Browsing the blog archives for October, 2009

Top 5 Fundraising Truisms

Recently, I was talking with a higher education president about fundraising truisms – those claims that are obvious but are regularly worth repeating as a reminder. Here are my Top 5 Fundraising Truisms (in no particular order): If you want money, ask for advice.  If you want advice, ask for money. People give to people. […]


The 3 R’s

Success emerges from habits.  Doing the right things over and over leads to sustained success in any endeavor, but especially in fundraising and leadership.  In order to form effective habits, you must have balance in your life.  And I’ve come to believe that balance can be achieved by following the 3 R’s.  If you do […]


Leading Up

One of the more regular issues I encounter in working with CEOs and advancement leaders centers on the notion of “leading up.”  Everyone understands their role in “leading down,” or leading those in their care on the organizational chart.  But the real work – and your ability to be successful – rests in large measure […]


Lessons from Buffett

There is always something to learn from those who are the best in their fields.  I just finished reading Robert Hagstrom’s, “The Essential Buffett: Timeless Principles for the New Economy.”  It didn’t disappoint.  I walked away with a better understanding of the thinking process of one of the best investor’s of all time and found […]


The Real Value of a Campaign Feasibility Study

For most organizations, there are two questions which encourage the use of a Campaign Feasibility Study – “how much can we raise?”  and “in what period of time can we expect to raise it?”  However, for most non-profit organizations there are far more important and compelling reasons to choose to conduct a Campaign Feasibility Study. […]


Don’t Forget To Ask

I speed.   I shouldn’t but I do.  My work has me driving a lot and I have had the highway patrol in my rear view mirror more than I should.  Yesterday was one of those days. He pulled in behind me and hit his lights.  I pulled over.  The officer came to the window […]


The Generous, The Wealthy, and The Happy

Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door just penned another thought-provoking work entitled, Stop Acting Rich . . . and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire. In “Stop Acting Rich,” Stanley observes that wealthy Americans ($1 million in assets excluding the home) who give away at least 10% of their incomes to charity […]


What’s In A Name?

Over the years, I’ve struggled (and watched as others have struggled) with how to title development officers.  What is the appropriate title for those folk whose primary role it is to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors?  “Fundraiser” of course lost out some years ago when people thought it was too narrow, and more importantly, […]


The Primary Focus of Leaders

As a leader, what do you love?  On what factors of your work does your mind most freely gravitate?   On what issues do you most enjoy working?  The answers to these questions, taken together, will serve as a strong predictor of your success as a leader.  And, if your answer to each is not […]


What Should We Give Donors?

Donors give us financial gifts – both big and small.  But what do we give them in return?  More and more I see organizations providing donors with transactional gimmicks.  Make a gift, get a calendar.  Make a gift, get a ticket to an event.  Make a gift, get a magazine subscription. Not only do such […]