Asking About Asking

What gets in the way of your face-to-face fundraising? Can’t get “in” to see a funder? Don’t know who to ask? No time for donor calls? Fear that your prospective donor might say “no”? Asking about Asking: Mastering the Art of Conversational Fundraising shows you how to overcome these obstacles using conversational fundraising—leading to successful one-on-one gift solicitations.

Conversational fundraising is a simple, effective, proven technique for soliciting contributions and recruiting volunteers. If you have ever postponed talking with a donor because you didn’t know how to start a conversation about a large gift—then get your copy today. Asking about Asking gives you the tools you need to have meaningful, productive, enjoyable conversations with both current donors and potential funders. As you get out of the business of guessing and assuming by asking the right questions, your fundraising results will improve dramatically.

In this second edition, the reader benefits from the input of hundreds of nonprofit leaders who identified their greatest obstacles to asking for major gifts. In this update, Stroman presents their responses—along with strategies to successfully work around these roadblocks.

Asking about Asking will equip you to:

  • Seek and find larger donations.
  • Gain confidence as a fundraising staff member or volunteer.
  • Climb the 10 Step Staircase and get your proposals accepted.
  • Become more comfortable, confident and effective when asking.
  • Build and strengthen relationships which lead to charitable gifts.
  • Get free from assuming and guessing about donors’ intentions.
  • Identify and overcome personal and organizational fundraising obstacles.
  • Ask donors strategic questions, in the proper sequence, prompting deeper conversations.
  • Apply donor-centered solutions that you can begin using NOW to raise more money.
  • Help donors TRULY ENJOY the gift making process.

Stroman provides a treasury of useful tales, tools, and tips you will return to again and again. Don’t wait to exchange yesterday’s worn out, inadequate approaches for high impact, cutting edge techniques that REALLY work. Asking about Asking should be considered required reading for anyone involved with serious fundraising.

The Intentional Board

Ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels in the boardroom? That you aren’t on the same page with other members of the board and senior staff? Do you sometimes wonder if you’re really accomplishing the purpose for which the organization was created?

If so, please realize this: You are not alone!

The Intentional Board was written specifically with these frustrations in mind.

Intentional vs. Accidental Board

Kent Stroman coined the term “accidental board” to describe the governance condition he has too-frequently encountered in his decades in the nonprofit field. It makes no difference how old or new. Large or small. Sophisticated or simple. Local or international. Boards tend to fall prey to the same reality that plagues every other entity: Left to their own devices, they will decay. And, unfortunately, most don’t have to decline very far for the decay to become noticeable.

Accidental boards result from the forces of human nature. A handful of well-intentioned individuals with a boatload of passion joins together to solve a specific problem. They form a nonprofit organization, and someone tells them they must have a board. No problem. Several of them know attorneys (maybe someone who practices family law) and ask for assistance. These kind and generous attorneys provide pro bono services—well beyond their area of expertise—to help get the organization started on the right foot. The formal structure for governing a charitable entity is born, and everyone goes happily about their respective business.

But trouble is brewing. It’s invisible. It’s just below the surface. The governance capabilities of the board are not keeping up with the demands of the mission. The governance framework laid out in the bylaws is not aligned with the structure required of a charitable entity. And just like a Kansas tornado, the winds are shifting, and the shift goes unnoticed. Initially. Next thing we know Toto is flying. And, we’re not in Kansas anymore! Yikes!

Unless an intervention occurs, the result will be the formation of one more accidental board. A roomful of dedicated, generous, passionate members will gradually create a governance structure that does not work. If left untreated, this will eventually become a major distraction from the charitable programs and threaten the very existence of the organization.

The intentional board, however, is the result of purposeful, deliberate action. In The Intentional Board, Stroman expertly weaves his powerful but easy-to-grasp 17 Laws of the Intentional Board to give you a framework for getting your board back on track. It’s written in the upbeat, conversational style common to In the Trenches books from CharityChannel Press.

The intentional board is a journey—not a destination. It involves a collective striving for excellence. And it’s a rewarding endeavor for all who are involved.

No one who has served on an intentional board will ever be content returning to an accidental board. Rather, these enlightened board members will become change agents for transforming other organizations from survival to significance in their governance practices.

Who Will Benefit?

The Intentional Board is for anyone who wants a healthy, well-governed organization. It’s indispensable for:

  • Executive Directors
  • Aspiring Executive Directors
  • Board Chairs
  • Board Members
  • Prospective Board Members
  • Governance Consultants
  • Emerging Leaders
  • Young Professionals
  • Students of Nonprofit Leadership