Monday Morning Musings

Hello all: My hiatus will be a few more weeks. My husband’s surgery went perfectly but in the recovery room he had bleeding in his brain (a stoke, basically) and he is still in ICU. If you’re interested in tracking his progress, we’ve set up a website at

I hope to return to posting in a week or two, Thanks for your patience and especially for all the thoughts and prayers coming our way.valley-of-fire

Monday Morning Musings

June 7, 2014

I’ll be taking a brief (probably two weeks) hiatus from Monday Morning Musings. My husband is having Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson’s’ Disease on Monday June 9, with Phase 2 of the surgery on June 16 and programming of the device on July 8. So my caregiving duties will be increased during this time.

If you have any friends or relatives with Parkinson’s or just want to know more, you can find more information about DBS at the site This site is run by the Parkinson Alliance an excellent resource for the latest research on Parkinson’s. I highly commend the work of the Alliance.

And if you share my role as caregiver or know someone who does, I highly recommend Jane Barton’s book, Caregiving for the GENIUS, which can be found on my website under the Books section. Jane’s book has been a real inspiration to me.

Thanks to all my family, friends, and colleagues for your support and prayers as we undergo this surgery and recovery process.

Monday Morning Musings

June 2, 2014

It’s hard to believe June is here. Many of you will be wrapping up your fiscal year soon. So this is a good time to be planning for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Here are some tips for getting your development office in order for the year ahead.

  • Make sure your organization has a clear, concise mission statement. It will be impossible to raise money if you can’t build a compelling case around your organization’s mission.
  • Publicize your mission statement to donors, board, and staff. It is critical to build support for you mission before asking for money.
  • Have a vision for you organization that allows the organization to think big. Many donors who have supported your organization at modest levels can be inspired to give major gifts if your vision is truly visionary.
  • Encourage your organization to do a long range, strategic, organization-wide plan. This will guide the goals of your development plan.
  • Have a development plan that includes timelines, budgets and areas of responsibility. Plan the work and work the plan.
  • Develop a compelling case for support for all the development activities of your organization. Your case must be both emotional and rational.
  • Develop gift acceptance policies before you solicit major gifts. Determine what type of gifts will be accepted, from whom gifts will be accepted, and how gifts will be used.
  • Plan to thank donors early (within 24 hours of receipt of their gift).
  • Thank donors often (seven times before you ask for the next gift). This doesn’t mean send them seven thank you notes, but there are various was to acknowledge and recognize donors; try a variety of ways.
  • Be sure gifts are used in the way donors intended them to be used. Become familiar with the Donor Bill of Rights.


Monday Morning Musings

Memorial Day May 26, 2014

While most of us in the United States are taking a holiday today to honor our deceased loved ones and members of the armed forces, I thought I would take a brief moment to talk about how we, as fundraisers, might honor our profession as well as our loved ones.

1. Be Philanthropists–give to your own organization or other nonprofits.

2. Give to the profession by donating to the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy.

Linda Lysakowski

3. Leave a legacy—write a book for future generations to learn about this wonderful profession we call fundraising.


Monday Morning Musings

Cover---Firing---3D---Web 200hiMay 19, 2014

Two CharityChannel Authors make news!

Firing Lousy Board Members by Simone Joyaux, ACFRE

This morning (Monday, May 19), Roger Craver wrote about Firing Lousy Board Members in WOW! Check it out. It’s worth a look to see what Craver has to say about Simone’s book—a real earth-shaker!

And John Greenhoe, author of Opening the Door to Major Gifts: the First Book Devoted to Discovery Calls. Has a new website, check it out. Another fantastic book.

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And watch for my new books, Raise More Money from Your Business Community—The Workbook, The New Donor, and Nonprofit Strategic Planning will all be out soon.

Monday Morning Musings


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Before you celebrate by kicking back with a Margarita, two quick reminders for you:

DonorPath: Now you can work with Linda through DonorPath.

Designed for small– and mid-sized nonprofits that need additional fundraising help, DonorPath synchronizes with your existing fundraising software, even if just a spreadsheet, to analyze, visualize, and share new performance insights to help you align time, limited resources, and volunteers to increase fundraising results. By signing up you will have two 30-minute sessions with Linda each month to review your progress and develop strategies.

Sign Up With Donor Path here


Last Chance to Sign Up for the ANN Conference in Las Vegas

ANN Conference (Alliance for Nevada Nonprofits) May 9, 2014

I’m presenting: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising…And How to Fix It!

Email if you would like a flyer to register for the conference. When you register and use promo code Linda, you will receive $5 off .


Monday Morning Musing

April 28, 2014

RaiseMoreMoney Bus Comm 139 px

“Raise More Money from Your Business Community” Workshop

Presented by Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE

A practical down-to-earth workshop to help you develop a plan to raise more money from your local business community right away!  This half-day workshop will provide you with a workbook and tools you can implement tomorrow!  We will cover:

  • Developing a list of prospective business donors for your organization
  • Creating a list of prospective business volunteers who can help you raise money from businesses in your community
  • Developing a plan to conduct an annual business appeal

For just $249 per organization, you can send as many as four people from your organization (we suggest the executive director, director of development, board chair, and chair of the development committee). You will receive one book and one workbook per organization.  Registration is limited to a minimum of six organizations and a maximum of twelve organizations.

Other books by Linda Lysakowski, including Fundraising for the GENIUS can be purchased at the workshop at a 15 percent discount.

Date:              Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time:              8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location:        Goodwill of Southern Nevada

                        1280 W. Cheyenne Avenue (MLK & Cheyenne)

                        North Las Vegas, NV 89030           

 Coffee, water and snacks will be provided.  Parking is available in the adjacent shopping plaza.

                                                                                                                                                                  To register email me at:


Monday Morning Musings

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April 21, 2014

We’re getting ready to celebrate our 21st year in business on May 1. It’s been a long time—wow! And three name changes later, Linda Lysakowski LLC has been worth the wait.

In twenty-one years, we’ve had hundreds of fantastic clients worked with some of the best in the profession, and raised more than $50,000,000. Oh, and written, co-authored, or contributed to more than a dozen books, including one novel.

Check out for more information about my novel. I have second fiction book in the works—one of these days!!!

I am really excited about the fact that I have three new books coming out in the next couple of months. Watch for Raise More Money from Your Business Community—The Workbook, The New Donor, and Nonprofit Strategic Planning.

And I think I am even more excited about the new GENIUS books coming out in the next couple of months.  Recovery Beyond Your 12 Steps, Casino Video Poker, Wine, Beer, and Going Green to mention just a few.

For more info on Genius book, check out

If you’re interested in writing a GENIUS book, Email me at