As you probably know I enjoy reading articles, tips and hints from Market Smart, so here’s another one – I’m sure you’ll gain some insights from this.



Every nonprofit organization needs more of two things: time and money. Okay, every organization (nonprofit or for-profit) could use more of those two resources. Hey, now that I think about, I could use more of those two myself…

Time and money are the most valuable resources in the world, and for nonprofits the impact of having more of either can be immeasurable. Of course, time is finite — we all are limited to just 24 hours in a day, but money (funding) is theoretically uncapped, and having more of it generally equates to having a larger impact on the world. That’s not to say that uncovering efficiencies, prioritizing activities, and increasing productivity are all for naught (they aren’t), it simply means that “saving time” plays a direct role in increasing funding. If I’m more efficient, I can raise more money.

Fundraising professionals power the financial engine that sustains millions of nonprofits across the globe, but they all face one common question: how do we raise more money? Of course such a broad question can’t be addressed in a blog post, nor should it be. Increasing the “growth in giving” is an issue worthy of industry boards and committees, not blog posts or ad hoc analysis.

Yet, as with most things, there is one simple answer to this question that can have a resounding impact and actually make a substantial difference on your funds raised. Yes, the answer to the “how do we raise more money?” question is incredibly complex, but no that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do today to affect it.

Let’s start with a universal truth; there are only three ways to raise more money. Now, before you scroll to the comment section of this page and begin typing your, “there are more than three ways to raise money, bozo!” comment, please bear with me.

Any organization, nonprofit or for-profit has only three ways to increase the amount money they receive. They could:

  1. Acquire new donors/customers
  2. Retain existing donors/customers
  3. Monetize their donors/customers

It’s really that simple.

I’ve appended “/customers” to each of the three strategies above for a reason. As you continue reading this blog post we’ll address each strategy with both a nonprofit example and a for-profit example. You’ll quickly realize that for-profit companies are employing each of these three strategies on you every day.


Keep reading here

How Long Does It Take to Start a Major Gift Program?

Came across the following on and thought was worth sharing, some great insights/pointers.

It’s a serious dilemma.

The organization needs the money; they have the donors to deliver the money, but there is no major gift strategy in place to secure the money. This confluence of need, opportunity and planning usually results in a lot of impatient leaders.

Just last week I sat in a meeting where a manager was visibly upset at the slow pace of revenue generation. When I tried to explain that relationships take time, she brushed me aside and said: “Look, all you have to do is ask.”

And therein lies the organizational problem for many major gift programs. Management needs the money, and major gift people are told they need to deliver it “right now!”

This is a path to certain failure because the MGO, in this type of hostile and urgent environment, will focus on the money rather than helping a donor fulfill her passions and interests. And we all know that a focus on the money is a sure way to alienate a donor.

Reasonable managers and leaders know that good relationships take time – that you don’t just pounce on a donor and squeeze the money out of him. But these same managers often ask Jeff and me how long it should take to gain traction in a major gift program. “How long,” they ask, “does it take to have a fully functional program in place?”

We think it takes a minimum of 18-24 months to start a major gift program and have it become fully functional. Why so long? There are several reasons:

  1. The organization needs to hire the right MGO. This could take six months when you consider the time it takes to agree on the job description, get the proper authorizations, search for candidates, interview and vet the candidates and then finally hire them. I haven’t seen this process take less than four months. So let’s say it takes four months –although many times it takes longer.
  2. The MGO needs to qualify donors for a caseload. Why? Because only 1 in 3 donors who meet the major gift criteria will actually want to talk to the MGO. So the MGO has to go through a labor-intensive process to find 150 donors who will relate to him. This step alone will take 6-8 months. Let’s say six, even though that is being generous.
  3. Relationship building takes time. While the MGO will qualify donors early in her tenure with the organization, 8 to 10 months will have passed before she actually starts engaging seriously with donors. And building relationships (as you know) takes time – more time than most managers think it will take.

Keep reading full article here