Lessons Learned from ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Silly Stunt or Brilliant Fundraising?


It’s not often that I digress from writing about major gifts, but I had to make an exception for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might be living under a rock -- or on an extremely extended vacation.) In fact, I can’t ever recall a fundraising campaign going viral in this manner, or of this magnitude, before. Just this week, I … [Read more...]

Getting Real with Major Gifts: Interview with Jamie Roseman of Planned Parenthood

Jamie Roseman

For more than a year, I have been blogging about how to raise major gifts. I thought it would be interesting to team up with some of my colleagues in the field to share some of their expertise on the subject. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie Roseman, at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, about her experience with … [Read more...]

Exactly How and Why to Use a Pre-Call Letter with a Donor


A pre-call letter is a letter (or email) you send to a donor to let them know you will be calling, so hopefully, they are more receptive to your call. Tim asked what I thought of pre-call letters, and how much detail they should have. He also wanted to know if you should really let prospective donors know why you’re calling, or if you should simply say you’ll be calling in … [Read more...]

How to Get a Donor to Meet with You for the First Time

Shaking Hands

Have you ever tried to get a donor to meet with you in person? Did you succeed? Was it challenging? This is a question I get asked all the time: How do I get a donor to meet with me for the first time? If you're wondering how to get a donor to meet with you for the first time, I want you to ask yourself, “What is the goal for the meeting?” This will help you … [Read more...]

Maximizing Your Asks (and Your Gifts) Per Year

Counting on Blackboard

Did you know that most organizations with small development shops make less than 50 asks per year? What's more, they actually get far fewer gifts. This is because they don’t get every gift they ask for (which is not necessarily a bad thing, by the way). How Often Are You Asking? Do you know how many times per year you ask for gifts? Do you know how much you ask for … [Read more...]