Bill High

Business & Investing

Author Profile

Bill  High

Bill High is the co-founder and CEO of The Signatry – A Global Christian Foundation, and is a well-known speaker and consultant on generosity, charitable giving and family legacy. His recent books include Giving It All Away…And Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously, coauthored with David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, and Charity Shock: Ten Critical Trends Revolutionizing the Fundraising World, coauthored with Ray Gary. Bill and his wife Brooke have four children and three grandchildren.


Charity Shock: Ten Critical Trends Revolutionizing the Fundraising World

Business & Investing

Why do so many nonprofits struggle to raise funds, while at the same time, America is undergoing its greatest wealth transfer in history? Bill High and Ray Gary address this dichotomy and other issues by explaining how recent cultural shifts have revolutionized fundraising. By reading Charity Shock, you'll learn how to network with giving influencers, harness the $40 trillion wealth transfer, quadruple gifts by accepting noncash items, engage future generations of donors, and more. Fundraisers will move forward in confidence, knowing their nonprofits are prepared for the future of fundraising.

Book Bubbles from Charity Shock: Ten Critical Trends Revolutionizing the Fundraising World

Everyone Loves to Talk About Storytelling

Storytelling is something that everyone acknowledges is powerful and yet few do well. In this chapter I explore the rationale and some key principles for effective storytelling for nonprofit leaders.

Cutting through the nonprofit noise

I wrote this a few years ago and it's just as true now as it was then. To connect with people, you've got to have a clear and compelling "why." Sure, you need to also have well-researched data--the information that will help to guide your strategy and your measure your progress. But that's secondary. You need to be able to tell the story of why you're doing what you're doing. Why it matters. Where are you going, and why would I want to get on board?

How can you serve and encourage donors?

I wrote on my blog this week about the loneliness of the giver. Givers can feel as though they're only valued for their resources. And fundraisers can certainly confirm that feeling. Donors are people with real desires and needs. Value them as people with a story of their own. The question becomes, what do you have that can serve your donors? What needs of theirs might you be equipped to meet? I love this story because it illustrates this truth so well. Every donor has the same needs deep down, no matter their income. Look for how can you serve and bless the individual in a meaningful way.

Donors want to see a return on investment

Many donors look at their giving as an investment to address a need or solve a problem. That's why it's so important for nonprofit organizations to be clear on what their mission is--clearly stated, concrete goals are essential. Once the goals are set and communicated, develop strategies and specific actions to make progress toward them. These basic steps are important to show donors the return on investment of their gift to your organization.

Nonprofits Show Incredible Creativity

Nonprofits have proven over and over that they can be incredibly innovative when it comes to solutions to social and cultural issues. But they need to apply that some creativity to their fundraising, diversifying revenue streams in ways that fit within their broader mission. This Detroit nonprofit brought an entrepreneurial spirit to its fundraising challenges, but uses the businesses it started to further its mission as well.

Is the charitable deduction worth defending?

In this chapter I address the history of the charitable deduction in the U.S. tax code, and argue that it's needed now as much as it ever was. Central to my view is that private charities are more efficient and effective than government in addressing and solving some--though not all--of our nation's problems.

Why do nonprofits only ask for cash?

This portion of the book gives a bit of the story behind iDonate, which we started to handle all the noncash gift opportunities we kept on running into at The Signatry. The amazing potential for raising funds from asset-based gifts, along with the complexity of receiving and processing them, makes partnering with a third-party a logical choice for most charities.

Facing the reality: fewer younger donors

Demographic studies show major generational changes in attitudes toward charitable giving. Younger people aren't as enthusiastic about giving to nonprofits. Instead of just complaining about it, nonprofit organizations are going to need to innovate. This chapter explores an exciting new field: impact investing.

Motorcycles and market shifts

This famous anecdote from the world of market analysis shows how demographics fueled a major shift in motorcycle sales! Of course, getting to the bottom of what's driving a trend is never simple. We wrote this book to explore the wide range of factors driving changes in the philanthropic world.

When Vagueness is Not Your Friend

I'm grateful for the many great people I've met while working in the nonprofit world the last 20 years. So many great organizations and people. But it amazes me how some fundraisers still count on the donor to just trust them that donated funds are going to a good cause, without offering specifics on the goals, metrics, and the results of their work. With fewer donors giving (and levels of trust down), nonprofits are going to need to address this valid concern: what will my gift to you accomplish?

Wayne Gretzky and nonprofit fundraising?

I love the image of Wayne Gretzky beating his opponents to the hockey puck as a metaphor for successful nonprofit fundraising. Gretzky had learned a skill. The nonprofit professional can similarly combine knowledge of trends and methods to increase effectiveness in a competitive, changing landscape.

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