What you must know (and a few things you probably don’t) as an international fundraiser

Philanthropy as we have known it is changing. And while donors continue to focus their time and money on the causes to which they have the most personal connection, our understanding of ‘community’ has evolved so fundamentally in the wake of globalisation that one may have just as much tangible experience of a starving child a hemisphere away as of the patrons of a breadline around the corner. And yet, despite the increasing sophistication of our donor communications and marketing strategies, the security of our success as Western fundraisers is irrevocable gone. (more…)

Fundraising Almost Always Involves “Change”

In 30 years of fundraising, I have never come across any organization that has fully embraced all the types of fundraising that they could be taking advantage of.  In other words, almost every NGO I know “leaves money on the table.”

(I can hear all the fundraising consultants out there saying “Wow, that’s for sure!”).

So, what do we conclude? That to help someone (some group) raise more money, or to raise more money ourselves from inside an organization, we have to help it CHANGE.

The biggest opportunity any group has, is usually the one it isn’t (yet) capitalizing on [rather than improving an existing one]. So helping someone change how they see a task, or their job, or their budget, or their role, can help you raise more money. 

That sounds like a HUGE job. But it doesn’t have to be.  In fact, that is one of the three, simple things you can learn about change, that will help you create it.

But first a note of credit:  NONE of these ideas are mine.  Why should they be?  This is fundraising, and some the best ideas in fundraising are stolen. (more…)

Advice to a Professor

September 12, 2011

Dear Mr. Lipsyte,

Loved “The Ask”!

I’ve reviewed it, and wonder if you’d write a few words in response? We in the development world are really curious about your career choice for the protagonist, and how you researched the hard details of the profession.

I know the book has been reviewed extensively, but I can’t find one done by a fundraiser like me. Again, we’d really appreciate your perspective.


Rebecca (more…)

Summer reading and toosh dev

That night I dreamed I was an indentured servant in colonial Philadelphia. Somehow, even in the dream, I sensed that I had once been a development officer in post-Colonial New York City.

We need every drop of philanthropy we can get. We must fasten our lips to the spigot and suck, so to speak.

“The Ask” – Sam Lipsyte

I’m blogging today from the land of the silver birch, home of the beaver, where still the mighty moose wanders at will. What you call your own ‘where’ — camp, cabin, or cottage — depends on what part of Canada you’re from, but everyone’s destination looks pretty much the same: blue lake and rocky shore, family and friends, sunsets on the dock. And above all, in a Canadian camp/cabin/cottage there are books. The swollen and musty throwback paperbacks permanent to your camp/cabin/cottage and that you’d only read, for reasons both pragmatic and snobby, in that context (“Mrs. John Albert Jr.’s Guide to Making Soap out of Wild Game Fat”, “Summer Sisters” by Judy Blume).  And, of course of most of all, those books you’ve saved all year to read at the lake.


Top 9 donor loyalty tweets!

First of all I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the inaugural bloggers who’ve opened this crowdblog with some great blog posts!  We’ve seen 6 blog posts so far and I enjoyed every bit of them! Thank you Rebecca, Victor, Mitch, Margot, Julie and Lars!

Obviously there are a trillion fundraising topics to choose from, but today I’ve chosen one I consider the most important: donor loyalty.

When I started to use Twitter last year I made a few rules for myself. One of them being that I didn’t want to tweet about personal stuff, so I decided to tweet only about fundraising. To boost my followers I thought I’d summarize the best Tiny book in the series: Essentials of Donor Loyalty from professor Adrian Sargeant.