Over 83 weeks (yes, eighty-three!), you will read some lessons I’ve learned in my richly rewarding 40-year journey in fundraising. There are bits and pieces about our profession and what skills and attributes make a great fundraiser. I also write about what motivates a person to make a gift to your organization.

There is some wisdom, perhaps.  Years of experience, for certain. A great deal for you to think about.  And suggestions for you to put into practice.

Forty years! You may well ask whether what I write about is relevant for the mind, heart, and spirit of today’s men and women. You bet it is!

What follows are some thoughts I have about fundraising and philanthropy for today’s organizations. The material is relevant. Certainly thought-provoking.  And, I hope, a bit helpful.

blue rule

Thought #44 - Get Your Donors to Talk

After 48 hours, a person only remembers 37% of what you have talked about.  But they remember 76% of what they say.  When you are meeting with someone, make certain you probe and get them to talk.

Thought #43 - Three Essential Elements to an Appeal

In your oral appeal and in your writing, there are three things that are essential.

Thought #42 - Thrifty Use of Resources

Expensive brochures are often a negative to the prospect. They are like children— much beloved by their parents, but barely tolerated by others.

Thought #41 - Tell Them How Their Gift Makes a Difference

Keep in mind that it’s not about fundraising. And it’s not about money. It’s about changing lives and saving lives. Your job is to let people know how their gift can help touch lives in an extraordinary way. Their gift makes a difference.

Thought #40 - Keep It Simple

Keep your request simple. If there are too many things for a donor to consider, they can’t remember anything, can’t differentiate the important from the less important, can’t decide about anything. Don’t give them too many choices.

Thought #39 - Feeling Your Passion

It’s essential that you are passionate about your organization and its work. Donors can feel it and sense it. If you aren’t totally committed, you are either at the wrong organization or in the wrong profession.

Thought #38 - Your Attitude is Your Choice

If you say it can’t be done, you are right. If you say it can be done, you are also right.  The choice is yours. You must have a can-do attitude.

Thought #37 - Making People Feel

There’s a beautiful saying from Maya Angelou: “A person will soon forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  That should be a fundraiser’s credo.