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Ep 22 - Building an Individual Giving Program from Scratch

“I'm not afraid of asking donors for money. I'm inviting my donors to do something incredible. So if they say no, that's their loss because they don’t get to be a part of this incredible impact. If i'm inviting you to do something amazing and if you say no, you’re missing out, not me.” - Kelly McLaughlin

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Welcome to The Nonprofit Counsel podcast, hosted by May Harris, Esq.. In today's episode, we're delighted to visit with the remarkable Kelly McLaughlin. Kelly has consistently made waves in the nonprofit world, from fundraising with bake sales when she was just five years old to becoming a seasoned professional fundraiser. As the visionary behind “From Scratch Fundraising,” Kelly possesses a unique expertise in guiding nonprofits of all sizes toward sustainable success. Her knack for crafting, building, and scaling individual giving systems alleviates burnout and empowers organizations to maximize their impact. Join May and Kelly as they delve into the keys to nonprofit fundraising success. Kelly shares invaluable tips and tricks from her extensive experience, providing listeners with actionable insights to propel their organizations forward.


[1:22] Kelly shares her background of fundraising since the age of five
[5:58] No fear in asking for money is the key to success
[8:24] Kelly’s advice for new organizations regarding fundraising
[14:19] Everyone is not your ideal donor, and every social media outlet is not for you
[17:30] Discussion about the longevity of a fundraiser and the expectations required of them
[26:59] Kelly discusses keeping everything mission centered


  • Inviting donors to give invites them to participate in something extraordinary. If they say no, it’s their loss because they don’t get to be a part of an incredible impact.
  • Nonprofit fundraising needs to be specific to your goals. Don’t give away tote bags or do events just because another nonprofit does that.
  • Executive Directors must treat their fundraiser as a partner to have a successful team.