By Gayle Gifford

Five elements of thinking strategically

1. Intent focused
2. A systems perspective
3. Thinking in Time
4. Intelligent Opportunism
5. Hypothesis-driven

These are the five elements that make up strategic thinking as described by Dr. Jeanne M. Liedtka, a faculty member at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business and former chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation.

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Why consistency matters in fundraising

I wanted to share this guest post from Carol Golden, senior philanthropy advisor at the Rhode Island Foundation.  Carol joined the Rhode Island Foundation as its first development professional in 1991. Under Carol’s leadership during the past two decades, the Foundation has raised more than $425 million.

Carol GoldenThrough my work as a fundraiser and philanthropic advisor, I’ve been fascinated with the surprising amount of turnover in the development field. Have you noticed how frequently development professionals change from one organization to another? I have, and it concerns me.

The donors I’ve worked with throughout my career support a myriad of nonprofits that provide important services and resources to our communities. They are committed to helping these community organizations be successful and effective. All of these nonprofits need fuel for their work, and fundraising, along with fee for services, is an essential piece.

Individual donors, particularly at the major donor level, are one of the most important elements of a nonprofit’s success (along with effective and passionate leadership and top quality programs.) And, nothing connects an individual donor more strongly than respectful and consistent donor stewardship by key development staff. Note the word consistent. Read more

Fundraisers – 10 tips for advancing your career

I was asked to facilitate a roundtable discussion at 2014 Fundraising Day in Southern New England. Thought I’d pass along the tips I gathered and shared.

1. Know  yourself

  • What are your passions?
  • What are you really good at?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are you fears/demons?

2. Be really good at your job

  • Embrace results
  • Embrace metrics
  • Learn about your cause
  • Engage in your whole organization

3. Learn all you can about your profession

  • Workshops, conference, webinars, college classes
  • Professional journals e.g. Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly
  • Know the research Read more

Yes, your nonprofit should care about millennials.

If we are going to be effective in this world, not just in raising money, but in serving our missions, we have to be smart, informed, adaptive, resilient and energetic about the work that we are doing. When Maggie Kuhn found herself living alone in her big house, she invited younger women to come be her roommates. We need to too.

Because our nonprofits need everyone’s energy and knowledge, young and old, shared across the generations, to make our missions happen.

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The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits

“Just because you work for a small nonprofit doesn’t mean you have to raise small dollars.” So many fundraising books focus on organizations with big budgets, leaving smaller nonprofits to figure out how to make those formulas work for them. In The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits, you’ll learn from eight skilled fundraisers who have right-sized the best of fundraising for the small shop.

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