Singing abundance in the key of D major

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, See what God has done. — Johnson Oatman, Jr. Readers under the age of 50 likely aren’t familiar with the old gospel hymn “Count Your Blessings,” but it’s worth getting to […]

Yes, there is a “u” in fundraising, but it’s not about you.

Fundraisers are a passionate lot and with that passion comes strong opinions on various and sundry topics. However, there’s a time to  speak up for what you believe and a time to remain silent. Specifically, if your views run counter to those espoused by a donor with whom you are engaged in conversation, keep your […]

The parable of surfing dogs, your board, and fundraising

Topping the list of most often asked questions from frustrated nonprofit CEOs and ministry heads is “How do I get my board to grab hold of fundraising?” I long for curiosity about the basics of good governance. But given the financial situation (miserable) of the majority of small to mid-size nonprofits, a shift in focus […]

My three words for your 2017 fundraising success

In the week since I chose and announced to the world my three words for 2017, several times the trio has crept into conversations with the good folk with whom I work as a fundraising consultant. Not that I’m surprised. Curiosity, courage, and grace, all three, are key to success in raising money. Hear me […]

Generous Matters top 10 list for 2016

There’s much about 2016 that I’d just as soon forget, starting with the ugly U.S. presidential race. Fortunately, good memories from the past 12 months outweigh the bad for me. Such is the blessing of living, working, and worshiping with generous, faith-filled, and other-oriented folks. Gloom and doom don’t have a chance when confronted with […]

Giving isn’t just for Tuesday

Excuse me for raining on the #givingtuesday celebration parade. If the day went well for you and yours, hooray! But I’m still fuming about the torrent of reminder emails that flooded my inbox that past Tuesday. Never mind that I’m a regular donor to many of the good causes urgently seeking my #givingtuesday gift. There […]

Pocketbook voters

You’ve likely heard it said that people vote with their pocketbooks. I’ve used the old saw myself when encouraging nonprofit leaders (board members, CEOs, and fundraising staff) to mind trend lines in annual giving. Now we have proof to back the idiom. Tucked among the findings of Giving USA 2106 is this: “When it comes […]

It’s time to vote competition off the island

I love when an idea that’s central in my teaching, writing, and consulting on fundraising is confirmed in the words of a thought leader admired by millions. I beam with satisfaction knowing my message will be amplified many times over by the reach of a significant other — someone like organizational guru and blogger par […]

What if it’s not what you say but how you sit, stand, or twitch?

You’ve summoned up your courage to ask for that big gift. Perhaps you’ve gone so far as to role-play with a colleague your solicitation pitch. At last, you’ve found your fundraising voice and you’re eager to use it. But wait. There’s another “voice” that needs your attention. It’s the one that donors “hear” by observing […]

6 things you need to know about fundraising

“How can we get more people to support our organization? We’re working hard but not seeing the results we need.” The caller’s frustration was palpable –and familiar. Over the years, I’ve been asked variations of his question by countless CEOs and board members. Short on cash and time, ministry leaders are on the hunt for […]