AFP

Fundraisers as Change Leaders

Fundraisers as Change Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation of Fundraisers

For the last several years, we’ve been talking about a culture of philanthropy and the importance of an organization having a culture of philanthropy for a development director to thrive and for a development program to take root and grow. I believe the concept of a culture of philanthropy or the lack of one is a useful idea for understanding whether or not an organization is ready to begin and sustain a development program.

However, I also believe that part of how receptive an organization is to a development program has little to do with how it feels about fundraising and more to do with how it feels about change.

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Many organizations have some sort of Advisory Councils.  But often these councils, populated largely with former board members or community dignitaries that don’t have time to be board members, languish, largely neglected by the very organizations that have created them. They often have no clear purpose and meet infrequently.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

We’re All Weird - #AFPFC Wrap-UP

We’re All Weird - #AFPFC Wrap-UP

Note:  This blog post is part of my #AFPFC wrap-up, a series of posts writing about my take-aways from the 2015 International Fundraising Conference of the AFP in Baltimore last week. We're All Weird is one of the messages imparted in the plenary session from speaker Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow, Tribes, and about 3 or 4 other dozen other books on marketing and entrepreneurship.

When he came on stage, the young woman in her twenties sitting next to me said, “I don’t even know who he is.  I’ve never heard of him.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said.  “I was more excited about hearing him speak than I was about hearing Whoopi Goldberg—no offense to Whoopi—she’s cool and all, but I read Seth’s blog and follow him online.”

“Really?” said the girl next to me.  “Why?”

“So young!” I thought.

So I explained.  I’m sure I sounded like a lunatic babbling.  “You know! He’s the author of ‘Purple Cow!’ and ‘Tribes!' He’s that marketing guru with the bald head that says ‘click my head’ who wears the colorful rimmed glasses!” 

I’m excited and out of breath and uproarious clapping begins to drown me out.  I can see the young woman’s response in her eyes:  “So old,” she’s thinking. 

Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising: #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising: #AFPFC Wrap-Up

HAPPINESS, HABITS, AND MAJOR GIFT FUNDRAISING: #AFPFC WRAP-UP

Note:  This blog post is part of my #AFPFC wrap-up, a series of posts writing about my take-aways from the 2015 International Fundraising Conference of the AFP in Baltimore last week. Happiness, Habits, and Major Gifts Fundraising was the title of a session led by Amy Eisenstein.

One of my personal favorite speakers is Amy Eisenstein, author of  Major Gift Fundraising For Small Shops.  At the AFP Fundraising Conference last week, she had us dancing in the aisles to the “Happy” song (no one else at the conference did that) as she led a session on “Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising.”

The workshop was partly about major gift fundraising and how to be better at it; and partly about time management, work-life balance, the power of positive thinking, as well as self-discipline.  Oh yeah.  And then there was the dancing.

To boil her message down to its barest elements:

  1. Positive Thinking has Power:  The old adage “think you can and you can” (or think you can’t and you can’t) applies in fundraising as in all else in life. – So Stay Positive.

Finish Strong: 3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

Finish Strong:  3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

You need to finish strong.  It’s the end of the year and this is the make-it or break-it time for nonprofit fundraising.

If you’re still staring at a large fundraising goal and wondering what you can do to reach it, here are a few strategies that will help you take it to goal.  Here are 3 strategies to help you cross the finish line.