Category Archives: Innovations

The Powerful Art of Conversation in fundraising (part 1)

Full, Active, Conscious Participation – (prelude to The Changing Landscape of Philanthropy)

Julian Treasure at TED U. TEDGlobal 2009, July 21, 2009, in Oxford, UK.

Julian Treasure at TED – talking so people will listen

As those responsible for promoting non-profits, we are in the business of speaking so that others will actually listen and then act.  Too often, however, we experience just the opposite of our goal.  Our voices are just another noisy bit in the cacophony of fundraising “pitches” that leave a prospect donor (partner) disengaged, disnterested and distracted.  This TED talk by Julian Treasure identifies how we can adopt new habits in our speaking that leads to people who really want to give.  This is an area of personal communication that I suggest we all work on. (watch it on YouTube here…)

I am a church musician and a member of the Liturgy Committee at my local parish.  The goal of all that we plan and execute is this: full, active and conscious participation by all those present.   In order to inspire people to meaningful action, we need to give them an opportunity to be part of the drama, part of the mission.  Have you ever been in church (or a fundraising event) where everything seems to be just a big lead-up to the offertory?  How did that make you feel?

Now think about the times when you were so inspired and energized by someone’s spoken word that you felt part of the story yourself.  How did you feel?  What did the speaker do to excite those feelings?  What did you want to do as a result?

Practical application of Julian Treasure’s TED Talk in the world of philanthropy and fundraising:

We are hosting The Changing Landscape of Philanthropy – an event August 1st in Columbus, Ohio to work on these techniques and other ways you can build a community of active, engaged supporters . . . it is one event in a series of experiences where you can develop skills and methods to build a collaborative network of partners to grow your nonprofit rapidly and have greater impact.

For example, Joel Kessel of Kessel Communications is presenting on “Cashing In on Media Awareness”.  It is a 25,000-foot overview of getting in the media and telling your story so people will listen.

Sign up at Eventbrite:

Check out Julian Treasure’s other TED Talks on LISTENING – – they’re wonderful.  Then, join an Unleashed Abundance Cohort with other fundraisers to identify and reinforce the good habits of successful fundraising that you truly want to achieve.

5 Undeniable Truths of Successful Fundraising

5 Undeniable TruthsLast year, CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund conducted a study of the real challenge facing the development and fundraising efforts of nonprofit organizations.  The main theme I noticed was that all of the underlying causes of decline in revenue were internal to the organization.  Every problem, obstacle or challenge that the study researched has a solution that the organization could work on, control and manage. Nonprofit organizations can no longer embrace the idea that a “bad economy” or some other outside circumstance is the cause of their struggle.  The answers to the challenges definitely begin with work from the inside out.  If you want your organization to raise more money, foster new partnerships and widen the network of support then you must shift your attitude from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.  It also means that the accountability is focused squarely on the shoulders of ALL the people in the organization.

In a recent presentation, I discussed the main challenges and some general solutions to overcoming the obstacles that are preventing nonprofits from enjoying undeniable success in their fundraising.

See the slides from this presentation that I gave for a group of leaders responsible for development and advancement in their organizations – on SlideShare

If you’re interested in a walk-through on this or a deeper discussion on some immediate strategies to execute NOW, please contact me.

Spray and pray fundraising strategies don’t work anymore

Spray and pray fundraising strategies don’t work anymore.

A great article on the “new normal”

The “spray and pray” approach was abandoned by smart businesses by the 1970s – so why have non-profits persisted even though the paradigm shifted ages ago?

-Thank you for reading the blog


Big Lie #3 – Survival of the Fittest

Big Lie 3 – Survival of the Fittest 10/21 by PhilanthropyPlus | Blog Talk Radio.

Survival of the Fittest means Survival of the Strongest – right?  The actual observed success model is cooperation and collaboration in focused, harmonic effort.

“The world we are in now requires revolutionary approaches. We need board members that are courageous enough to move forward in uncharted territory, leaders who are clear about purpose and willing to let go of programs in favor of new opportunities. Leaders need to be willing to embrace efforts for which success may not be defined and outcomes are not guaranteed.”

— Angela Blanchard, President and CEO, Neighborhood Centers Inc

We address how to do this in our radio program this week.  Our guest in this episode is Ron Stebelton, professional educator and certified success coach.  He shares his approach on goal achievement.  Ron presents the basic concepts that are found in his new book:  From Surviving to Thriving in 30 Days.  Ron presents a solid structure for goal achievement in any situation.  We also examine how Andrew Carnegie became a huge success in business and philanthropy by applying one basic process in all his endeavors: collaboration with groups of experts.

Are you ready to move from surviving to thriving?  Want to move donors to action? Do you question whether that can even happen “in this economy”?

If these questions are at the front of your mind, and if you are willing to test the “uncharted waters” Angela Blanchard spoke of, then you are ready to join a Mastermind Group to explore the possibilities.  Check out the cooperative success model for yourself:  We have an introductory Mastermind for Non-Profits called Thriving in Times Like These.  You CAN take control of your direction and results . . . Contact us to learn more and to be connected with a group of other non-profit professionals so that we can all MAKE GOOD WORK.

Give to your donors FIRST

The Divine Economy is automatic and very simple – we receive only that which we give. (Napoleon Hill)

If you are reading this, you are probably itching to do more to generate revenue for your non-profit organization.  You are probably frustrated that the only options you see seem to be methods that are passive, with a “wait and see” component.   What if you could be more active and in control of your fundraising success?  What if you could set a goal and be able to manage the results?

