23 July

All Voices at the Table

All Voices at the Table

The pandemic and resulting unstable economy have laid bare the inequities in our healthcare system and our society. Senseless killings and growing rage against social injustice have amplified the inequities and desire for real change. Among the many actions we can take to drive change in the philanthropic sector, one can accelerate change – having […]

17 June

Don’t Unconsciously Overlook Women

Don’t Unconsciously Overlook Women

Originally published via Aspen Leadership Group  As the pandemic continues and many inequities are revealed, I want to shine a light on the importance of staying focused on intentionally and consistently connecting to women in our fundraising. As during other crises, women donors want to help now and are ready to commit to meaningful action. […]

22 April

Purpose and Power Will Emerge from a Pause

Purpose and Power Will Emerge from a Pause

A version of this article was originally published via Aspen Leadership Group. We are one month in facing the realities of this global pandemic across our country and the swift changes it has wrought on all of our lives. Even as we’ve been beset with worries and concerns, and scrambled with social distancing, limited supplies, […]

24 July

AFP Reports on Engaging Women Donors

AFP Reports on Engaging Women Donors

Andrea Pactor and I contributed to this article in AFP. Read the original here.  To unlock the full potential of women’s philanthropy, fundraisers must understand how gender shapes giving behavior. Women and men give differently, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has developed research that explores unique questions about the factors that shape gender-based giving patterns – […]

11 June

How To Change The Unconscious Stories You Are Telling About Women in Philanthropy

How To Change The Unconscious Stories You Are Telling About Women in Philanthropy

In my last post, we unpacked the story that “women are harder” to fundraise from. Working with women donors can feel hard because our fundraising best practices don’t always work. Why? Because these approaches were created in the male-centric fundraising landscape of the 1950s and 1960s. Women aren’t harder, just different in how they prefer […]

22 April

Is It Harder to Fundraise from Women?

Is It Harder to Fundraise from Women?

I recently asked a leader of advancement at a state college if she used different approaches in working with women versus men donors on her campus. This was not meant to be a trick question. I was very curious, as she had been a leader in sorority fundraising and had demonstrated an understanding of how […]

29 March

It’s Time to Question Fundraising “Best Practices”

It’s Time to Question Fundraising “Best Practices”

When you started your nonprofit career, you probably heard things like: “If you want a major gift, make sure you mention who else is giving what.” “Competition and recognition work; identify who wants to lead the campaign and give the top gift.” “Access to leadership will incentivize donors.” “This is how you ask for an […]

17 January

The “Traditional” Donor Life Cycle May Not Apply to Women

The “Traditional” Donor Life Cycle May Not Apply to Women

In your work as a fundraiser, you may use the term “donor life cycle.” This model charts the path of a donor through several sequential phases of engagement and giving to causes they care about: first gift, occasional gifts, consistent annual gifts, major or stretch gifts, leadership role and accompanying giving, and finally, a planned […]

29 November

The Engagement Trap: Moving from Meaningful Connection to Meaningful Gift

The Engagement Trap: Moving from Meaningful Connection to Meaningful Gift

The research on women’s philanthropy highlights again and again that women want to be engaged before they are asked for a gift. For example, in their 2015 report, “Where Do Men and Women Give?,” the Women’s Philanthropy Institute found: Women report that they are motivated to give because they are on the board or volunteer […]

16 November

We Won’t Raise More Money Unless We Stop Acting Like All Donors Are White Men

We Won’t Raise More Money Unless We Stop Acting Like All Donors Are White Men

Worrisome trends are emerging in U.S. philanthropy. Although overall charitable giving is growing, the share of Americans who give is declining, and the incidence of giving is down in most every age group. This giving gap opened because of complex reasons, but one thing is clear: We are seeing fewer Americans give because we are applying the […]