Archives for the month of: April, 2011

If you’re the idiot, no worries. Carry on. Read the rest of this entry »

As anyone who followed @MayorRahm and @BronxZoosCobra knows, you can practically write novels on Twitter. Poetry and haiku- it’s a no brainer. The 140-character format just lends itself to these types of expression.

But does it have a use in the formal, even hide-bound world of traditional philanthropy? Funding agencies want brevity, true, but they also want you to follow strict application guidelines and formats. Stray from the instructions and you’re in the trash heap without ever getting read. Read the rest of this entry »


Spell check has it right– it’s an awful word. Only the tiniest percentage of what a “fundraiser” does is to raise funds. Those of us in the industry are doing ourselves a huge disservice by using this term.

We all know that a fundraiser, well, raises funds. But this leads to the number one phone call or email that I get: “we want you to raise some money for us” and #2 “we want you to write us a grant (sic) for Project X”.  My response to #1 is–what do I have to work with, and to #2– you can’t afford that. Read the rest of this entry »

Or more specifically, how NOT to say thank you. I recently came across a thank you from a board president that cost her a third of her organization’s participants. Read the rest of this entry »

I take the concept of altruism with a giant grain of road salt. People want quid pro quo. For most donors, the altruistic reward is actually fairly far down the list. The trick is understanding what value they are assigning their volunteer effort. Read the rest of this entry »

The most important thing you can do for your volunteers is to communicate with them; the more pertinent information you share, the better your experience will be. Better information means less drama because people get uncomfortable when they don’t know what’s going on. Read the rest of this entry »

All nonprofits need a strong volunteer corps to function.  For small nonprofits and start ups, volunteers might comprise the bulk of your professional staff. Who are these volunteers, where do you find them, what do they do, and what do you do with them? Read the rest of this entry »

If the first rule of fundraising is “you don’t get donations you don’t ask for” then the second rule is that you cannot compel giving. Some people simply to do not give (or at any rate don’t give to you or your cause). Once you’re comfortable with those two things– asking for help, and taking no for an answer– it’s simply a matter of keeping the balls in the air. Read the rest of this entry »

I just spoke to an old friend, who wanted Juno Consulting to help her implement a terrific idea for building traffic to her organization by linking the organization’s project to a middle school curriculum. She knows the teacher, the principal, and a couple of board members at their foundation. But she called me, because she thinks she needs a grant to implement it.

Well, wait a minute, I said. You don’t need a grant because that’s got built-in revenue, and you can mostly do it using social media. It’s going to pay for itself and then some. Have you spoken to Marketing Guy?

Oh, she said, he’s not going to do this. Read the rest of this entry »

The first thing I hear from new clients is generally “we’ll just get some grants” or “how many grants do you think we’ll get this year?”

They never like the answer. Read the rest of this entry »