Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast show

Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast

Summary: Andrew Olsen, CFRE and Roy Jones, CFRE have 50+ years of combined nonprofit leadership experience and have jointly raised nearly $1 Billion in charitable gifts. In this podcast, Andrew and Roy interview high-level leaders from across the sector to bring you high impact insights and guidance to help you lead successfully and execute effectively.

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  • Artist: Andrew Olsen, CFRE and Roy Jones, CFRE
  • Copyright: © 2018 AndrewOlsen.net LLC


  Nonprofit F-Words | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:59:39

If you’ve spent any time at all in the nonprofit sector, you know there are some subjects that are taboo. Some subjects that are difficult to discuss in public spaces, and others that are purely unpopular.  Our guests today refer to those topics collectively as “Nonprofit F-Words.”  No, not THAT F-Word. I promise.  In this […]

  Gift Planning and Donor Legacies | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:30:22

Gift planning and legacy giving conversations don’t just have to be about death and mortality. In fact, they can and should be beautiful conversations about how donors can care for the long-term needs of their families, AND, how they can make significant impact for the causes they care most about.  Kristi Brennan, Chartered Advisor in […]

  The Truth About Leading Change | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:41:02

Everyone pretty much everywhere is talking about change right now. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, change seems to be the word of the day. And if you’re not talking about change, you might be talking about transformation. That’s just bigger change, right?  What so many of us get wrong about change and transformation efforts […]

  Social Media Strategy, with Julia Campbell | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:42:49

What’s the role of social media in today’s nonprofit landscape?  Why do you need to think about social media within the broader context of your overall marketing and fundraising strategy, instead of as a stand-alone effort?  Should social media replace your other marketing tactics, or should it augment your existing plan?  How should your nonprofit […]

  Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:46:30

Dr. Patton McDowell has spent his entire professional career leading organizations and developing high-performing leaders across the nonprofit sector.  You might have caught my conversation with Patton a few weeks ago on his show, Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. If you didn’t, you should check it out. We had an in-depth conversation on the impact […]

  Using behavioral research to shape your marketing and fundraising | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:48:06

Katie Lord is Vice President of Nonprofit Development at Proof Positioning, a market research company that uses emotional research to better understand donors and motivate them to act for nonprofits.  Katie and I talked recently about the disconnect between marketing and fundraising in nonprofits, as well as the impact of behavioral economics and emotional research […]

  Culture Drives Philanthropy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:37

Jenny Soderholm has invested her entire career in healthcare philanthropy. As Chief Development Officer at Children’s Minnesota and President of Children’s Minnesota Foundation, Jenny is focused on fostering a broad and deep culture of philanthropy that advances her organization’s ability to serve more children and families across Minnesota.  As we talked recently, Jenny shared some […]

  Overflow(ing) with generosity | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:37:09

What does a Bay Area pastor know about nonprofits and charitable giving?  Turns out he knows quite a lot.  At least if that guy is Vance Roush.  Vance is Founder of Overflow.co, a platform created to help unlock generosity across the globe.  Overflow is a platform that helps generous individuals give to charities and ministry […]

  Embracing a fundraising mindset | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:36:15

Do you have a theology of fundraising?  This was a fascinating question that Michael Mitchell posited on the show recently, and it led to a great conversation about what’s really important in our craft.  Michael is Director of Development and Discipleship at Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO).  In our conversation, Michael talked a lot about […]

  Food Bank fundraising with Rebecca Hendrix | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:29:54

Rebecca Hendrix is Chief Development Officer at Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas. She joined us on the podcast recently to talk about food bank fundraising, engaging donors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to deal with the various challenges facing the nonprofit sector today. Some of the highlights from our conversation include: Understanding the complexity and challenges that arise with engaging donors in a purely virtual environment Navigating crises at your organization and caring well for your people in the process Helping fundraisers balance the desire to remain remote with the need to engage directly and deeply with donors Why fundraising is “the highest form of sales” The key traits for successful nonprofit leaders What your organization can do to meet donors where they are today and engage them well for the future  

  Passion for your mission drives success | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:46:28

Kevin Feldman is Director of Development at The Salvation Army, Lake County, Indiana. He also advises small and emerging nonprofits on all things fundraising-related.  Kevin also runs a one-person development shop and has spent years fine-tuning his approach to donor engagement and fundraising.  We sat down recently to discuss the state of fundraising amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and how that’s changing the nonprofit landscape. Kevin had some great insights about the work and how we ought to be thinking about it. Here are some of the key insights we discussed: The number one factor in driving success for fundraising in an organization is the leader’s passion for the cause. Being “fearlessly sold out” for the mission is critical. This trait drives everything else, keeps you motivated in challenging times, and helps to define the culture for everyone else in the organization. Managing internal expectations around fundraising, donor relationships, revenue and expenses is equally as critical as managing your external donor expectations. In fact, bringing the board and other leaders into your fundraising plan — essentially making it their plan — will help bring shared ownership and greater success than trying to go it alone.  For the one-person shop, determining where to spend your time and energy is the most important decision-making challenge. Think about that decision from the perspective of, “will this activity help me retain more donors, grow the organization’s relationship with more donors, increase giving, or add more new supporters to our cause?” If yes, then do it. If no, pass on it.  As COVID-19 and other social issues conti

  LinkedIn and Your Nonprofit, with Anthony Jones | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:36:29

Anthony Jones is Founder of LinkedInOnePercentClub and formerly led all digital marketing, fundraising and social media strategy at Ducks Unlimited. He’s one of the most prolific digital marketers in our sector, and an all-around great guy.  Recently, Anthony made a HUGE move, leaving a 15-year career at Ducks Unlimited and launching his own company to help people like you and me improve our personal brands on LinkedIn.  In this conversation, Anthony and I talk about the importance of building your personal brand, why LinkedIn is the most important platform for personal branding, and how nonprofits can leverage LinkedIn for growth as well.  Our conversation hit key topics including: Why focusing on your personal brand on LinkedIn can put you in the top 1% of users on the platform. What content is and isn’t “LinkedIn appropriate”. How your nonprofit can gain attention and engagement on LinkedIn. Why nonprofits shouldn’t be afraid of their employees building personal brands on LinkedIn. Understanding how an employee’s personal brand can help build and grow your organization’s credibility.  How best to engage donors, potential board members, and future employees on LinkedIn (and how not to).  Don’t forget to check out Anthony’s FREE mini-course on personal branding on LinkedIn.

  The challenge of feeding 1 million people every day | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:41:43

 In our first episode of 2022 we sat down with Andy Carr, Vice President of Development and Marketing at Feed My Starving Children.  Feed My Starving Children is a Christian international hunger relief organization that will provide 370 million meals to people in need across the globe this year. That’s more than 1 million meals per day.  In our conversation with Andy, we covered many topics, including: The philanthropic power of an engaging volunteer experience. Crafting easily shareable messages. Why talking about the “big” problem actually keeps people from acting, and how you can boil the big problem down to a single key point. How to use a low-cost, tangible entry point to introduce supporters to your organization in a meaningful way.  The value of creating blended live/virtual fundraising events.  Andy is a dynamic, engaging speaker who is leading monumental growth at Feed My Starving Children. Take a listen — we’re sure you’ll find value in this conversation!  

  Integrated approach raises $20+ Million for Freedom Alliance | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:42:30

We recently sat down with Tom Kilgannon, President of Freedom Alliance.  Freedom Alliance is a nonprofit organization founded to support our nation’s combat wounded and deployed troops and their families. One of their greatest contributions to the military community is their scholarship fund for the dependents of military personnel who have been severely wounded or killed in combat. To-date, Freedom Alliance has given out $20 Million in college scholarships to the dependents of America’s fallen and injured heroes.  In our conversation with Tom about Freedom Alliance’s fundraising strategy and how they achieved this huge accomplishment of funding $20 Million in scholarships, here are some of the great insights Tom shared: An integrated approach to fundraising allows them to speak to each donor in the way that donor needs to hear the message in order to inspire generosity in their hearts.  Some fundraising offers / asks for support work better in-person, while others work better at major events, and even still, some messages resonate best when delivered via direct mail or email. You need to activate all viable channels to drive the greatest return for your organization.  The more you listen to your donors — to truly understand — not just to respond, the more likely you are to secure major investments from your supporters and investors. During the pandemic, they were able to activate significant support for the organization and those they support by regularly engaging donors, checking in on their supporters’ needs, and sharing stories of impact.  Focus on your donors’ needs and desires, and let those items drive how you engage and approach giving opp

  The Storytelling Fundraiser, with Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:51:31

Welcome to the 100th episode of The Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast! I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit with Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP for this milestone episode.  If you know Dr. James, you know this will be a great conversation. If you don’t know him yet, you’re in for a real treat! Dr. James is Director of graduate studies in charitable planning in the Division of Personal Financial Planning in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University. His research into human behavior and charitable giving has shaped how institutions large and small engage major donors and maximize revenue all across the U.S. Dr. James recently published a five-book series, the Fundraising Myth and Science Book Series. In our conversation, we talk extensively about one of those books, The Storytelling Fundraiser.  This new book series is also the foundation of a great new training program that Dr. James and Greg Warner at MarketSmart have partnered to bring to market.  We covered so much ground in this conversation. It’s an in-depth review of the book and the foundational thinking that went into it, including: The One Big Thing in fundraising, and why it’s something you might not expect. The difference between donor-centered and community-centered fundraising, and why organizations that want to secure transformational gifts should double down on donor-centered fundraising.  The neuroscience behind high-impact philanthropic activity, and how your organization and your donors can benefit from it.  Why talking to donors about giving from their wealth (assets) vs. their disposable income is critical to your organization’s long-term financial security and growth. The exact phrase(s) you should adopt to help your supporters unlock transformational generosity.  How philanthropy is both altruistic and self-serving at the same time, and what you need to understand to effectively navigate these differences.  The key decision-making processes that people go through when deciding to give a charitable gift, and how focusing on asset-based giving can help your donors make better decisions (for them and you!).  Why fundraisers have a difficult time talking with donors about legacy giving, and the exact language and tools to help overcome those difficulties (including his 65 video trainings available for FREE).  Why wading into math conversations with your donors may not be the best idea, and how to use storytelling to make key financial points that will motivate your donors to act.  The interconnected role of overhead and restricted giving in philanthropy, and how you can navigate these to unlock significant giving from your


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