CALL IT “DEVELOPMENT,” “institutional support,” or “advancement.” Fundraising by any name still includes the sometimes-uncomfortable task of asking people for money. Few board members enjoy doing it, and a recent survey indicates that even fewer think they do it well.

Penelope Burk, a fundraising consultant and president of Cygnus Applied Research, is the author of Donor Centered Leadership: What It Takes to Build a High Performance Fundraising Team. She has spent her career studying the fine art of “the ask,” and she has good news to share. Burk and her colleagues have examined every aspect of philanthropy to learn what prospective donors like and don’t like about solicitation and what changes would cause them to reach for their checkbooks sooner and make their pledges larger. Burk’s findings include strategies that are painless, cost-free, and require little expertise.

Burk was a keynote presenter at this year’s DIAP Conference — the gathering of development professionals who serve theological schools — held in Scottsdale, Arizona. In Trust recently talked to her to learn more about fundraising strategies that include board members.

Article from: Summer 2013

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