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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.


Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
1 Email to Steal, 1 Email to Learn From for Fundraisers
Aug 21, 2014

Make sure your emails are counted among those few that survive the first and drastic purge of the day. Surprise...

Get What You Give

Joe Boland
Gold Awards Flashback: Covenant House (2013 Website of the Year)
Aug 21, 2014

As FundRaising Success gears up for the ninth annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence, take a look back at last...

Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
'We Don't Want Your Money …'
Aug 20, 2014

This approach and these ideas can guide you to much, much bigger money. It's all in how you approach your...

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Can We Talk About What 'Not Interested' Means?
Aug 19, 2014

The next time you're tempted to say "I'm not interested," I highly recommend you break that down and understand what...


Jeff Schreifels
Are You Delighting Your Donors?
Aug 18, 2014

There are hundreds of ways to do just that. But none of them will do any good unless you actually...

Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Are the People Reading Your Mail Ruining It?
Aug 18, 2014

Here are 17 ways to help others judge a fundraising letter.

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Flip the Agenda at Your Next Volunteer Board Meeting
Aug 15, 2014

Never stay satisfied with any meeting, agenda or process. It is everyone's responsibility to drive time, talent and treasure to...


Who's Up Next?
The Perfect Recipe for Donor Prospect List Segmentation
Aug 11, 2014

Looking for the perfect recipe for donor prospect list segmentation? With just a few ingredients, you can tailor every donor...

Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Engage P2P Keynote: Marty Coelho
Jul 29, 2014

Marty Coelho was one of the driving forces behind Relay for Life. You probably don't  know him in that context....

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...

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...

Go With Your Gut

If you are struggling with an employee or a board member and your gut says to move him or her along, then make a plan and do it!  Read More >>

The Big 3 Ingredients in a Successful Fundraising Campaign

A compelling case, inspiring leadership, the right plan, and skillfully and timely execution are essential!  Read More >>

Call It What You Will, But It Is Fundraising — Isn't It?

Labeling a campaign volunteer a "storyteller" blurs what is expected of the annual-fund volunteers — that they ask for a gift.  Read More >>

Get Away and Get Energized to Increase Your Fundraising Impact!

Allow yourself the essential luxury of thinking longer term. Not day to day — but month by month, year-end and even two to three years out for you and your organization.  Read More >>

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 >>