Date published

The story behind National Philanthropy Day

Most fundraisers and many other staff and volunteers in the nonprofit sector know about National Philanthropy Day (NPD) and enthusiastically embrace it. More than 130 Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapters celebrate the observance all across the United States and…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

November 9, 2021

Tags: Nonprofits; US; History;

Stretching gift amounts

In countless prospect identification meetings with professional and volunteer nonprofit leaders, invariably the subject of wealth and financial capacity is the immediate and dominant trigger of names. To be sure, financial capacity is a huge factor, but I would argue…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

October 21, 2021

A wise investment of time: Practicing the ask

One of the most universally applicable statements is: Practice makes perfect. Ask any athlete, performer, or highly skilled professional, and they’ll tell you their success is based on rehearsal, preparation, and practice ad nauseam. Maybe, they won’t achieve perfection, but…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

September 23, 2021

What nonprofits should do about events: Err on the side of caution

I fiercely want our nonprofits to raise as much money as they can, so they can continue to champion—and even ramp up—their commitment to their respective noble missions that touch, improve, and help others who are struggling. This fall, nonprofits…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

August 19, 2021

How to raise more money in and beyond 2021

I can’t give you MacKenzie Scott’s cell phone number or any magical tips to land on her grantmaking radar. But I can share wisdom we’ve gathered during our 60 Eskin Fundraising Training Non-Profit Empowerment Webinars featuring many of the sagest…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

July 20, 2021

How hybrid special events will replace the need to pivot

Last year, nonprofits and fundraisers in particular were forced to pivot, and they did it amazingly well. Events pivoted from live to virtual, meetings with donors and prospects pivoted from in-person to virtual, and work itself pivoted from going to…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

June 10, 2021

A fundraiser’s timeless friend: The telephone

Every fundraiser should celebrate March 3 or March 10—respectively, the day Alexander Graham Bell was born (1847) and the day he placed the first telephone call (1876, “Mr. Watson, come here I want you.”) We have access to a dazzling and…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

May 6, 2021

A constant goal for fundraisers: Quality donor engagement

From the beginning of my journey training nonprofit staff and boards, the overarching approach has been to demystify the art and science of fundraising, and to make donor engagement simple and friendly. Too many nonprofit leaders, especially board members and…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

April 8, 2021

Priority: Retain your fundraising staff

For a long time, fundraiser turnover has perplexed the nonprofit sector. Organizations consider themselves lucky to retain fundraising staff for one to two years. This constant turnover hurts all around. It’s expensive to hire and train new staff, and worse…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

March 11, 2021

10 steps toward securing your first million-dollar gift

I love this topic! Fundraising practitioners like to talk about several types of gifts: for example, major, principal, and leadership. The truth is, they mean different amounts to different organizations and different amounts to the same organization, depending on where…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

February 9, 2021

2021 nonprofit mantra: Less is more

Let me begin by asserting in the strongest terms possible that nonprofits can and should solicit gifts of time and money as robustly as circumstances allow. Their noble missions deserve no less.  Despite the magnificent generosity demonstrated by Americans from…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

January 19, 2021

Zooming in on a major gift

I’ve long insisted that superior, active listening skills were close to, if not at the top of, the list of essential attributes of a great fundraiser. This might surprise some people, who assume the most important skills include a silver…

By Jim Eskin (he/him)

December 10, 2020