Think Before You Endow

I was recently asked at a public forum why I don’t like endowments. I answered: “It’s not so much that I don’t like endowments. It’s that nonprofits and their donors like endowments too much.” Endowments have become the default destination for major gifts and...

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

I became much more comfortable with public speaking when I realized that the audience was rooting for me. Think about it. Someone stands up to address a group. It may be professional conference or a Rotary Club or a high school graduation. The people in the audience...

Free Pass

Do nonprofits give their donors a little too much credit? I’m not asking if nonprofits give their donors too much recognition. It’s fine to carve donors’ names into bricks, put their names on theater seats, or affix their names onto laboratory buildings. It’s great to...

Endowments, Pro and Con

OK. I admit it. Sometimes I go a bit overboard to prove a point. A friend of mine made me realize this the other day. She chided me: “You’re always beating on endowments. Sometimes, you know, they’re a good thing!” Somewhat to her surprise, I agreed. But, as they say...

Perfect Match

There’s something about a fundraising challenge grant that gets the juices flowing. The nonprofit announces, “If we manage to raise X dollars by such and such a date, then the Y Foundation will match your gift.” We’ve all heard it before, but the match formula never...