Good People, Good Work

Dollar-A Day: Rethinking the critique

My son Aaron first brought the Dollar-a-Day donation approach to my attention.

That led to a blog post last week.

It turns out he then thought my analysis missed something important.

Give to 365 charities a year- only $1 a day!

Is this philanthropy? Or charity? Or ...?

Dollar-A Day ( ) made its debut earlier this fall in the United States and today (October 16) has 807 subscribers. That number grew by three people overnight last night. When I first looked at the site on October 5, it had about 450 members.

Canada’s original “call-to-action” figure

Steve Thomas is Chairman and Executive Creative Director of the company he founded in 1980, Stephen Thomas Ltd. A fundraiser for over 40 years, he is often described as the ‘Guru’ of Canadian direct response fundraising. His firm was Canada’s first direct response fundraising agency working exclusively in the not-for-profit sector.

Working for donors – raising impact, reducing risk, making a difference

An interview with Terry Smith, founder, President and CEO of in Toronto, ON.

For nearly nine years Terry Smith has provided a unique service to Canadian donors through her company Terry advises donors on how to, as she describes it “reduce their risk and increase the impact of their philanthropic giving.” Her clients typically are wealthy individuals, families and foundations – people who want assistance in making strategic philanthropic decisions and /or help in administering grants and ensuring accountability from recipients.

Distilling the essence of your value to donors

Can you describe your work in terms of its human effects?

Fifth in a series about your case for support

I’ve done a lot of case development. One of my favourite results came several years ago in collaboration with the leaders at Moncton Youth Residences (YIJ), in Moncton, NB. They are some of my favourite people as well. (As of June 18 this year, YIJ changed its name to Youth Impact Jeunesse, the name used for the rest of this article.)

What makes you so special?

Don’t worry about being unique. Document what makes you valuable.

Fourth in a series about your case for support

Years ago business consultants, authors and marketers unleashed the idea of the “Unique Value Proposition.” Now it’s everywhere. It’s a useful notion, propelling us to define what we do and why it is valuable.

Donors have options. You don’t.

Your case for support must win hearts and minds

Third in a series about your case for support

What’s your cause? Hunger? Safety of women? Chronic disease? Child exploitation? Opera? Literacy?

How likely is it that your donors have other options for their gifts? Virtually 100%. How many donors are obligated to give you money? None. Zero. Zip.

Altered states: why we have a case for support

Don’t settle for mere applause

Second in a series about your case for support

Most days each of us engages many people who are making a case for us to do what they want.

Of course you’re worthy. Get over it.

Fighting the sententia digna labore virus

First in a series about your case for support

Do feel like fundraising shouldn't be this hard? That donors are difficult people? Do your major gifts staff lack competitive edge? Are your executives too busy to make donor calls? Do board members glaze over when fundraising is discussed?

Whether health care or social service- it's about connecting people to what they’re already part of

An interview with Kimberly Harmsen, Manager, Annual & Special Giving, Union Gospel Mission, Vancouver, BC