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News and Notes from the Director

As of November 8, 2018

“PSI is now providing a NEW Fundraising Analytics Service that uses the same data points at the Fundraising Fitness Test. The reports are easy to understand and actionable and empower fundraisers to raise more money. The 22-page Audit graphically communicates key metrics for: revenue, donor lifetime value, donor, revenue distribution pyramid, donor retention, new donor acquisition, upgrades, and lapsed reactivation.  The 35-page Fundraising Action Plan guides you step by step with individual donor identification numbers in 7 different categories, helps you know whom to contact how and when, and how much to ask them for–improving relationships and exposing their true potential to support your nonprofit cause. It also identifies those who should be converted to monthly donors via credit card, who can be upgraded from mid-level to major donors, and who is likely to give far more via planned / estate giving. To learn more click this link: Randy Fox will process your data through this online platform and send you PDF Reports. “

PSI just held their annual special event during NAD year end meetings, the President’s Dinner, on the evening of November 4, 2018. Many thanks to our special guest and speaker, Dr. David King, who heads the Lake Family Institute for Faith and Giving at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The Presentation title and theme for the event was “The Confluence of Faith and Fundraising”. Many thanks to those of you who attended. We will be sharing the PPT of his remarks shortly. We also are grateful for the respondents who did an outstanding job in reacting to Dr. King’s remarks and shared personal experiences—Dean Coridan, Reggie Leach, Sandra Roberts, and Audie Robinson. A major thanks to Lorena, Randy, Mark and Joel for their hard work in bringing this to fruition successfully!

Since the year-end is fast approaching, The Chronicle of Philanthropy is offering a volume on “How to Maximize Year-End Giving.” For information, check out the book section of The Chronicle.

Another new volume is very relevant to all fundraisers, which is a new book on women as donors. “Gender Matters: A Guide to Growing Women’s Philanthropy,” by Kathleen E. Loehr, is the latest contribution to the field of women as donors’ literature, and well-worth perusing. It is available through

We should continually ask ourselves if we thank our donors enough and in the right way. An item in the newsletter, Bottom Line, Nov. 15, 2018, stated the following:

Gratitude is more powerful than people think. Genuine expressions of thanks are more highly valued by the people who receive them than the senders think they will be. In a recent study, senders expected thank-you notes that they had written to generate a happiness rating in the recipients of three on a scale of one to five, with five indicating the most happiness. But recipients reported their happiness as a four, on average. The notes were not simple thanks for a gift—they were letters of gratitude to people who had affected the senders in some positive way. The quality of writing did not affect recipients’ appreciation—they cared about how warm and genuine the notes were. By Amit Kumar, PhD, assistant professor, department of marketing, University of Texas at Austin.

It seems like an appropriate time of the year for us to be reminded of the great value of genuine thanks and recognition!

Another very valuable resource is the following that reports research on nonprofit standards, and this will help you understand how you rank within America’s nonprofit sector:

“Nonprofit Standards is a national benchmarking survey of 100 nonprofit organizations across a variety of sectors, including health and human services, higher education, public charities, and private and community foundations. The survey was fielded by Market Measurement, a market research consulting firm. In its second year, Nonprofit Standards includes more precise drilldowns by annual revenue to narrow the peer groups for more meaningful comparisons. While intended to provide a valuable baseline analysis for organizations of all sizes and types, it would be impossible to capture the variety and diversity of the entire nonprofit sector. For the purposes of this survey, nonprofits are categorized in three groups according to their annual revenues:

Midrange organizations: Annual revenues under $25 million
Upper-midrange organizations: Annual revenues between $25 million and $75 million
Large organizations: Annualrevenues of $76 million or greater

For more information, visit the BDO Institute for Nonprofit Excellence Resource Center

Finally, this item should be of much interest to all of us: World’s richest people just can’t give away their money fast enough. Bloomberg–Buffett talks about his investment strategy, his new health-care venture and the banking industry. Warren Buffett gave himself a challenge when outlining his philanthropic vision at the start of this decade. “At the latest, the proceeds from all my Berkshire shares will be expended for philanthropic purposes by 10 years after my estate is settled,” he wrote in his Giving Pledge letter in 2010. “Nothing will go to endowments; I want the money spent on current needs.” That task — the wholesale Read the full story, Shared from Apple News.

