It’s Get to Know Your Customers (Donors) Day!

A cautionary note: If you’re just not in the mood to hear any of this “appreciating-your-customer” business, may we suggest waiting to read this post later? Maybe you overheard a cranky customer impatiently waiting for their morning coffee, or you were on the receiving end of a co-worker or donor complaint (gasp!). Whatever the case,Continue reading It’s Get to Know Your Customers (Donors) Day!

What Does Detective Columbo Have to do With Fundraising?

Years ago, I learned about the “Columbo Approach” and how you can utilize this in prospecting and follow-up phone calls. It’s based on the old TV character Columbo played by Peter Falk and is, simply put, when you ask questions of someone and essentially ‘play dumb’ even though you know the answer. By asking yourContinue reading What Does Detective Columbo Have to do With Fundraising?

SPECIAL UPDATE: 100 Years of Giving!! And Working Towards the Next 100 Years!

Last week…February 16th to be exact…marked an important day for fundraisers and nonprofits everywhere! On this day, hundreds of nonprofit fundraisers, administrators and advocates from around the country went to Capitol Hill for the ‘100 Years of Giving DC Fly-In’! Why is this important to you? 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the income taxContinue reading SPECIAL UPDATE: 100 Years of Giving!! And Working Towards the Next 100 Years!

How to Talk with Prospects: KISS

The great investor Warren Buffett says companies that use excessive jargon and technical models in their communications are companies investors should avoid. “They obviously don’t want me to understand their business,” he said. The Oracle of Omaha has also written much about how he writes his annual reports: “One unoriginal but useful tip: Write withContinue reading How to Talk with Prospects: KISS

We’re Not in the Business of Sales, Here.

I couldn’t get to sleep the other night and while channel surfing I stumbled on Glengarry Glen Ross. I always love to watch Alec Baldwin’s character Blake’s hilarious (yet painful) soliloquy where he drives home the point: “A.B.C. Always Be Closing.” While Blake’s foul language and my laughter didn’t do much to help me sleep,Continue reading We’re Not in the Business of Sales, Here.

Listen and Learn: Using the ‘Tuesday Call’

I was talking with a friend the other day who’s in a typical nonprofit situation—a one-person planned giving shop. He’s tasked with not only the important job of traveling and meeting with planned giving prospects and donors to close gifts for his great organization, but also managing the marketing efforts and trying to sort outContinue reading Listen and Learn: Using the ‘Tuesday Call’

3 Reasons to Think Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions

As I sat down to think about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year and what I want my New Year’s resolution to be, I stopped to think…how many people actually achieve their resolutions? With a little help from the ‘Google machine,’ I found that while more than 40% of Americans make resolutions,Continue reading 3 Reasons to Think Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions

What Can Nonprofits Learn from the Chicago Cubs?

For decades I’ve been among the hoards of die-hard Chicago Cubs fans. My family and I are now reveling in the glory of a shiny World Series trophy firmly in place in Wrigleyville. I still can’t believe I’m able to write that. And the tales I’ve heard of people crying (myself included…see above!)—tearing up becauseContinue reading What Can Nonprofits Learn from the Chicago Cubs?

Three of My Favorite “Aha” Takeaways from NCPP 2016

NACPG stands for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners — a smart rebranding of the former Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, which has represented the charitable gift planning industry for nearly 30 years. Last week, I met up with hundreds of gift planners from across the country at the group’s national conference in Dallas. HereContinue reading Three of My Favorite “Aha” Takeaways from NCPP 2016