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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.



Richard Perry
Why Are We Afraid to Fire People?
May 25, 2015

The primary reason a person does not perform in their job is that the job does not match the person's...

Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
The Walking Dead Sabotage Nonprofits
May 22, 2015

Recently I've written about my personal epiphany regarding the expense-is-all-that-matters filter through which we/I have looked at nonprofits' effectiveness. The...

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
The Importance of Marketing Yourself
May 22, 2015

Don't ever forget to market yourself. You are your most important product and key to your ultimate institutional success. No...

Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
You Asked—Fundraising Questions Answered, Part Three
May 21, 2015

This is the final article in a series of three that follow up on questions submitted during the NonProfit PRO...

Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
6 Ways to Get The Most Out of a Major Donor Visit
May 20, 2015

You finally have the appointment with your major donor. Don't strike out when you finally get in the door. Here...

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Are You Going to Fall Out of Searches Now?
May 19, 2015

Big changes have happened at Google, and whether your website is mobile or not is going to affect how they...

It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
It’s There—Waiting for You
May 14, 2015

Far too often, nonprofit leaders adopt a scarcity mentality. There's never enough. There's more competition for philanthropic dollars subdividing a...


Who's Up Next?
Yes You Can: Ground Rules for Nonprofit Lobbying and Advocacy
May 5, 2015

Given the many issues facing nonprofits today, and the people they serve, it is more important than ever to get...

Digging Deeper

Matt Hugg
Are You in Their Head?
Apr 28, 2015

How well do you know the people you serve? How well do you know the folks you solicit for gifts?...

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...

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...

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...

The Power of One

It only takes one person—and it has to take one person—to start a movement or an organization, to turn around a nonprofit, to take a university to the next level, to start or transform a fundraising program. That is the spark.


Influencing the Influencers

Some donors make gift decisions themselves and some make them involving their family. Some involve advisors and friends. So know who those advisors are—attorneys, accountants and others who are in a position to influence the gift.  Read More >>

Celebrate the Joy of Giving!

Relationships with amazing donors are so rewarding. They benefit your mission and they enrich our lives as fundraising professionals. I have learned and grown from each interaction and donor relationship. Nurturing those relationships is fun—but can't be left to chance. It is an ongoing cycle of genuine activities to deepen a dialogue and express thanks. Here are 20 ideas of how to show your best friends just how important they are.


Eight Anchors for a Successful Major Campaign

Baseball legend Tommy Lasorda once said, "Pennants are won and lost during spring training," and the same is true with successful major fundraising campaigns. It is the preparation—the right preparation—that will make your campaign seamless, energizing and successful!  Read More >>

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.