Don’t forget the additional resources that are available through PSI. We have an extensive lending library and you can find the link on our website ( Our website also has short webinars on many topics. You can use these to learn the basics about many important topics. We also have a myriad of articles and other materials on just about any topic with which you might need help. So, contact us!

Finally, a warm wish to you!


Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

For archived messages click here.

RICH TIPS: Orienting New Board Members


Dear Friends,

A board needs to do more than just take up space. It needs to provide value to the organization. Unfortunately, many boards can be formless and useless. A lot of the time, the reasoning behind this lack of activity, is orientation. As soon as new members join, they need to be oriented into the organization and they must be told the expectations of work and participation.

The responsibility of orienting new board members should be shared between the executive director, board chairperson and a few other board members. It should not be the sole responsibility of the executive director or of any one person. However, from my experience you only have a few board meetings to get the new members “on board” and get them rolling, otherwise they will fall into bad habits of expecting to do little or nothing. Board culture is ingrained and established very quickly for new members.

Below are some valuable insight for an effective orientation program that can help welcome new board members:

1. Introduce them to the organization.

Make sure the executive director and other important leaders, sit down with them and go over the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. It’s critical that the new board members have a solid understanding of the vision and mission of the organization. Have this take place prior to their first board meeting.

2. Give them a tour of the organization’s office and facilities.

Make sure they “see and feel” what the organization is all about, and have them meet some of the clients who can tell them stories that the new board members can share with the community and others. Introduce them to key staff and volunteers.

3. Introduce them personally to each board member.

Take the time to introduce them to everyone as key players, so they feel welcomed as an important participant. Provide the message that they are critical to the success of the organization and they are there not just taking up space.

4. Provide a board orientation manual with the basics.

Make sure the board members know what is expected of them in terms of committee assignments, dollar amount of financial contributions, the role of the board in relationship to the executive director, etc. I still like the three ring binders that are tabulated with categories such as: history and background; goals and objectives, budget and financial information; fundraising, legal documents (by-laws and articles of incorporation), brochures and marketing materials; list and bio of board and staff members; personnel policies and procedures; etc.

5. Take them out to lunch.

Make sure either the board president or the executive director takes the new board members out to lunch during the first month on the job. When you take them to lunch, give them an assignment to fulfill that will get them active right from the get-go. Make sure they “hit the ground running”.

6. Write them a welcome letter.

The board president should write a welcome letter to each new board member that formally welcomes them into the organization and thanks them for their time, energy and expertise.

7. Assign them a buddy.

Have the president of the board assign a new board member a buddy that will sit next to him/her during the first few meetings. This buddy could also go out to lunch with the new member, answer questions and make sure they are engaged and involved right from the beginning.

8. Provide them with necessary information.

Give the new members information such as annual reports, auditor reports, strategic plans, job descriptions, etc. Include some past minutes of meeting and other materials that will help educate the new member.

9. Put them on the agenda.

At the first board meeting, provide every new member an opportunity to talk to the board about their experiences, motivations, and passions. Within the next six months have them conduct a 10-15 minute educational session on an issue they are passionate about. This is a great way for the board to get to know the member and for the member to open up about themselves.


Make sure you thank them for their time and participation. It is also a good idea to begin to collect their birthday, anniversaries and other significant events so you can acknowledge them throughout the year.

Congratulations on any additions you have made to your board!

Rich Male




is November 27th

Be sure and check out our new mentoring program under the Resources tab

Become a peer-coaching mentor — or — the beneficiary of a mentorship who wishes to “learn the ropes.”


For questions and additional information, contact the PSI Network Connect Manager.

