Excellence pursued

3 ingredients for successful nonprofit innovation: a case study of the RiverRocks Festival

Slide004My hometown is quite the hot spot for outdoor adventure. Chattanooga has been named one of the top bike-friendly cities in the United States by Bicycling magazine, a top “10 Dream Towns to Live Big, Play Hard, and Work (if you must)” by Outside magazine and called one of the “Best Adventure Towns in the U.S. to Live + Play” by National Geographic Adventure magazine. (more…)

Fundraising Grit

Slide030Last year I wrote about successful campaign teams having super human stick-to-it-tiveness like that of silver-screen character Ethan Hunt and his Mission Impossible crew. Nonprofit campaign leaders should demonstrate an unwavering belief that success is theirs and never, ever give up. I was basing my fundraising team conclusions on personal experiences from being a part of winning campaign teams over the past twenty years. Today, I am pleased to share with you research-based evidence (more…)

The Right Campaign Team Makes The Impossible Possible

Slide04Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves leading the successful completion of AMAZING CHARITY’s $15 million campaign to accomplish the strategic priorities that you played a role in shaping that will change lives. First, make your own leadership gift. Then, help recruit a dedicated team of volunteer solicitors willing to do the same. However, it is essential that some of your team members have a proven record of securing major gifts.

You will also need an experienced campaign professional to keep you and your team on task. You have 48 hours to accept your assignment. As always, should any member of your team be caught off guard with a sudden gift, we will disavow its unexpected nature and happily celebrate. This message will self-destruct in five minutes. (more…)

Three solutions that might have helped Garth Brooks honor his parents while supporting a local hospital

Slide01How does the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history end up in court suing over a charitable gift? I’m not sure, but it certainly makes the mind wonder what went so wrong. I researched pages and pages of media coverage about the Garth Brooks trial and would like to offer three possible solutions that might have avoided an unfortunate trial that left a donor, a hospital, a city and the philanthropic community divided. (more…)

Great insight on using social media for yourself and your organizations at the same time.

Mission, Music, Money: A CNN Heroes Tribute

Slide29The CNN Heroes awards show is everything a fundraising event should be and more: inspiring missions, inspired musicians and money raised for more good works! Although many tried, ten worthy missions had access to a star-studded stage with a global audience. This year CNN had more than 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. (more…)

Where are you headed?

Slide02A couple of weeks ago, I bounded out of a client’s office after another productive meeting and headed to the parking garage eager to tackle some of the things we had discussed. I was energized and focused. I followed my usual route to the garage. As I walked, I must have had some sort of energy coming off of me, because the people I passed on this busy sidewalk literally stepped aside to make a path for me. I was a tad uncomfortable that people were stepping aside for me so I thought about what I might be projecting as I (more…)

Stewardship matters

This is a magic drawer stocked with cards for every occasion. And every good fundraiser should have one.” – Shanon Doolittle, Do good, feel better.

When it comes to stewardship, it has been said: “How can I thank thee? Let me count the ways.” (more…)

Workafrolics: Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success

Video here.


The pursuit for excellence never ends

cropped-excellence-blog.jpgThe marble engraving of the word “excellence” shows my father-in-law pointing to the unfinished letter “e” to his grandson. Granddad described to my nine-year old son how the unfinished letter represents the never-ending quest for excellence.

We in the nonprofit community must sustain our passion for excellence in our work, especially in uncertain economic times when budgetary challenges threaten to distract us from our never-ending quest. Stay focused on excellence and reap the rewards.