Schmoozing 101

I often speak with clients about the virtues of hosting open houses, annual celebrations, and other events that bring people into closer contact with their organizations. And I’ve come to recognize a particular panic surrounding these occasions: some people are afraid...

Power

There are few places in public life where there is a greater imbalance of power than between a private foundation and a nonprofit grantee. I’m not saying that a foundation has more absolute power than, say, the Pentagon or Exxon-Mobil. Of course it doesn’t. I’m simply...

Making “The Ask” For the Faint of Heart

So here’s the scene: You’re approaching a donor for a gift to your nonprofit organization. She responds enthusiastically and wants to help with the project. According to conventional wisdom, this is when you ask her for a specific dollar amount: “Mary, we’d like you...

Some Nerve

It turns out that my last post, “Deluge,” really hit a nerve. I received triple my usual number of blog hits, four times the usual number of on-line comments, and dozens of emails and phone calls, including some from professors, congressional aides, and...