Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Ross’

Tired of the same fundraising ideas getting repurposed? Get global.


fundraising-co-ukWhile many philanthropists, nonprofit leaders and fundraisers have an eye on proven practices among the usual suspects in North America and Europe, many charities both giant and small, inside and outside these regions are exhibiting innovative methods worthy of global attention. Author Jeff Brooks distills seven trends found outside of these regions in his review of Global Fundraising.

Global Fundraising authors, Cagney and Ross, have uncovered helpful case stories in countries that once were considered unlikely places for fundraising events. Contributing authors add to the discussion in detail, educating you on how major regions around world manage philanthropy, fundraising and nonprofits.

Ultimately, this book is for anyone who is curious about fund development and philanthropy practices that are working well in other countries and who hopes to gain a fresh perspective for their own organization.  Learn more about this book and our summary.

Questions? Email us at

More books and summaries related to this topic:

Community: The Structure of Belonging

Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

Small Change: Why Business Won’t Save the World

Image credit: Wiley Publishing


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What’s happening in the world of fundraising?

It’s not very often that we look beyond our own nonprofit’s backyard let alone past its international borders. Global Fundraising editors Bernard Ross and Penelope Cagney have given us a long overdue look at what’s happening in the world of fundraising. Literally.

Global Fundraising looks at worldwide developments in philanthropy that are revolutionizing the fundraising world.

Editors Cagney and Ross have compiled this book for fundraisers, CEOs, professional advisors and grant-making leaders who are turning their attention to the philanthropic potential beyond their own borders.

This book looks at remarkable case stories written by experts from these countries and many more: India, Brazil, Russia, Australia and Japan. Each of the chapters focuses on the new practices in the realms of technology, innovation and major donors. Global Fundraising offers an insider’s guide that includes rich insights on how to engage your nonprofit internationally.

We recently had a chance to interview Cagney about the book on several topics. Enjoy her insights into the following subject areas of the book:

1) Introduction to the book Global Fundraising: Cagney-introduction to Global Fundraising

2) Innovation from everywhere/Which of the other countries’ strategies are most transferable or worth considering? Cagney- innovation from everywhere

3) Trends for nonprofits to consider in global fundraising: Cagney-global fundraising trends

4) What should nonprofits know about charity giants? Cagney-What nonprofits need to know

5) Current observations on global fundraising: Cagney-Current observations

While many philanthropists, nonprofit leaders and fundraisers have an eye on proven practices among the usual suspects in North America and Europe, numerous charities both giant and small, inside and outside these regions are exhibiting innovative methods worthy of global attention.

The worldwide nonprofit sector is keenly aware of the need for creativity and tested practices and this book proves organizations need only look beyond their borders. Cagney and Ross have uncovered helpful case stories in countries that once were considered unlikely places for fundraising achievements.

See Page to Practice nonprofit book summaries related to this post:

Global Fundraising: How the World Is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy

Do More Than Give: Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results

Image credits: Wiley Publishing

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CausePlanet’s Choice Awards–Our Top Nonprofit Books for 2015

This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. One of them is our chance to look back at a great year of book choices for our readers.

It’s also the hardest time of the year because we choose books that stand out among the rest. Now, this may seem like an easy task but it isn’t. Choosing from titles that are already among our favorites is like choosing a favorite child. Thankfully, the challenging task is tempered by the fact that we know you love these awards. Thank you for the wonderful feedback when we launched this designation last year.

All our Choice Award titles are chosen based on the following criteria: original insights, inspirational content, well-organized and easy-to-follow format, voice, applicability, and strong evidence of case stories and/or exhibits.

Our Choice Awards for 2015 go to the following authors:

The Sustainability Mindset by Steve Zimmerman and Jeanne Bell
This book not only effectively argues the importance of having financial and programming discussions within the same conversation, but the authors also provide a proven framework designed to guide the process toward sound decision-making. Thanks to matrix mapping, your leaders can leave the guesswork out of strategic planning.

