The Secret Life of Board Gifts

Many times in my career I resented the money we were spending on board gifts. Looking back, that was short sighted of me. Board gifts – those little things with your organization’s logo that you can use to express gratitude for their service – actually pay a dividend to your organization. I’ll use my favorite… Read More

Don’t Say “No” for Your Prospect

Me: “Let’s brainstorm on who might invest in your social enterprise startup capital.” NPO: “We should ask Mrs. Brown. She’s a great prospect for this. But then again, now isn’t a good time for her because she has moved recently. And, she makes a generous gift to our golf tournament. And, she might not like… Read More

Help – Thanks – Wow

Last month I completed my term as president of the AFP Suncoast Chapter. That milestone led me to reflect on my term and write some closing thoughts. I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s book “Help Thanks Wow.”  Her writing inspired my thoughts about the past two years in our AFP chapter. Help The board members and volunteers… Read More

Stewardship of Social Enterprise Investors

Successful social enterprise requires capital investment. I am honored to work with the organizations participating in The Patterson Foundation’s Margin Mission Ignitioninitiative. My role is to support their capital investment fundraising efforts. Social enterprise business planning is hard work and not coincidentally, raising the capital can be hard work, too. Once the business plan is… Read More

3 Ways to Turn Failure Into Adventure

I took my kids on an adventure. Or at least I called it an “adventure.” My kids called it a “fail” (they are teenagers, that’s how they talk). I wasn’t willing to admit defeat. What’s the difference in adventure and failure? I think it is in the learning. If you learned something from your failure,… Read More

Raising Investment Capital and Fundraising – Not the Same

In 2016, I worked with five nonprofits engaged in The Patterson Foundation’s Margin Mission Ignition program. After completing a strenuous business planning process, it was time for these organizations to implement their plans. A key part of any social enterprise plan – and ultimately successful implementation – is raising investment capital. It’s not uncommon for nonprofit… Read More