3 Reasons Setting Goals Will Help You Raise Major Gifts
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
1w ago
Major gift fundraising is a crucial component of any nonprofit organization’s revenue stream, and setting goals is a vital part of ensuring the success of a major gift fundraising effort. If you are like many other fundraisers, you may have general fundraising goals, but are less likely to have major gift goals specifically. Having specific goals for your major gift program will help increase the chances you will succeed. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know when you’ve arrived. In other words, to succeed at raising major gifts, you must set a goal. 3 Reasons Every ..read more
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Stop Fundraising and Start Thinking Like a For-Profit Business
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
2w ago
How often do you take a step back from your organization and look at the bigger picture? If you do, I’m guessing you’ll discover there are lessons nonprofit organizations can learn from for-profit businesses. I’d like you to try a little thought exercise… Stop fundraising — just for an hour or two. Take a little time to think about some more effective and efficient ways to run your organization, as well as potential alternative revenue sources. A Nonprofit Business Mindset In the business world, investment is not a dirty word. In fact, businesses are expected to invest in technology, research ..read more
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Fundraising New Year’s Resolutions – Realistic or Ridiculous?
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
3w ago
Like most people, I’m not the best at keeping resolutions — and yet, I always make them. Why do we torture ourselves if we fail at keeping resolutions year after year? It’s because we believe we can do better, holding out hope. And with the right formula, we can succeed. From Fundraising Resolutions to Goals You might do better to switch your terminology and thought process from resolutions to goals. Reflect upon your successes and failures from last year. What are you most proud of? If you really think about it, you probably did a lot of great things last year. But in the areas where you fel ..read more
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Major Gift Fundraising: Reflections, Observations, and Predictions for 2023
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
1M ago
While trying to decide what to write for my final post of the year, I looked back over some of my older posts for inspiration. I cherry-picked a collection of nuggets that I hope will be inspirational and motivational. Everyone Should Have a BHAG, Including You! I began the year with a post about creating a BHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal and the importance of goal setting. As you reflect on the last twelve months, can you identify specific accomplishments? Did you set a BHAG? Did you achieve your goal? If not, did you come close? Regardless, consider what lessons you learned along the way ..read more
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Fundraising Boot Camp: The Most Effective Way to Raise Money, Fast
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
1M ago
What does the image of boot camp evoke for you? Exercise, sweating, military training, intensity? Probably all the above. According to a quick Google search: A boot camp workout is basically a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) — bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity. For centuries, soldiers in armies everywhere have been expected to be in good shape with strong endurance. The term “boot camp” dates back to the Spanish-American War. Military recruits in the United States wore leggings known as “boots,” so their training camp became known as boo ..read more
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How to Deal with Disappointment When Raising Major Gifts
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
2M ago
Fundraising can be full of frustration and disappointment. This is especially true when a donor doesn’t respond the way you’d hoped they would. There is a Bright Side to “No” However, there is a bright side to no. When you get a string of no’s, it could be a sign that you’re being brave. And if you’re not getting any no’s, it’s definitely a sign you’re not asking enough. I know it may seem strange to say, but getting some negative responses is a good thing — it’s the mark of a strong fundraiser. If you’re getting all yes’s, it means you’re waiting to ask until you are 100% sure of the answer ..read more
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Just Say No to ‘Thank-a-Thons’ and Other Harmful Gratitude Practices
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
2M ago
Imagine you donate to a charity for the first time. You receive a generic tax receipt and then, eight months later out of the blue, you receive a thank you call for a donation you barely remember making. Do you feel warm and fuzzy or in any way endeared toward that organization? I know a lot of nonprofit leaders are hard at work right now coordinating thank-a-thons. While I’ll admit they’re better than nothing, that’s a low bar to be aiming for. Instead, brainstorm meaningful and memorable ways to steward donors — not just during the holidays, but all year long. Most importantly, donors shoul ..read more
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How to Earn an A+ on Your Donor Report Cards
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
2M ago
If your donors were grading your fundraising efforts and their experience with your nonprofit, what sort of grade would they give you? (Hint: It’s not all about getting straight A’s, but it’s about doing the best you can. For more on this, see the end of this post.) 6 Areas to Earn an A+ on Your Donor Report Cards Simply pushing yourself to do your very best is often good enough. But knowing where to focus your attention and where there’s room for improvement can only help. Here are six aspects to consider in terms of what donors are likely to be evaluating. 1. Website usability When people l ..read more
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How Nonprofit Executive Directors Should Support their Development Director
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
3M ago
Occasionally I like to share different perspectives on my blog. For this post, I connected with Canadian colleague Larissa Stoddart, Founder and CEO of Growth & Co., for her insights on effective nonprofit leadership. Executive Director and Development Director: A Critical Relationship AE: Larissa, let’s start with a relatively easy topic. Why are the interactions between the Executive Director and Development Director so critical? LS: Fundraising success is dependent on a variety of people filling various roles. Board Directors, Executive Directors, fundraising staff, and donors all play ..read more
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How to Tame the Scariest Part of Fundraising – The Ask
Amy Eisenstein
by Amy Eisenstein
3M ago
Asking for gifts can be scary. Especially if you’ve never done it before. There are many reasons fundraising is frightening. I can think of five right off the top of my head: Fear of rejection Fear of the unknown Fear of messing up the ask Fear of offending the donor Fear of saying something stupid If you’ve never asked for a gift, it can be terrifying. And even if you have asked before, it can remain uncomfortable. But just like learning any skill, fundraising gets easier with practice and preparation. Fear is Tied to Risk Think back to when you were a child — learning how to swim… learnin ..read more
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