August 2021

Register for My Upcoming Webinar at CharityHowTo:

Amazingly Successful One-to-One Solicitations

Dear [First Name],

Almost 87% of all charitable gifts come from individuals, and virtually no one gives their biggest gift without being asked one-to-one. If you’re not out there asking, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Do you know how to have an intentional conversation during which you ask a donor for a personally significant gift? Do you ask the most revealing questions and get your donor to do most of the talking? Do you feel comfortable with gift negotiations?

Join me as I drill deep into the solicitation meeting itself in this powerful 90-minute interactive webinar on Wednesday, August 18th at 1pm EDT.

Asking Styles Tip of the Month

how to recharge for the fall giving season

The fall is always a crazy time for fundraisers. It’s a short season that includes annual appeals, Giving Tuesday, special events, donor cultivation/solicitation and more. So, we need to be fully charged and ready to go.

Part of getting ready is reminding ourselves why we care and why our organizations are so important. Our Asking Style impacts how we go about that:

Rainmakers: Review your organization's outcomes measurements to remind yourself of its accomplishments, and set some personal, quantifiable goals for the fall. How many donors will you contact? How many gifts will you try to close? How many board members will you engage in the cultivation cycle with donors?

Go-Getters: Remind yourself of your organization’s vision and what you know is possible if your organization raises the needed funds. Take some time to chat with program staff and be inspired by the impact they’re making. And if you can visit the program and interact with participants, even better.

Kindred Spirits: What is your organization’s mission? What is it trying to “do”? Being reminded of that will play to your sense of responsibility in making sure it happens. And never forget your own story of why your organization is personally important. How has it helped you or spoken to something your heart feels should be addressed?

Mission Controllers: What’s the plan? Make sure your fundraising plan is S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. And remind yourself how your fundraising plan ties into the organization’s annual and strategic plans. Then map out September so you know you’ve got a game plan.

Blind Dating and Cultivating Donors:

My "Aha" Moment

Blind dating and cultivating donors. I’ve been doing both for as long as I can remember.

One night, as yet another guy ended the conversation by saying he’d had a really great time, I had an “aha” moment.  Dating is just like cultivating donors.

Read my newest post to find out how. Can you commiserate?

On the Road – For Real!

August 2021

Last month I headed up to Hamilton, NY to train the board of Fiver Children's Foundation at their glorious camp. It was exciting for all of us (everyone was vaccinated) to be in the room together. That included five new, brave board members who had never met their fellow board members in person before! We had an amazing day together.

When I train boards, we always map out the team's Asking Styles to better understand the profile of each member. Fiver was fascinating in that more than 75% of the board and key staff were Mission Controllers.

It was the highest concentration I had seen in a decade. Perhaps not surprising given Fiver's strong emphasis on measurable results (99% of their grads also graduate from high school). We talked about how that might impact discussions, strategic planning, developing personal stories and more.

Sneak Peak: Rubber Stamps Don't Fundraise
I'm excited to announce my third book will be coming out this fall. The book, written with Michael Davidson, is about how board governance  impacts a board's willingness, and ability, to fundraise. I can't wait to share more with you soon!



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