Many leafs of ivy cover a wallVines – they’re everywhere! The past two days, with the help of my husband and great friend Heather, we’ve cleared out  overgrown ivy and weeds from around most of the house. And we’ve found some interesting things that were hidden – including an antique iron grate (no idea what it went to but it’s pretty cool looking), several stone borders, a decorative bench that was sitting on a little stone patio and three rose bushes! Our neighbor promises us that we’ll find a peony bush (if its still alive) underneath another stand of vines. It’s been quite exciting!

In some ways this reminds me of most of my client engagements. I come in on a bit of a scavenger hunt to find the hidden gems - things that have been covered up under all the busyness of day-to-day work. It could be a passionate volunteer who’s also an excellent story teller. Other times it’s a donor who will give more if only they were asked in the right way. Sometimes it’s success stories – men and women overcoming incredible odds to move forward in life.

While I got a lot of satisfaction from pulling vines and other weeds, it’s nothing compared to the thrill I feel when I’m able to help an organization grow. Whether it’s raising money, increasing visibility or just engaging the board more, each has an incredible impact and reach.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the transformations you experience.




Quote of the week: I follow four dictates: face it, accept it, deal with it, then let it go. - Sheng Yen


Kirsten Recommends:

Membership in The Nonprofit Academy is an affordable way to get 12-months of training. In June we’ll be covering ways you can identify the low-hanging fruit in your database. Plus, there are now options to add in consulting help from me as well. Visit to get more information!


Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please forward this to others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!

Awareness / Communications

  • How Much Time Mobile and Social Media Require The following is an excerpt from Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits. The amount of time that a nonprofit can invest in mobile and social media depends on capacity. Small nonprofits that are not in a position to hire a part- or full-time social media manager should limit themselves to one or two social networks and place the highest priority on their website, email communications, and online fundraising campaigns. @NonprofitOrgs
  • Why Email Still Rules! Social media strategists (ok, not all) love to discount email in favor of, you guessed it - social media. They have deemed email a dying communications channel, which is absurd. Email lists and email marketing continue to grow, especially for the nonprofit sector where list size grew at least 14% in 2013, according to the 2014 eNonprofit Benchmark study. @care2frogloop
  • Will Good Grammar Save Fundraising? A subscriber sweetly wrote to ask: “Do you think the nonprofit world needs a grammar book all its own?” She wondered because she was discouraged. All across our massive and very verbal industry, she’d tripped over grammar crimes and misdemeanors. Were fundraisers a bit illiterate and in need of a remedy? @BloomerangTech
  • More Online Leads From Video Rich Brooks at Flyte New Media pitches 15 Ways Video Helps You Generate More Online Leads. Yes, it’s a pitch, but the advice holds water. Video improves your search engine visibility. Google and Bing like video. YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. Nuf said. Over one billion people watch a YouTube video each month. Video is the most engaging online medium. @AgitatorEditors

Fundraising Planning

  • Petition Signer To Donor Demonstrating what should be a staple in your acquisition toolkit, here’s a brief ‘petition-to-donor’ case study from Care2, involving the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). Very straightforward. AWF’s petition to stop illegal wildlife poaching was promoted across the Care2 online network. In two weeks, the petitions attracted 29,000 signers, each furnishing online and mail contact info. @AgitatorEditors
  • Fundraising Overview  Hi! Thanks for joining me on this fundraising journey. This is the first in a series where we’ll be talking about various aspects of the fundraising process. Rather than diving into details, I’d like to start with an overview of the process. For each video in this series, you’ll be given the option to watch the video or read the transcript – your preference! @kirstenbullock
  • Fire Your Donors Over the past year, I’ve seen/heard/had a number of discussions around fundraising trends. They tend to revolve around the following topics: Acquisition ain’t what it used to be, and retention is abysmal. It’s time to really love our donors! Donor-centred fundraising – do it. You can’t thank these guys enough! @101fundraising

Fundraising Tactics

  • A Church Grows in Brooklyn: How Trinity Grace Raised Over $30,000 in 30 Days Isn’t it interesting that when we talk about moving from one place to another, we tend to describe ourselves as trees? We uproot and transplant. And in a city dubbed the concrete jungle, where buildings seem to outnumber trees, the gardening analogy stands out. Even more unusual is the notion of “church planting.” @CauseVox
  • How to Identify and Respond to Fundraising “No’s” One of the greatest challenges of being a development professional is dealing with rejection. The fact is, you are going to hear the word “No” a lot. But the best fundraisers know not to take it personally and get right back on that fundraising horse. They also learn that sometimes a No can help you find your way to a Yes. @stayclassysd
  • How to make your action buttons a lot stronger Here are the results of a test of the words in an action button: Subtle changes in words can make a significant difference in performance. By split testing, you can discover the words that will work best for your unique audience. @jeffbrooks


  • Board Wrinkles: The Questions I'm Most Often Asked I still am asked for solutions to a host of board problems: "How do I fix this? How do I fix that?" And invariably I'm cornered just as I'm rushing to make another flight. In the brief space I'm given here, let me answer the five questions that come up most often. @GuideStarUSA
  • When Funds Go Missing, What Can You Do? What Must You Do? So what should a board do once it suspects or has discovered evidence of embezzlement? @npquarterly
  • The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders In a global marketplace where problems are increasingly complex, no one person will ever have all the answers. That’s why Google’s SVP of People Operations, Lazlo Bock, says humility is one of the traits he’s looking for in new hires. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.” @HarvardBiz
  • 4 Ways Technology Can Improve Volunteer Engagement No matter your church’s size or type, all churches have one thing in common: people. Whether you are a church of 200 or 20,000, engaging volunteers is a key to success. Ephesians 4 calls churches to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Effectively engaging volunteers can reduce the need for staff to manage your church’s activities. @ChurchTechToday


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