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

Dr. James explains how to harness friendship reciprocity to unlock heroic donations

Biologists model sustainable giving in nature with a simple game.[1] The heroic donation comes from an extreme version of this game. The numbers game In… Read More

How to Quickly Learn What Used to Take Experienced Fundraisers Decades to Understand and Apply

Major gifts fundraising is a job that requires an advanced set of skills. In other words, you must know some basics to simply do this… Read More

The Power of Heroic Philanthropy: Understanding Donor Motivations

Something’s missing. You might have noticed. The last few posts played the primal-giving game.[1] But they didn’t focus on heroes. Now, it’s time to get… Read More

From “Giving To” to “Giving Through”: The Great Philanthropic Shift

In 2007, after listening to a lot of donors and conducting a lot of research, I advised, “Don’t just ask you donors to give to… Read More

Debunked Fundraising Myth: The #1 Reason People Don’t Give Is Because They Weren’t Asked

It gets posted all over social media. Featured in books. Heard at seminars. Repeated on webinars. It’s hard to work very long in fundraising without… Read More

The importance of expressing impact and gratitude in fundraising

The “one big thing” in fundraising is this: Advance the donor’s hero story. The previous article set in this series explored this in detail. The… Read More

Why Nonprofits Should Choose Growth-Minded Board Members Over Traditional Professionals

When choosing board members, so many nonprofits gravitate towards doctors, lawyers, and accountants. Why? I think partially because it’s easier to know that they have… Read More

It Takes Two to Drive Success: How Rethinking Nonprofit Leadership Can Solve Your Gift Officer Turnover Problem

As turnover in the nonprofit sector continues to plague so many organizations, and not just with major gift officers, it’s time to face a difficult… Read More

Revolutionizing Fundraising by Building a Philanthropic Supply Chain

Donors are looking for a better philanthropic value proposition.  They want to know how their dollars will be turned into differences. Traditional fundraising loses four out… Read More

7 Ways Bad Leadership in Fundraising Drives Away Your Best Gift Officers

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what… Read More

Dr. James explains the power of giving: why leading with a gift always wins

Lead with a gift: The primal-giving game Biologists model sustainable giving in nature with a game.[1] This primal-giving game models reciprocal altruism.[2] What’s the best… Read More

The Power of Follow Up: The One Question Every Major Gift Fundraiser Should Ask

I didn’t know I should be asking this one question when talking to donors: “When would be a good time for me to follow up?”… Read More

10 Reasons Why Major Gift Officers Quit to Look for New Jobs

Why do gift officers quit their jobs so frequently? Gift officer turnover is holding so many nonprofit organizations back. And not just in terms of… Read More

Why Standard Fundraising Practices Are Hurting Your Philanthropic Partnerships

So much of standard fundraising practice is inconsistent with philanthropic partnership building. Would you enter into, feel comfortable with, or stay in a partnership if… Read More

Why reciprocity must be an essential tool in your fundraising toolbox

Every single human being in every single society on earth subscribes to an unspoken rule when it comes to reciprocation as follows: If someone does… Read More

How transactional donor relationships kill generosity

In nature, giving to unrelated others can be sustainable. But it requires some form of reciprocity. This need not be immediate. It need not be… Read More

How to Respond Effectively to This Common Objection and Secure More Major Gifts

Have you heard this objection before? “I’ve been giving for 20 years. There’s nothing you can tell me I don’t already know.” This is an… Read More

If you don’t like wealthy people, it’s time to think about a career change

Nobody gives when they feel the professionals working for an organization or institution dislike them. I’m writing this today because I’m constantly befuddled when I… Read More

Dr. James explains why sustainable giving starts by answering, “Do we have a shared future?”

It starts with a question In nature, sustainable giving to unrelated others does occur. But it happens only with reciprocal alliances. These alliances start by… Read More

Effective Fundraising Strategy is Rooted In Fundraising Fact

Everyone Is entitled to their own fundraising opinions but not their own fundraising facts. That’s what the brilliant Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, without the reference… Read More

How fundraisers can help their cause resonate with donors

Story works In fundraising, story is powerful. Story works better than formal descriptions. Story works better than facts and figures. Simply, story works better than… Read More

9 Secrets for Success in Major Gifts Fundraising

Here are Nine Things I Wish I Knew My First Year in Major Gifts 1. Stop talking so much. Ask Good questions and listen. 2…. Read More

6 Reasons Pausing the Solicitation Process Can Increase the Amount of a Major Gift

Patience is powerful. When pursuing major gifts, it’s tempting to want to go fast, and to accept the first gift a donor offers. You don’t… Read More

Why Wealth Screening Data Fails to Identify Your Most Generous Donors

Wealth screening data gets a lot of attention and usage from nonprofits looking for a quick way to identify people more likely to make a… Read More

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