philanthropic leadership

Deep Values = Deeper Giving

By |September 21st, 2017|

The clearer one becomes with their values, the clearer they will be with their philanthropy. The good news is there are lots of generous givers in the world that have all kinds of interests, desires and values. As a nonprofit leader, you don’t have to have all the donors in the world to be financially successful. You just need the right donors who truly share your mission, vision and values deeply. I share lots of values that fit well with many nonprofits, but I do not hold them all with the same degree of passion and depth. I may [...]

All it Takes is One Bad Employee

By |September 17th, 2017|

All it takes is one bad employee to taint your nonprofit’s organization. This should be simple enough that shouldn’t be said in the 21st century, but with each new generation arriving on the job, employees and human resource departments need to do a better job of hiring and equipping their staff when it comes to communicating with donors. After all, your donors are your customers. They are your investors in your enterprise. They may not be end-user customers like shoppers at the mall or local grocery store, but without their continued financial support, your nonprofit truly has no profit. [...]

Make the Transaction Easy so the Transformation Occurs

By |September 16th, 2017|

If giving money to charity is as hard as it is to purchase a car, then we have a major problem. Yes, most charities have their little “donate here” button on their website or app, but giving big money to public charities can sometimes be too complex with too many lawyers, contracts, and written expectations. Whether we are building an endowment fund, or a donor is having his or her name engraved in stone for life, these kinds of gifts should be easier to make then purchasing a car. Really? When big money is exchanged do we really need [...]

Hunting Your Donors for Blood

By |September 15th, 2017|

Have you ever been trapped by what you’ve said? Have you ever gotten emotionally caught up in a situation where before you knew it, you have already over promised and you know you simply cannot deliver? We’ve all said things we regret, made promises we cannot keep, or even made pledges we cannot financially fulfill. When it comes to charitable fundraising, many donors have found themselves in this place of donor regret. The opening of Proverbs 6 proclaims the following: “My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if [...]

The Power to Do Good: Just Do IT!

By |September 13th, 2017|

Wisdom proclaims: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27, ESV). This is at times can be a very challenging word to the wise philanthropist. Just think about it, if a person considers themselves to be philanthropic, generous, or just a good citizen desiring to make a positive impact in the world, then they tend to have the financial resources along with other resources to do good. In other words they have the power to do it, to not withhold good. But just because you [...]

Foolish Philanthropic Leadership

By |September 9th, 2017|

You may want to save the world, but be realistic. You may want to run a marathon, but have you ever run a 5K road race? You may want to raise $10 million dollars but have you ever even raised much less handled $100,000? If your head is in the clouds, then hopefully someone can gently bring you back down to reality. If you don’t have the know-how, then you don’t know how. If you don’t have the emotional and mental and spiritual capacity to take on more, then you might need to learn being content first. Too many [...]

Your Annual Report Sucks!

By |September 8th, 2017|

Does your nonprofit’s annual report look and feel like all of the other annual reports out there? You have a warm welcoming letter from the founder or founders. You will have lots of fun smiling faces of real people your organization has helped over the past year. You may even have before and after photos especially if your organization performs surgeries for children with cleft lip and cleft palate. Then of course you’ll have some cool charts and bar graphs and pie graphs showing the impact and where all the money is going. This of course tends to show [...]

Are You Spotlighting the Donor or the Charity?

By |September 7th, 2017|

If you are appealing to me to give from a position of my ego, then you really do not know me. And if you really do not know me, then how many others within your donor base do you really do not even get? A few toxic immature and often wealthy donors may give from their pride and ego, but most people are not thinking about themselves when they are making decisions in giving to the poor or giving to charity. Most healthy donors are actually thinking about the end recipients of their generosity. Sophisticated donors are even thinking [...]

Professional Fundraising Teams: Watch Out!

By |September 2nd, 2017|

If your favorite charity has decided to hire a third party professional development / fundraising team, then you as a donor have every right to know how much of your donation will be going to them. Some for-profit fundraising entities take an enormous percentage from every dollar they raise, while others work solely on a fixed flat rate. Some groups will have certain percentage incentives that will decrease as their ability to raise more money increases; something very similar to traditional money managers. The more money you give them to make you money, often their fees decrease. And if [...]

Don’t Over Promise To Give

By |September 1st, 2017|

Don’t over promise to give if you can’t deliver on your gift. Don’t over promise to give, even if you can deliver on your gift. Often nonprofits will want donors to commit to give a certain amount of money over an extended amount of time, say three to four years or even longer. The problem with long-term gift pledges are two-fold. First, the donor’s financial situation may change for the worse and then not be able to fully fulfill what they had originally planned to give. This brings shame, guilt and other feelings of donor regret. Second, a donor [...]