Browsing the blog archives for May, 2010

An Arm’s Reach Away

Science has educated us on the term “in vitro” – which means to conduct work not in a living, whole organism but in a controlled, sterile environment.   “In vitro” became part of our lexicon because of its use in reproductive science.  The so-called test tube babies. On the other hand, we have heard less […]


What if. . .

What if. . . instead of spending the time, energy, money, and effort on developing the “right messages” and the “best marketing practices” for our organizations we focused on becoming a more helpful resource to those we aim to serve. What if. . . instead of “telling and selling” our donors, we listened to their […]


10 Characteristics of Authentic Development Pros

We all know the negative typecasts we struggle against:  Development professionals are posers.  Development professionals are paid to party and play golf.  Development professionals don’t really do anything.  And, of course, there are some development professionals who, unfortunately, fit these typecasts (although none who read this blog I feel sure!). But most development pros are […]

1 Comment

Lift the Moratorium

Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the calendar year is off to a strong philanthropic start.  According to a survey of selected large charities, the median increase in giving during the first quarter of 2010 as compared to a year ago is 11%!  Not bad. I’m not an economist, so I can’t say with […]


The Side Effect of Impulse Giving

Recently, I was talking with a friend – a younger, thoughtful donor with capacity (a HENRY, actually). Here was his message to me: “My wife and I are getting overwhelmed by all the solicitations from non-profits – world tragedies like earthquakes, to education institutions, to health-care organizations – it’s just too much. We used to […]


Educating HENRY

Do you know HENRY?  Better yet, are you educating HENRY? HENRY is an acronym, first coined in a 2003 Fortune magazine article.  It stands for High Earner, Not Rich Yet donors. Typically, HENRY donors are early in the major gift cycle, somewhere between 35-50 years of age.  They make $250k+ per year.  Their kids attend private […]

1 Comment

Taking The Time To See

“The pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has not vision.”  – Helen Keller Leadership, regardless of title, evidences many characteristics.  Perhaps the most important characteristic is having vision – the kind that Helen Keller speaks of in the above quote. Having vision means having a picture of how your advancement […]


Carrying The Mountain Away

The man who removes a mountain, does so by carrying away small stones – Chinese proverb “We’d like for you to consider a gift of $500,000 to help fund our new Center for Global Awareness. . .” These words (or similar ones) are written or said everyday by volunteers and development leaders.  But in most […]


Preparing Volunteers To Make The Ask

We are practicing our craft well when we understand that our fundamental role as development professionals is not to ask for gifts, but, instead, to create environments which encourage generosity.  Once we get to this place of effective practice, a good question might be:  “In the situations where an ask must occur, who is in […]


Linking Life Goals and Service

There is a central career question that we all must grapple with:  “What do you care more about — doing something or being someone?”  – a mentor We should all have life goals – personal and professional goals that we aim to achieve over the course of some period of time.  The most important reason […]