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The Leaky Bucket

What's Wrong With Your Fundraising and How to Fix It

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We’ll look at nine critical aspects of managing the fundraising process, what you, and most nonprofts, are doing wrong, and how you can get on the track to success.

Lesson Summary

Lesson 1 Introduction to the Leaky Bucket

  • What is the Leaky Bucket Assessment Tool
  • What does it show us about fundraising?
  • How can we use this information to fix our fundraising?

Lesson 2 Infrastructure

  • Do you have the right tools in place?
  • How much are you your investing in development?
  • What do you need to do to improve your infrastructure?

Lesson 3 Metrics

  • If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
  • Leading indicators and trailing indicators
  • What can you measure? What should you measure?

Lesson 4 New Donors

  • Why is acquiring new donors important?
  • Methods to acquire donors
  • How costly is it?

Lesson 5 Staffing the Development Function

  • The development office and non-development staff
  • The role of the board
  • Involving volunteers in development

Lesson 6 Funding Diversification

  • What does your “pie” look like?
  • What types of fundraising are there?
  • How you can change your diversification score

Lesson 7 Keeping Donors: Grants and Special Events

  • What types of grants are available?
  • When is grant funding a good thing, when is it not so good
  • Are your special events really making money?

Lesson 8 Keeping Donors: Personal Solicitation

  • Direct appeals
  • Major Gifts
  • Business fundraising
  • Special appeals

Lesson 9 Keeping Donors: Laws and Ethics

  • What you need to know about federal, state, local laws
  • Ethics in fundraising
  • Providing good stewardship

Lesson 10 Developing a Plan

  • What areas of your bucket are leaking?
  • How can you fix them?
  • Where to start


Your Instructor


Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE
Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE

I've always loved to write and teach. I am proud to say I am an accomplished (and more importantly, published) author, having had twenty-five books published.

I am one of slightly more than 100 professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. In my thirty years as a philanthropic consultant, I have managed capital campaigns, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, and trained more than 40,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Egypt, Bermuda, and most of the fifty states in the US, in addition to leading hundreds of virtual training programs with a world-wide audience.

I am especially proud of my affordable and comprehensive Linda Lysakowski's Nonprofit Courses, which I am adding to all the time!

I am a graduate of Alvernia University and a Master Teacher graduating from AFP’s Faculty Training Academy.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

This course is closed for enrollment.