Category: Fundraiser self-care and sustainability

5.26 The Vulnerability of the Ask

Sometimes you can only learn the hard way. The fundraising training and call night we’d carefully planned a few weeks fell flat when hardly anyone signed up to join us. We had come up with a great idea. A good friend and fan of the organization offered to share her considerable skills as a grassroots […]

4.26 Can You Retire Passion?

If you really wanted to, could you remove yourself from the “revolution” and live what some might call a “normal life?” Maybe the real question is: can you retire the essence of who you are, your passion to serve? I’ve been around sports most of my life and one thing I learned early on was […]

3.29 Making Site Visits More Human

When I first started raising money from institutional funders I usually found myself in a posture of nervousness, insecurity, and sometimes, even, subservience. It was too easy to forget what I knew. I wanted to be what they were looking for so there was no way I could really be “me.” This led to ineffective […]

3.24 Justice in the Songs of Life

There’s a major gift out there that I believe often goes unnoticed. I think it should be considered a precious, precious philanthropic contribution to social change: Music. I’m talking about home grown, cross-cultural, multi-generational, movement building, social changing MUSIC. I think good music with a message can motivate people to take action, plus it embodies […]

3.17 Sharing the Work of Worry

Over the past three years, I went through periods of time when I woke up as many as two or three nights each week with deep anxiety about cash flow and fundraising. Some of this may be inevitable for any grassroots or nonprofit leadership role, particularly in economic times that have crunched most of us […]

2.15 The Yoga of Fundraising

In the Yoga Sutras, there are five roots of suffering: (1) ignorance – forgetting that we are rooted in source; (2) ego – a feeling of separateness, the amplification of the “I;” (3) greed – craving a desired result in the future; (4) aversion – recoiling or repulsion; and (5) fear. These are the mind-states […]

12.20 The Fundraiser Who Took a Holiday

Remember the film Death Takes a Holiday? The story line can be found in several sci-fi series or films like Meet Joe Black: Death works really hard at his job all the time, but then he decides to take a break and experience life on the other side. Well that’s how I feel every year […]

9.7.10 Can You Tell a Sweet Story of Budget Cuts?

We are living in the era of budget cuts and they present a unique opportunity for the psyche of any fundraiser. The economic crisis (for lack of a better term) has impacted us in a myriad of ways – layoffs, organizational mergers, shifts in program priorities, and more. They’re not new of course, but more […]

8.30 Apply by 9/3 for Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color

Want to raise more money? Of course you do. If you’re in the East Bay, California, apply for the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color, co-presented by GIFT and CompassPoint. It’s an intensive, multi-month training that goes deeper into many of the fundraising concepts we discussed at GIFT’s recent Money for Our Movements: A Social […]

7.20 Come Work for GIFT! Training & Network Coordinator

After four years on staff at GIFT, I’m heading out for new adventures. We’re hiring a Training & Network Coordinator to help take GIFT to the next level of awesome. This new position is designed for the fundraiser-organizer-trainer extraordinaire who is wildly, unabashedly committed to mobilizing resources for collective liberation. That person might be you. […]