The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook by Jayne Cravens and Susan Ellis
Cravens and Ellis do a wonderful job of addressing how volunteering has changed so dramatically over the years that calling out the notion of virtual volunteering is no longer necessary because this form of giving has meshed with traditional volunteering. This thorough guidebook is the resource for anyone managing volunteers.

Global Fundraising: How the World Is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy edited by Penelope Cagney and Bernard Ross
Cagney and Ross create a rare and fascinating look at what types of fundraising are working all over the world. In a telescoping society that’s facilitated by technology, nonprofits’ reach is farther than ever before. This book helps you gather context for your fundraising efforts and consider what’s influencing your donors outside of traditional boundaries and borders.
On behalf of the CausePlanet team, we would like to thank these authors and the company of authors they share who’ve contributed so much to the sector in which we work. We hope our Page to Practice™ book summaries have inspired you to engage in deeper reading and make better book choices. Don’t forget—December is Read a New Book Month. Choose one of these titles or any of the great recommendations in our book summary library and work smarter in 2016.

See also:

The Sustainability Mindset: Using the Matrix Map to Make Strategic Decisions

The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook: Fully Integrating Online Service into Volunteer Involvement

Global Fundraising: How the World Is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy

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Balancing urgent and important: How to be more effective

Have you ever wondered why it is that with all the advances in technology and communication in the workplace, we seem to get less done than before? And not only that, we seem to be more and more stressed about the things that we haven’t got round to doing. We get swept away by a torrent of emails and attachments, knocked off course by interruptions and phone calls, and bogged down in the daily scramble to achieve more with less resources.

Most time management gurus have tried to convince us that we can somehow shoehorn more into our day, so enabling us to take on that other project, attend that urgent meeting, digest that important report.

By contrast, management guru Stephen Covey asks us to look at things in a different way. His key work, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1990, remains a bestseller and was voted the most influential business book of the 20th Century by Chief Executive magazine. Covey suggests that, instead of focusing on getting more done (being efficient), we should focus on getting more important things done (being effective). And therein lies the key to facing the challenges we all face in the not-for-profit sector of “producing champagne results with beer resources,” as the saying goes.

Urgent versus important

We can characterize any activity we do in our day in terms of its importance and urgency.

An important task simply means one whose completion would significantly contribute to an individual’s or organization’s key aims and objectives. An urgent task is defined by Covey as one that “appears to require immediate attention.” Note the word “appears.” Somebody interrupts you at your desk with a question. The phone rings. A little window pops up on your computer announcing the arrival of yet another email. All of these place an immediate demand on your time, but they may not actually require your attention straight away. They are urgent, but are they important?

Covey presents us with a two-by-two matrix showing all the combinations of urgent and important:

Fig 1. Covey’s time management quadrants.

Quadrant 1: The tasks outlined in this quadrant are both important and urgent, and typically this means panic or problems! This is the funding application that needs to be submitted today to meet the deadline, sorting out the server that’s just crashed or dealing with a complaint from a key partner. All these things appear to require immediate attention and really do require immediate attention!

Quadrant 2: These tasks are important but not urgent. Completing these tasks would make a significant contribution to your objectives, but you can easily get away with not doing them today (because they’re not urgent). Tomorrow will be fine. Or even next week … So, typically these tasks are about planning ahead, preventing problems before they happen, and building relationships with people (i.e. customers, colleagues, volunteers or partners).

Quadrant 3: These tasks are urgent but not important. To keep the “p” theme going, Covey characterizes them as being proximate or popular. These are all things that aren’t important but which come and get us, even if we’re hiding in an office. Phone calls, emails, interruptions, reports landing in your in-tray — anything which tries to grab your attention. And doing them often makes you popular, since people generally want you to give up your time just when it suits them. Conversely, saying “no” can be hard, and we fear it will make us unpopular.

Quadrant 4: These tasks are neither urgent nor important. In Quadrant 4 we are idly surfing the Web, flicking through magazines, chatting at the water cooler. It’s pleasant in Quadrant 4 … and the chance would be a fine thing!

How does all this help us?

