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 #36 - The Ripple Effect

When you throw a pebble into a pond, it causes a ripple effect. It causes small waves that keep expanding outward, ever expanding. It all begins with the pebble.

Thought #35 - Saving and Changing Lives

It's not about money. And it's not about your organization. It's all about the people you serve, the lives you touch. It's about saving lives and changing lives. That's what it's about. And everyday, your organization is in the business of saving lives and changing lives.

Thought #34 - What Questions Can I Ask?

Before a visit, I like to ask myself: “What questions can I ask that will unlock the donor’s soul?” If I find the right answer to that, I’m certain of getting the gift.

Thought #33 - Sell the Results


It’s not about the needs of the organization. The organization does not have needs. People have needs. Those you serve have issues, problems, concerns. Your organization has the answer, the response, the results.

Sell the results.

Thought #32 - Effective Listening

Effective listening ensures your success.

Thought #31 - Tell Them a Memorable Story


Nothing stimulates like stories. Statistics may be important, but they don’t propel a person to action. A dramatic story about how your organization touches a person’s life becomes very important. And memorable.


Thought #30 - What Donors Want to Know About Their Gift


Donors wish to create change. They want to see things happen. They want to make certain their gift makes a difference. They want to join others in a great cause.

Thought #29 - What Every Donor Should Know


Donors want to know:

  • Why should I give to this organization?
  • Why this project?
  • Why now?
  • Why me?

You’d better have an answer for all of these questions.