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ASKphobia: How to Overcome Ask Aversion

askingformoneyWhat is your biggest fear?

I’ve often heard that more people are afraid of public speaking than of death. In the non-profit world, I think more fundraisers are afraid of asking for money than the death of their organization.

I work in major gifts. I ask people of means to invest large amounts of money in the cause I represent. I love it. But, I find it shocking how often fundraisers say to me: “I could NEVER do what you do” or “How can you ask someone to give YOU all that money”. I’ve heard similar objections to direct mail asks, door-to-door programs and asking donors to consider legacy gifts.

Fundraisers everywhere are ASK-averse, ASK-phobic, and worse yet anti-ASK. (more…)

How effective is your welcome program?

Welcome phrase in different languages. Word clouds concept.Many charities have a welcome program in place to keep more donors in, to make them feel welcome or to ask for more money. Whatever the reason you have your welcome flow, there is always room for improvement. So, here’s a simple 10 point checklist that will help you estimate how much room for improvement there actually is. (more…)

Fire Your Donors

Customer Service 2Over the past year, I’ve seen/heard/had a number of discussions around fundraising trends. They tend to revolve around the following topics:

  • Acquisition ain’t what it used to be, and retention is abysmal. It’s time to really love our donors!
  • Donor-centred fundraising – do it. You can’t thank these guys enough!
  • What’s the next thing after direct mail? WHAT IS IT?!?
  • You are a bad fundraiser. Bad! Work harder!

And finally…

  • What’s with this high fundraiser turnover?

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Relationships vs. Results

handshake2 This is a tough one.

Since I’ve been working in fundraising, and especially over the past year, I’ve been noticing the similarities and the differences between fundraisers that I really admire.

They all live by the principles of Relationship Fundraising, but some really take donor-love to the next level, while others simply use the building of donor relationships as another tool to achieving great results. (more…)