Fundraising Q/A: We’re thinking about naming one of our programs after a major donor. Good or bad idea?

The answer is yes; it all depends on why and how you do it. But first, a cautionary note: Don’t presume that a significant gift is all about recognition. Some donors (including me) may be offended at the presumption that public recognition is the main motivator for their largesse. Most significant donors, in my experience, are motivated by a desire to have an impact on something they care about. They may even prefer anonymity. The key is to acknowledge their gift in a way that is meaningful and comfortable for them, not you. Read More

Five Tips for Fundraising Leaders

Over the years, through personal experience and observation of good and not so good practices, Howard has learned a few things about being effective and comfortable in the role of a fundraising leader. Here are his top five tips. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: Is it best to ask for a specific dollar figure?

I almost never do that, for two reasons. First, I don’t like it when people do that to me, especially early on. Second, as a fundraiser, you don’t know the donor’s situation. Read More

Fundraising How To: Wealth and Giving

Here are six ways that one donor and fundraiser (yes, Howard) thinks about wealth and the implications for getting to giving.

1. Wealth is an instrument of choice. People who are wealthy have lots of opportunities to give. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean that they will give to you. How can you differentiate yourself from other causes, especially similar ones? Read More

Fundraising Q&A: How can we increase our corporate support?

There typically are three drivers of corporate giving: the CEO, HR and/or Marketing. Sometimes, it’s essentially individual giving; the CEO decides how much and who to give to. That is often critiqued by employees and snubbed gift recipients. As a fundraiser, getting access to and understanding the giving priorities of the CEO are the keys. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: How can I apply your approach to my church fundraising?

To start, “no margin, no mission” applies to every organization. In fact, it was a nun in charge of a church-run hospital who introduced me to that truth. What is your economic model? Then, what do you stand for, why is it important, and who might be interested? Finally, don’t forget the bricks and mortar. Read More

What fundraising challenges are you seeing out in the field these days?

Through my own board work, requests for advice from friends and colleagues, and the G2G community, I get to see a wide range of organizations. These are challenging times for most everyone, I must say. Here is my take on the top five issues facing fundraising leadership today. Read More

How-to: A “cheat sheet” for getting to giving

When it comes to raising significant gifts, you’re usually not talking about a day trip; you’re talking about a lengthy journey. You choose your travel companions, and plan your itinerary. Then, off you go!

To help you on your way, here’s a checklist summarizing the key steps involved: engage a prospect, make a proposal, formalize the gift, and nurture the relationship. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: How can we make nonprofits more efficient?

At one level, the answer is Management 101. Leadership needs to pay attention to its economic model and cost structure. At another level, it’s a systemic problem. The sheer number of nonprofits – many quite small – breeds inefficiencies. Overhead is duplicated, and services overlap. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: “Youth philanthropy” seems to be a new buzzword. Do you have any experience with or thoughts about it?

I am a strong believer in raising children to feel a sense of responsibility to the community. That’s how I was raised, and that’s an attitude and behavior that I have tried to model for my children. It can start early, in small ways. Read More