Are we supposed to be spending all our time planning and making sure we never read any magazines? Not quite. Covey is a realistic kind of guy. He doubts whether most of us are spending much time at all in Quadrant 4. But, this is where those other time management gurus would have us focus, filling every bit of downtime with worthy endeavors. “Waiting for a train? Then you’ve got space to digest the strategic plan!” We need to be realistic about the time we spend in Quadrant 1. The world’s a messy place, and the world of nonprofits is no exception. So, with the best will in the world, we can expect to be putting out fires on a fairly regular basis.

What’s the key?

The key to personal effectiveness is cutting back on the time we devote to tasks in Quadrant 3 and shifting that time to Quadrant 2 activities. So, rather than saying “yes” to everything that comes along, challenge yourself to focus on the importance of what’s being asked. In other words, it’s all about “exercising integrity in the moment of choice.” That means taking just a second before you choose to start a task to ask yourself, “Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now? Or is it just the next thing?”

Think ahead

Covey argues that consistently spending even one percent more time in Quadrant 2 will start to have a significant impact on our lives. A bit more time thinking ahead and building relationships should help prevent crises from happening in Quadrant 1 and allow us more valuable time in Quadrant 2. And focusing on the important rather than just the urgent tasks can leave us with the lasting satisfaction that today we have made the biggest difference we could in our role. And isn’t that why we work in this sector?

See also:

Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity

Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done

Smarter, Faster, Better. Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership

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Five staff responses to change you can’t afford to overlook

As a nonprofit leader, chances are at some point you’ve been involved in either instituting or supporting change in your organization. The question is, if the need for change is so obvious to you, why isn’t the rest of the organization jumping up and down with excitement?

Over the years, The Management Centre has carried out a significant body of research on, and change work with, a wide range of nonprofit organizations. And we’ve found that there are five core reactions to change that we call the 5 Cs. To be an effective change manager, you need to understand these five reactions in your colleagues so you can anticipate them and adopt appropriate strategies to deal with them.

The 5 Cs: Responses to change and how to handle them

We tend to sell organizational benefits when planning change. But not everyone judges the impact of things through organizational perspectives. To be successful, it’s essential to reflect on how individuals in the organization will react or respond to your change announcement. Be prepared, and plan an approach for each of the 5 Cs:


Champions – perhaps 5 to 10 percent of the total – are those who are prepared to stick their necks out, run with an idea and own what happens. After announcing the change you propose, these are the people who’ll crowd around you smiling and shaking your hand.

Tempting as it is to embrace their enthusiasm, you need to treat champions cautiously. The advantage of their unstinting support for the change is balanced by some serious disadvantages. For one thing, champions generally champion everything – even painting the office in stripes. Their enthusiasm could give you a false impression of how everyone else is feeling. And champions won’t question you closely on the merits of your proposal. You need some challenge to ensure your idea has rigor.

Give champions something practical to do which absorbs their energy. Be careful about using them as advocates; they’re likely to be treated with skepticism by others.


Chasers – 15 to 20 percent of the total – don’t immediately respond positively to your proposal for change. At the end of a briefing, they look around to see who’s signed up. They want to discuss your idea with others before forming a judgment, and will generally look to a key opinion maker or “trigger” person for guidance.

The great advantage of chasers is they give you a more accurate view of how your proposal is going down. When they join, you’re making progress and, once committed, they’ll stay. And the disadvantages? Well, you’ll have to convince the right trigger person to convince the chasers. And that trigger person may well be someone who has social rather than organizational power in your organization. So, you can’t tell them to back your idea. And still, chasers won’t come on board immediately – they may have their own very specific concerns; for example, if you’re going to restructure, what will be the impact on their team?

Identify the trigger person at different levels in your organization and brief them in advance, so that they encourage the chasers to sign up to your project.


At 30 to 40 percent of the total, converts are the biggest single group in your change audience. They listen in silence to the proposed change and don’t ask questions. But don’t confuse their silence with negativity. Converts want solid evidence in favor of the change in order to come on board. They’ll also need reassurance about what impact the changes will have on them. Their passivity means you often have to ask questions on their behalf and then answer your own question – FAQs. They want the answer, but they’re not happy to ask the question.

