Weekly Ideas

Each week we email a Philanthropy Counts® Series idea (it takes less than a minute to read) about fundraising, something we think will be important to you in your fundraising efforts. Some issues in fundraising arise time and again— they may be unique to your situation, but not necessarily to development. We can help guide you through the pit-falls of asking for the gift or how to motivate a volunteer. We'll give you an edge.

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blue rule

Published February 5, 2014

Weekly Idea - I have a file called GOOD STUFF

I’ll explain.

Are you like me? I get bits and pieces in the mail or e-mail. Often they’re too good to throw away. But not good enough to file. Or you don’t know where to file it. And you can’t keep throwing stuff in your top right-hand desk drawer.

Now what comes next is going to be among the top ten bits of advice you have ever received in your life.

blue rule

Published January 15, 2014

Weekly Idea - Thoughts for Beginning the Year

You will never be sorry for:
thinking before speaking,
reflecting before acting,
listening before judging,
forgiving those who have upset you,

blue rule

Published January 8, 2014

Weekly Idea - Why Do Board Members Give?

We just completed a study for a major institution. Board members were asked (in a confidential survey) what was most important in prompting and motivating their gifts to the organization

The results will not surprise you. It’s pretty much the same in every Board assessment we do. It will almost certainly be the same in your organization.

blue rule

Published December 30, 2013

Happy-New-Year-JPL-150xHappy New Year

(Click image to enlarge)



blue rule

Published December 18, 2013

Weekly Idea - Life is a Smorgasbord

At a Board meeting of one of the institutions we work with, the session had just ended. Everyone was leaving. A Board member came by, handed me his business card, and told me how pleased he was with the meeting.

blue rule

Published December 11, 2013

Weekly Idea - Reminder for Dreamers

Dr. Ed Huckeby is president of Southwestern Christian University (Oklahoma). He tells me that every morning, as soon as he arrives on campus, he reads this little piece he wrote.

I am the campus dreamer.
I see the exciting possibilities.
I am an eternal optimist.
I understand that ALL things are possible.
I also know that SOME things are not probable.
However, that does not keep me from being the campus dreamer.

It occurs to me that we are not all college presidents . . . but we can all use a daily reminder that we are our organization’s dreamer. We make magic happen. We are the spark that ignites the blaze. Through our efforts, we change lives. We save lives.

blue rule

Published December 4, 2013

Weekly Idea - Donor Giving Levels


The Susan B. Anthony organization is a 501 c(4). What intrigued me is the manner in which they display their benefits to investors at various giving levels.

You don’t have to be in alignment with their mission in order to appreciate the outstanding job they’ve done in offering increments as the giving increases.

We are often asked how to effectively showcase the dividends to an organization’s investor.  Here’s an excellent example.

By the way, to my taste, I would not have started with anything lower than $1,000. But Susan B. Anthony is a Direct Mail machine. They get gifts by the thousands at lower levels—and they want to applaud them.

This will give you an idea of what the giving grid looks like. If you want to see a larger readable version, click here.

The Susan B. Anthony organization's grid with benefits to investors at various giving levels.

blue rule

Published November 27, 2013

Weekly Idea - Our Cup is Filled to the BrimMessage from Jerold Panas, Blessings overflow and are unceasing


Several years ago, we prepared a Thanksgiving message.

We couldn’t possibly anticipate what happened. We had hundreds who asked for permission to copy and use it (permission granted, of course).

We have used the piece the last several years. We continue to get letters and e-mails. They come by the dozens. The message has obviously touched the heart and spirit.

We repeat it this year once more. Click here to see your pdf copy of the message.