We think of our board training, workshops, Happy Learning Hours and other programs as “learning communities.” Typically, we have a diverse gathering of non-profit CEOs, Directors of Development and other staff, board members and volunteers coming together to learn and network. As my life-long friend Dr. Chuck Pozner likes to put it: “The answers are almost always in the room.” Everyone contributes from their perspectives and experience. My role in leading the sessions is as much facilitator as trainer. Andrea and I are very grateful to the hundreds of non-profit partners who have contributed mightily to the richness of our conversations and discussions. We are growing and moving forward together with the shared vision of a stronger community and improved quality of life. Our Happy Learning Hours in partnership with Mass Mutual are already scheduled and you can register now. We’re also in the process of scheduling the workshops in partnership with Microsoft-La Cantera. Bring on 2020!
Discovering Major Gifts
$2 Billion Pay Day
Workshops at Microsoft
Our Non-Profit Empowerment Workshop Series at Microsoft for 2019 ended on a high note, as Tracy Hunt, Principal, Straight Forward Consulting, shared his 12-step Roadmap2Destiny Program that transforms the complex and boring into simple and fun. Key strategic planning take-aways for non-profit leaders: (a) Engage the right voices in the process from the board, staff and other stake holders; (b) Be gutsy and let your heart create an uplifting vision of the future; (c) Create trigger devices to keep your team focused on the big picture and overarching goals. The commitment of time and effort will be more than worth it, and the resulting strategic plan will play a huge role in driving your organization’s vision, funding priorities and effectiveness. Watch for our announcement of capacity-building workshops at Microsoft for 2020 addressing prospect research, unrestricted gifts, corporate giving and a conversation with a leading philanthropist. A giant thank-you to the non-profit leaders who contributed so robustly to our learning community!
Learning from Masters: Mike Buckley
As much as anything, fundraisers should be good at and embrace every opportunity to express their gratitude to donors for the precious gifts of time and money. I like the 7X Rule of Thumb: Every gift — whether it is $100 or $1 million — should be recognized by thanking the donor on seven distinct occasions and ways during the year. This is both the right and smart thing to do in elevating the relationship from transactional to lifetime. Read my LinkedIn article on the essential role of Stewardship.
On the Bookshelf: Leadership
So, you’re a grandmother whose kids and grandkids apparently are too busy to keep in touch — how do you remind them? Handwritten notes. Email messages. Guilt-laden phone calls. Or, since last month, a new app touted on the revamped website of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. A video on the website features an octogenarian identified as Judith Cohen who describes the “Would It Kill You to Call?” app she’s developed that will send periodic cell phone reminders to delinquent members of the family. “Do they ever remember to call their bubbe?” she asks. (Bubbe is Yiddish for grandmother.) After seven days without a call, a text message goes out to the offender. It seems like a great way to reach out and touch forgetful ones. Just one problem – the app isn’t real. The 90-second video, one of three that the U.S. branch of Hebrew University unveiled a few weeks ago, is designed to spread the message of the school’s high-tech reputation. With a light touch. In online comments, many people said they thought the app “was real,” said Eileen Hume, chief marketing officer for the American Friends. Some asked, “where can I find the app?” So far, Hume said, the video has gotten “nearly a million views. It’s a pleasant surprise.” People who have seen its closing message, “Bubbe may not have the most advanced tech, but the Hebrew University does.” Want a laugh? Watch it here.
It’s not that I’m biased on the subject, but I believe that my book 10 Simple Fundraising Lessons makes a great Christmas or Chanukah gift. You could say it’s a gift that keeps on giving since it’s designed to empower professional and volunteer fundraisers of all experience levels to replace the fear of asking for gifts with comfort and confidence. Organizations are encouraged to order books for their boards. key volunteers and staff. It’s available for purchase on my website and Amazon for $16.95 (paperback) or $5.99 (Kindle). Discounts are available when you order multiple copies.
Quiz : America's Top Givers
Stratagems is published monthly by Jim Eskin, Founder of Eskin Fundraising Training, LLC. We offer workshops and customized training sessions for board members, staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations of all kinds and sizes. For details about our services and information, or to find out how to schedule a training session for your organization, visit our website. Follow our events on Facebook, and read more articles about philanthropy on our LinkedIn page.
Jim Eskin, Founder
Eskin Fundraising Training
ANSWERS TO THIS MONTH’S QUIZ: 1=c, 2=e, 3=d, 4=a, 5=b