Converts have two advantages: First, bringing them on board tips a sizable majority of people into the “mostly positive” camp and ensures your change proposal will be adopted. Second, although they can be slow to adopt a change, they are equally slow to let it go. Once they’re convinced, you have momentum.

The main disadvantage with converts is that they may take so long to come round that your initiative loses momentum.

Think about and try to address converts’ concerns before launching a change process. That way you’ll be able to bring them on board more quickly. Try producing a list of FAQs in advance – it shows you’re thinking about the individual as well as the organization.


Challengers – 15 to 20 percent of the total – ask difficult questions initially and then … continue to do so. Their approach is to confront and be awkward, because they have a strong stake in the outcome.

It’s a personality trait not a personal attack, so don’t treat it as an attack. Because challenging is a personality trait, it’s unlikely you can convince challengers that the change will be a good thing. What’s more important is that others will be watching how well you handle the challenger’s interventions.

Despite appearances, there are advantages to challengers: Their questions force you to be rigorous in your thinking. And, because they ask the questions others merely think, addressing their issues may enable you indirectly to reassure others.

The disadvantages are twofold: Challengers can carry on asking difficult questions beyond usefulness. They may also ask questions on areas not up for discussion.

Handle challengers’ queries fairly, however irritated you feel; others are watching. Be firm with them about what’s “off the agenda”; provide ground rules and stick to them.


Changephobics – 5 to 10 percent of the total – will not ever be convinced. They can slow down or even derail change. They cause dissent and are essentially immovable. Changephobics are tough. However, if you’re seen dealing with them honestly and fairly, you’ll gain brownie points from others for being evenhanded. And, however hard it is, keep in mind changephobics don’t oppose because they’re bad people, but because they feel you’re destroying something they hold dear.

Changephobic disadvantages are legion – doing their best to stop your initiative, providing unstinting opposition, significantly lowering morale.

The harsh reality is that you have to get rid of changephobics as quickly and effectively as you can, whether it’s to another department or out of the organization.

When you lead your change process, you will need to consider how you might deal with the 5 Cs. Think about all the different stakeholders in your organization – staff, volunteer, boards and even users. Which of the 5Cs would they fit into? What can you get the champions to do so they feel positive, but stay out of your way? Who do you need to convince to get the chasers on board? What questions do you need to answer for the converts? Who are the challengers? What flaws might they spot? Who are the changephobics? How can you get them to leave or help them go?

As we all know, implementing change is no walk in the park. Preparing for the individual responses to change will certainly help you leap ahead of some of the inevitable stress – if not all of it.

See also:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster Moving World

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Ideas from Getting Shot Down

A Sense of Urgency (How to Overcome Complacency In Your Organization)

The Six Secrets of Change

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The influential fundraiser: two most common persuasion pitfalls


The world of fundraising is changing. After being deluged for so long by email solicitations and direct mail campaigns, donors are demanding a more personalized approach when being asked for money. They want fundraising messages that motivate them to support a cause and fundraising professionals who understand the way they make decisions.

Your ability to communicate your cause in a way that persuades donors and others to take action and give support is your competitive edge in the crowded world of fundraising. The approach I discuss with my co-author, Clare Segal, in The Influential Fundraiser is about using the psychology of persuasion and developing a competitive edge, so that you can become a powerful and effective influencer.

Influence is a special kind of communication skill you probably already have, but that must be improved in order to be a successful fundraiser. There are three main reasons why it is more important than ever to hone your influence skills:

1.      Today’s donors and supporters are more sophisticated and demanding. It follows, then, that our techniques for persuasion also need to be more sophisticated and targeted. Influence skills can help you provide information to donors in a targeted and appropriate way to secure the result you want and need.

2.      Donors don’t want to feel that they are part of a mass-marketing initiative. They want to feel special and important. Donors and fundraisers alike are moving away from mass fundraising to one-on-one and more personal contact.