Charlotte Henderson

Introduction to PSI

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We invite you to contact PSI any time you feel you need a consultant, at any stage of your fundraising efforts. We are here for any type of help, and we can even share carefully-selected consultant names or firms.

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Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Do you know someone interested in the field of Fundraising or someone in the field wanting a different challenge? Be sure and direct them to our JOB CENTER. There they will find not only who is hiring but also a place to have their resume posted for those seeking to hire.

News and Updates from PSI

Fundraising Group Offers New Online Practice Test for Certification

By Eden Stiffman

Fundraisers who want practice their test-taking skills before taking an influential professional certification examination now have a new aid. CFRE International, the organization that offers fundraising certification, has launched a new online practice exam.

“It’s something that fundraisers have been wanting for quite some time,” said Jeff Stanger, education-resources manager at CFRE International. The goal is to give fundraisers a sense of confidence before taking the four-hour, 200-question exam. It includes questions that are similar in difficulty to the actual exam.

“This won’t suddenly make it easy but will help with the confidence that you have an idea of what you’re in for,” said Mr. Stanger, adding that it will be especially helpful for people who have been out of school for some time or who struggle with test-taking.

Other Testing Options

Fundraisers are not required to get professional certification, but 6,050 of them currently hold the credential, most of them in North America. As of June of last year, 103 fundraisers received the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, or ACFRE, which is administered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Many fundraisers say the certification is helpful in seeking new jobs and higher salaries and in reassuring donors and superiors of their professionalism.

People taking the practice test will receive feedback on the questions they get right and wrong. The new tool also provides feedback specific to the test’s six subject areas:

  • Current and prospective donor research
  • Securing gifts
  • Relationship building
  • Leadership and management
  • Involvement of volunteers in fundraising
  • Ethics, accountability, and professionalism.

In addition to the full-length, 100-question practice test, people can take 20-question quizzes to assess their knowledge in specific subject areas. Fundraisers can purchase 30-day and 90-day subscriptions for the study tool.

With the real exam, scores range from 200 to 800; a passing grade is 500 or more. About 75 percent of test-takers pass on the first try, Mr. Stanger said.

CFRE International is also developing a study guide and other study tools that will be released over the next year.

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Most of the contact information that PSI will get from you in the future will come through this site. By opting into our email, you will have access to important information that PSI sends out from time to time. We’ve also included areas for you to add additional information about yourself, your organization, and your interests, in order to help us target your specific needs.

Books and Resources

Successful Fundraising

Are you planning a building project—a new church, addition, school building, or Community Service building? Do you wonder how you should go about getting the funds? Does it seem like your campaign for funds goes on forever? Are your members or constituents tired of talking about money? If you have these questions and probably many others, Successful Fundraising is for you. Explore the options below to see which edition is right for you.

Successful Fundraising: A Handbook for Best Practices

successful fundraising cover 200

Successful Fundraising – Second Edition

Successful Fundraising 2nd Edition

Recaudación de Fondos Segunda Edición


Successful Fundraising – Canadian Edition

Diversity and Philanthropy

Written by Lilya Wagner, EdD, CFRE

A “one size fits all” strategy is not effective when it comes to philanthropy and fundraising in today’s diversified environment. This book enables nonprofit leaders, board members, staff, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations to better reach diverse populations and incorporate perspectives that increase success by surveying the cultural context for philanthropic action. In the PSI Library or offered on Amazon in both Print and Kindle: Order on Amazon | View Praeger Publishers listing

To learn more...

Be sure and check out the new web site developed to coincide with Diversity and Philanthropy:

New to the library

The Ask

A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit’s bottom line.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.

If you would like to check out this book or another from our library, please call Lorena Hernandez 443-391-7171 or send an email to her at

Available for download

Your Future in Fundraising 242h

Your Future in Fundraising, by Dr. Lilya Wagner, is now available as a free download here:


The PSI resource center has an array of documents, samples, articles, books, and other materials that will aid your professional activity and practice.

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