Linda Cunning's Articles

How to Know What to Ask from a Donor

You know the feeling. That basketball size knot in your stomach. You are sitting across from your donor, knowing that you need to ask for that major gift but just can’t seem to feel comfortable about asking for this much money.

How to Keep Donor Giving High After the Holidays

End of the year giving. Money’s coming in, giving is up, it’s great! Then January hits. Hello? Did you forget about us? The donors gave so happily and generously. What happened? You are among many organizations that hit the donor hard with acquisition, appeals, and cultivation in the last 3 months of the year. People naturally feel generous at this time as well as giving their year-end gifts for tax purposes. But, how do you keep these donors giving, even in lean months? Mak ...

5 Reasons a Fundraising Coach Helps You Do More

I thought a personal coach would help me to lose some much needed weight. After a few weeks, I thought, “This isn’t rocket science. I can do these exercises myself! Who needs a coach?” So I stopped using the coach and started exercising and coaching myself. Well, adding 30 pounds later, being a couch potato, eating junk, I found out that I really did need a coach. There are so many consultants available. We love to coach our clients so that they really do improve their perfor ...

4 Foolproof Ways to Success in Fundraising for Your Ministry

Benjamin Franklin said that “any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain- and most fools do”. When working in advancement or development, it is easy to start complaining since so much pressure is placed on you and how much money you raise. So here are some Foolproof ways to keep your sanity and stay wise in this crazy fundraising world. Foolproof #1: It’s Not You In fundraising work, we can take our perceived failures as “there is something wrong with me.” Tha ...

5 Most Toxic Excuses for Lack of Major Donor Giving

If you are still giving excuses for why major donors are not giving to your organization, it is time to stop. No excuses. Let’s look at why your excuses are holding the organization back.

4 Questions to Help Your Ministry Engage Your Community

If your ministry no longer existed in your community, what impact would it make? Would this loss displace just a few people, or would it create such a ripple effect, that the community would have to do something to lessen the impact? Of course, we want our organization to impact our community, so much so, that the people feel a responsibility to fund our work. But in many cases, this is simply not how the community feels. How do you win the community’s support and esteem? By serving the c ...

6 Ways to Get the Best Price for Your Donors' In-Kind Gifts

Many rescue missions receive donated clothing, household goods, and furniture to sell in a thrift store. In this day and age, everyone is looking for a bargain, so the stores can be a great way to support your ministry and help those who really need those discounted items. But this is also a time where “flipping” is the new money maker. Whether it is a house, furniture, clothing, or just stuff, people are looking for easy ways to make money. The internet is full of ideas on thrift s ...

Your Bad Time Management Is Hurting Your Organization

I wanted to write a blog flowing with wonderful information on managing your time with tools you would happily implement. But, I can’t. I have visited too many organizations and worked with too many leaders—and messed up my own time management too many times to flippantly pass on this information. My friend, for your sake, and the sake of your staff and those you serve, I will give it to you straight. You will thank me…later. 1. Quit Putting Wood On Fires I hear this ove ...

How to Keep Your Board from Sinking Your Ship

You are a good leader. You have built your own capacity to lead your organization or ministry. You’ve trained your staff well and they feel passionate about the work. The people you service get quality care and help. You have vision and want to lead the organization as if you were a captain of a ship. You mapped out the direction to your destination and set course. But as you sail, you notice you’re moving in a slightly different direction than you want to go. You consider a course ...

5 Tips to Help You Focus When You Don't Have Time

Expecting to do all of the development work with little or no help? How about adding staff issues, office busy work, constant interruptions, and even your own idiosyncrasies that keep you from focusing.5 Tips to Help You Focus1. Invest Time in SupportersSupporters are just that—they support your organization. If you don’t invest time in finding out who they are and how they can help, they will keep tipping you instead of investing in your organization.2. Coach Your StaffYou will not know the pot ...

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