3.      Influence skills can help you engage an exceptional individual donor in a way that will allow him or her to make a transformational gift. You will need access to influence skills to engage and enthuse in these one-to-one, high-payoff situations.

I define influencing as: the managed relationship of helping others to understand, accept and act on your point of view. These components are further defined as:

Managed relationship: In order to achieve a specific outcome with an individual or group, you must be clear on the result you want and have a flexible plan about how to achieve it.

Helping others: Influence is different from negotiation or coercion in that with influence, you are trying to help someone change his/her mind or to come around to your point of view (as opposed to feeling manipulated).

Understand, accept and act: Successful influence must contain these three elements. You want people to really know what the challenge is, agree that they have a responsibility to help, and do something concrete to help.

Points of view: An important point to remember with influence is that the way we see the world or feel about issues may be very different for other people.

There are two common reasons why many fundraisers go wrong in their attempt to influence:

1.      Mechanistic thinking and advice about fundraising: This approach emphasizes one “right” way to solicit donors; much of this approach is drawn from old-fashioned sales techniques. The reality is that much of this method just doesn’t work anymore – today’s donors are more sophisticated and demanding in what messages they accept or reject.

2.      Fundraisers make incorrect or inappropriate assumptions about the beliefs and behaviors of others: This often leads fundraisers to draw the wrong conclusion about how the donor will respond to a specific technique or approach; the result is that donors often say no because the fundraiser’s “obvious” logic isn’t always theirs.

The 5 Ps of Influence

We have developed a systematic approach to influence called the 5Ps of Influence. The five elements are interrelated and interdependent – none is effective by itself. Fundraisers need to take the time to work through the whole framework. The 5Ps of Influence are:

1.      Passion: identifying what you want and why it’s important

2.      Proposal: shaping your idea in a way that’s compelling

3.      Preparation: organizing your ideas and thinking

4.      Persuasion: using psychology to frame your influence messages

5.      Persistence: dealing with challenges and objections

In this article, I’d like to discuss the first of The 5 Ps of Influence, which is passion.

Passion involves both emotional engagement – your commitment to the cause – and emotional intelligence – managing your emotions. The starting point for passion should always be simple and direct communication. Use straightforward language, and other people will understand what you are saying. One way to do this is to create and practice an elevator pitch about your cause and/or organization. Every elevator pitch should have three elements: think, feel and do. These elements are designed to help you shape your thinking and to answer some specific questions:

Think: What is it you want your audience to know or understand as a result of this communication?

Feel: What emotion do you want them to have as they receive the communication?

Do: What specific action do you want them to take as a result of the communication?

When preparing your elevator pitch, reverse this order as follows:

1.      Begin with the people you want to influence and be clear on exactly what action you want them to take.

2.      Imagine the emotion or feeling in those people that is most likely to move them to take that action.

3.      Finally, select and shape the information or data that you think is most likely to create that emotion.

Emotional intelligence (EI) – managing your emotions –is the ability to successfully manage your internal and external relationships. Internal means the security and confidence you have about yourself, your needs, your values and your beliefs. External means the way in which you interact and engage effectively with others in social and professional settings. Emotionally intelligent fundraisers are simply more successful. There are five dimensions to EI. Working through these five dimensions and assessing your competence in each will give you’re a more rounded view of yourself and your own passion:

1.      Self-awareness: understanding what you want

2.      Self-regulation: controlling your feelings

3.      Motivation: having the energy and commitment to do something

4.      Empathy: understanding how others feel

5.      Social skills: being able to get along with others

The ability to influence donors to support your cause or your organization is your competitive advantage – especially during this economy when donors are more selective about who they give their money to and how much. The 5Ps of Influence are designed to help you achieve the results your organization needs in the fast-changing and more competitive fundraising environment that exists today. Those fundraisers who learn to hone their influence skills will not only make themselves more valuable to their organizations – they will ensure the viability of their organizations for the future.

Watch for my next article when I’ll discuss what five questions you must address in your fundraising proposal.

See also:

Charity on Trial

Ethical Fundraising

Fundraising When Money Is Tight

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This post was originally published at CausePlanet on 2/1/2011.



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