Monday Morning Musings (on Thursday this week)

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the 2015 International Fundraising Summit. Here are a few of the great comments I received:

I wanted to write and thank you for one of the best workshops of the recent Fundraising Summit. Your presentation was pithy, full of valuable information, and, above all, made perfect sense for an absolute greenhorn right on up to the seasoned professionals. Judi SeSouter, New York City

Thank you for contributing to the Fundraising Summit—you have been my favorite speaker! Amber Rose, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

Thanks so much for a very informative session on Corporate Giving at the 2015 Fundraising Summit. Leslie Shernofsky

I wanted to thank you for your brilliant “Raise More Money from Your Business Community” presentation in this week’s fundraising summit. I’ve watched six of the different presentations so far this week; this one has been, by far, the most exciting for me. Thank you! Donna M Lafferty, Bloomington, IL

Great Presentation, a very good presenter. Thanks for some great ideas.

Excellent seminar. Thanks Linda, I will be emailing you.

Informative, well organized presentation, thank you!

Reach out to smaller businesses….join the “rubber chicken” circuit….have another business leader invite business leaders to events—just a few of Linda’s solid ideas. Wonderful presentation, Linda. Thanks so much!

This was one of the best that I have listened to for sure! Very, very helpful for me….I look forward to making future contact with Linda and obtaining her latest book. I believe everything have heard today and will read about in the future is going to assist in obtaining more of the necessary funds required to offer our programs. Thank you!

To obtain all the sessions from the Fundraising Summit, including mine, visit:

Monday Morning Musings

December 1, 2014

Have you thought about writing the great American novel, or a best-selling non-fiction book?

Many of us feel we have a book (or several books, maybe even dozens of books) in us. But my guess is that maybe 1 percent of us actually write the book, and maybe .01 percent or less get published.

As with many consultants, I wrote my first book, a non-fiction book geared to the nonprofit sector—the area in which I consult—with the thought of enhancing my credibility in the consulting arena, and generating some extra income. But my primary reason was that I felt I had good information to share with the nonprofit community.  And, as with probably every author there is a bit of ego—seeing your name on the cover of a real, published, book, you can’t beat that for an ego trip.

Since that first writing venture in 2003, I have authored, co-authored, co-edited or been a contributing author to more than a dozen books for the nonprofit sector, and finally achieved the dream of publishing my first novel. I am currently working on one non-fiction book in the For The GENIUS series, have three co-authored books to be released through CharityChannel Press, and am working on a second fiction book. (Lesson learned—I will not self-publish this one).

For me writing has always been about leaving a legacy—in two ways. First, royalties on books go on forever, at least as long as the book is in print and selling, so the legacy for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren is that they will have income from my writing. The second way my writing is a legacy, is that fifty years from now, if some novice in the nonprofit fundraising arena picks up one of my books, it will be as though I am still alive and sharing my knowledge. When I wanted to learn more about the business of nonprofit fundraising, decades ago, I looked to some of the great authors who guided my career and will be eternally grateful that these authors took the time to write down their experiences and expertise. Today, one of my greatest thrills is when I am at a conference or meet someone in the fundraising field through social media or speaking at conference and they say… “I am so delighted to meet you, your book is so great—my copy is dog-eared and highlighted all over the place.”

So, can you make a career out of writing? Well I still do a limited amount of consulting to pay the bills, but the legacy to me is more important than the money. It depends not only on your motivation for writing, but also what kind of books you plan to write. Fiction is much harder to get published. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you must have a platform in place to market your book. Publishers will ask what your marketing plan is, and if you self-publish, the marketing is all up to you. So, can you make money writing? Maybe, but you have to write a great book, get it published, and be prepared to market it.

What my writing has done for me is several things:

  • Enabled me to command a higher fee for consulting and training
  • Landed me a lot of speaking engagements in great locations all over the world
  • Introduced me to the publishing business, where I now serve as an Acquisitions Editor for CharityChannel Press and For the GENIUS Press.

For more stories from published authors, see

Info About Me:

Linda serves as Acquisitions Editor for CharityChannel Press and For the GENIUS Press. In this role she has edited dozens of books.

In addition to her role as editor, she is an accomplished author. Linda is the author of:

  • Recruiting and Training Fundraising Volunteers
  • The Development Plan
  • Fundraising as a Career: What, Are You Crazy?
  • Capital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to Know
  • Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign workbook
  • Raise More Money from Your Business Community
  • Raise More Money from Your Business Community—The Workbook
  • Fundraising for the GENIUS, 1st and 2nd editions
  • The Matriarch (a novel).

She is also a contributing author to:

  • The Fundraising Feasibility Study—It’s Not About the Money
  • YOU and Your Nonprofit Board

Co-editor of:

  • YOU and Your Nonprofit and The Nonprofit Consulting Handbook
  • The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook

And co-author of:

  • The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook
  • The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising…And How You Can Fix It
  • The New Donor
  • Nonprofit Strategic Planning

A graduate of Alvernia University and AFP’s Faculty Training Academy, she is a Master Teacher. Linda is one of one hundred professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. She is president of Linda Lysakowski, LLC, dedicated to inspiring creativity and philanthropy. In her twenty plus years as a philanthropic consultant, Linda has managed capital campaigns, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, and trained more than 27,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Egypt, and most of the fifty United States.

