Browsing the blog archives for September, 2009

It’s Always Personal

Today it seems we constantly are bombarded with claims about “personalized” or “individualized” customer service or patient care.  Take a look at a hospital billboard on your local highway and it appears they will create a care regimen just for you.  Or head to a university’s website, even one with over 25,000 students, and it […]


The Importance of Donor Loyalty

Most non-profits have established their development programs to focus on donor capacity.  For instance, most organizations have giving societies based on gift amount.  Give a $1,000 last year and you are a member of the “Chairman’s Circle.” Few non-profits, though, put a focus on donor loyalty – or recognizing those donors who give consistently regardless […]

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Sailing Into Blue Oceans

What if your institution could attract new donors unlike any other?  What if the programs and services you offered were so compelling that you really had no competition? These are two of the questions Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne encouraged me to think about.  If you’ve not read Blue Ocean, I would highly […]


Reversing The Script

How do you ask lybunts, sybunts, and others to support your work during phonathons?  Does the outline of your script look something like this? Introduction Rapport Building Make Case for Support Make Ask Ask to Send Pledge Card Ask If They Want to Pay with Credit Card Thank Them for Their Commitment and/or Time I […]


Big Rocks

Imagine an empty mason jar.  Now, visualize taking rocks about the size of golfballs and placing them into the jar until the rocks reach the lip of the jar opening.  Is the mason jar full? Now, imagine taking sand and pouring it into the jar.  As the sand finds its way through the wide gaps […]


Social Media Fundraising Success?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has posted a video that shows six examples of what are purported to be online and social media fundraising successes. I work with clients regularly to shape and integrate their online and social media messages with other traditional message vehicles. However, I remain a bit concerned that we aren’t being as […]


Ambition Matters

Ambition is important for exceptional leadership, but probably in ways that you’ll find surprising. Studies show that early career ambition is a plus. “He’s a real go-getter” and “She’s determined and motivated,” are usually positive statements found on the early-career performance evaluations of rising stars. But, to paraphrase an old line, “a funny thing happens […]


Being Self-Sufficient Is a Losing Strategy

The Ancient Chinese were known for their trading prowess (the early uses of The Silk Road) and for their technological and scientific advancements (the development of writing, a calendar, gunpowder, silk, paper and the compass, for example). They impacted cultures, knowledge, customs, and ideas well beyond their borders.  At one time, the Chinese were the […]


Vision or Capacity – Which is More Important?

So, the alumni at Antioch College (OH) are stepping up – good for them! While the institution thrived as a bastion of social activism in the 1960s, Antioch had witnessed declines in enrollment and fundraising totals since the 1970s. What happened that led to the decision in 2007 to close the school that graduated Coretta […]


The Foundations of Performance Metrics

Recently, I gave a presentation to a diverse group of educational, healthcare, and non-profit executives on performance metrics for development officers. For years I have helped leaders and teams create and implement performance metrics so I know in each audience there are a small percentage who can be turned off by the topic.  My sense […]

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