4 Tips for Effective & Efficient Fundraising (Patton McDowell)

July 2020

Patton had an opportunity to be a guest on Dolph Goldenburg's great podcast and discuss four key tips he's found to help nonprofit organizations organize their fundraising efforts.  This was also our first opportunity to participate in a "reverse podcast," as this episode first appeared on Dolph's feed on July 16, 2020, and now is included on our feed as well.  Summary from The Successful Nonprofits Podcast:

Small and medium-sized nonprofits face unique fundraising challenges and all too often overcompensate in ways that can cause lasting damage. Today's guest, Patton McDowell, is not only a nonprofit podcast sensation himself, but a fundraising expert. Patton shares 4 simple tips to accomplish efficient and effective fundraising: adopt an achievable fundraising strategy, use positive messaging, properly engage your board and executive director, and keep your development staff happy. Listen in for details on how you and your nonprofit can achieve each of these and improve your fundraising outcome!

"Most organizations do a pretty good job of articulating their mission.  Fewer, however, can articulate where they're going, their vision."


Patton has spent his entire 30-year career helping talented individuals raise more funds and effectively lead their nonprofit organizations. After starting his consulting practice in 2009, he and his colleagues have worked with the leaders of more than 230 nonprofit organizations.  Before starting PMA Consulting, he spent a decade in higher education as Vice President for Advancement at Queens University after serving in the same role at UNC Wilmington, where he was the youngest vice chancellor in the UNC system. Prior to his tenure in higher education, he worked with volunteers from 85 different counties as the state Program Director for Special Olympics North Carolina and as an Assistant for Education & Training for Special Olympics International in Washington DC, where he helped design coach and volunteer training curriculum used worldwide. Patton grew up in Elizabeth City, NC, and went to UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar where he received a BA in English Education. He received his MBA from the McColl School of Business while working at Queens, and his Doctorate in Education (Organizational Change & Leadership) from the Rossier School at the University of Southern California. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International. He also serves as the Lead Faculty Member for the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership in Charlotte, where he works with aspiring nonprofit leaders through the New Development Directors program and coaches an annual cohort of Executive Directors and Chief Development Officers through Leadership Gift School. Patton is the host of the weekly podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership


Listen: Dolph Goldenburg's episode #44 Building A Supercharged Nonprofit Board

Listen: Patton's episode #165 on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast