Carter Skeel

Carter Skeel works at American Philanthropic, a consulting firm whose mission is to strengthen civil society by improving the effectiveness of charitable foundations and nonprofit organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied philosophy, and he held a fellowship at the John Jay Institute. Carter has worked with Ken Myers at Mars Hill Audio in Charlottesville, VA, and now lives in West Chester, PA.

Is your mission really more critical than ever?

With a clear mission/vision distinction, you can articulate why your work—and the donor’s support—is more urgently needed as a result of this external factor.

campaign goal
Setting a sound campaign goal

When you are running a short fundraising campaign, it’s important to set a smart campaign goal. Here’s how to do that—and how to message it.

gratitude
The virtue of gratitude: essential for fundraisers

As a fundraiser, gratitude — both well-expressed and sincere — is one of the most important tools you have. It’s good for you and your donor.

Donor relationships are about money—and we shouldn’t hide that fact

What type of friendship is a donor relationship? Is it really “not about the money”?

In defense of membership programs

Membership programs can be misused, but by and large, they are extremely valuable tools for fundraisers—and they’re good for donors, too.

What’s the value of macro-trend research for fundraisers?

Macro-trends, future-telling, and sector reports have their place. But they aren’t nearly as important as the fundamentals—and just cultivating donors.

You’re (probably) not investing enough in legacy giving

It’s easy to let the urgent take the place of the important. But don’t let urgency hurt your long-term success and preclude planned giving efforts.

truism
A truism without truth

It’s accepted as obvious that fundraising is harder thanks to the pandemic. That may not be true, though—here’s why.

Two leading donor-advised funds eliminate grants to the NRA

Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable Fund recently announced that they are no longer approving grants to the NRA. Are DAFs finally putting politics before donor intent?

A primer on thinking through fundraising events

Too frequently nonprofit organizations rush—enthusiastically and blindly—into a fundraising event after fundraising event. Avoid wasted time and funds by reflecting on their value and, if you do host one, preparing adequately.