Welcome to The Fundraising Authority! Be sure to check out our Fundraising Basics and Article Archives for tons of great fundraising information.

A Simple Strategy for Better Donor Communications

Thumbnail image for A Simple Strategy for Better Donor Communications

E-mail.  Annual reports.  Newsletters.  Your website.  Each of these is a great way to connect with your donors and build better relationships with them.  Are you using each of these to raise more money by making your donors feel like part of your team? Donors want to hear from you – they want to know what you are working […]

Read the full article →

4 Tips for Feeling More Comfortable When Making Asks In Person

Thumbnail image for 4 Tips for Feeling More Comfortable When Making Asks In Person

Here’s a secret you won’t hear from your boss or read in most fundraising books… most fundraisers get nervous when making asks in person.  Even those grizzled development veterans at your office or leading fundraising seminars sometimes get nervous before a big ask. Of course, that feeling of nervousness subsides, and many times even disappears, […]

Read the full article →

How to Campaign-ize Your Fundraising for Maximum Results

Thumbnail image for How to Campaign-ize Your Fundraising for Maximum Results

Capital campaigns are extremely effective at raising large amounts of money in a relatively short period of time. They’re a lot of work, but non-profit fundraisers have developed a system over the past 50 years for running successful capital campaigns for organizations large and small. The lessons they have learned running capital campaigns need not […]

Read the full article →

Turning Everyday Donors into Major Donors

Thumbnail image for Turning Everyday Donors into Major Donors

Guest Post by K. Michael Johnson You need big donors… who doesn’t?  Sure, you have some… but to truly fulfill your mission, you know you need more.  So, where are they going to come from? I have good news for you. Many of your next major donors are already giving to you.  Studies show that […]

Read the full article →

7 Tips for Better E-Mail Newsletters for Your Non-Profit

Thumbnail image for 7 Tips for Better E-Mail Newsletters for Your Non-Profit

Does your non-profit use e-mail newsletters to cultivate and steward donors?  If not, it should… e-mail newsletters are one of the easiest and best ways to stay in touch with donors, update them on your work, and make them feel like part of your team. If you are going to be sending out e-newsletters, though, […]

Read the full article →

How to Supercharge Your Non-Profit’s Donor Newsletters

Thumbnail image for How to Supercharge Your Non-Profit’s Donor Newsletters

Your non-profit’s newsletters (both e-mail and snail mail) can provide a powerful boost to your fundraising efforts… or they can bore your donors and be a hassle for your staff. Great newsletters can become a profitable prospecting tool for your organization and help you raise tens of thousands of dollars… or you can skip newsletters altogether (like many non-profits) and […]

Read the full article →

How to Renew and Upgrade 95%+ of Your Event Sponsors Year After Year

Thumbnail image for How to Renew and Upgrade 95%+ of Your Event Sponsors Year After Year

If you are holding an annual event (one that your organization holds each year), the first step in signing up sponsors for the event is sponsor renewal – the best sponsor prospects for your event are those companies and individuals who have previously sponsored the event.  I highly recommend that you try to upgrade your […]

Read the full article →

Watch Out!  Your Non-Profit Could be Missing a Pot of Gold

Thumbnail image for Watch Out!  Your Non-Profit Could be Missing a Pot of Gold

Lots of times, people (and non-profits) don’t see the true value of what they have.  They take things for granted, and underestimate the capacity of the people they are closest to. Here’s an example: for decades, the United States Postal Service was pretty disparaging about junk mail.   They had to tolerate it, but most of […]

Read the full article →

The Most Important Question You Aren’t Asking Your Donors

Thumbnail image for The Most Important Question You Aren’t Asking Your Donors

Most non-profits know that great donor cultivation is the key to long-term donor relationships. When donors feel like part of your team, they want to donate, and they tend to give more, for a longer period of time. Great donor cultivation requires a good communication strategy, and lots of conversations with your donors. Those conversations […]

Read the full article →

5 Ways to Make Your Next Fundraising Letter Look Interesting Enough to Read

Thumbnail image for 5 Ways to Make Your Next Fundraising Letter Look Interesting Enough to Read

People don’t read letters that look boring or tedious to read.  Think about it — when you pick up your mail, do you read long sales letters, or text-heavy updates from organizations you support, written in 12 point type with no pictures or headlines?  Of course not — these types of letters look like a […]

Read the full article →

Case Study: How to Double the Revenue from Your Next Fundraising Event

Thumbnail image for Case Study:  How to Double the Revenue from Your Next Fundraising Event

I recently worked with a non-profit organization on a major fundraising event where we were able to double the amount of fundraising revenue for this year’s event over last year’s, and I wanted to share the lessons learned with you in this article. The organization in question holds one major fundraising event each year that […]

Read the full article →

Do You Have the Qualities of a Great Development Director?

Thumbnail image for Do You Have the Qualities of a Great Development Director?

Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to lead the search for a development director for several different non-profits, and over the course of my career have served as the development director for several organizations.  I have spent a lot of time thinking – what makes a development director “great”? While great […]

Read the full article →

Don’t Fall Into the Trap of the Shiny New Fundraising Thing

Thumbnail image for Don’t Fall Into the Trap of the Shiny New Fundraising Thing

Modern fundraisers are bombarded with marketing messages, sales pitches, and ideas for new fundraising strategies.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of possibilities, tactics, and products available to non-profit development teams. When I first became a Development Director, I was shocked by the number of letters, e-mails […]

Read the full article →

The Story of Your Non-Profit

Thumbnail image for The Story of Your Non-Profit

How well are you telling your non-profit’s story? No… I’m not talking about that boilerplate “History of our Organization” that you have on your website.  And I’m certainly not referring to the mission statement that committee of your board members hammered out 15 years ago. I’m talking about story, in its truest sense…  Good.  Evil.  […]

Read the full article →

How to Write a Successful Fundraising Plan

Many non-profits, particularly smaller charities and start-ups, operate without a fundraising plan.  When someone has an idea for an event or a campaign, these organizations simply put together a host committee or volunteer group and go for it.  They may send out a letter here and there, and do some donor meetings, and when the […]

Read the full article →

Why Isn’t Our Organization Raising More Money? (A Simple Exercise for Non-Profit Leaders)

Thumbnail image for Why Isn’t Our Organization Raising More Money? (A Simple Exercise for Non-Profit Leaders)

If you’re on a non-profit board, or serve as an Executive Director, Development Director, or in another leadership role with a charitable organization, and you’re wondering why your non-profit isn’t raising more money, then read on… Today, I want to present a simple, step-by-step checklist for non-profit leaders who are asking themselves that question. If […]

Read the full article →