Want your board to give? Find a member who acts like these grandmas.

Convincing a board to give. It still is difficult in the Netherlands. Even when it comes to giving in times of a major gift campaign. Even when they know that giving as a board member will be inspirational, that it will set an example for prospective donors. Then why is it so hard to convince NGO boards?

I thought about this a lot last week. I did some research and had great discussions with colleagues and fundraising friends about it. We came up with several reasons why (Dutch) board members are still not that enthusiastic about giving to their organization. It had to do with culture: the culture of asking, the culture of giving. And even Dutch culture. (more…)

Friendraising, what’s in it for you?

IFC series“Everybody who donates to our organization is a friend to us. We make no difference in how we treat our donors.” It’s about a year ago when Eveline Aendekerk, executive director of dance4life, said this to me. At first I thought she shared this as her ‘vision on fundraising’ to me, as a lot of fundraisers do. But she went on and told me about the friends4life concept. And I learned that when Eveline talks about her donors as her friends, she means it literally. (more…)

7 ‘Big bummers’ for charitable trusts and foundations

(Or, 7 ways to improve your foundation fundraising skills)

“Why is it, that so many nonprofit organizations send in applications to foundations, without even taking the time to find out where these foundations stand for?” I was having a conversation with Jos Verhoeven, managing director of the Dutch Start Foundation. He continued: “I just don’t get it. About 25% of the applications we receive as a foundation, have nothing to do with the mission we stand for. I mean, if you need a mortgage, you don’t go to supermarket to get one, do you? So why send in applications to foundations that don’t match with your mission?”


6 Things you get with friendraising

“Friendraising is raising money from your friends and family.” This is just one of the replies I got, when I recently asked app. 200 Dutch fundraising colleagues to send me their definition of ‘friendraising’. Well, if this is what friendraising is about, I guess the birthdays of fund- and friendraisers soon will be awfully quiet.

Fortunately, a lot of colleagues used better definitions. Myself, I like to use this one: friendraising is building sustainable relationships with persons, foundations and corporations, in order to get to know them better, and to (co)create a wide variety of ways to support your organization. Of course, a result of friendraising can be that you receive money. But if it’s up to me, it can be so much more. Let me sum up just 6 things for you. (more…)

Unexpected (?) fundraising tool: your ears as your moneymakers

“Recently a charity asked me if I had put them in my will. I was astounded and felt insulted by this question. After the conversation I immediately went to my notary and changed my will. I deleted all three of the charities that were in there. My kids are once again the only beneficiaries.”

I posted this quote on Twitter about a year ago, after a ‘kitchen table’ conversation with one of the major donors of a charity I work for as a consultant. The conversation was part of a feasibility study for a major gifts and legacies program. A fellow fundraiser has asked me to blog about the subject.

Well, here are my thoughts. (more…)