Larry

They’re Just Lucky—we can’t

When working with my clients—charitable organizations who do worthy work in the communities they serve—I often hear some variation on this.  “That (other) organization was just lucky in raising money this year.”  “We can’t achieve results like those guys—they have the big fundraising budget.”  There are a thousand versions of this way of thinking but […]

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Larry

Hear, See and Touch–yes touch

Far too often, we rarely give our donors more than a momentary thought—as in when we are waiting for the results of the last mailing to see how much it “brings in.”  It’s not necessarily that we’re ungrateful for their generous support.  It’s just that we have so much more important work to do.  The […]

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Larry

The Mythology–of self

We’re passionate, focused, determined to do good and–dead wrong. Huh?   Charitable organizations are no different.  A noble vision results in worthy actions.  Worthy actions bespeak solid reputation.  We’re convinced of our own rationality, our “rightness”. And so the story goes.  When was the last time we tested this “reality” with those on whom we […]

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Larry

Belief–and truth

Many of us become our own worst enemies when we begin to believe our own press releases.  Nonprofit leaders are no exception.  Witness the recent hang-wringing and urgent calls to action regarding proposed changes in the charitable deduction and possible cuts in public grants to charities.  Such concerns are often manifestations of a fundamental pessimism […]

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Larry

Donors Buy Feelings—not stuff

In a recent post, Seth Godin makes an observation concerning consumer buying behavior that translates well into the philanthropic arena.  Principle 1 of The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising® is “Donors are the Drivers™”.  Donors are the driving force behind all philanthropy.  It is about them, not us.  Those organizations that possess worthy purposes and […]

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Larry

Magic Kingdom Fundraising—it works

When I use the words, “magic kingdom” you’re probably thinking of what I am—Disney.  That name brings many things to mind—Mickey, Minnie, a world apart.  For those of us who have had the opportunity to visit one of the Disney theme-parks we know that they, also, are a world apart.  Optimism, and customer service are […]

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Larry

Ask and You Will Receive–not!

The year-end has just passed and we’re into a new year of fundraising goals and aspirations.  If you are like me, you’re on everyone’s list with your Christmas and holiday cards competing for space in your mail box with numerous solicitations from worthy charities.  It can all be a bit overwhelming—and actually become a turn-off. […]

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Larry

Where’s Your Focus–outcomes or income?

It’s unfortunate that the perennial debate about nonprofits and charitable organizations is about the revenue they receive—how much, from whom, and whether it will continue.  Witness the recent federal budget negotiations in Washington.  Nonprofits and their association surrogates got into the action to “preserve” their income by lobbing for continued charitable gift deductions, federal subsidies […]

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Larry

Good Fundraising–bad fundraising

When you get counsel on how to fundraise—from colleagues, friends or even a professional consultant—stop and think.  As Agatha Christie once said, “The difficulty with good advice is that it is almost never taken.”  Why? Most nonprofit leadership is remarkably risk-adverse.  Never is this fear of being “different” more on display than in their efforts […]

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Larry

Asking With Purpose—yields success

As we come into the home stretch for year-end giving I believe it’s worth reminding all those who work for charitable organizations that it’s never too late—to ask.  It is a true irony of philanthropy that the number one anxiety-producing event for a volunteer or even development officer is actually asking for a gift.  And […]

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