#61 | How do we design roads with fewer potholes for aspiring fundraising professionals?

It was a pleasure to connect with Dr. Steven Hairston, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and Candice Murry, Director of Development, who will be hosting the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow later this month, to talk about fundraising at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. This podcast conversation was an opportunity to learn how an experienced leader who has navigated our profession’s many potholes takes very seriously his obligation to create a path for aspiring fundraisers who are eager to learn and grow.

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Jason Lewis
#53 | Should fundraising professionals always rely on special events for harvesting support?

I was delighted to catch up with Linda Lysakowski, a true champion of the fundraising profession. Linda is among the few who have earned the ACFRE credential; she has trained thousands of fundraising professionals and written several books on the subject. It was apparent that Linda and I could have taken our gardening analogy to all sorts of lengths if we had the time.

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Jason Lewis
#51 | Has donor-centrism become fundraising’s eight-hundred-pound gorilla?

As someone who never shies away from an opportunity to ruffle a few feathers, I admire Heather Hill’s willingness, in partnership with Ian MacQuillin (Rogare- The Fundraising Think Tank), to also ask some of fundraising’s most difficult yet critically important questions. This morning at AFP ICON, Heather and Ian are encouraging fundraisers to ask whether donor centrism has become fundraising’s eight-hundred-pound gorilla.

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#50 | Why are men still ruling so many of fundraising’s C-Suites?

This afternoon at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, I had the pleasure of connecting with Tycely Williams, VP of Development at the YWCA USA and Chair of AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative. Along with colleagues Linda Lysakowski and Suzy Hart, Tycely is encouraging fundraisers to ask why, in the age of Wonder Woman, are men still ruling so many of fundraising’s C-Suites?

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#49 | What is the data really telling you about what's right (and wrong) with your fundraising?

This afternoon at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, Clay Buck encouraged fundraisers to use their data in order to discern what’s really right (and wrong) with their fundraising. While recognizing that experts are generally right about what’s not working on a macro level, Clay believes it’s important that organizations understand their own unique problems.

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# 48 | Should fundraising professionals be talking about mental health?

This afternoon at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, Ian Adair and colleagues Leah Eustace, Ligia Pena, and David Chow talked about what is often an ignored subject in our sector: mental health. Without the intent to provide expert advice, Ian explained that their group wanted to create a place at this year’s AFP conference where they could share their own stories and encourage others to begin sharing their experiences as well.

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# 47 | What's getting in the way of your fundraising career, and what you can do about it?

This afternoon at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, Mazarine Treyz, author of Get the Job! Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide, is helping discouraged fundraising professionals answer the difficult questions of why their fundraising career might not be going anywhere and what they can do about it. Mazarine insists the barriers to your next interview are not your lack of a CFRE or masters degree.

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#46 | How do we stop board members from running away when they hear "fundraising”?

This afternoon at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, Lori Jacobwith and Gail Perry presented to a room full of anxious fundraisers who wanted to know exactly how to stop their board members from running away when they hear the word fundraising. Lori and Gail’s solution; teach them how to be better story-tellers.

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# 45 | Have you ever had one of those "You Didn't Say That" moments in fundraising?

This morning at AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, Barbara Talisman and her colleagues Keri Kae Almstead, Antonia Makkar, Clay Buck, and Ken Miller, facilitated a conversation about those sometimes awkward and uncomfortable moments when your immediate reaction is, You Didn’t Say That? Barbara shared one such example from last year’s conference when an insecure fundraiser apparently suggested that fundraising was a dirty word.

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#44 | Is your local community foundation a friend or foe?

My recent conversation with Julie Buck aligns with this change in my perspective. Julie wants to ensure that local nonprofits in rural Grundy County, Illinois have as many advantages as those located in the big city of Chicago just 65 miles away. Instead of being a barrier to funding, Julie wants her local organizations to recognize that she can play a strategic role in significant giving decisions and that she can assist them in meeting the expectations of major donors who are inclined to make very siginficant and often complex gifts.

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Jason Lewis
#41 | Is the impulse to sell undermining our fundraising efforts?

But the opportunities and challenges we have similarly encountered in my hometown were not the focus of our conversation for this podcast. Instead, we compared notes on what we believe are some of the tyrannies that are undermining the effectiveness of many fundraising efforts. Interestingly, all three suggest that our impulse to sell may be undermining our fundraising efforts.

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Jason Lewis
#39 | Why do we allow fundraising to interfere with our commitment to community?

My recent podcast conversation with Jennifer Cherney left me wondering why so many nonprofit organizations have allowed fundraising to hijack their commitment to community. Referring to the independent school world that the two of us are very familiar with, were it not for the galas and golf tournaments that so many schools organize every year, most in these communities would be without a way to maintain meaningful connections with the people they care about.

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Jason Lewis
#38 | Should fundraising bet all its chips on the CFRE & ACFRE?

As someone who has not once but twice earned the CFRE and routinely presents CFRE-approved seminars around the country, I was eager to hear David King’s thoughts about the CFRE and ACFRE. Whereas he maintained his CFRE early in his career, and his firm required all consultants to earn the credential as well, neither is the case any longer.

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Jason Lewis
#37 | Are patriarchy and pedestals to blame for fundraising’s bad behaviors?

Maryann Kerr will tell you that she’s on a mission to create well-led, kinder, collaborative, inclusive and diverse workplaces where productivity is high and turnover is low. My recent podcast conversation with Maryann left me with a list of difficult questions to further contemplate. At the top of the list: Are patriarchy and the pedestals that we often afford each other to blame for many of fundraising’s bad behaviors?

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Jason Lewis
#36 | Is social media a barrier to developing the skills most desirable to our employers?

Critics are encouraging us to ask whether the advantages of social media come at the cost of meaningful relationships. This critique was the focus of my recent podcast conversation with Hayley and raises important questions for fundraising professionals who find it difficult to have meaningful conversations with their donors; conversations that are often the prerequisite to greater levels of support.

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Jason Lewis