Articles

Donors Are Waiting For You to Ask

Sometime in your relationship with your donor, the time will come to ask for money. It’s a critical moment to seize.

You’re in midst of warm conversation, and you hear the donor ask, either in words, silence, or gist, “What do you want me to do?” You can go on building the relationship. Or, you can seize the opportunity, “I’d like to offer you the chance to make a gift that you will feel good the rest of your life …

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How Not to Be a Best-Kept Secret

If your nonprofit is a best-kept secret, here is some free advice on how to change that: Never say it again. 

It’s no longer true.

Instead, provide facts. Be confident and say, “We change lives.” Follow this with a two-line story from your work. Give your listener something interesting to share. Make them part of your re-branding team. It’s part of your job. It’s a great way to build energy. It destroys the secret.

And besides, you’re making it true.…

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Is There an App for Relationship Building?

This is a reprint of our monthly column. Its available for reprinting in membership publications.  

It’s opening night. You step into the hall and onto the podium and the audience erupts with applause.  After your third bow, their thunderous cacophony quiets. Silent expectation fills the space. You pick up your conductor’s baton and begin…

Well . . . not actually. The crowd, the hall, and the applause are all in your imagination. In your hand is your smart phone. On …

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The Question You’re Not Asking That Costs Your Nonprofit Millions

It’s a question asked at nonprofits across the county every day. Boards raise it. Staffs discuss it. Volunteers confer about it over coffee. The question? How can we get a donor to give your nonprofit a large sum of money? In the extreme, the question becomes, “How can we get Bill Gates to give us several million?” For the every day version, just substitute Bill Gates’ names with that of an individual, foundation, corporation, or even government entity.

Unfortunately, this …

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Income Wise, How Will You Make They Year Even Better?

Is one of your goals this year to increase your nonprofit’s income? Be one of the first ten organizations to sign up for the Raise More Money Next Year Audit for just $999. You will receive a brief survey to complete that covers the seven different sources of nonprofit income. Within two weeks, I will analyze your responses and meet with you to plan specific, measurable actions to grow your revenue. Be ready to seize your opportunities January 1!. Sign …

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Why You Want Your Decision Process to be Messy

Good decision-making is messy. This process visual illustrates good decision-making. In it, you move from recognizing you need change and having no or few ideas or solutions (1) to a messy collection of ideas (2). Once you organize the ideas into a set of realistic possibilities (3), you are ready to evaluate each alternative to find the best solution to create the change sought (4). One residual benefit of good decision-making is that you created other vetted options to apply …

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How to Overcome Income Procrastination

The last thing Rose wanted to do was procrastinate about developing income at the nonprofit she led. Yet, she found herself doing just that. At the end of too many days, she realized she had done too little to grown income. In part, it was because income development requires a series of disciplined steps, each having little urgency. Rose needed a system to keep income development front and center. I helped her to add a simple step to give higher …

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Give Potential Board Members Even More Reasons to Say “Yes”

This article is the feature article of Added Value this month. Enjoy and then go be a great partner.

While we hope people will join our boards for the pure joy of giving, the decision to be on a board is more complex. Besides helping the nonprofit, most members hope to advance their professional goals. Do you give your board members opportunities to work with other community leaders? Do you help them publish their ideas in the local newspaper? While …

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Do You Have These Six Essential Nonprofit Policies?

Board Source, a national organization focused exclusively on good governance practices, has four e-books with policy samples in forty-eight topic areas. You could, if motivated, keep your board busy writing policies for years. Does your nonprofit need forty-eight polices to operate? Here is my list of six areas where policies or written documents are musts.

1. Strategy and Plan. While these two are often linked, a strategy and a plan are different. A strategy is a conceptual framework for …

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