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A good major gift program is well designed. It has a short list of needed projects that, generally, have the winning appeal of being tangible, immediate, and high impact. This is the magical trifecta in fundraising!

Open for Business on Both Coasts

June 30th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Quick life update. A few months ago, my beloved and I purchased a second home in Northwest Connecticut. We did this to create a “home base” much closer to our five grandchildren. (And their parents, of course!) The house is a rambling old thing but we’re having fun getting it set up. We love …

What Are the Dangers of Having an Angel Donor?

by Barbara Barron | Posted on February 12th, 2020 Are there downsides to having a donor (or two or three) who effectively secures our entire Annual Fund campaign each year? Or who provides most of our capital campaign (or major gifts program) giving?  Does posing this question make me sound insane? I mean, why would we not want to have …

How Can You Know if Your School is Prepared for a Capital Campaign?

by Barbara Barron | Posted January 7th, 2020 There is a very good reason that schools and other organizations only endeavor to launch a capital campaign every five to ten years. Capital campaigns are big and hard and scary. While they have the power and potential to transform an organization and its program, helping to better deliver on the promise …

How Do We Get a 100% Return On Our Annual Fund Appeal Letters?

by Barbara Barron | Posted August 14th, 2019 True success story: a client reported back to me on a pretty far out-there strategy we had developed last summer for their Annual Fund approach to returning parents. Would you believe me if I told you that she is seeing almost 100% return? That nearly every family is increasing its giving substantially, …

How Do We Create Word-of-Mouth Buzz With Our Donors?

by Barbara Barron | Posted May 8th, 2019 You’ve no doubt heard the story: the little boy who left his cherished stuffed giraffe Joshie behind at a Ritz Carleton hotel. The child is distraught, naturally. So the father defaults to his go-to tactic: he tells a white lie. He assures his son is that Joshie is fine and just decided …

How Can We Make Our School’s Annual Auction More Successful?

by Barbara Barron | Posted December 12th, 2018 I am going to start by admitting to a bias that won’t shock you, if you’ve read my post about phon-a-thons. I, Barbara Barron, am not a huge fan of annual school galas and auctions. There. I said it! I imagine you’re reading this because you feel similarly. Perhaps you’re the sole …

How Can We Raise Money for Debt Reduction and Cash Reserves?

by Barbara Barron | Posted October 10th, 2018 Once upon a time, I was hired to build a major gifts program to reduce debt and build cash reserves. Exciting, right? I remember conferring with some professional friends at a conference shortly after I started. “Good luck, Barbara!” one of them said. “That’s what I’d call unsexy money.” Funny. And kinda true. …