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Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

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5 Questions to Help Identify Your Best (and Potentially Most Transformative) Major Donors in a Sea of Prospects

Some gift officers have dozens of prospects in their caseloads. Others have over a hundred. Dunbar’s number aside, we all know it’s impossible to maintain… Read More


3 Things You Must Define to Receive a $5 Million Gift

A friend of mine recently asked for a $5 Million gift. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY! But in terms of the money required to make… Read More


Unlock Bigger Gifts – 3 Types of Questions that Position Major Donors for Maximum Generosity

Why do too many major donor prospects not give, or give far less than their giving capacity? One of the main reasons is because they… Read More


Why public gratitude and admiration are key to the donor’s hero story

Monomyth ending The universal hero story (monomyth) ends with the hero’s return. The hero returns to his original world. The return confirms his new heroic… Read More


“I’ve never told anyone this before.”

If you’re working in major gifts and you’ve never heard this, you might need to alter your approach. Many of you reading this will be… Read More


How Fundraisers Can Reconcile the Competition that Exists Between Your Donors’ & Administrators’ Hero Stories

Story conflict Advance the donor’s hero story. In major gifts fundraising, this works. It works for the donor. The donor is the hero. It works… Read More


The Greatest Worry of Newly Wealthy Families – and How Major Gift Officers Can Help

Newly Wealthy Donors Aren’t Anything Like Donors Who Come from Families with Generational Wealth They have different world views, different perspectives about money, work, and… Read More


The Faces of Philanthropy: Are They Changing?

The list below was an attempt by Forbes Magazine to capture the “faces of philanthropy” way back in 1994. It’s interesting because it is from… Read More


To Visit or Not to Visit: Choose Wisely

It doesn’t really matter if you go on a visit TODAY. It also doesn’t really matter if you DON’T go on a visit TODAY. But… Read More


How to be an authentic guiding sage for your donors

The guiding sage The hero’s journey is a universal story. In that universal story, the guiding sage plays a powerful archetypal role. This role can… Read More


It’s NOT a dirty job but someone DOES have to do it.

Recently a friend of mine was promoted.  Now she is in a leader position at her organization’s headquarters.  Yippee! I asked her, “What will you… Read More


Why fundraisers who position themselves as a counselor and guiding sage for donors raise more money

Things look bleak. Fundraisers don’t stay. They don’t stay at the nonprofit. They don’t stay in the industry. They are stigmatized by outsiders. They are… Read More


Are fundraising tricks and gimmicks worth doing?

An old book filled with timeless lessons. I was cleaning out a cabinet last weekend and I came across an old book I read long… Read More


Stop making assumptions about your donors

“Major donors like to give in their backyard.” I call BS! One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that many people think that major… Read More


The 4 Core Values of First-Generation Wealthy Donors You Need to Understand

Wealth is becoming more concentrated among fewer people. You probably know that already. But what you may not understand is that first-generation wealthy people are… Read More


Why your greatest enemy in major gifts fundraising is the status quo

This challenge had me angry for more than a week… “Pharmaceutical sales reps have 15 meetings per day. Why can’t you?” Many years ago, I… Read More


How to Respond When a Major Gifts Prospect Says ‘No’ to Making a Gift

No matter how well your major gifts conversation goes, sometimes the prospect still turns down the opportunity to make a transformational gift. The question for… Read More


5 Reasons Why You Should Focus Your Fundraising On Foundations, Funds, Trusts, and Endowments

Many fundraisers don’t understand the world of big philanthropy. Why not? Because they don’t understand wealth. They don’t understand charitable instruments. So, let’s start with… Read More


How to make sure the experience you deliver to donors makes their giving feel worthwhile

Charity managers’ perspective How should a gift be structured? For charity managers, the answer is easy. The donor should just write a check. Write it… Read More


The Next-Gen Major Gifts Fundraising Metrics Your Nonprofit Should Be Measuring

If you looked up suggestions for which major gifts metrics and KPIs your organization should be measuring, most of what you’d find would seem fairly… Read More


6 Things Your Donors Don’t Care About (That You Assumed They Did)

This news can be shocking to hear and might even make some fundraisers and nonprofit administrators fall out of their seats. But it’s true. Donors… Read More


How to Lower the ‘Cost’ of Philanthropy So Your Supporters Donate Major Gifts of Assets

In fundraising, a gift results when motivation overcomes cost. Increasing motivation helps. So does lowering cost. These make the gift easier. But sometimes, these two processes conflict. Number problems… Read More


How To Use Numbers To Inspire More Giving (and How You Should NOT Use Them)

Numbers For nonprofit managers, numbers are important. Numbers define success or failure. Numbers keep the lights on or off. Numbers can show impact. But numbers,… Read More


5 Strategies for Turning Smaller Major Gifts into Larger Ones

What’s the only thing better in fundraising than a major gift? A bigger major gift. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you… Read More


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