Browsing the blog archives for November, 2009

Good Money After Good

The news lately has been filled with stories of huge investments.  A few weeks ago we learned that Warren Buffett invested $26 billion to buy Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad. And then last week the parents of Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos, announced a $10 million gift to the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle. […]

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On Being Thankful

Tomorrow is the national day for each of us to pause and count our blessings. If possible, most will include family, friends, and health in that count.  This year I am including my work – and I encourage you too as well. Each of us works for an educational, healthcare, or other non-profit which has […]

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Where have the volunteers gone?

When asked to describe their work, many Major Gift Officers will respond something like, “to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift prospects.”   This perception of the MGO job description has become commonplace and I wish it wasn’t so. Why?  Primarily because the answer suggests that the MGO is the one who should be […]

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Owners and Renters

If you want your organization to thrive, you must understand the differences between owners and renters. Owners see a future filled with upgrades, enhancements, and advancements. They envision the organization growing, quality improving, and more constituents being served.  They see opportunities for more value to be added because they receive an intrinsic return.  They are […]

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Distinction vs. Distinctiveness

Most organizations claim to have either distinctions or distinctiveness (or both).  Most have neither. A distinction is some aspect of the organization – typically a program or service – which has received special recognition.  The recognition usually highlights quality and is proffered by an unbiased third party.  Winning a national award for excellence for your […]

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Pushing the Elevator Button. . .Twice

This past week I found myself standing in the lobby of a hotel and, having lit the elevator button with an initial push, decided that I needed to push the button again. . .and again.  As I became aware of my rather foolish actions I smiled – did I really believe that pushing the elevator […]

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Part IV – Measuring Success The Buffett Way

This is the fourth and final entry in a series designed to question how development professionals (and others such as CEOs and Boards) should evaluate development effectiveness. If Warren Buffett were to assess the effectiveness of our development programs, what measures might he use? Below is my final answer to this question.  My first answer […]

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Part III – Measuring Success The Buffett Way

As promised in an earlier blog on Warren Buffett, this is the third entry in a series designed to question how development professionals (and others such as CEOs and Boards) should evaluate development effectiveness. If Warren Buffett were to assess the effectiveness of our development programs, what measures might he use? Below is my third answer […]

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Part II – Measuring Success The Buffett Way

As promised in an earlier blog on Warren Buffett, this is the second entry in a series designed to question how development professionals (and others such as CEOs and Boards) should evaluate development effectiveness. Warren Buffett uses a specific set of principles to evaluate successful businesses.  Can the investment methodology of the world’s greatest investor inform […]

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Part I: Measuring Success – The Buffett Way

As promised in an earlier blog on Warren Buffett, this entry is the first in a series designed to question how development professionals (and others such as CEOs and Boards) should evaluate development effectiveness. Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about valuing (and investing in) successful enterprises.  Given his incomparable ability to evaluate good […]

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