Welcome to This Fundraising Life, a podcast about more than just the numbers.

This Fundraising Life is a 9-episode podcast series that will help nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers build their fundraising skills and knowledge.

Join us each episode for an in-depth conversation with a fundraising expert - folks at the top of their game in nonprofit communications, marketing, donor cultivation, board development, and more.

Using data from the Individual Donor Benchmark Project as a starting point, we’ll dive into the stories and wisdom behind the numbers. 

Ready to jump into the deep end? 


Year-after-year, the IDB Project has found that only about four in ten board members are actively engaged in individual fundraising. Why might this be the case? In this episode, Andy Robinson explains why he believes we must help board members understand there are other ways to participate in the fundraising cycle that don't involve asking for money. 

Is having a realistic fundraising plan the number one indicator of success? “Yes!” says Mazarine Treyz, “It’s about making sure you have attainable goals that are not just pie-in-the-sky. The results you achieved last year must inform what you continue doing, stop doing, or change moving forward.” Listen to learn about making an actionable fundraising plan that will empower your organization to achieve its greatest vision.

 “Fundraising began to feel right when it was integrated with our mission” explains Melinda. “We’ve opted out of having a development director, because we value getting to know people, talking to them, and connecting them to projects and programs they’re interested in. It’s about relationship building. Everyone, from interns to staff to board members contributes.” Learn more about one nonprofit’s unique fundraising strategy.

Most nonprofit professionals have heard the term “planned giving,” but where to start? “Don’t be intimidated!” says expert Tony Martignetti. “Planned giving is a long-term process: you don’t need a lot of expertise to kick things off.” Listen in to learn how to start a planned giving program, what mistakes to avoid, and how to talk with prospective donors. 

Ask not what kind of event you want to throw but why you’re doing it in the first place, advises Brooke. Then, measure success not just by topline revenue, but how many donors you bring in and other vital goals. Be strategic about what kind of event you’re hosting (thank you event, donor retention event, donor acquisition event) and you’ll create a strong culture of giving and more easily measure success!

What would it be like for your organization to empower its employees, make them feel respected, and give them more opportunities to get involved? In this episode, we discuss what can be learned from looking at successful organizations, and how to grow your staff capacity to fundraise.

For leaner nonprofits, it can be difficult to dive deeper into data that goes beyond "how many individuals gave a gift." Yet tracking data is essential for nonprofits looking to raise more money! Join us to learn how fundraisers can get started with data, which key metrics really matter, and why databases are key to your success.

Online giving is becoming more common, but is this a good or bad thing? In this episode, we dive into best practices for online fundraising, investigate new communications tools for messaging donors and potential donors, and reflect on whether it’s really possible to “overcommunicate” with your audience. 

Join us for this bonus podcast, and an all-encompassing conversation with Heather Yandow and Meredith Emmet around fundraising roles and expectations, how to identify your organization's business model, and the importance of thank you notes!