Browsing the blog archives for August, 2009

Coming to a university near you: Micro-donations

So, here’s the micro-donation concept in action – alumni and other fans at a college football game would “compete” with each other by texting their small gift commitments in support of their respective schools. Two questions immediately come to mind: Is this giving repeatable?  We know from recent research that donors who make gifts online are […]

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The A, B, C, and D’s of Effective Boards

I work with governing and advisory boards of non-profit organizations regularly. Here is what I have learned – Highly effective boards are characterized by the following A,B,C and D’s: Affluent – Boards of great non-profits have affluence.  Not all members are affluent, but an active core of members have personal financial capacity.  Substantial financial gifts […]


How will you perform under pressure?

Ever notice that some people perform well under pressure while others seem to wilt? As the chart above suggests, we typically need some level of anxiousness in order to care enough to perform. But at some point the level of anxiousness becomes debiliating causing a drop-off in performance. But at what point does this happen? […]


What losing luggage can teach us about donor communications

Recently, I had a frustrating experience – my luggage was mistakingly taken by a fellow air traveler. As I travel often, I always check my baggage planeside. And so, on one trip I got off the plane, waited for my luggage to be brought up the jetway and after a few minutes, left empty handed. […]


Leaders as Designers

Have you ever noticed how creativity and individualism actually flourishes within order and structure?  Think about the artist’s canvas.  We typically see the exquisitely creative final product but many artists will tell you that the first step in becoming creative is to bring order or structure to the canvas. So, many artists first overlay a […]

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What leadership and development have in common

Today it is clear that organizational success hinges in large measure on leadership quality.  For instance, we know from our friends in the for-profit sector that employee morale, successful work teams, and peak workplace performance are all connected to effective leadership.  And, of course the overarching theme of Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” work was […]