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Sleepless in 2013?

Listen in as some of fundraising's freshest thinkers take on some of the sector's toughest topics — the things that should be top of mind in the new year.

January 2013 By Margaret Battistelli Gardner
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Back in October, FundRaising Success hosted its third annual virtual conference and trade show, a full day of online sessions moderated by some of the most creative and passionate folks in the sector. Our lively closing session brought together a handful of the members of the FS Editorial Advisory Board to talk about the issues they see as the most pressing for fundraisers in the new year.

Our panel was moderated by Dane Grams, national director of direct response at Amnesty International USA, and noted fundraising pro Jo Sullivan, who recently finished a contract working as the acting chief operating officer at USA for UNHCR. In addition to moderating the session, Dane and Jo are the co-chairs of the FS Editorial Advisory Board.

The other panelists were Christina Johns, director of new media at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews; Jeff Jowdy, founder and president of Lighthouse Counsel; Marc Pitman, founder of; and Tom Harrison, CEO of Russ Reid. Following is a (nearly) intact transcript of this fast-paced and information-packed closing session.

Each panelist had the opportunity to present a top issue, and then the rest of the participants shared their thoughts on the topic.

Round 1: Branding
Dane Grams: Today’s conversation is completely unscripted, and we expect it to be informative, lively and lots of fun. Tom Harrison, let’s start with you … go!

Tom Harrison: If we’re looking at the most pressing problem, the toughest challenges facing nonprofits today, we could talk about watchdogs. We could talk about charitable tax deductibility. We could talk about the [U.S.] Post Office. But I want to talk about something that’s not inflicted on us from the outside. I want to talk about something that’s self-inflicted by our nonprofits. And that is the misuse of branding.



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