This video from the Chronicle of Philanthropy is revealing:

The professional fundraisers in the clip indicate that they are increasing their communication and stewardship efforts.  If you are engaging in this, that’s great.  However, if you aren’t careful this extra communication could be viewed as a lot of “talk” .  Your donors are already receiving thousands of messages each week from many sources.  They are all designed to persuade your donors to part with their hard-earned cash.

Instead, why not offer to give donors something they want and need in this economy?  Further – do it before they give you more money.  Why not be the first to offer something? Michael Rosen, CFRE of ML Innovations, Inc. encourages non-profits to offer value to donors and prospective donors – especially to the business community.  (See radio program of October 12, 2011)

In other words – be the first to give the donor something.  Give them something that helps their business grow and be in a better position to help you.  Become a trusted partner in other people’s success, and you will create a network of raving fans.

We have two programs that are active and innovative.  They involve a new approach to promoting your organization so that you don’t have to just “wait out the storm”.

The Pathway Partners program gives your non-profit organization a way to engage small businesses and help them grow.  A key element is also the ambassadorship component that gives donors and volunteers a customized tool to generate word-of-mouth marketing for your organization.

Corporate Programs – investigate this and encourage your corporate partners to engage in a program that includes Profit and Philanthropy.  It is a value-added plan that generates extra income and builds communities at the same time.

These two streamlined programs are based in a practice of cooperation and collaboration.  You are no longer passive and forever making YOUR case  – the methods are truly donor-centered.  It changes the nature of your organization’s communication and stewardship. It also transforms the lives of your donors so they can help you transform the lives of those you serve.

The guests on our radio show this week give us practical advice and inspiration on reaching out in a new way to achieve fundraising success.  We debunk the myth of a competitive model and offer tools to get you on an immediate path toward taking control of your own success by investing in the success of others FIRST.

Contact Laura for more information: 614-915-4324 – – –

Capturing Your Organization’s Stories

Wild Apricot Blog : Capturing Your Organization’s Stories.

It is important to tell your organization’s story – it’s not all about the MATH and “bottom line” numbers.  The blog article referenced above has great advice on how to engage your “raving fans” and volunteers to gather photos, leads on stories and various ephemera that can make a heart-felt compelling case for support.

The YouTube video below is a piece I put together recently for a couple that received an award for outstanding philanthropy.  They ran a successful small business that became the engine for major gifts and planned giving to several outstanding non-profit organizations.  Building these relationships and telling their stories inspire others to higher levels of philanthropy that will benefit your non-profit fundraising efforts as well as many other organizations.

Contact Laura to set up your organization’s editorial calendar – tell great stories and widen your network of raving fans!    614-915-4324

Profiler – Part 1 09/28 by PhilanthropyPlus | Blog Talk Radio

Profiler – Part 1 09/28 by PhilanthropyPlus | Blog Talk Radio.

Non-profit databases provide profiles, ratings and basic data regarding 501(c)(3) organizations.  Keeping your profile updated and attracting good reviews will help potential donors and grantmakers get a dashboard look at your organization and its mission.  Michele Demers from Foundation Source will talk with us about Access – a new database made available to private foundations.  Learn how to boost your fundraising and grants from major donors.

I really like the feel of the Foundation Source ACCESS database – it tells the story not only in words but in pictures as well.  It has a community and conversation feel, not just the cold, hard data.  They have purposefully made it so that non-profits and private foundations can interact to make significant impact in communities all over the world.  Looks like Foundation Source has hit another home run in promoting private “venture philanthropy”.  Thank you for this innovation and Making Good Work!

  see the TOOLS tab for a free offer to Non-profits:

Update your Guidestar profile for FREE today!

Buffett and Philanthropic Impact

Warren Buffett’s grandson is taking the conversation in philanthropy to a new level.  This article on the Fast Company website will pique your interest.  The younger Buffett (Howard) seems to be a young man on fire for making a difference in the world and influencing new, more effective action.  It is well worth your

time to click here to read the full article.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently – Heidi Grant Halvorson – Harvard Business Review

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently – Heidi Grant Halvorson – Harvard Business Review.

Want to develop “success” habits?  Read this HBR article and check out joining a MasterMind group today ~ 

Special BONUS offer for non-profit staff and board members!   Call 614-915-4324 or email

PLUS – a corporate MasterMind and Philanthropy program that can change the way you do business . . .

Contact Laura for more information – 614-915-4324 or

Heard on the Web: Charitable Lead Trusts Draw Renewed Interest

Jackie O. had a CLT, but it’s not just for the uber-wealthy

Our guest on the “Making Good Work” radio show for Wednesday is Laura Malone. In the interview, she will give an example of  how a family is using a Charitable Lead Trust  with a DAF to maximize the positive impact of donations – now AND in the future.

If you don’t know about Charitable Lead Trusts, how they can help your organization’s current budget, and why this may be an option for many of your donors, click to link on this article from the Planned Giving Design Center.

Heard on the Web: Charitable Lead Trusts Draw Renewed Interest.

Want to learn more?  Contact Laura for a discussion on ways to expand and diversify your revenue stream – no matter the economic climate.

614-915-4324 (USA)