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Student research spots a flaw in planned giving perceptions

Posted by on April 26, 2015 in planned giving, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This article first appeared in Hilborn Charity eNEWS here. Did you know that there is a small army doing research on the charitable sector in Canada? Okay, not an army exactly, but a group of very committed, curious and enthusiastic fundraising management students at Humber College in Ontario. As part of the one-year graduate certificate program, students are assigned research projects focused on the charitable sector. Important questions are being asked about a plethora of subjects, including: donor retention, gender dynamics in the...

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Tell your board of directors NOT to ask for money

Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This article was first published in Hilborn Charity eNEWS Is your board of directors reluctant to help with fundraising? That’s okay. Tell them they don’t have to fundraise. Instead as them if they would be willing to build authentic meaningful relationships with people who love your mission as much as they do. Imagine what it would be like to live in a world where your board of directors was engaged in and excited about raising money for your cause. If this were your reality you would probably receive frequent phone calls from...

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What kind of a world do you want to live in? A story about a trip to the grocery store.

Posted by on December 13, 2014 in fundraising, Philanthropy, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This post originally appeared in Charity Info’s eNEWS on December 12, 2014 Last Thursday night it was snowing pretty heavily. Begrudgingly, I had to stop and pick up a few groceries on the way home. As I rushed into the store to get out of the cold I saw a family doing the same. The mother was putting on a happy face, the tween looked miserable, as kids that age tend to, and the toddler and baby were a bit dishevelled and dazed. The baby’s clothes were soaked through, obviously from a leaky diaper. None of them had any coats on. It was...

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Confessions of a conference addict

Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

It is time for me to make a public confession. Are you ready? If I attended your conference anytime between AFP Fundraising Day 2009 and AFP Toronto Chapter Congress 2011 I did not recycle my name badge. I stole it. I’m sorry. I love my wee collection of name badges and the story they tell. My Canadian Association of Gift Planners Conference name tag has little stickers all over it. The stickers remind me of a networking game we played that involved meeting board members. It was so smart.   At the 2009 International Fundraising...

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The world needs you to be EXCELLENT

Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

  How one fundraiser secured her place at an international conference.   In my years as a fundraiser I’ve come across many inspiring stories. But without doubt the most inspiring tale of commitment to attend a conference is the story of my friend, Sudeshna Mukherjee. I first met Sudeshna at a conference in Jaipur India. I was a volunteer SOFII Country Ambassador at the time and Sudeshna was considering a similar role in India. The second I met her in that hotel lobby I knew that someone very special had just entered my life....

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Birthday parties, mother in laws, melt downs and the art of saying thank you.

Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Eileen in 1931 My mother in law was a product of The Great Depression; as a result she had a certain way of doing things. For example: She really enjoyed her food AND would eat every morsel on her plate – even if she was full. She always had lipstick on and her hair sprayed. On the occasions when she and I would go out for lunch, she would have only two vodka martinis – never three! (A mistake I made only once.) My mother in law expected that children should, at all times be happy, polite and obedient – especially when we had company....

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The balance between ambition and contentment

Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Anyone who has worked with me, lived with me or just hung out with me will tell you that I am rarely satisfied. It is true; I am constantly pushing. I always want more. Not stuff – goodness knows I have too much stuff already. I want to do more, learn more, write more, share more and change more. I rarely celebrate accomplishments and often miss them entirely. If you had asked me six months ago, even two months ago, I would have claimed these traits as assets. I think I’ve changed my mind. My epiphany started at a retreat recently...

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Anyone can thank a donor. Just do it!

Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

December is a fabulous month. This is the time year where we make a special effort to connect with people who are important to us. Many of us decorate our homes. We make special foods that are high in fat, sugar and ingredients we don’t normally use like dried fruits, nuts and cardamom. I love the smells, tastes and sounds of December. If you work as a fundraiser in a charity December has an added dimension. This month can fly by in blur. All of your revenue channels are extremely active and suddenly your donors are ringing with special...

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Emily Post’s Twitter Etiquette

Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

  Many of you probably remember IFC 2009. What you might not remember is that there was a twitter hashtag for it. Howard Lake, JohnLepp, a few others and I were pioneers. (sorry I don’t remember the “few others”, so please claim your cyber moment in the comments). At IFC 2009 we tweeted for the first time – that we were aware of – from a fundraising conference. In fact, I even walked the halls of IFC with John on Skype so that he could “be there”. Two years later, tweeting from a conference is now a big part of the...

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A lesson in good fundraising and a story about a walk in the mountains

Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

After spending about a week doing charity work in the Kathmandu and the Terai Region of Nepal I had a few days for rest, writing and reflection in a touristy mountain village called Nagarkot. It was the festival weekend of Diwali and sitting on the balcony of my little mountain hut I could hear singing and music below. I wanted to visit the villages and see the people. So Ram, the host of my hotel (which is so remote you have to pay cash and it does not have a website) drew me this map. This map follows a trail that is essentially straight...

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