade them. Just Ask. Ask Boldly. Ask without fear. Ask knowing that […]

Déjà vu, year-end letter writing, and other challenges of the season

To fundraisers who’ve been on the job more than a couple of fundraising cycles, cranking out yet another year-end appeal letter can feel like déjà vu all over again. Keeping it fresh is a challenge and all the more so when the work of your organization flows on, as it should, in endless sameness. Nonprofits […]

Six questions to ask and answer before seeking my advice

“What do you think about giving clubs? I’ve noticed that lots of nonprofits have them.” “Our board thinks we should start an endowment program. What’s your advice?” “I’ve been hearing a lot about crowdfunding. Is that something we should try?” Several times a month, I get questions like these from harried fundraisers on the hunt […]

When seeking a gift, use your voice

The organization with which you’re associated has hit a costly bump in the road. What’s the best way to raise a significant chunk of above-the-budget money as quickly as possible? Option 1: Send an email or/letter to everyone on your mailing list Option 2: Speak directly to folks who you think are most likely to […]