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Blog Profile / A Small Change

Filed Under:NGOs & Nonprofits / Fundraising
Posts on Regator:103
Posts / Week:0.5
Archived Since:May 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

At your event, make sure the Ask is right.

We’ve had some really great feedback and thoughts on a recent post highlighting the importance of caring for the little things to make your big fundraising events awesome.  Really excited to learn it has been helpful!  As a result I’ve been thinking more about the not so little things that are also critical to ensure […]

Are you taking notes?

It’s always a win during in-person meetings when our supporters and prospects share about their families, work, interests, passions, and other colors that shape their story.  As development professionals, hopefully we have taken some time to craft and consider good questions to get folks talking when we have the opportunity to connect for coffee, a […]

I really need some new material!

As Development professionals, we are story tellers.  We are deft and creative about sending messages to our supporters and prospects that generate a response.  Our hope is that the messages we send will be so compelling that those that hear and receive it will respond by giving financially to our cause.  This is a simplified […]

Phone calls, and emails, and Facebook, oh my!

So, maybe not scary, but, the technological choices that we have to make in terms of how best to engage, followup, and seek to connect with supporters, prospects, and partners are becoming increasingly diversified.  With social media anchoring so many interactions we have with people, the penchant for more personal connection that the phone affords, […]

With a BIG event, it’s all about the little things.

Galas.  Extravaganzas.  5Ks.  Auctions.  You insert the action here – A-thons.  Let’s face it, our signature events are a really big deal when it comes to strengthening relationships with our existing support base, as well as acquiring new giving relationships.  These events are key platforms to increase the likelihood of hitting our fiscal goals, and […]

Help! This donor just won’t talk to me!

Ok.  You just had a great big unsolicited gift come in.  You’re not sure why, but super grateful and excited.  Could be a response to a splash in the media, friend of a friend, year end tax break, the list goes on.  You celebrate for a few minutes but then the work begins because as you […]

Growing your Existing Donor Base

Everyone is always looking for ways to grow their donor base so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions and tips that I’ve used myself. Feel free to add some of your own ideas. The first step would be to figure out what you mean when you say “donor base.” Are we talking about monthly […]

Re-Prospecting Donors

There are always donors that have a personal relationship with other people in the organization. Often times the donors who have these friendships make judgement calls about their “donor friends” without consulting the individual donors. When your major donors have family that is on staff or are part of your staffs private inner circle (we […]

Raise Supporters Not Support

Everyone always talks about fundraising as having to do with raising money or providing funds for an organization. I think that it could be worth our while to expand this idea to include activism in a more general sense such as advocacy and community activism. Volunteers and community members can be such incredible ambassadors for […]

Never too late for New Year’s resolutions….

Oh boy.  Here it is.  2015.  For those of you whose fiscal years close in December, my hope is that y’all got to celebrate meeting or exceeding your fundraising goals, and that you threw a party and savored the success a few days at least, before diving back in.  And, for those of us whose […]

Happy Birthday to Me!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s my birthday. Birthdays seem to be the only day of the year everyone is okay with someone tooting their own horn. So here it goes… A Small Change has sort of been a life’s work for me. There have been incredible moments, I’ve met amazing people and […]

Ice Breakers Part Two

A couple of years back I posted about Icebreakers that we use in conversations with donors, prospects, board members, etc. You provided some really great ideas and feedback and I thought I’d include a few more that I’d heard from you and that I’ve used since my initial post. What is the heart behind your […]

Tooting Your Own Horn

This may sound a little cheap but I’ve found it invaluable. Succeeding as a fundraising professional is often more about managing perception that your actual performance and success. I am writing this for those of us that do not toot our own horn (not for the slackers that really don’t do anything). I have found […]

Who Likes Meetings?

I have talked a lot about meetings in my last couple posts. Why does everyone hate meetings? Too often not enough work has been done before the meeting so everyone sits around getting nothing done. Sometimes the one chairing the meeting has not “rallied up enough support” before the meeting and everyone spends the entire […]

Campaign Constipation

We have all been there when we are in the middle of a campaign or plan and everything slows down to a crawl. Sometimes this happens because we have not planned enough, or because we need to build critical mass, but other times it happens because of external things you cannot control. Fundraising can sometimes […]

Keep on Keeping On

Every nonprofit has hard times. Here are some of my thoughts if you need to push through tough times. It is important to set short regular meetings & benchmarks. These do not need to be directly tied to finances. In fact make sure that some of them are not tied to finances. Have some measurable […]

Will You Be My Volunteer?

How many of you value volunteers and volunteer recruitment as highly as donor stewardship? Some organizations I’ve worked for have their volunteer programs held within the development office other have them elsewhere. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit; they serve on your board, often serve your clients, keep your front desk staffed, fold your […]

Mission or Opportunity

Do you work for your non-profit because you believe in the mission of the organization or because it is a good opportunity for you? I do for a combination of both but let me make a brief case for each. Mission keeps the direction clear and gives you another reason to get out of bed. […]

Email Merge Secret

I wrote earlier about how writing informally can be a great strategy to personalize a donor letter. We all use email and receive way to many mass emails. We have become experts at figuring out what is an email we need to read and what we can delete right away. If we put in the […]

Mr. Formal or Informal

When communicating with donors how we talk with them, especially in mass mailings, is really important. Some people really appreciate formality while others want you to tell a compelling story with simple language. A good general rule is the more that you know someone the more informal your writing can be. When writing a solicitation […]

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