Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fundraising Mistakes That Bedevil Boards

At today's monthly meeting of the AFP Silicon Valley (Association of Fundraising Professionals), the guest speaker was Kay Sprinkel Grace on the topic of Fundraising Mistakes That Bedevil All Boards (And Staff Too). Kay is always a wonderful presenter, and this topic - based on her book of the same title - was particularly well received.

The mistakes that Kay identifies, or in some cases popular myths, include:
  • People will give just because yours is a good cause,
  • Donors are drawn to organizations in need,
  • People dislike giving
  • "We can't raise big money, we don't know any rich people,"
  • Volunteers don't have to give in order to ask others to give - their time is their gift, and
  • It is impolite to ask for specific amount.
Kay diffuses each of these myths with anecdotes and humor and shows us to avoid - or remedy - them in our fundraising practice.

Another important mistake for professional nonprofit fundraisers is to ever believe that our education is complete. I always enjoy AFP luncheons, and always learn something. Even when it's a bit of a refresher, it's good to be reminded of some basics and maybe hear it in a different way.

You can learn more about Kay Sprinkel Grace at Transforming Philanthropy (.org) and find her "mistakes" book on

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