Roy C. Jones

The Storytelling Fundraiser, with Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP

Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast
Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast
The Storytelling Fundraiser, with Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP

Dr Russell James

Welcome to the 100th episode of The Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast!

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit with Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP for this milestone episode.

If you know Dr. James, you know this will be a great conversation. If you don’t know him yet, you’re in for a real treat!

Dr. James is Director of graduate studies in charitable planning in the Division of Personal Financial Planning in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University. His research into human behavior and charitable giving has shaped how institutions large and small engage major donors and maximize revenue all across the U.S.

Dr. James recently published a five-book series, the Fundraising Myth and Science Book Series. In our conversation, we talk extensively about one of those books, The Storytelling Fundraiser.

This new book series is also the foundation of a great new training program that Dr. James and Greg Warner at MarketSmart have partnered to bring to market.

We covered so much ground in this conversation. It’s an in-depth review of the book and the foundational thinking that went into it, including:

  1. The One Big Thing in fundraising, and why it’s something you might not expect.
  2. The difference between donor-centered and community-centered fundraising, and why organizations that want to secure transformational gifts should double down on donor-centered fundraising.
  3. The neuroscience behind high-impact philanthropic activity, and how your organization and your donors can benefit from it.
  4. Why talking to donors about giving from their wealth (assets) vs. their disposable income is critical to your organization’s long-term financial security and growth.
  5. The exact phrase(s) you should adopt to help your supporters unlock transformational generosity.
  6. How philanthropy is both altruistic and self-serving at the same time, and what you need to understand to effectively navigate these differences.
  7. The key decision-making processes that people go through when deciding to give a charitable gift, and how focusing on asset-based giving can help your donors make better decisions (for them and you!).
  8. Why fundraisers have a difficult time talking with donors about legacy giving, and the exact language and tools to help overcome those difficulties (including his 65 video trainings available for FREE).
  9. Why wading into math conversations with your donors may not be the best idea, and how to use storytelling to make key financial points that will motivate your donors to act.
  10. The interconnected role of overhead and restricted giving in philanthropy, and how you can navigate these to unlock significant giving from your supporters.

These are just the top 10 highlights from our conversation. You owe it to yourself to pop some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, and settle in for this great conversation. You’ll learn a ton, and be able to apply it immediately to positively impact your fundraising efforts!

Dr. James is sharing his new book series for FREE with the world. You can download electronic copies below:

The Storytelling Fundraiser

The Epic Fundraiser: Myth, Psychology, and the Universal Hero Story

The Primal Fundraiser: Game Theory and the Natural Origins of Effective Fundraising

The Socratic Fundraiser: Using Questions to Advance the Donor’s Story

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