The Rules

It might be too strong to say, “The very existence of your ministry, cause or organization is dependent upon you learning and living by this rule.” As fundraisers we have enough anxiety as it is. It feels like I often run around like a complete lunatic with what seems to be the world’s most important […]

As the story goes, this rule began in the form of a question that was put to a famous management guru. He was also a man of deep integrity and faith. Someone once had the foresight to ask him, “What is the greatest weakness of the nonprofit?” Rule #15 is my elaboration of his answer. […]

This is a dicey little rule.  I think I may have run into more trouble with this one than, perhaps, just about any other. When I hear a trustee, president or development officer tell me that their organization is “unique,” I shudder.  I generally know what’s coming next…her or his rules about not following the […]

There are rules in fundraising, just like there are in quantum physics or any other field of study. Granted, these rules are not as complicated and involve a fairly low level of mathematical ability or else I’d be searching on LinkedIn for another job. Let me be clear, following the rules won’t guarantee success, but […]


I’m a person who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  There were six of us living south of Seattle in a little shack made out of Boeing Aircraft Company packing crates.  I know our house was used to ship airplane parts because it was stenciled in large black letters all over the […]