April Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Advice to your younger-fundraising-self

blog carnivalI’m so honored to be hosting the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. When announcing April’s carnival theme in my April 4th Call for Submissions post, I was excited to see how the non-profit blogosphere would respond to this question: “If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I have made many mistakes over the last 20+ years of fundraising and non-profit management, and I love to share those teachable moments with younger professionals. However, the idea of learning from some of our sector’s greatest non-profit thinkers was fun and thrilling.
I challenged my fellow bloggers to incorporate time travel movie references into their posts. Having read all of the submissions, I think you won’t be disappointed. Not only did bloggers serve up some amazing advice, but in some cases bloggers included fun references to movies such as Back to the Future, Groundhog Day, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Howard the Duck, and much more.
I hope you enjoy this month’s virtual carnival rides and the sweet and savory posts chock-full of advice and tips!

time travelJoe Garecht at The Fundraising Authority blog reached out to some of the non-profit sector’s best consultants, speakers and authors and asked them to answer this month’s carnival question in his post If Famous Fundraisers Had to Start All Over Again… What They Wish they Had Known… Very entrepreneurial, Joe!   😉
I am never disappointed by what Jeff Brooks writes over at Future Fundraising Now, which is why I was so honored when he wrote something for this month’s carnival. As a young fundraiser, Jeff was prone to extreme fundraising approaches. If he could go back and advise himself, he’d tell that young extremist that moderation is a lot smarter. (Note: I think Jeff is being too hard on himself when he refers to his present-day-self as “a gray-haired, middle-aged codger.”) Click here to read his non-codger advice.
“It’s about sticking with what you know is right,” explains Claire Axelrad in her Clairification post titled The Meaning of Philanthropy, Not Fundraising – Part 1. And she always knew that she couldn’t take sole credit for money that was raised under her watch. But she wishes she had known how important it is to actively give others credit. While her younger-self understood this to a degree, she didn’t to the extent that she does today. It’s so important in fundraising to come from a place of love. Because, in essence, that’s what philanthropy means.
I had no idea that Ignited Fundraising blog’s Lori Jacobwith had worked on a U.S. Senate campaign back in the 1980s.  In her post Don’t Make My Fundraising Mistakes, Make New Ones, she would tell her younger-fundraising-self that if she’s counting on people, especially volunteers (and anyone who is NOT a fundraising professional is a volunteer!) to support her work in ANY way. . . she needs to treat them like her favorite and most special donors or customers.
bill murrayI love the fact that Bill Murray makes a cameo appearance in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival thanks to Empower Nonprofits‘ Jeremy Koch.  Jeremy will tell you everything Bill Murray taught him about how to free yourself from the fundraising time loop and improve your fundraising. Keep Calm and Chive On, Jeremy!
My longtime and dear friend, Dani Robbins over at Non Profit Evolution, went into overdrive this month and submitted two posts with tons of advice. In her first submission, she shares EIGHT Teachable Moments that she wishes someone had given her when she was younger. She adds another 23 things she learned along the way in her post Reflecting on my Pursuit of Social Justice. Simply amazing . . . Thanks for sharing, Dani!
Mary Cahalane at Hands On Fundraising blog won me over by referencing one of my favorite movies — Working Girl — as she talked about her fundraising career path. She wonders how things might have been different “if only . . .” While everyone will benefit from reading To my younger fundraising self – and maybe you, new fundraising professionals are simply going to LOVE this post!!!
Seth Rosen’s post over at Joan Garry Consulting‘s blog complements the previous submission regarding the keys to building a fundraising career for those just starting out in the field. If you are new to fundraising, you’ll want to read Fundraising Career Advice: What I Wish I Knew Then.
In Zach Hagopian’s first fundraising event that he hosted with his co-founder in 2014, they learned a valuable lesson: “To leave limitations behind and think bigger / outside the box.” Event coordinators won’t want to miss out on reading Accelevents’ Back to the (Fundraising) Future.
Of all the non-profit consultants I know, Pamela Grow has an inspirational journey line stories to share. I simply love how she tells the story about what happened when the board hired a new executive director for her organization. I won’t give away the surprise, but I guarantee you will love the advice she dispenses to her younger-self!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and all of that time travel. But if after consuming all of those sugary and sweet blog posts full of advice you still find yourself craving more, then you will want to check out five additional carnival posts that I wrote throughout April for the DonorDreams blog community. Here are links to those posts:

Craig Linton at Fundraising Detective blog will host the May 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme will be “Leadership in Fundraising: the best or worst boss you ever had. What did you learn? How was the experience? Tips for others.” Click here for more details and how to submit your blog entry for consideration.
As I say at the end of all my blog posts . . .
Here’s to your health! (and try not to eat too much cotton candy at this month’s carnival)
Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC


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