Still reeling from Penelope Burk…

Is your board ENGAGED in  meaningful and  productive work?

Do you need:

a Board Development Plan?

a Recruitment Package?

 Strategies to get your board members to fundraise?

Join us for the final workshop of our Do Good Better series:

ENGAGE: The Board that WORKS! 

November 20th, 2015, 8am-Noon

Early bird price is just $99, and bring your board members for only $45 each!

It’s been over three weeks since Penelope Burke delivered her incredible presentation in front of a full house at the October AFP meeting, and I am still marveling at all the great stuff I learned that morning.  I find myself parroting, “Penelope says!  Penelope says!” over and over in the office, when I’m with clients and even a couple of times to my husband (who frankly has no clue who Penelope is).

If you were there, I’m sure you agree that it was an insightful lecture packed full of data that reinforces what most of us know in our gut to be true.  I was literally typing notes, as fast as I could, the entire time Penelope was speaking.  But if you missed it, (and haven’t yet ordered her *ahem* somewhat pricey books), I’d like to share a few my key takeaways from the morning:

1. Donors only want three things before making additional or larger gifts to an organization:  a) Prompt and meaningful acknowledgement of their gift; b) To know how their gift will be used; and c) To know the results of their gift, before you ask them to give again.

2. Nonprofits are hemorrhaging donors.  Only 35% of donors make a 2nd gift to the same organization.  We need to work harder to get the 2nd gift.  See #1.

3. Politeness alone is insufficient in a great thank you letter.  We should be thankful for the person, not the gift.  Start with something unique and heartfelt, not the standard “thank you for your gift.”  Keep it brief – just one paragraph.  End with thank you.

4. We need different strategies for engaging young donors.  In 2025 (in TEN years!), 10 people will leave the workforce for every 1 person that comes in.  The underemployed millenials of today will be the corporate executives of tomorrow.  How we treat young donors over the next 5-7 years will have a huge impact on future philanthropy.  They will stay loyal to the organizations that remembered them when they had little to give.

5. Lapsed donors lapse for a reason.  It is harder to get lapsed donors back than to get new donors.  If you do the 3 things that 87% of donors want (see #1), and they still don’t give, forget about them.  Focus on the people who stay with you.

What did YOU take away from Penelope’s presentation?  More importantly, what are you doing DIFFERENTLY in your shop as a result?  Drop me a line and let me know!



Jenny Carrillo, MA, CFRE

Principal Consultant