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(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction!

For those of you in my generation—and a lot of those younger than we—these words conjure up iconic images of Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones. To the philanthropists among us, the lyrics of Sir Michael’s ballad could as easily be their theme of frustration as they seek to make a difference in the lives […]

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Lead with the Personal–follow with the rational

When approaching a perspective donor we are often eager to explain the mission of the organization we are representing the good work and community impact that it has.  Full of facts and figures and often armed with glossy folders and annual reports, we make our case.  Experience has shown, however, that such an approach is […]

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Trust—the great leveler

Perhaps the most critical resource in engendering philanthropic support for your charity or cause is trust; trust among your investors that you will deliver on both the outcomes you tout and also the values your donors espouse.  Your fund development program will rise or fall in direct proportion to the level of trust that your […]

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Is It Them—or us?

Nonprofits often decry their lack of resources while trumpeting an ever-growing demand for their services.  The conventional wisdom is often that donors simply aren’t caring enough to want to help others; smart enough to understand how good your organization is; or even aware enough to appreciate the important work you do. There’s another possible explanation, […]

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Let’s Fail–again and again

Our charitable organizations have the obligation to fail.  That is, to be leaders in innovation.  So says Seth Godin. Why?  According to Seth, because the work they are doing is far too important to play it safe.  Risk, fail, try, risk, fail, succeed. Young philanthropists, more and more, want to see solutions to problems not […]

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