Fundraising Q/A: What advice can you offer an entrepreneur on how to be philanthropic from the beginning?

As an entrepreneur, you will be building and leading an enterprise. That gives you an opportunity – if not a responsibility – to encourage all members of the organization to contribute to the community and broader society. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: Is Reputational Risk Something Nonprofits Should Worry About?

The recent Volkswagen meltdown is a chilling corporate example of Buffet’s warning. It also illustrates this oft-heard advice: “Better to be proactive than reactive.” (Or, as the Chinese proverb goes, “Build the well before you are thirsty.”) Nonprofits are not immune.
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Fundraising Q/A: What are your views on professional telemarketing?

Many universities engage their students in fundraising, to reach out to alumni for donations and/or send letters of thanks for gifts. That tradition, however, seems to be changing and perhaps not for the better. We thought you might appreciate this (disguised!) letter from one donor to his university alma mater. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: Are restricted gifts an effective philanthropic vehicle, or an unnecessary drain on organizational resources?

The CFO of a social service nonprofit wrote to make the point that restricted gifts are not an effective vehicle. “My rule of thumb,” she said, “is that adding restrictions to gifts is like adding a 7% tax since we have to spend a significant amount of time managing those restrictions.” “What do you think?” she asked. My short answer: Restricted gifts clearly are a two-edged sword. Read More

Smart Giving: Health Sector

You want to get philanthropically involved in a health-related cause. Where to start? Here are some questions to ask yourself. Read More

How not to lose a donor

We took your question about lapsed donors – How did you let it happen? – to heart. Hopefully, our story will help others. Read More

Would you mind taking a look at this fundraising letter?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that request, and I am always happy to oblige. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes a painful experience. Read More

Smart Giving: Why Give?

Charitable giving may be something that you grew up with, a value passed down by your parents or a practice encouraged by your religion or culture. Philanthropy also may be something that you have come to believe is important over the years, especially if you are fortunate enough to have amassed “enough” for your and your family’s needs and even more so if you had help along the way. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: How can we reconnect with major donors who have stopped giving?

Donor retention is an essential part of the cycle of giving, and warrants focused attention. Here are three ways to sustain donor interest and commitment to your cause. Read More

Fundraising Q/A: What do you think of a Stanford study’s claim that male donors respond best to pitches that stress self-interest?

This February 23 headline from Philanthropy Today – “Male Donors Respond Best to Pitches that Stress Self-Interest” – attracted some attention. The byline was equally provocative: “Attention fundraisers: Stop trying to pull on men’s heartstrings.” I basically think that they got it wrong, for three reasons. Read More