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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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4 Strategies to Get More Meetings with Major Donors

Major gifts fundraising is about relationships. You know this, and it’s an easy truth to recite in a job interview. But actually developing positive two-way… Read More


Donor Identity Questions – Teasing Out Values, Beliefs, and Motivations

Donors give because giving enhances some aspect of their identity. They give for many other reasons too, but their final critical decisions regarding which organizations… Read More


How to establish “the land of wealth sharing” for major gifts donors

The “one big thing” in fundraising is always the same: Advance the donor’s hero story. That’s the right story. But for major gifts, we need… Read More


Why you should never pay fundraisers a commission

Pay fundraisers well, but NEVER pay a commission. I became the highest-paid employee besides the CEO at my organization when I worked in major gifts…. Read More


Private Foundations – What to Do About the REAL Competition That’s Beating Your Nonprofit

Your competition is not other nonprofits. Yes, perhaps there are a few others similar enough to your mission to cause a handful of donors to… Read More


How questions uncover meaningful victories in the donor’s hero story

A compelling fundraising challenge will connect with the donor’s identity. This begins with backstory. Backstory connects the cause, charity, or project with the donor’s history,… Read More


What So Many Fundraising Appeals Miss: People Want to Help People

While fewer numbers of people are giving to institutions, they continue to give in ways they find more interpersonal. They include: Grandparents helping put their… Read More


How to Get Your Team Excited about Cold Calling Supporters

Cold calling, for many fundraisers who dislike it, sits right up there with public speaking, which some surveys have found people fear more than dying…. Read More


The Importance of Asking Permission to Ask More Questions

The missing piece in the story A novel can have a perfect story. But it will still fail without one thing. The reader must turn… Read More


The $25,000 Reason Why Follow-Up is So Important

183 days. That’s how long it took Bob to mail in a check for $25,000 after I asked him for the gift on a first… Read More


5 Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Pursue Gifts of Assets over Cash

You can have it easy, or you can have it bigger. But rarely can you have both. That’s the nature of major gifts fundraising. What… Read More


Questions to ask to advance the donor’s hero story

Socratic fundraising Socratic inquiry uses questions. But just asking questions isn’t enough. To be Socratic, the questions must guide toward a goal. In fundraising, the… Read More


A Prospect We Must Entertain: Recession

The word “advancement” connotes forward movement. That requires forward thinking.  Responsible leadership at both the organizational and advancement level requires bifocal vision – seeing and seizing… Read More


9 Powerful Insights into Your Major Donors from Donor Survey Data

When gift officers try to reach out to supporters recently added to their caseloads, it’s usually tougher to get them to respond. This is true… Read More


Why Questions are Important to Advance the Donor’s Hero Story

“It’s very important not to know all the answers. Often we don’t know, and if we did it would be no good, for it is… Read More


Why you should pay your major gifts fundraisers more

One of the great insights Robert Kiyosaki shares in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad is this: Poor people say “we could never afford that”… Read More


Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising Ecourse with Dr. Russell James

Need help convincing the ‘powers that be’ to pony up the cash for the best and most valuable online fundraising eCourse on the planet? Even… Read More


Fundraising Impact Questions that Define Victory for Donors

As a gift officer meeting with donors and supporters, you face a great number of scenarios within different stages of the major giving process. For… Read More


Why answering “no” to these four questions guarantees failure in your fundraising efforts

The right metrics Fundraising metrics can’t do everything. But they can answer four key questions:[1] Are we focused on the right donors? Do we have… Read More


The Three Characteristics That Distinguish the Best Advancement Practitioners

What are the three characteristics that distinguish the best advancement practitioners? Integrity, Curiosity, and Discipline. Of the three, integrity is the most important. It entails… Read More


This Research-Backed Legacy Giving Strategy Avoids the Topic of Death

What’s the hardest thing about bringing up legacy giving with an aging and loyal donor or supporter? Death. Focusing on that tends to trigger the… Read More


Dr. James explains what happens when fundraising metrics go bad

Fightin’ words Want to start a fight in a fundraising comment section? That’s easy. Start talking metrics. Opinions are often passionate. And they often conflict…. Read More


The Worst Way to Start a Major Gifts Fundraising Call

“Is now a good time to talk?” This is one of the worst ways to start a call to schedule a visit (unless you know… Read More


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


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