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

The Days of Easy Fundraising are Over

The days of easy fundraising are over. Now we need to face up to the hard parts of securing and sustaining philanthropic confidence. I’m sorry… Read More

Major Donor Stewardship – Million Dollar Experiences for Million Dollar Donors

Your biggest major donors simply cannot be treated like all your other donors. If you’re like most mid-size and larger nonprofits, they are funding the… Read More

Comfort Zones: The Places That Foster the Fullest Expressions of Philanthropy

My concern with so much of traditional fundraising is that it puts one or more parties in an uncomfortable position. Donors feel as if they… Read More

Dazzle Your Donor Prospects with an Upgraded LinkedIn Headline

Many major gift officers don’t realize that one of the things some wealthy donor prospects do after receiving a first communication from you is to… Read More

The Essence of Philanthropy: A Vision That Endures

I believe: Fundraising and philanthropy are not interchangeable terms, that the former is dependent on the latter; if fundraising assumes that philanthropy exists to serve… Read More

Why AI and Machine Learning Fail to Help Fundraisers Build ‘QUALIFIED’ Major Donor Portfolios (or Caseloads)

AI and machine learning are the new buzzwords in the prospect identification field proposing yet another solution to the challenge of building caseloads of major… Read More

Why You Need to Revolutionize Your Fundraising

A giving revolution has already occurred. So, the longer you wait to adapt to it, the farther behind you will fall. Even the healthiest, highest… Read More

How to Help Your Wealthiest Supporters Solicit Themselves

What results in a bigger gift? A) Being convinced to give B)Deciding to give on your own? Your job as a fundraising gift officer isn’t… Read More

What Unrestricted Funds and Phone Booths Have In Common

People aren’t interested in them anymore. If you fancy yourself clever, persuasive, charismatic, or irresistible, I challenge you to see how many people you can… Read More

Why what you do is called ADVANCEMENT

Ever wonder why what you do is called ‘advancement’? Here’s the answer: Your primary role is to help donors move themselves forward through their own… Read More

Fundraising Metrics Vs. The Natural Rhythms of Philanthropy

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” It’s been cited as one of the two most important quotes about business. The author is… 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

Two Powerful Types of Questions You Should NOT Ask Major Gift Donors Until Trust Is Established

At some point in your engagement with donors and supporters there comes a magical moment when you realize a person trusts you. At that moment,… Read More

How to Retain Your Best Fundraisers and Donors – Listen

When we poll fundraisers in advance of team practices (I don’t like the word “training” because people aren’t pets), we see very similar responses across… Read More

5 Essential Tips and Strategies for Improving How You Make Outreach to Major Donor Prospects

Making outreach to major donor prospects requires a set of skills that too often get shoved to the back burner. And yet, outreach is one… Read More

The Power of Building Relationships: Why Donors Need Good Fundraisers

Why, of all people, would a donor want to build a relationship with a fundraiser? If you are a donor, it sounds like a questionable… Read More

Why I Don’t Like Recommended Ask Amounts

For the record, I don’t like the idea of using SUGGESTED ASK AMOUNTS. Do you? I don’t believe in presupposing what amount someone might give… Read More

What Happens When We Don’t Understand the Why of Giving

Not as many people give according to our “strategic pillars” as we would like to believe or as our fundraising reports suggest. In fact, we… Read More

5 Data-Driven Strategies to Increase Donor Survey Response Rates

The more you can learn about major donors before you meet them, the more effective you will be at that first meeting. A good first… Read More

Yes, you have to spend money to raise money, but…

A lot of money spent on fundraising has little or no effect on fundraising results. And when you spend money on the wrong things, you… Read More

6 Reasons Why Donor Surveys Work at Engaging Wealthy Supporters and Prospects

Getting that initial engagement from a major donor prospect is a big hurdle. Yes, we all want to meet with donors, have great conversations, build… Read More

How to Hire the Right People for Raising Major Gifts

Are the people working as major gift officers at your organization in the right role? Do they have the best skill set and mindset for… Read More

How Balanced or Imbalanced is Your Fundraising?

Fundraising should be as comfortable as two people exploring possibilities. If done wisely and well, fundraising is nothing more than two people exploring possibilities. That… Read More

Dr. James explains why identifying with others is so powerful in a donor’s hero story

Effective fundraising starts with identity. Compelling fundraising story connects the donation story with the donor’s story. When does a story become the donor’s story? When… Read More

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