Our Donors Help Tell Our Stories

Posted by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF on 7/12/17 11:21 AM

A  few weeks ago, Kim Bhasin and Lance Lambert did a news piece for Bloomberg entitled “The Long, Hard, Unprecedented Fall of Sears.” In 1989, Sears Roebuck & Company was the largest retailer in the United States.  The tallest building in Chicago, and at one time, the tallest building in the world bore the company’s name.  Once the second-largest retailer in America, K-Mart filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and in 2005 K-Mart and Sears merged to become the Sears Holding Corporation, which is now owned by billionaire Eddie S. Lampert and his company, ESL. According to the article, since the merger Lampert has dismantled the company and in January of this year the company was forced to sell their famous tool brand Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker.

At one time, Sears led innovation in retail with the introduction of their catalog. Sears empowered consumers with real choices to buy good products at reasonable prices no matter where the customer lived. Sears actually improved living standards, helped lower the cost of living for most Americans and strengthened the buying power of the American middle class.

While Sears still talks bravely about its future and plans to integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping, this decline seems unparalleled in business history.

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Topics: Conference, Catholic Fundraising Resources, Donor Relationships

Let’s Recognize and Affirm the Generosity of our Donors Before it’s too Late

Posted by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF on 6/30/17 2:33 PM

Congress is currently addressing a number of critical issues which will impact the charitable community.  Changes in funding will in many cases, place greater responsibilities on the charitable sector to find additional resources where budget cuts will impact numerous programs. Concerns about healthcare reform are paramount for all of us. Tax reform is another area of similar concern for all charities.

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Topics: Conference, Donor Relationships

The Power of Belonging

Posted by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF on 4/19/17 11:16 AM

As fundraisers and human beings, all of us understand the importance of belonging. It is about being part of something. In our case, it is about engaging others in our mission, our causes, our ministries.  It is about inviting others to feel “one with.”  It is about inclusion, not exclusiveness. It is part of the human condition.

Peter Block, in his book, Community: The Structure of Belonging (Barrett-Koehler, San Francisco, 2009) offers several definitions of belonging. The first is “to be related, to be part of something.” The second definition deals with ownership where one “co-owns” the community to which one chooses to affiliate. In the third, he describes it as “a longing to be.” Here he talks about a capacity for deeper meaning and purpose. (p.xii)

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Topics: Donor Relationships

Why Your Nonprofit Should be a “For Purpose” Organization

Posted by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF on 3/11/17 10:00 AM

On February 16, 2017 over two hundred people from various parts of the country, representing a diverse cross-section of the nonprofit community went to Capitol Hill to speak to legislators about the importance of the charitable tax deduction. The goal of the Charitable Giving Coalition who sponsored this event was to encourage members of both the House and Senate to include the charitable tax deduction as they begin to create tax reform legislation.

Note: At NCDC, we know that learning how to connect and communicate with a younger generation can be a challenge, but that’s why we’ve put together an eBook to help you learn how to effectively engage with millennials in order to raise more money this year —  5 Ways to Engage Millennials and Raise More this Year.

Besides those who flew in for this event, others made appointments to meet with their legislators while they were home for the Presidents Day recess. Still, others wrote letters and made phone calls. The Charitable Giving Coalition will continue to meet and to encourage members of the nonprofit community to speak out on this issue.

As a member of this Coalition who both personally encouraged people to come to the Hill and continues to advocate for the charitable tax deduction, I have been thinking quite a bit about the threat to the charitable tax deduction.

Here are some of my thoughts:

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Topics: Millenials, Donor engagement

When Transitions Meet Traditions

Posted by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF on 2/1/17 10:26 AM

On January 20, 2017, the United States experienced a transition in leadership as Barack Obama completed his second term as President of the United States and Donald Trump took the oath of office as our forty-fifth president. The transition process began when the two men met at the White House on November 10, 2016, and even though the actual transfer of leadership has happened, the transition will continue for some time.

The reality is that transition takes lots of time, energy, and patience, and ironically, it is often steeped in tradition. The Presidential Inauguration was a perfect example of an entire day carefully orchestrated but almost entirely prescribed by tradition. This is because change doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Transition is informed by the past, happens in the context of the present, and impacts the future. Transition challenges us to recognize that a decision has been made, a direction has been set, and the “point of no return” has been reached. Thus, a new context and framework has been created. 

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Topics: Donor Development, Donor Relationships


About The Fundraiser's Outlook

The Fundraiser's Outlook is a blog written by Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, President of the National Catholic Development Conference.  Her blog always emphasizes the ministry of fundraising and the importance of your work for your organization’s mission. Applying her decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, she often reflects on current events, pop culture, and travel and how our world impacts Catholic nonprofits.

About Sr. Georgette Lehmuth

Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF has been President/CEO of NCDC since 2001.

She is a noted speaker on the ministry of fundraising and has spoken at the conferences of: the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the National Association for Treasurers of Religious Institutes (NATRI), the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Independent Sector. She has also presented at the Ascension HealthCare Council on Philanthropy, Catholic Charities USA Ministry Conference and at the Caritas gathering of charitable fundraisers in Lima, Peru, which represented 24 countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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