Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Column Every Monday--"The Fundraising Guru"--August 27, 2007

Enter the world of Web 2.0 for fundraising success
By Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, author of the nationwide bestseller, 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing, available through,, other online booksellers, and bookstores nationwide

Every nonprofit (yes, even the tiniest with no money in the remotest location) can now extend its fundraising reach (and success) to anywhere in the world, at any time—for free. The barriers of time and space no longer exist. The world is filled with your potential donors. No kidding!

All it takes is your being willing to enter the world of Web 2.0—and you don’t even need to be computer savvy. A few years ago, it was a big deal if nonprofits developed a web site. Most organizations simply created the digital equivalent of their brochure and, too often, forgot about them—or at least didn’t feel they needed to keep them fresh and inviting. You can’t be passive in the world of Web 2.0. You need to be actively engaged in an ever-expanding conversation; but once you realize the doors it opens, you won’t be able to resist its enormous potential to enhance your fundraising.

Here’s a primer on Web 2.0. Be sure to go to the podcast of my “Fundraising Success” radio program—itself an example of Web 2.0—to hear the full interviews with the people to whom I refer below.

1. Use Web 2.0 to increase your fundraising success: You may hear Beth Kanter (Boston, MA) talk about how and why nonprofits’ future fundraising success depends upon their savvy use of social media, Web 2.0, on the podcast of my radio program, “Fundraising Success” (081907). She defines it as using the Internet to instantly collaborate and share ideas with people. It’s interactive. You’ll find and have a conversation with all sorts of people who are like-minded, who may be passionate about your organization’s purpose, and who may donate and help you raise money. They can be anywhere in the world. You’ll learn from Beth that what Google is to the Internet in general, Technorati is to blogs—a search engine for what people are talking about. (Technorati boasts that it is currently tracking 100.1 million blogs. The last time I checked there were 91,567 blog posts just about fundraising.)

2. Start your blog for free and why every nonprofit needs one: Stephen Rockwell, of Management Consulting Services (Boston, MA), on “Fundraising Success” (081907), points out that blog is simply short for web log. You don’t have to make any changes to your existing web site. Just link it to your blog. It’s a great way to create an individual relationship between yourself and your individual donors. Executive directors and others can communicate directly and ongoing with their constituency. Think of it as an online diary. Web sites like blogger, wordpress, livejournal, and blogspot let you have your own blog for free. Investigate each one. Create an account. Customize the formats you’re given. Be sure you are committed to updating it at least once a week—but the more often, the better. You just need to know word processing—how to type.

3. Keep track of the fundraising blogosphere: Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, has his finger on the pulse of the blogosphere. He regularly reviews new blogs on fundraising and contributes a weekly segment to my radio program, “Fundraising Success” (

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing. He is producer and host of “Fundraising Success” on WXEL/National Public Radio in South Florida, broadcast Sundays 7 to 8 p.m. and available at any time from anywhere in the world at Email your comments and questions to him at

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Column Every Monday--"The Fundraising Guru"--August 20, 2007

Podcast “Fundraising Success”
Indispensable Nonprofit Resource

By Stephen L. Goldstein, consultant and author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising

Attention anyone and everyone who has anything to do with nonprofits: WXEL/National Public Radio has extended launched a podcast of its highly acclaimed, weekly, one-hour program, “Fundraising Success.”

The public service for the nonprofit community is now available at at any time, from anywhere, to anyone with Internet access or its equivalent.

First, the premise of “Fundraising Success:” There are a gazillion shows and columns regurgitated advice on how for-profit businesses can succeed, but nothing—zip, zero—for nonprofits. So, the program brings together experts in communications, grant-writing, capital campaigns, PR, and other areas of interest. It’s literally the consultant team that no one nonprofit could ever afford, but which all of them need.

