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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.


Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
5 Reasons Why People Unfollow Brands on Facebook
Mar 31, 2015

Everyone has an opinion on why people unfollow brands on Facebook, but everyone agrees it’s bad, bad, bad....

Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
There Are Some Surprise People in Your Fundraising Audience
Mar 30, 2015

Of course you should craft your appeals to resonate with the majority of your readers. But you should always allow...


Richard Perry
Make The Nonprofit Program Person Your Best Friend
Mar 30, 2015

Without a close and cooperative relationship with your nonprofit organization's program person you, as a major gifts officer, cannot succeed....

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Understanding Why People Give
Mar 27, 2015

Statistically, more than one-third of all charitable dollars given annually in the United States is directed to religion, and research...

Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
Vas Madness: What Nonprofits Can Learn From a March Madness Trend
Mar 27, 2015

Urologists noticed a bump in vasectomies at the start of March Madness, and they took action. Vas Madness was born....


Who's Up Next?
Everything That Is Wrong With Our Retention Programs and How to Put Them Right
Mar 27, 2015

I know several fundraising directors who know for sure retention got worse after they introduced their loyalty programs. But they...

It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Celebrating Your Volunteers
Mar 26, 2015

Kudos to those dedicated nonprofit development professionals who celebrate their volunteers. Those who know — and believe — that it's...

Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
4 Fundraising Questions I Can't Answer
Mar 26, 2015

Here are four fundraising questions I can't answer that have been haunting me lately....

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...

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.


8 Great Fundraising Habits

Good habits are developed over time. By practice. By repetition. Build the strength of your fundraising program through good fundraising habits.  Read More >>

Be Sure You Have the Right Fundraising Strategy

But that's still not enough. You also have to be ready, willing and able to follow through in a timely manner.  Read More >>

Stayed Focused on Your Priorities

As you look at your fundraising program, and priorities, always keep a focus on what you can do with excellence versus what has to get done — and when. Don't be afraid to make tough calls — it may even have you thinking of new and better ways to accomplish your goals.