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 […]

If donors pipe their own tunes, what are fundraiser pipers to do?

When funds are tight, CEOs and board members are quick to urge fundraisers to yell louder and with greater urgency about organizational needs. It’s assumed that more (desperate) messages equal more money and that fundraisers’ influence in donors’ decisions is strong – assumptions that may have had validity once upon a time, but no more. […]

4 tips for minimizing risk when selecting a donor management system

Infrastructure. For most folks, the topic is about as exciting as underwear. No one wants to talk about infrastructure, let alone pay for it. But ignore infrastructure, and you doom your best laid plans for fundraising success to failure. Topping the list of infrastructure essentials – just after budget and staff – is your donor […]

Friday afternoon reflections on another week of generous matters

Getting the most from board meetings. According to the 2010 BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index, many nonprofit boards struggle to take fullest advantage of meeting time. Only 39 percent of boards are prepared “to a great extent” for meetings (e.g., read materials in advance, follow up on assignments). According to chief executives, 38 percent of meeting […]

Overcoming first solicitation jitters

This past week, more than 70 veteran fundraisers responded to the LinkedIn generated question, “If you could provide just one sentence of strategy/advice to someone who is about to embark on their first solicitation, what would it be?” Their comments—sifted, sorted, and spiffed up by me—are balm for the nerves of fundraising virgins. If you […]

For major gifts, in the IRS we trust.

Tax day has come late this year, giving nonprofits a little extra time to tout the benefits of charitable giving as a way of avoiding the big hand of Uncle Sam. A whole lot of fundraisers – including within faith based organizations – truly believe that without the incentive of a tax deduction, giving would drop like a proverbial stone. […]

As tax day approaches, be glad you are not the IRS

As we count down to April 15 (April 18 this year), income taxes are on my mind. And I suspect this is true for most Generous Matters readers. My passion for fundraising as ministry has me on high alert for requests for funds that connect tax season and faith-filled giving.  Such an example showed up […]

What would John Wesley tell Albert Pujols to do?

This week’s Christian Century reports on trouble brewing in St. Louis among Cardinals fans who also are evangelical Christians. Some, including a Presbyterian pastor turned tweeter, worry that superstar Albert Pujols risks tarnishing his Christian image with too aggressive bargaining tactics. Others think Pujols should grab as much as he can get and then use his millions […]

Sometimes the donor isn’t right

The premier video in a new series from AllBusiness.com titled “Business Boxing” provides a humorous take on a serious question: Is the customer always right? What if we substituted donor for customer? In Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry, Thom Jeavons and I caution that there are times when what a donor wants isn’t best for the organization. We […]