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Jeff Jowdy

Bedrocks & Beacons

By Jeff Jowdy

About Jeff

Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.

Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.

Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board.


Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
How to Write a Fundraising Drip Campaign
Apr 27, 2015

According to the Rule of 7, it takes an average of seven exposures to a message before it sinks in...


Richard Perry
How to Listen to Your Major Donor
Apr 27, 2015

The most common reason MGOs fail at their jobs is that they do not listen to their donor, who is...

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Recognize Your Senior Colleagues
Apr 24, 2015

Everything begins and ends for all of us. Recognize your senior colleagues. You will be a senior professional in a...

Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
Torpedo the Ratio
Apr 24, 2015

I recognize the inherent risks associated with letting go of tight financial controls. I see the awkwardness of talking to...

It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
When Fundraising Gets Caught in the Thick of Thin Things
Apr 23, 2015

When you reduce philanthropy to a transaction, you've placed yourself in the pool with everyone. Your cause becomes identical to...

Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Your Fundraising Product Mix
Apr 23, 2015

Relying on multiple fundraising "products" gives your income—and thus, your program funding—more stability. So how do you select your product...

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Don’t Personalize Your Marketing If Your Data and Processes Aren’t Ready
Apr 21, 2015

This week's message is short and sweet—do not try to personalize your online marketing communication if you can't do it...


Who's Up Next?
How to Revolutionize Your Nonprofit Culture to Stop Losing Your Donors
Apr 20, 2015

It's common for retail businesses to adopt the mantra: "The customer is always right." But when's the last time you...

Get What You Give

Joe Boland
NonProfit PRO Leadership Conference: Navigating a Difficult Nonprofit Environment
Mar 24, 2015

At the inaugural NonProfit PRO Leadership Conference May 5 in Washington, D.C., Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of Promotional Products...

Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
5 Keys to Get in the Door With a Mega-Capacity Donor
Mar 18, 2015

So you've identified your big kahuna potential prospect, your mega-capacity donor. What next? How do you get in the door?...

Digging Deeper

Matt Hugg
Go for the Green: Prepare for Year-End Fundraising Today
Mar 17, 2015

If you're on a June/July fiscal year, you need to make plans now for a strong year's end. That means...

Hump Day Hullabaloo

Jo Sullivan
Hump Day Hullaballoo: Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway
May 22, 2013

This week, as I transition into my new position as interim executive director at Save the Chimps, we're talking about...

Get Engaged

Margaret Battistelli
What's Cooking in 2015?
Jan 7, 2015

Here's your chance to chime in and help us paint a picture of trends and best practices across all aspects...

Donor Trippin'

Nick Allen
Is There an App for Us?
Jul 1, 2014

Got an idea for an app that could connect a charity or nonprofit with its supporters and beneficiaries in an...

Raising the Possibilities

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Recurring Themes: The Case for Integrated Marketing Communications, Part 2
Dec 27, 2013

Recent discussions focus on a myriad of topics, but in the past two months, the recurring targeted topics seem to...

Build an Ethical Fundraising Program to Last

Those of us in the nonprofit arena have a responsibility—and an accountability—to build things that outlast us. It's not about us as CEO, or chief development officer, or board chair, or board member. It's about building an organization that is sustainable and can grow in support of a worthy mission.  Read More >>

Do You Have a Drop-in Plan?

A man dressed in jeans and a rumpled shirt walked into the lobby and asked to see the executive director. Thankfully the receptionist greeted him and found the executive director who was willing to go out and greet the plainly dressed visitor. It is a good thing she did—he proceeded to give her a check.  Read More >>


Always Make It Personal With Your Donors

Don't get too busy to forget the basics. Make it personal for as many donors as possible. Have a plan and implement it!


Leading Is Not Seasonal: Never Stop Giving Back

A big part of life—as we know from our profession—is continually giving and continually learning. Continue to associate with great folks and be part of a cause larger than yourself. Don't make leading or giving a "season of life." Make it a lifelong habit and commitment.


How Is Your Fundraising Ground Game?

Never forget the ground game. At the end of the day, our biggest success lies in the personal connection — targeting people specifically, reaching out to them individually (by email, phone, in person and, yes, even social media).  Read More >>

Nonprofit Fundraising Education: Filling the Conference Void

If you are going to miss this year's AFP International Conference, what will you do to fill that void? If you are going to be in Baltimore, I'd appreciate your help in keeping me up to speed on what is being shared. I'll miss the knowledge; the time to step back and think strategically and creatively; and especially miss the opportunity to connect with so many friends and colleagues who remind me how proud I am to be associated with them, to be a member of AFP and to be a member of

... 

Look at the Horizon in Fundraising

This is incredibly effective! If you ask me to do one or two strategic things, I can and will accomplish them. Get me loaded up with a bunch—and especially things that I am not comfortable doing—I'll shut down.


You Never Know: The Importance of a Study Before a Major Campaign

If you really want to maximize fundraising success, you embark on a feasibility study before a major campaign.  Read More >>

Do Your Donors Feel Appreciated and Part of a Worthwhile Group?

Be a worthy cause, and be a group that people want to be associated with — from your mission to how you fulfill it to how you fundraise. And be sure that your donors, at every level, know that they are appreciated.  

How Do You Recognize Your Donors?

Saying thank you more than please, celebrating the joy of giving and helping donors fulfill their needs are all vital efforts and strategies. Just be sure that, at the end of the day, you are truly advancing relationships and being appropriate stewards of the culture and resources of your organization.


When Is It Time to Ask for a Major Gift?

If your answer is no to any of the following questions, it is too soon to ask for a major gift.  Read More >>

7 Deadly Sins of Fundraising

A campaign to encourage board giving had too many foundational principles that were violated. Here are the seven deadly sins of fundraising committed, sins you can avoid by following fundraising best practices.

Fundraising: It's Not the Pitch

Major-gifts fundraising isn't about "the pitch." It's not about a presentation. It is about having a meaningful conversation with prospective donors to see if they share your values, mission and vision — aspirations to make a difference.