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I have speakers other than myself, and I do master coaching four times a year, where we really dig into a topic.

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LORI: It is. MKC: What seems to me unusual is that you emphasize both communications and fundraising. Why that combination?


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Are you assuming they know what it is you want them to do or are you actually spelling it out? All of it boils down to, what are we saying, how are we saying it, and even, what are the word choices we make. My broken-record, soapbox message is, be thoughtful about your word choices. They communicated what their impact was, what it cost to serve that kid or serve that meals on wheels program or help that homeless person, and they talked about what it would take to end the year without having any funding gap, without having anyone who came to their door not be served.

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I had one group raise a million dollars over their goal — in this economy. Do you find many nonprofits that are looking for help are not ready? LORI: chuckles Were you listening to my phone conversations yesterday? That was a whole new concept. So they were not ready. Government contracts are a little harder to come by or are changing.

Foundations, both corporate and community foundations, are deciding either to batten down the hatches or they just have less to give. The other big thing besides the money, of course, is there are more people looking to nonprofits for support. MKC: You seem to have embraced social media. Do you advise clients to jump into social media as well?


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  • LORI: Absolutely. To dive in, and allow their staff and board to participate as well.

    Withism's from Lori: Boldness, Clarity & Wisdom for

    MKC: What keeps you at high energy and in high spirits? How do you stay focused on accentuating the positive? LORI: For me, I make sure to meet a client from every organization that I work with as a coach, and as many organizations as I can who come into contact with me through trainings or my online fundraising community. I ask them to tell me about one person whose life is different because of their work, and sometimes I actually get to meet that person face to face.

    I get to hear amazing stories. I get to hear the good news every day, a couple times a day. Transactions pull people apart.

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    Gifts pull people together. What may hold a staff back is the inability to relate authentically to the person who gets asked for money every day. The act of giving adds meaning to our work. And what social profit organizations really sell is the ability for their supporters, their investors, to feel good about giving and about the work being done. The way we can give that experience is through authentic conversations that tell true stories about the good work being done and the real people being served.

    Communicating in a way that causes people to feel something is, I believe, the most important part of the asking process. This prevents them from sharing their compelling story. Or, worst case scenario, it causes them to feel they are not needed. Bonus offer: I will send a copy of Linchpin to the first two people who email me requesting a book. Lori, what a treat to get to hear Seth speak!


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    • I would have loved to have been there too. Thanks for sharing his answer to your question. Lori, great stuff as usual! It dares us to get creative. This is a critical message.

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      Donors should be made to feel that they are sharing in the success of the organization. We had a huge fundraising campaign over the summer. Greg, Thank you for your comment. Being clear about what we need and allowing our community to feel great about providing support to get there…it can be magical. Way to go!

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      So cool that you got to spend a day at a Seth Godin event Lori! Thanks for sharing! It all boils down to creating compelling story-telling and, more and more, transparency.