Engaging a Fundraising Consultant – the Why and the How

by Richard Tollefson and Michal Tyra

As nonprofit board members and professionals, it can be hard to ask for help. Emotion, pride and passion can be difficult and often cloud the more practical pursuit of enhanced business performance. Additionally, in a sector that often prides itself on making do with less, the idea of “scaling” programmatic and fundraising performance — and paying an outside consultant to lead … [More]

Philanthropy on the Rise – for a Third Consecutive Year!

by Richard Tollefson and Michael Tyra

As this year’s “Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy” notes, 2016 was certainly an unusual year for giving in the United States. Between a tumultuous and all-encompassing election and increasing societal tension, it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see an off-year for philanthropy. Instead, we saw the opposite! Total giving increased for the third consecutive year, … [More]

Avoiding the Operational Black Hole 

by Richard Tollefson 

“There is not enough time in the day to get my job done.” It’s a complaint echoed by a majority of fundraising leaders. For many who have risen through the ranks as chief development officers — or even CEOs — it often boils down to an excess of time spent on operations. Unused to managing people and processes, new leaders can become mired in operations tasks, often … [More]

Cultivating Mobile Philanthropists

by Richard Tollefson 

Don Budinger, chairman and founding director of The Rodel Foundation of Arizona, supports Arizona’s public K-12 schools through a variety of programs. His philanthropic endeavors extend nationally to the communities where his business, Rodel Inc. — now part of Dow — grew its manufacturing facilities and, more broadly, to national public education issues. Budinger is among a … [More]

Life After a Campaign

by Richard Tollefson 

Life after a successful campaign is filled with rewards and benefits. New buildings, improved facilities, innovative programming, expanded services, research and scholarships, and working capital infuse nonprofits with a sense of momentum. Campaigns also bring enhanced visibility, strengthened reputation and increased community impact that makes future fundraising less … [More]