Inspired Fun Coach – Lori Cloninger Sweeney

Be interested and interesting!

June 2015

We’re getting set for summer at our house, sprucing up the yard for two tea parties and talking the teenager into washing the windows. I’ve got a cattle drive, Segway tour on Catalina Island and paddle boarding in Netarts on the summer schedule. One of my dearest and wisest advisors and friend, Agnes Zach, absolutely exclaims that you need to be interested and interesting to be good at fundraising. Summer adventures make for great chit-chat at donor meetings, I find (donors ARE interested in cattle drives!). Hope you are planning lots of interesting summer adventures–and asking about those of your donors.

I am very excited to be working with University of Portland this summer on a comprehensive training and coaching experience for the annual giving staff. We worked out a personalized approach that focuses on just what they wanted: to refine thank-you calling to get visits, make asks boldly and track progress more finely so staff and managers benefit. I am very excited to be working with UP–whoo hoo!

In addition to a couple of coaching clients, I put together a presentation on developing a culture of philanthropy that I think is a good conversation for a staff retreat. The discussion helps us refine our language, storytelling and collaboration to raise the profile for philanthropy in our organizations. It’s a quick jolt of interactive information around a topic that is crucial for true organizational excellence in fundraising. Call me if you think your organization might benefit from this 2-hour dialogue. I am finding that small group “dialogue presentations” are simple and effective for many organizations.

CASE Currents accepted my feature article on “fundraising is like dating” to remind us all that “breaking up with a donor” is necessary but “hard to do,” to quote Neil Sedaka. It was fun to write and I can share it in the fall when it comes out. It is “embargoed” until then which I think is hilarious but was part of the contract for my “volunteer writing”!? It’s a humor piece, so at least there will be giggling at the water cooler, or at least I hope for that!

May you be chuckling this summer, delighted in the weather, content with the privilege it is to work with donors, and your, uh, gift totals!