So, second, what’s a podcast? In the words of WXEL’s president and general manager, Jerry Carr, “It’s anytime audio—radio taken to a whole new dimension. Podcasting allows us to break the traditional barriers between stations and listeners. We’ve always had to try to second-guess our audience to determine exactly when they’d want to listen to which programming. In the case of ‘Fundraising Success,’ we now have a unique opportunity to serve its unique listenership when it’s most convenient for them to hear the program.”

“Fundraising Success” covers the proverbial waterfront. It airs weekly segments from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. In a recent interview, The Chronicle’s Peter Panepento discussed “Donor Advised Funds--Where the Money Really Is!" Another recent program opens with Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing, revealing the formulas nonprofits can follow to get the word out about them—for free.

In a weekly series spotlighting fundraising in Cyberspace, Gary Grobman, co-author of Fundraising Online: Using the Internet to Raise Serious Money for Your Nonprofit, sheds light on everything from creating an Internet fundraising strategy to researching grants online. Ellen Schulman’s recent segment on her “Board Members’ Credo” is must-listening for everyone associated with a nonprofit.

Recently, Stephen Wertheimer, senior vice president of Brakeley Briscoe and Michael Rose, president of Carolinas HealthCare Foundation, revealed "The Formula for a Capital Campaign Mega-Success." In addition, Bob Ottenhoff, president & CEO of, talked about its continuum of free services available to nonprofits, including access to nonprofits' IRS Form 990.

Providing a rare glimpse of how a foundation actually works, Jerome Lyle Rappaport (founder) and Phyllis Rappaport (chair) of the Rappaport Foundation discussed fundraising success from funders’ perspectives. Kevin Lane, “The PR Guru,” stressed the importance of “putting the profit into nonprofits.”

During Listeners’ Forum segments, I answer questions that have been emailed to me at, or, sometimes, find an expert around the country to do so. One recent Q &A answered, “How can I identify large donors for whom there is so much competition?”

If you’re getting the feeling that “Fundraising Success” brings together resources you won’t find anywhere else, you’re right. It is a unique nationwide forum, through which leaders in their fields share their expertise—and nonprofits are helped to succeed.

Send your questions and comments to Stephen L. Goldstein at

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Friday, August 10, 2007

New column every Monday--"Fundraising Guru"--August 13,2007

“Noble Calling”: Larry Butler on raising money for great causes over the phone
By Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein

Do you dread the thought of fundraising on the phone—even when your favorite nonprofit asks you to? Would you do almost anything to avoid having to “dial for dollars”? I’m guessing that 99 percent of (especially) volunteer fundraisers would agree with you.

But not national telemarketing expert and trainer, Lawrence Butler. His enthusiasm for telemarketing is limitless and contagious. And his “insider’s guide” on ethical ways to get donors delighted to say yes and be generous on the phone is sine qua non for nonprofits everywhere. Butler is senior consultant at MacGuire Associates (Concord, MA), His expertise is so valuable, I’ve interviewed him on my radio program, “Fundraising Success,” on WXEL/National Public Radio. (You may hear those interviews at any time from anywhere in the world, by going to and clicking on the dates 6/17/07, 7/15/07, 7/2207, 7/29/07).

Butler focuses on telemarketing to contributors who have already given to an organization, not on cold calls. From his interviews, here are 11 of his boundless, invaluable, professional observations and strategies:

1. People will give over the phone. They are not offended. They appreciate the personal connection that comes from a phone call. They will make big gifts. They will make a donation by credit card.

2. It’s all about your attitude. Your success begins and ends with you.

3. Your commitment trumps everything else. The more you believe in the cause for which you are calling, the more successful you will be. You have to believe to be believed. Never feel apologetic or embarrassed about calling. You have a “right” to call because you are so committed.

4. Your tone, especially at first, is crucial. Be authentic.

5. Eighty percent of your success depends upon your preconceptions. Be positive. Don’t make a call thinking about whether people can give or will want to give. They will pick up on your doubt and turn it against you.

6. Think of your call as a three-act “play,” lasting about five minutes. It’s “improv”: You must have a script to start with. But reinterpret it in your own way. Don’t be robotic.

