View Post

As Efficient as Waffle House

Today I had the best meal of my year.  It was unbelievable, absolutely amazing, the most delicious food I could ever possibly eat.  I ordered cheese eggs, raisin toast with Apple butter,  bacon, grits, smothered hashbrowns, and a waffle.  Those of you who know me realize that I don’t typically eat that way, but I ran a marathon today.  On …

View Post

The Ripple Effect

One of the ten essential components of an effective case statement is the lifetime value of an organization. It’s vital to show how your organization impacts people over the course of a lifetime.  Last week I got the chance to be a part of the anniversary celebration of Young Life in St. Augustine. As some of you know, I was …

View Post

A Seat at the Table

Several years ago, I worked with one of our clients to raise about 50 million dollars. As a part of this campaign, we helped them launch an Executive Campaign Committee, or ECC. For those of you who don’t know what an ECC is, it is a group of major donors who commit to giving lead gifts to the campaign. They …

View Post

A Leadership Crisis

If you knew more than half of the people you work with were planning to leave their jobs, would you be concerned? That sort of news would definitely give me pause. Currently, we face that very crisis in the field of fundraising – a crisis of leadership. A recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy states that 51% of people involved in fundraising say …

View Post

Say Yes

Several years ago, a close friend of mine, Ronnie, made a leap of faith. He decided to leave his position in law enforcement and go on staff with a ministry that helps train people how to share their faith. Going into full-time ministry where you have to raise your own support can be daunting, and Ronnie was also making this …

View Post

Chased By Lions

Got your attention yet? Okay, so I didn’t actually get chased by lions this summer, but I did get to run in Kenya, in the hardest marathon of my life: the Safarithon Marathon. Running 26.2 miles in the Lewa Animal Conservancy was amazing. My finishing time was much, much slower than my best, but I finished the race. I also …

View Post

Do It Anyway

Recently I got the chance to take a tour of Pacific Rim Christian University, in Honolulu, and to meet their president, Kent M. Keith. While visiting this small Christian college, I learned that President Keith was the person who wrote the ‘Do It Anyway’ Paradoxical Commandments that many of us have heard came from Mother Theresa. It was the late …

View Post

Finding New Donors Who Believe in You

I would say that one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Can you help me find new donors?” This question seems to weigh on every fundraiser’s mind, and some people even try to hire The FOCUS Group to help them answer it. Unfortunately, we can’t do that. The truth is, you don’t need us for that. In …

View Post

Go to the Moon

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy stood before Congress and announced that before the end of the decade, America would successfully land a man on the moon. At the time America had fallen far behind in the Space Race with communist Russia. When President Kennedy made this brazen speech, even the greatest scientists in the United States were amazed. This …

View Post

Running Out of Salad Dressing

When we interact with donors, we are often quick to offer up stories about the work our organization is doing. We want to share stories of the people we are impacting or talk about how amazing our new program is. But in our eagerness to share, we often forget to ask questions and learn the stories of the person who …