Category: Dear Kim

Rewarding Good Work with More Work

Dear Kim, I have been a development director for the same organization for five years, and everyone agrees I have done a good job. Every year we have increased the number of donors we have and the income from them; we have more foundation grants and we have a board that, for the most part, […]

Oral Dockets

Dear Kim, Our organization has been asked to present our request for funding in person to a panel of decision makers, along with a number of other organizations. They call it an “Oral Docket.” Have you ever heard of such a thing? We are not very good public speakers and I feel we will be […]

Are Small Gifts a Waste of Time?

Dear Kim, I am writing to you as a donor. I give away 10% of my income every year and support about 25 organizations with donations in the $20-$50 range with a few at $100. I live on social security but I don’t have many expenses so I can do this. But I read recently […]

Accepting “No” & Moving On

Dear Kim, I am the executive director of a small environmental justice organization focused on organizing a community to stand up to a large and highly polluting CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.) We have recently had some victories but need to keep pushing. One of our board members comes from quite a wealthy family and […]

Useful Donor Information

Dear Kim, We have 500 donors, of whom 50 give over $1,000 and another 50 give between $500-999. We do a decent job of keeping in touch with these 100 donors, usually talking to them by phone or visiting the top 20 largest donors at least once a year. I keep all the information on […]

Ask for What You Want

Dear Kim, I have a donor who gives $250 a year but always makes noises like he is going to give more sometime. We have coffee and sometimes lunch two to three times a year and I always pick up the tab. He never gives more. What should I do? When I factor in my […]

The Life Cycle of Special Events

Dear Kim, We are a 50-year-old social service agency and we have done a gala wine tasting event for the past 20 years. For many years, it was really fun and was the place to “see and be seen” in our community. About 300 people always came and we netted more every year. Our highest […]

Individual Giving & Structural Inequities

Dear Kim, I have just heard that the USA is not the most generous country in the world. Is this true? Who is? I am really disappointed because I thought this was something to be proud of. ~Flag is drooping Dear Flag, There are several indices of generosity and Charities Aid Foundation, which publishes one […]

The Case for Building a Broad Base of Donors

Dear Kim, We are being advised by a consultant to stop trying to build a broad base of donors and instead to focus on high net worth individuals and seek six figure gifts from them.  The consultant says it will be faster and more lucrative which makes sense to me.  Why do you advise focusing […]

The Importance of Having Honest Conversations

Dear Kim, I am the sole staff for a small literacy program in a suburb of Chicago.  We have a wonderful board except for one member who is new and is proving to be quite difficult.  We invited her on at the suggestion of our biggest donor. She is very critical, bossy, and constantly saying, […]