Denise McMahan

Denise McMahan is founder and publisher of CausePlanet, a thriving one-of-a-kind professional development website for busy nonprofit leaders who want to stay informed about essential reading through Page to Practice™ book summaries, author interviews and relevant discussion by peer contributors. Denise dedicated much of her early career to fundraising in academia and experiential education where she was twice recognized for innovation and model account, raising millions of dollars and surpassing client goals. McMahan equally enjoyed working on client side, coaching major gift volunteers and mobilizing unrestricted giving to reach unprecedented participation. In addition to overseeing CausePlanet, McMahan is a writer for nonprofit and corporate clients. Read her blog at www.PagetoPractice.org or email her at Mail@CausePlanet.org.

[Podcast] 4 strategies and 1 fundamental truth for standing out among other nonprofits

Differentiation is the one the best ways to set your organization apart from the rest. But how do we go about doing that in our donor communications when there are so many worthy causes? Last week, we interviewed fundraising expert Jeff Brooks about four great strategies for differentiation and he also shared one important fundamental... Read more

[Podcast] Commercial brands need not apply with nonprofit donors

Sometimes the best way to teach others how to do something is to show them what doesn’t work first. This rationale was at the root of our question about nonprofit branding for donor communications author Jeff Brooks last week. Nonprofits often look to the business world for inspiration and branding is no exception. Unfortunately, the... Read more

Avoid burnout by getting your people connected

I love it when the planets align. I was about to hold a podcast with Connection Culture author, Michael Stallard, when I read an article in Fast Company titled, “The Top Three Nonprofit Jobs of the Future.” One of those jobs is Chief Culture Officer. It’s been said that you have a culture whether you... Read more

[PODCAST] Getting to the heart of a great ask

Despite the immense amount of focus we place on understanding the art of asking for support, it continues to keep us treading water and occasionally dipping our heads below the surface. We had the chance to speak with author Laura Fredricks recently about her book, The Ask: The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your... Read more

[PODCAST] Need to clarify roles between your nonprofit staff and board?

Board leadership is an area that demands much of our attention and effort due to its critical role in helping an organization “thrive or dive,” says Jean Block, author of The Invisible Yellow Line: Clarifying Nonprofit Board and Staff Roles. Block decided the Invisible Yellow Line is a perfect metaphor for the working relationship between a... Read more

[PODCAST] Get more done in your meetings (and your pitches!)

Meetings can be an expensive waste of time if they aren’t led properly. Authors Dick and Emily Axelrod have dedicated their careers to understanding and promoting what makes an impactful meeting in Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done. The Axelrods explain step by step how to participate in... Read more

[PODCAST] Tapping into your donor’s subconscious with Roger Dooley

Leading scientists who focus on brain activity say 95 percent of all thoughts, emotions and learning happen before we are aware of them. Author Roger Dooley says that unfortunately, most marketing efforts bypass the immense subconscious and instead target the rational conscious mind. Dooley claims that if you want to promote your cause more effectively,... Read more

[PODCAST] Much of what we do in fundraising is counterproductive

Regrettably, history and results show we do a lot in fundraising that is counterproductive. We recorded a podcast with Ellen Bristol, author of Fundraising the SMART Way, which provides you with tactics from the classic disciplines of performance management. The SMART Way is a methodology containing the guidelines, benchmarks, reporting methods, performance metrics, analytics and... Read more

A counterintuitive approach to pressure can help you manage the moment

If you’ve ever let pressure take control, you’re not alone. Working on behalf of a nonprofit can create all sorts of potentially stressful situations. But no matter the scenario, Performing Under Pressure’s Hank Weisinger emphasizes the importance of managing the pressure you feel rather than try to resist or ignore it. In fact, Weisinger encourages us... Read more

Why is failure your ally and how do you get better at it?

We recently added Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner to our summary library because it addresses a critical gap in the body of work around failure. According to coauthor, Kara Penn, Fail Better explores HOW failure is a path to success. We asked Penn about how you can make failure your ally, and... Read more

Welcome! Please provide your log-in information below.
Forget your password?
Enter your email or user name and your log-in information will be sent to the email on file.