Gotcha Journalism

Recently, I blogged about the NPR video and criticized the fundraiser.  The more I thought about this, the more compelled I felt to write more and the takeaways from this event and others.Orient your staff on their responsibility to represent your organization at all times. Depending on the role—especially those in leadership positions—nonprofit professionals should…

Recognition Should Come to the Donor

A few months ago Purdue University gave the Neil Armstrong Medal to Captain Charles “Sully” Sullivan, the Hero of the Hudson.  This is only the second time that the Armstrong Award has been given. Ever wonder how these awards are created?  Well, I was talking with Murray Blackwelder, the then Senior Vice President of Purdue,…

Want a Fundraising Board?

We often hear nonprofit executives and directors of development complain that their board members don’t fundraise.In their defense, think about all the years that go into making a good fundraiser—the reading, mentoring, seminars and schooling, research, asking questions, making mistakes and finally “getting it.”The truth is, your board members are good at what they’re good…

How to Get the Appointment

My friend and client, Jessica Dean of the Heritage Foundation, recently presented a primer for her colleagues on how to get the appointment.  I asked her if I could share it with you here because, while we think we know this through intuition and experience, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded from time to time.She…

Philanthropists of the Century

Well, when you get older, you find you’ve accumulated a lot of good and wonderful friends.  Others my age brag about their grandchildren, but since I don’t have any yet (I’m very happy about that – my son is only 22!), I like to brag on my friends.A few weeks ago, my friend Bill Dunn…

Going to the Matt

A couple of weeks ago I was proud to see President and COO of Hartsook Companies, Inc., Matt Beem, be honored as the Fundraiser of the Year in Kansas City—his hometown and Hartsook’s world headquarters. Obviously we like it when any of our employees and clients is honored.  We have had several honored in this…

Near and Dear on the High Plains

Chad has business in Des Moines and Amarillo; Butch practiced medicine until a few years ago, but now is retired in Omaha; and Randy is a businessman in Chadron, Nebraska.  What do all three have in common? They are all graduates of Chadron State College of Chadron, Nebraska.As a result of a transition in our…

Beware of So-Called Research

If I get one more summary of a survey posing as “research,” I am going to scream just to hear something real!Many companies, not unlike Hartsook, are surveying their clients on everything from ethics to giving to employee trends. These can be mildly interesting at times, but not reliable.I just saw that AFP presented the…

Overcoming Adversity

by Invited Guest Blogger Geoff BurnsOn August 30, 2010, the Geneva Hills Group purchased a 50 year old 350 acre Christian camp and environmental education facility.  The success of this campaign was literally against all odds.Geneva Hills had been owned and operated by one conglomerate of Presbyterian churches in central Ohio since 1959. However, due…