San Diego: A city of philanthropists

  Last week, The Chronicle of Philanthropy released an article on the 50 Most Generous Donors of 2011. Fourteen of these 5o donors live in California and Number 22 and Number 24 of that list were two of San Diego’s most well-known philanthropists.     America’s Finest City is home to many of the world’s most…

Nonprofit Trend: Endowment Campaigns

In the past six months, I have had several nonprofits approach me about launching an endowment campaign. Traditionally, I have seen endowments looped into capital campaigns – yet the true focus on the capital campaign is the “capital” projects not necessarily the endowment. With the cry for sustainable funding from nonprofit Board members, it is…

How the Cookie Crumbles: The Girl Scout Cookie Factor

Last week, I was at my favorite beach spot taking in this view: Just before the big orange ball dropped into the deep blue sea, a cute little Girl Scout approached me with a wagon full of cookies for sale. I was so impressed with her strategy of approaching a captive audience: we weren’t rushing…

Thank you! Gracias! Grazi! Toe Chie! Merci!

Once you received all of your year end donations, it is time to say “thank you”! Great ideas include: 1. Personalized handwritten thank you notes. This one was the best one received from my dear little friend Sage: 2. Pick up the phone. In this technological age, we tend to utilize email or texting to send…

Asian-American Philanthropy: What you need to know as a fundraiser

Are you seeking funding for specific populations (ethnic, gender, geographic, economic, etc.)? Trying to develop a spirit of philanthropy within a specific population? This month’s Association of Fundraising Professionals luncheon for the San Diego Chapter focused on just this topic. “Diversity, Giving Circles and Foundation’s…Oh My!”, was held on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the Double…

How-To-Guide: Kickstart your individual donor fundraising!

Do you want to start fundraising from individuals for your nonprofit, but not sure were to start? Here are some easy steps to kick start your individual donor giving program: First and foremost, you need a website! You can use free services like WordPress to create a website quickly and without needing to know all the…

You want me to do what?

Most Board members struggle with asking their friends for money. I’ve talked about it here and you probably have experienced this in your own nonprofit.   So, imagine my surprise and delight when I received this video in my email inbox from Sasha Clines, Board member for Jeans 4 Justice. Watch her fundraising appeal that…

Little by little, a little becomes a lot

Do you remember this “I Love Lucy” clip?     Sometimes I think this video is a good example of what is often happening in nonprofits. Nonprofits are often under-staffed and the staff wears multiple hats with to-do lists that are too long and unrealistic. And bless their hearts, nonprofit staff work so hard to…

Elevator Culture: Getting out of your comfort zone

This morning I was thinking about changing a culture. It is actually something I do for a living – changing cultures in nonprofits. It starts with the nonprofit wanting to increase their fundraising, launch a capital campaign or engage their Board further in their activities. In order to do this, often the culture of the…

Direct appeal winner: Opportunity International

I recently received this fundraising appeal from Opportunity International in the mail. In my humble opinion, they did a terrific job with this appeal. The messaging is simple: girls are not in school. The donor can help change this: $1 a day will allow girls to go to school. The keys to their success: Pictures of…

Capital Campaign Killed the Annual Fund

I have the song “Video killed the radio star” buzzing through my head right now. It seems appropriate for the title of this blog: Capital Campaign Killed the Annual Fund. When preparing for a capital campaign, one of the poignant discussions is how the capital campaign will cannibalize the annual fund. Often, I will advise…