7. Act One: Make the Connection. Introduce yourself professionally. Thank them profusely for having been a supporter in the past. Promise you’ll be brief. Don’t ask, “Is this a good time to talk?” You want to control the call.

8. Act Two: Reasons to Give. Give them a compelling fact or facts. It’s all about overcoming objections. Your listener doesn’t realize it, but you’ve thought about all of them before. So, you mirror what they say as they may object, but move them along. For example: “I understand your hesitancy to give $100, a number of people are in the same situation, but they still feel they want to make a financial commitment.”

9. Urgency is very important. Create an immediate reason for people to see the importance of giving.

10. Act Three: Request the Contribution on a Credit Card. The fulfillment rate is greatest.

11. Get to the point. It’s tempting and useful to engage in conversation. People want to talk. Don’t get sidetracked.

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing. He is producer and host of “Fundraising Success” on WXEL/National Public Radio in South Florida, broadcast Sundays 7 to 8 p.m. and available at any time from anywhere in the world at Email your comments and questions to him at

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Friday, August 03, 2007

New column every Monday: "The Fundraising Guru"--August 6, 2007

Successful fundraisers don't just ask for money
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, author of the nationwide bestseller, 30 Days to Successful Fundraising and producer and host of "Fundraising Success," a one-hour radio program of WXEL/National Public Radio--available at anytime from anywhere in the world at

Listen to this column at from anywhere in the world at any time. Click on "Fundraising Success" 080507. You can even download it and forward it to others.

News flash: Successful fundraising is not about asking for money. If that's all there was to it, anybody would be able to do it, and the odds of success would be at least one in three. It would be just a matter of saying, "Here I am. I represent a worthy cause. Please contribute to it." End of story.

In fundraising, as in business, money follow great ideas. Thought rules the world, sets everything in motion. Mother Teresa was consumed by her desire to care for the poorest of the poor. President John F. Kennedy energized the country when he declared that we would put a man on the moon. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired millions when he led the civil rights movement in the United States.

Such passionate devotion to purpose is not reserve only for the famous and powerful, however. The owner of a store that sells only organically grown food may sincerely believe that he is ehlping improve his customers' quality of life. A researcher at a medical technology company may be committed to developing non-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures because she cares about people's well-being. A teacher may be driven to discover a way to teach autistic children to communicate.

As a fundraiser, you too must have, or you must find, a purpose that has heart and soul in it. You must be consumed by a "burning desire" to change something in the world for the better. You will know it when you see and feel it. It will become your be-all-and-end-all. You will experience an "ah ha" about it. You will not be able to imagine doing anything else.

Having a "burning desire" does not mean being emotional, unrealistic, effusive. You can't tilt at the proverbial windmill and do much good. You also need to be grounded. The most successful fundraising efforts are a mixture of the idealistic and uplifting with the practical and doable. They must have vision, promise, and scope, but they must appear to be accomplishable. Then, you will inspire, impress, and excite others to believe that they too can make a difference in the world by contribution to your purpose.

Too often, in the day-to-day search for funds, fundraisers forget or take for granted the underlying idea that inspired their purpose or project, focusing only on asking for money. Too ofte, having repeated their message again and agai, they assume potential donors already know how worthy their cause is. They forget to connect the dots, to make a riveting case.

Sometimes, an idea that started as a "burning desire" burns our over time and needs to be rekindled. Be flexible. Be willing to go back to basic. Where there is no heart, there will be no success. Be sure that you can fan the flames of your "burning desire" before you ask anyone for money or you will shortchange yourself and your worthy cause.

You should be able to express your "burning" desire in one carefully crafted sentence. And from it, others should be able immediately tograsp how compelling your purpose is. If you now work with a nonprofit or have a "burning desire" for which you want to raise money, try expressing it in a single sentence. E-mail it to me at, and I'll rate it from 1 to 10.


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