Posted by Johnathan Teal

In a blog post from last year, I encouraged fundraisers to break the “rule” that all board members be required to fundraise (you can find that post here). The basic premise being that we should strategically recruit certain board members to actively ask donors for contributions and lean into the fact that other volunteers are on our boards for other skill sets. One of the many follow up questions I received was naturally, “So how do I keep board members engaged in philanthropy if they don’t ask others for money?”

Read More

Topics: Fundraising, Culture Of Philanthrophy, Financial Development, Board Leadership, Fund Development, Development, Leadership & Boards


Posted by Kali Righter

In theory, we all know the importance of data when it comes to working efficiently and effectively. We’ve heard phrases like “data driven” and understand that to be good stewards of our work we should be using data as a regular part of our work.

Yet many nonprofits struggle to truly integrate data into their culture and in their decision-making processes. Here are some ideas on how you can more effectively integrate data into your organization:

Read More

Topics: Fundraising, Culture Of Philanthrophy, Financial Development, Donor Engagement, Donor Relations, Fund Development, Data Management, Development


One of my favorite DBD axioms is “Listen the gift.” We use this as we coach our clients through a major or transformational gift ask. Listening to our prospect is an important piece of the puzzle in creating a meaningful outcome for the donor and the organization.

After the disruption of the past four years, it seems a great time to pause and think differently – not just about the organization, changing demographics, AI, or the shifts in technology that are all affecting our fundraising, but about our donors. They are the heart of it all. 

Read More

Topics: Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising, Financial Development, Annual Fundraising, Donor Engagement, Donor Relations, Fund Development, Development


Posted by Mary Ramirez

Many nonprofits wonder how to identify people who have DAFs and how to get their cause in front of them. It can be a little complicated but with some investigation into how the DAF is administered, you can find the person behind the DAF and start to share your mission and impact with them. Let’s explore...

Read More

Topics: Fundraising, Financial Development, Annual Fundraising, Donor Engagement, Foundation, Donor Relations, Fund Development, Development, Donor Advised Funds


Posted by Jason Fry

Years ago, I was working with a very skilled major gifts officer. She had a donor, Elizabeth, who was in her 90s and who was very loyal to the organization. However, this staff member had tried contacting Elizabeth over and over through e-mail or by phone and leaving voicemails. As much as she tried diligently to get in touch with Elizabeth, she was unsuccessful. She started telling herself a variety of stories. Maybe something is wrong or she’s sick? Maybe I upset her with all my emails. Maybe she heard something negative about our organization? Maybe I offended her by asking her for money? Maybe she died?

Read More

Topics: Success Stories, Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising, Donor Communications, Financial Development, Donor Management, Donor Relations, Fund Development

Leveraging Fundraising Basics: Lessons from Giving USA 2022

When the Giving USA 2022 report was released earlier this year, this key finding left many nonprofit professionals concerned: Total dollars given was down 10.5%* to $499.33 billion.

Read More

Topics: Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Annual Campaign, Donor Communications, Financial Development, Donor Management, Donor Engagement, Giving Usa

And Now What? The Key Question in Major Gifts Fundraising

Posted by Jon Simons

Simple or complex?  Basic or advanced?  Checkers or chess? Which approach best describes your fundraising?

Read More

Topics: Grit, Fundraising, How To Ask, Financial Development, Ymca, Fundraising Campaign, Listening, Communication

Three Financial Aspects Of Your Capital Campaign To Know Before You Start

Posted by Brian Keel

I recently joined a meeting with a new client that is about to embark on his first capital campaign. He asked a great question, “What do you wish you would’ve known before your first capital campaign?”

Hindsight is usually 20/20 so I was grateful for this great question and the ability to help this client avoid some preventable pitfalls.

A few tips came to mind:

Read More

Topics: Capital Campaign, Goals, Financial Development, Capital Fundraising, finance, financial management

Redefining Success

Posted by Jason Fry

We raised $5.7 million.


We raised $5.7 million!

Why does one character change that statement so much?

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Goal Setting, Mission, Goals, Financial Development, Vision, strategic planning, Metrics

Connecting Donors to What Matters Most

"Connecting you to what matters is what matters most."

This tagline is from Delta Airlines. But when I hear it on a flight, I am not thinking about travel. Instead, I am thinking it is a great reminder of what we should be focused on NOW based on the trending data. This is the donor-centric mantra we should all be repeating in our heads as we work with prospects and contributors.


It's a good time to take a look at donor stewardship at all levels.

A recent report from Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests that the number of small gift donors fell significantly in the first half of 2022 as compared to the previous year.

The number of people making contributions of $100 or less dropped more than 17%, and 8% fewer donors made gifts if $101-$500.

Read More

Topics: Stewardship, Financial Development

Our Latest Posts