Monday Morning Musings

September 8, 2014

Great educational opportunities coming your way: Sign up now for two great online courses:


Raise More Money from Your Business Community Online Course

For just $199 per organization, you can have as many people from your organization as you would like participate and you will receive one eBook and one eWorkbook per organization. This is a two-part course, approximately ninety minutes in length for each class.  You simply sign up, gather your task force together in one location so they can work together on the materials, and download the recordings, PowerPoint, and eBooks. Fees for this course are $199 per organization and will include an electronic version of the workbook and book.

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


 “What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising and How to Fix It” Course

A ten-week course to help you determine what’s wrong with your fundraising, and learn how to fix it now! This course will provide you with a book and tools you can easily implement in your development office!  We will cover:

  • Lesson One: The Leaky Bucket Assessment (participants will receive an evaluation of their individual Leaky Bucket survey.
  • Lesson Two—Qualifying donor/funder prospects
  • Lesson Three—Acquiring new donors
  • Lesson Four—Retaining existing donors
  • Lesson Five—Up-selling and cross-selling donors
  • Lesson Six—Managing funding diversification
  • Lesson Seven—Staffing your development program
  • Lesson Eight—Measuring fundraising performance
  • Lesson Nine—Building the infrastructure
  • Lesson Ten—Developing a plan to overcome shortfalls in your development program

This course is delivered in ten online sessions of ninety minutes each, with online/phone support between lessons. The cost of the course incudes a free copy of our book, The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising…And How to Fix it.  Fees for course and book are $759. Courses begin in September 2014.

To Register for either course: email me at:

Watch for the new SFRI Pre-recorded webcasts coming in early 2015   

You can still sign up for my College of Southern Nevada course at

Monday Morning Musings


 “Raise More Money from Your Business Community” Webinar

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 two-part webinar series will provide you with an eBook and eWorkbook 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 $199 per organization, you can have as many people from your organization participate (we suggest the executive director, director of development, board chair, and chair of the development committee). You will receive one eBook and one eWorkbook per organization.

You will receive both webinar recordings and both eBooks with your registration fee of $199!                                                                                                                                             

To register email me at:

We will be holding a half-day live version of this workshop in Las Vegas this fall. For details on that, also email me at

My New Book Released


If you are serious about stepping up your game when it comes to raising money from your business community, then you’ll want to get both the book and the workbook, in this money-saving bundle.

The book, Raise More Money from Your Business Community: A Practical Guide to Tapping into Corporate Charitable Giving, is based on research and practical experience that will enable you to raise more money from your business community. It will help you:

  • Identify the types of businesses likely to give
  • Communicate with business leaders in a more compelling manner
  • Involve volunteers from the business world in your fundraising activities
  • Understand why businesses support their local communities and why some organizations are successful in their approaches to businesses and others are not.
  • Reach beyond event sponsorship as a way to involve the business community.
  • Understand the corporate/foundation relations fallacy and why it often does not work.
  • Learn the secrets used by successful nonprofits when asking for money from businesses.
  • Involve your board members in developing their business network for your organization.
  • Plan an annual business appeal.

The companion workbook, Raise More Money from Your Business Community — The Workbook, provides practical tools to help you succeed in raising money from your local business community right away. You will learn to take the principles and tactics you learned in the book and put them to immediate use to help you raise more money from your business community now.

In this workbook, you will find practical tools, checklists, worksheets, and tips to help you build relationships with your local business leaders, prepare appropriate materials to share with decision makers, and plan your solicitation strategy.

The book will help you prepare a list of prospective business donors, understand which businesses give cash, gift-in-kind, volunteers, and matching gifts. You will learn to identify new opportunities and develop the relationships you already have. This workbook teaches you how to identify the decision makers and how to reach them.

You will learn how to develop a plan to turn away from the “tin-cup mentality” and create a powerful statement to show companies that you are significantly impacting your community and their bottom lines.

This workbook provides tools to help you will plan one-on-one cultivation and group cultivation activities to help you build the relationships that lead to dollars.

The book outlines a step-by-step approach to building an annual business appeal. You will also learn about the ethics and public relations value of good stewardship and develop a plan to provide the stewardship businesses need in order to maintain a relationship with your organization.

Order the book and workbook and save $20.

RaiseMoreMoney Bus Comm 139 px

Monday Morning Musings

August 4, 2014

It has been a long two months, but Marty is now in rehab and improving although we still have a long road of therapy ahead. But medically he is stable.

Thanks for all the well wishes.

I am slowly getting back into the saddle and wanted to let you know to watch the website for a couple exciting things.

RaiseMoreMoney Bus Comm 139 px

First, my new book, Raise More Money from Your Business Community—The Workbook is out and you will be able to buy the book at workbook together at a deep discount.  Watch my website later this week for the details.

Second, I am offering a two part webinar series on Raise More Money from Your Business Community August 5 and August 12. You can sign up August 4 for the live webinars, or the recordings will be available after August 12. If you enroll in the two-part course, you get PDF versions of both books free. Watch the website for details on this.

Third, The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising, and How to Fix It. Ellen Bristol, my co-author has just released the first report Fundraising Down the Drain, which you will be able to get free with the purchase of our book. This should be on my website next week. So stay tuned.

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.