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What I have been watching, writing and reading

What I have been watching, writing and reading

On my table this month is the juicy work of Cyndi Suarez, The Power Manual; How to Master Complex Power Dynamics. Suarez is (among a million other impressive things) President & Editor-in-Chief at Nonprofit Quarterly. Her deep discussion of the social, political,...

The Relationship Circle

The Relationship Circle

  When you are doing the work of relationship-focused fundraising, asking a donor for money becomes easier, regardless of the answer. It’s just one of many conversations and touch-points you will share with a dedicated partner. Creating a 12-18 month plan for...

Asking for Money: Getting Over the Weirdness

Asking for Money: Getting Over the Weirdness

 One of the first things I unpack with a new client is how they approach the idea of asking people for money.  Often, we end up talking about fear, discomfort, and honestly, shame in being in a position of “begging”. When you are practicing relationship-focused...

Relationship Journey

Relationship Journey

 Traditional wisdom in fundraising says that transformational, recurring donors only arrive once in a life-time for a nonprofit, and are the result of high-paid, individual work by your star major giving officer.  The secret is, anyone in any organization can grow...

Creating a 100-Year Friend: Observe & Interact

Creating a 100-Year Friend: Observe & Interact

Observing your fundraising program, and focusing your donor strategy on your own culture and unique set of circumstances, will pay off in good choices and meaningful practice tailored to the philanthropic mission you serve. Observe & Interact is a principle of...

The 100-Year Friend: An Eco-System  Approach to Fundraising

The 100-Year Friend: An Eco-System Approach to Fundraising

This is the first series of blog posts titled “The 100-Year Friend”. They explore the world of philanthropy through the lens of Permaculture thinking and the metaphor of the garden ecosystem. It is the culmination of my 25 years of experience in the field of big-box...

Transforming Fundraising toward Social Justice

Transforming Fundraising toward Social Justice

There is a Mary Oliver poem that is so present for me right now.  It’s titled “The Uses of Sorrow” - Someone I loved once gave me/ a box full of darkness/ It took me years to understand/ that this, too, was a gift In this 2020 box of darkness of loss, pandemic,...

Lessons in Abundance from my Oma Frieda

Lessons in Abundance from my Oma Frieda

My maternal grandmother was named Frieda. I just found out from Wikipedia, that saucy mistress of procrastination, that the name means “peaceful ruler” and I have to say that is spot on. She was a wonderful mix of autocratic and kind and the reason I do what I do in...

Fundraising in the age of pandemic

Fundraising in the age of pandemic

Can we open a hard conversation about fundraising in this unprecedented time? I’m having some terrible, and brave and wonderful and hard conversations right now with colleagues in organizations who are facing unimaginable choices on all fronts of their work. I’m hoping this post can open up some of that conversation to our community to ask ourselves some difficult questions with compassion and as little judgment as possible.

Meeting My Mentor in SoulCollage

Meeting My Mentor in SoulCollage

In late 2018 I embarked on my year of Radical Yes. I turned 50 years old and for the first time realized a life-long dream of building a fundraising consulting business. Up to this point, in so many ways, I was buying into all the things society was telling me: I was...

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