Board member, how about giving fundraising a try?

I don’t want to be one of those people who assumes that every member of every board is cut out for fundraising. And slap me down if I veer toward a description of board members as ATMs or “pay pals” for the organizations they serve. As I’ve said time again here at Generous Matters, the […]

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 […]

Generosity in quotes: Katrina VanHuss

“If you are raising money to make something better, this is who you are: someone willing to be taken, in order to give.”   Katrina VanHuss, consultant and founder of Turnkey Promotions, from a blog article titled “Why We Do What We Do: Willing To Be Taken in Order to Give”

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 […]

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 […]

The problem with “more money” as your final answer

It’s a delight when a big voice from the blogging world – someone smarter, more eloquent, and better known than me – says something that I’ve already said here at Generous Matters. I am gratified when an  issue I deemed important enough to write about gets wider play. And of course, there’s pleasure in knowing […]

When saying thank you, remember why

Most of us learned everything we need to know about saying thank you while still in kindergarten. Yet a lot of nonprofit folks, including those working in faith-based settings, do a really rotten job of voicing appreciation. For example, there’s the time it takes many small (and some bigger) nonprofits to get a thank you […]

Special event fundraising, ugh! But if you must . . .

A flood of emails urged members of a ministry’s Outreach Committee to round-up prizes for the spring bike/walk fundraiser. We’re talking a veritable fundraiser’s dream team — networked, talented, and unafraid to ask big — being “challenged” to chase after everything from free movie passes and ice cream coupons to a $5-$10 gift certificate.  “Or […]

After hello, then what?

I love this image from the cartoonist and organizational theorist Hugh MacLeod. The drawing, along with Woody Allen’s sage observation that “90 percent of success is just showing up,” pretty much sum up what it takes to succeed as a fundraiser. But not completely. There’s also what you do with the critical 10 percent. Once […]