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Posted on in Fundraising

What’s the one most powerful indicator of an agency’s ability to make lasting change in its development returns?

I have a surprising answer to that.

You’d think it was the board, or a wealthy founder, or a super-rich patron who takes the agency under his/her wing – but I don’t think those are the factors that lead to real, sustained, institutional fundraising change.

It’s the support and attention of the executive director.

Why do I say that?

Because board members are volunteers.

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Posted on in Fundraising

What can the rest of us learn from the Metropolitan Museum?

About the human scale of fundraising.

Emily Rafferty, the retiring resident of the Met Museum, was profiled in Crain’s last week talking, in part, about donor relations and motivation.

Sure, those of us that run nonprofits without the heft of the Metropolitan Museum’s renown, cachet, and board of directors might think – easy for her to knock on doors. But “there are a lot of people that I’ve gone to and asked for money, and it hasn’t been the right time for them,” she recounts.

Her response? Patience, and building an authentic relationship over time. 

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Posted on in Fundraising

The dollars can be deceiving.

As in: “Our Board give/get is $10,000 and most board members make that number.

Or: “Our board all gives quite generously.” Full stop.

What’s wrong with that picture? Many of us would scale a thickly-forested Alpine peak in the driving rain to get to that stage.

(And, sometimes, that is what it feels like.)

What’s wrong is what’s missing – the board as ambassadors. As the extenders-to-the-world and bringers-in of the resources of interested others.

Last modified on

Posted on in Fundraising

The dollars can be deceiving.

As in: “Our Board give/get is $10,000 and most board members make that number.

Or: “Our board all gives quite generously.” Full stop.

What’s wrong with that picture? Many of us would scale a thickly-forested Alpine peak in the driving rain to get to that stage.

(And, sometimes, that is what it feels like.)

What’s wrong is what’s missing – the board as ambassadors. As the extenders-to-the-world and bringers-in of the resources of interested others.

Last modified on

Posted on in Fundraising

Vision. The word of the hour, the month, the year, for those who lead nonprofits.

As in, see what’s not there and create it. See what’s wrong and fix it. Move mountains, carve a new path, leave the world a little (or a lot) different than we found it.

As fundraisers, especially, we’re always setting the bar just a little bit higher. Even when we reach a goal, we raise the finish line (“We’ve made $60,000 – let’s go for $75,000!”).

For those of us in nonprofits, our work is not a job, it’s a calling.

Yet sometimes we need to put it down.

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