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Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud Canada

Girls' weekend in Wakefield Quebec with some of my oldest and dearest friendsWhen I’m in need of some inspiration to revitalize my work day, I turn to books. Over the summer, I do a lot of reading, mulling over projects and ideas for the year. I also read a lot at the cottage. That’s me—to the right—on a girls’ weekend in Wakefield Quebec with some of my oldest and dearest friends. That weekend I brought along three books (I am also an ambitious reader!). Here’s what I am reading, and why! 1 The Art of Relevance by Nina Simon

ask muscleFundraising asks happen behind closed doors, in private.  In my Major Gift Mastery courses,  Module 4 is the section where we role play to exercise our "ask muscles." Here's some key takeaways from my last Major Gifts Mastery "ask" discussion. Which ones resonate the most with you? Add them in the comments section below and let's open up the doors, and learn from each other's experiences "making the ask"

stalled campaignYour fundraising plan is written, your volunteers have been trained and you are ready to go out to ask for a donation to solve an identified problem in your community. Everybody’s ready to go! Except nothing happens. It’s so quiet in your office that you can hear the crickets. Your phone isn’t ringing. It seems like your campaign has gone sideways…potentially into the ditch. Here are 10 practical tips for defibrillating your fundraising campaign back to life.

giving tuesday 29 days. That’s all that’s left between now, and Tuesday December 2nd - #GivingTuesdayCA.  Why should you, as a busy not-for-profit professional, care? Well, for starters, anything that moves up the start of the giving season is a good thing in my books. Rather than waiting till the holiday season to “talk giving” with your wonderful donors, you can give them a date and a time to celebrate the “opening of giving season!” Time-strapped and story-short? Do not despair! This is the best part about #GivingTuesdayCA. It is not meant to keep you up at night giving you ulcers, it is meant to underpin or enhance your EXISTING strategies that you have put in place for annual giving. Here’s three not-for-profit profiles, and three engagement strategies to incorporate WITHOUT  a ton of effort. Scroll down to the profile that best describes you, and read through the plan.

frustrationUsing the right technologies to communicate with younger volunteers
  No, they’re not ignoring you. They are living, working and playing through different communications channels. Email, a “communications staple” of our office lives, is much less important to young people. Here’s a nifty list of communications tools that you can use to communicate with youth volunteers “in their space.” Most importantly, don’t forget to ask younger volunteers “how” they want to be communicated with.

diceFull disclosure for this blog post: I barely passed statistics in university. I was an Economics minor that took the remedial statistics class. I memorized my formulas and squeaked my way through the course. Fast forward a few – almost 20 – years, and it turns out that I use statistics quite a bit in my daily life as a fundraiser. Thankfully I am not calculating statistics, but rather I use statistics to emphasize a point, demonstrate a need, or to highlight a social inequality.

Statistics – the big, the bad and the ugly

Not-for-profits spend a lot of time talking about big statistics: