Tag: Vu Le

When I was just getting started in fundraising, I found a battered copy of Penelope Burk’s Donor-Centered Fundraising in a desk drawer. I devoured it. It had statistics, it was based on a solid foundation of research, and it gave advice that was easy to implement. I still have a copy on the shelf in my office. I still buy copies for colleagues. I still recommend it to everyone. I still stand by the core ideas of donor-centered fundraising. And, really, I think that comes down to three simple things: Donors should receive prompt and meaningful thanks for their gifts. My…
Recently, I came across two critiques of a common saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” One of those critiques was in the video below (hat tip to James McGrath and Ross McKenzie) The other was in a post by Vu Le at Nonprofit With Balls that I linked to earlier: The teach-a-man-to-fish paternalism. This philosophy, so ingrained in our culture, is patronizing and often ineffective, sometimes harmful. It assumes one person is a fount of knowledge while the other is an…
First of all, I am vegan, so I NEVER expect cake and ice cream ANYWHERE. My usual dessert at fundraising events is a blueberry garnish. Second of all, none of us are expecting the work to be easy, but spending 15 hours trying to figure out how much of $1,864 in office supplies and printing the XYZ Foundation paid for last fiscal year is probably not what any of us should be putting our energy into. Vu Le: We Need to Stop Treating Nonprofits the Way Society Treats Poor People FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
Budget Testing allows a larger nonprofit to be able to grow, while smaller, grassroots organizations continue to struggle. Getting 10K, while great, is not nearly as helpful as getting 100K. With 100K, you can hire a full-time exempt person, an essential element in organizational growth. With 10K, you can’t do much; if you’re lucky, you may be able to Frankenstein some other sources of funding together to get a part-time person, or pay for other elements to help your program to limp along. It’s like telling a kid, “Because you’re so little, I’m going to give you a few…
As I’ve been working in the field, and working specifically with communities of color, I’ve been seeing more and more signs of diverse communities being treated like children who don’t know what’s good for them. I don’t think it is conscious or intentional. But it is still frustrating, like watching the first half of the Seahawks/Panthers game. Vu Le: Trickle-Down Community Engagement, Part 2 FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…

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