The Main Thing You Need to Know About Fundraising

2015-02-12 06.19.24

So many churches, ministries, and nonprofits struggle with fundraising these days, and there’s no question that in today’s culture, there are many challenges with raising money. So I asked Tim Smith (who’s been involved in donor development for a long time, and today is the Chief Development Officer of The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.) what he considers the “main thing” when it comes to fundraising. Here’s his reply:


Creativity Matters to Donors

Why Content is Still King

IMG_1516 Small

I’ve always been amazed at the number of nonprofit organizations and Christian ministries who do remarkable work, but do such a poor job of telling their story.  I shouldn’t be surprised because after all, they’re experts at doing the work, not talking about it.  But more and more proof is coming in that donors are looking to be engaged with your content.  In fact, when you don’t tell your story well, you could be losing more than


Five Unusual Ways to Express Your Generosity This Christmas


If you’re like me, you’re always looking for unique Christmas gifts.  So I asked my friend Bill High to give me some unusual ideas.  Bill’s an expert on donor development and his personal mission is to change the way people think about the values of family, legacy and generosity – and their practice of them.  Here’s what Bill suggested:


How To Reach Younger Donors


I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:


If You Were Given $10 Million, What Would You Do?

Dollarphotoclub_52654662 - small

I’ve started asking that question to my friends – particularly those in the ministry and nonprofit world. “If a donor suddenly stepped up and offered you a $10 million donation, what would you do with it?” I’ve been shocked at the number of people – even older, more experienced pastors and leaders – who have no idea. They’ve spent decades in ministry and yet can’t really express what


Should Donors Be Upset About The New Crystal Cathedral Owners Removing Their Names?


Now that Pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an


How to Succeed on Kickstarter


To date there have been more than 100,000 projects launched on Kickstarter, but less than 43% actually meet their goals and are funded. What’s the problem? You may be sincere, hard working, and even had a great cause to fund, but without covering these important bases, the odds of striking out are huge. Here’s a good list from our social media expert Bailey Current of what you need to succeed on Kickstarter:


What Are Your Nonprofit Donors Looking For?


Today – on Valentine’s Day, I asked donor development expert Mary Hutchinson about advice on “courting” donors for nonprofit organizations.  Here’s what she had to say:

For the most part, they are silent and faceless, but the people who give to your non-profit—dare I say it—do indeed have feelings.  Yes, that pesky little thing that most men hate to talk about, and most women need stroked to move them to any decision. And face it, men may have most of the money, but it is women that make the lion share of decisions about giving. Not only that, but