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
I Got to Engage. Now It's Your Turn!
Apr 18, 2014

We all have a habit of going to work, doing our jobs and then going home. Have you thought of...

Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Welcome to the Family Reunion!
Apr 17, 2014

Most nonprofit organizations consider their donors "family." That means that every time you talk to a donor, send a letter...

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Are Your Facebook Fans Really Loyal?
Apr 15, 2014

Facebook is about "quality" and what you do — or don't....

Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
A Donor at Rest Tends to Stay at Rest: 6 Ways to Motivate Donors
Apr 14, 2014

Your job as a fundraiser is to be the outside force that puts your donor in motion, emotionally and physically,...

Get What You Give

Joe Boland
Time to Engage!
Apr 9, 2014

It's finally here. It's been roughly 11 months since our inaugural Engage Conference, and after such wonderful response and participation...


Who's Up Next?
7 Steps to Retain Your Fundraisers
Apr 9, 2014

Focus group respondents revealed a need for leaders to better configure the shared values, style, structure, systems, staffing and strategy...

Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Circle Up at the Engage Roundtables!
Apr 7, 2014

What I love about the roundtables is that they are almost completely attendee-driven. The moderators say a quick hi and...

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...

Major Fundraising Campaigns Are Alive and Effective

Larger campaigns are alive and well and can be incredibly effective. When the time is right, take advantage of the benefits of a major campaign. Always look to the unique circumstances of your organization to craft the best path to increased fundraising success and mission effectiveness.


The Ideal Size of a Nonprofit Board Is ...

Tailor the board size and function to the needs of your organization — not to needs or agendas of individuals. Craft the right size, with the right systems and procedures in place, support the board with the right orientation and training, engage board members in strategic decision making, and lay out their fiduciary role — including fundraising. Then, be sure that you are connected to your board as a whole and individually — and let your board, and your organization,...  Read More >>

5 Keys to Deeper Donor Relationships

As Adrian Sargeant shares, “Improving donor retention by just 10 percent can double the lifetime value of your donor database.” Plan for increases in retention by using methods like the ones here.  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

AFP Fundraising Conference Takeaways: Putting Passion Into Practice

If you are eager to build on your Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference on Fundraising experience, or if you were unable to attend and travel to Philadelphia in two weeks is viable, let me encourage you to take advantage of another learning opportunity. FundRaising Success' Engage Conference is April 10. This is a small, interactive, case-study approach to fundraising with a direct-response focus. Last year's inaugural event was one of the best I have ever...  Read More >>

Every Donor Is Important and Every Gift Can Be Transformational

Our role as fundraising professionals is a very special one as we nurture and often teach philanthropy. Never forget to celebrate each donor and each gift for the impact it will have — on those you serve, on them and on you, now and for years to come.  Read More >>

Effective and Consistent Messaging Is Vital to Fundraising Success

Speaking with one voice and sending consistent messages is key in fundraising success. Getting your team energized and feeling comfortable with sharing your story is a critical step in getting everyone prepared and comfortable to ask for a gift!  Read More >>

5 Keys to Social-Media Effectiveness

Other than finding that young mentor or hiring a social-media specialist, here are five tips for increasing your social-media success.  Read More >>

7 Steps to Avoid a Bobblehead Board!

A strong board is an essential ingredient in an organization fulfilling its fundraising potential and its public trust. Here are some steps to avoid a bobblehead board.  Read More >>

Fundraising Decision-Making: Get Moving! Take Action!

Be ready to weather the storms of fundraising by enhancing your decision-making skills. So get moving — take action!


Plan a Road Map to Fundraising Success

Get everyone on the same page. Be focused. Have a plan. Fine-tune your plan. Implement your plan!  Read More >>

Successful Fundraisers Choose to Be Problem Solvers

The successful fundraisers that I know don't dwell on problems and negativity; they fix challenges and move on. They are positive! Positive fundraising professionals don't constantly say, "I didn't know," and they don't just sit there and watch a situation going bad — they step in and fix it.  Read More >>

12 Guides for Transparency to Build Donor Confidence

A culture of transparency is a big commitment and can be tough. But it is the right commitment and one that builds confidence in donors, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders.  Read More >>

Don’t Go It Alone

Very few important tasks are worth going it alone. So, when you are building relationships, be sure that you have a team involved because there is synergy in a team approach, one that brings different perspectives and ideas.