Monthly Archives: April 2010

Are You Feeling Confident? What about Your Donors?

In our recent “News You Can Use” email, I suggested a few things are making me feel more confident about the future of fundraising.  My confidence has increased such that I am encouraging organizations who have been putting off major campaigns to get those plans off of the back burner and start thinking about them again.  It means, though, that organizations must start some planning activities pretty soon if they want to be in a position to be ready to undertake a campaign even as soon as early 2011.

Here are some of my “evidence” points that are giving me encouragement:

  • For a few weeks now, the trickle of encouraging economic news has begun to increase.  Just this week, respondents to a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics indicated that more than 70% of economists believe the U.S. economy will see the real GDP grow this year by more than 2%. 
  • Foundations and individuals are seeing a good portion of their portfolios making a reasonable comeback from the scary days of late 2008 and early 2009. 
  • The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy in December just concluded its most successful fundraising year in its history. 
  • At the AFP conference it was reported that 60% of the association’s members indicated in a recent survey that they expect to raise more money in 2010 than in 2009. 
  • A number of consultants told me that inquiries about capital campaigns and feasibility studies are on the upswing. 
  • I have even begun to see an increase in new development job postings around the Washington area.

What do you think??  Are you feeling more confident?  What about your donors?  What are you doing to keep them engaged?

Share your comments here on this blog and let us know what’s on your mind.

If you’d like to receive our monthly “News You Can Use” enewsletter, email us – “signup” at “”. Thanks.


Leave a comment

Filed under From the Field & In the Trenches, Philanthropy and Fundraising

Opportunity to Discuss the “Starvation Cycle”

The Stanford Social Innovation Review and Bridgespan are again teaming up to continue the important conversation regarding the funding of “overhead” and other infrastructure costs at nonprofit organizations.  (Remember my blog post from November, “Are You Starving?”)

The groups will be hosting a webinar discussion session featuring Bridgespan Group’s Don Howard and Ann Goggins Gregory, the original authors of the article back in August of 2009.  This is a critical topic and should be central to the ongoing conversation funders must foster with their grantees.

To webinar will take place on Wednesday May 12 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m EDT.  The cost is $49. To learn more or to register, follow this link:

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Activities, Philanthropy and Fundraising

Faculty Training Academy at AFP

This past Saturday and Sunday (April 10th and 11th) I participated in the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Faculty Training Academy (FTA).  FTA is the association’s ongoing “train the trainers” event.  It prepares participants to be better educators, mentors and presenters by focusing on adult learning concepts and teaching techniques.  The session was led by B.J. Bischoff of Bischoff Performance Improvement Consulting in Indianapolis.  She was joined by Scott Staub, ACFRE of the Glide Foundation and Vivian Smith, CFRE of Liberty Quest Enterprises, who served as co-facilitators.

The Academy concluded with each participant’s making a 10-minute presentation in front a group of their peers after which they had an opportnity to discuss techniques and approaches.  The two images you see here are from my 10-minute presentation, which focused on preparing staff and volunteers for their roles in the solicitation process.

It was a great program and absolutely worth the time and investment.  The skills and perspectives I picked up during those two days will most definitely improve my training and presentations in the future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized