Fundraising Q/A: We had less than a great experience with a recent gift agreement, and could use some advice please.


To start, I would suggest you check out a general overview called “How to Seal the Deal” that we offered in a previous newsletter. Here, I’ll talk about some of the common problems you can run into.

The syllogism is true: “Good decisions come from wisdom, wisdom comes from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.” I’ve experienced my share of gift agreement mistakes, as a donor and a fundraiser. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: What’s the best “thank you” that you’ve ever received, as a donor?


That’s actually a hard question to answer because there have been so many good ones over the years. (That would fall into the good news category, I think.)
What makes for a “good one”? For me, it reflects three things. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: Do You Have Any Tips For Year End Giving?


Year-end giving is a tradition that goes back to Good King Wenceslas[1]. These days, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, nearly half of all donations to nonprofits arrive in the last quarter. That’s a tough way to run a business, and may explain why so many nonprofits end the year with a shortfall. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: Why Do People Give Anonymously?


There can be any number of reasons why a donor may not want their largesse known. Here are a few examples that I’ve encountered: Some people simply believe that the only true giving is unknown. Others may not be interested in public recognition, but not mind if people think nicely of them. Read More

More Thoughts About Philanthropy


We’ve collected more thought-provoking quotes about philanthropy. Let’s start with Bob Hope. If you haven’t … Read More

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