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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.


Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Is Leadership Transition a Problem for You?
Jul 25, 2014

You cannot control leadership transition, but you can control how you deal with it and you can be prepared for...

Get What You Give

Joe Boland
Fundraising Special Events Report: Raising Money and Awareness
Jul 25, 2014

The goal of any fundraising event is to raise money for a worthy cause. However, according to the recently released...

Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Never Stop Asking Why
Jul 24, 2014

What if, instead of simply going with the flow, we started asking why? Here are some fundraising things worth asking...

Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Do You P2P?
Jul 23, 2014

Or do you want to? Either way, you should plan on joining us in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21....

Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
The Secret to a Smart Annual Fundraising Plan
Jul 23, 2014

When you make smart choices and set thoughtful priorities about where you are going to spend your time and resources,...

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Picking Apart the 2014 Giving USA Stats
Jul 22, 2014

Are we back to pre-recession giving yet? Look to the 2014 Giving USA stats.

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...


Jeff Schreifels
6 Ways to Influence Your CEO to Love Fundraising
Jul 21, 2014

This is crucial. Your organization will never grow if your top leader cannot embrace fundraising and understand it's a large...

Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
6 Ways to Strengthen the Heart of a Fundraising Letter
Jul 21, 2014

A great fundraising appeal or email can have many different variables. But a clear call to action must be a...


Who's Up Next?
5 Ways Nonprofits Can Gain Exposure Through Social Media
Jul 18, 2014

Learn how you can engage your supporters and keep them invested in your cause with five simple social-media tips....

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...

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...

What Is Your Strategy to Make and Keep Connections?

Relationships can be magical when nurtured. Be sure that you are focused on the right professional relationships to ensure success for you and the worthy cause you represent!   Read More >>

3 Keys to Nonprofit Board Success

You usually get the board you deserve. Be sure that your board is invested, educated and nurtured. Make the board a priority, and it will do the same with your organization.

Don't Be Afraid to Question — and Question Again

If things don't seem right as a staff or volunteer leader — ask. Don't be afraid to ask, and ask again and again, to challenge and to push.


The Process of Developing Fundraising Campaign Materials

Be sure that your case statement and other fundraising campaign materials can be fine-tuned and tailored to each donor, and evolve as your campaign progresses toward its goal.  Read More >>

Don't Start a Major Fundraising Campaign Without This!

If you are looking at a major fundraising campaign, please take the proper steps to be prepared. Include a research and cultivation phase that gives you the information needed to maximize the opportunity and fulfill your potential!

Asking Is Easy

The reality is that if we are truly donor-focused and are building deep, genuine relationships, the ask really takes care of itself. It takes care of itself in terms of some people self-identifying and in terms of some people removing themselves from the process or from a timeline you had hoped for.  Read More >>

Organizational Planning: How Far Do You Stretch?

Be sure that your organization's plans — overall through its strategic plan and with the fundraising plan as well — are grounded in valid needs.  Read More >>

Seize the Fundraising Opportunity!

Fundraising is a complicated arena because it requires multiple relationships, balancing priorities. But sometimes — like retaining donors — we miss the opportunities right at our feet.  Read More >>

Stories that Matter

Compelling stories challenge, motivate, educate and inspire. The most compelling ones change you as a person and move you to action.  Read More >>

Advancement and Collaboration Produce Synergy and Greater Fundraising Results!

Successful advancement must be strategic and integrated. It relies on the understanding of what each discipline is — and is not — and how together, the disciplines become a beautiful orchestra creating a masterpiece yielding a great donor relationship and experience, plus many more dollars raised to achieve the organization's mission.  Read More >>

Don't Let New Nonprofit CEOs Stumble in the Honeymoon Stage

The honeymoon period for nonprofit CEOs should be magical. It is the best opportunity for them to define themselves, including their vision and values, and paint a bright big picture that board members and other donors can embrace.


Know the Gatekeepers — and the Rules for Fundraising Success

We all have gatekeepers and influencers in our lives — and so do our donors. Some are formal, and some are informal. They can be family, friends, staff or professional advisors. As you develop strategy — your moves management — be sure to learn who they are and even if you feel you have a great relationship with the donor. Don't get caught surprised! Know the gatekeepers, and nurture relationships with them!


Making the Right Choices as Fundraising Professionals

I have been thinking about a career in fundraising and the choices that we make that define who we are and our work. Here are some choices that we, as fundraising professionals, should be making.  Read More >>

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