Browsing the blog archives for October, 2010

Online Donor Reports

Institutions looking to cut costs associated with printed annual reports, president’s reports, or donor honor rolls regularly turn to their websites. “Let’s put it online!” is the knee-jerk response. And it’s not a bad idea to put such reports online.  But once the decision is made to go electronic, few institutions implement with the same […]

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Are You “Touching” Your Donors?

“Touch” is a robust, flexible, and, in many instances, an emotionally-charged word.  Consider the following phrases: “We were touched by their generosity.” “I really hope we can stay in touch.” “His presentation added the perfect touch to the evening.” Ever wonder why the word, “touch,” represents such emotionally-rich thoughts?  Recently, National Public Radio shared a […]

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Unconventionally Wise

Conventional wisdom is an interesting concept – many times, we have convention, but we are far from wisdom.  Here are some examples: Conventional wisdom says that smaller K-12 class sizes enhance student outcomes and test scores.  Everyone knows this to be true, right?  So, we have spent billions of dollars in an effort to keep […]

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Ideas and Execution

Ideas are fun to generate and easy to deliver.  Everyone has ideas.  And most are willing to share their ideas on how things “should be done.”  Ideas are everywhere – not scarce at all. On the other hand, executing is boring and hard work.  Execution is about getting results – meaningful results.  Good execution takes […]

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The SuperStat

Donors invest because the work of our institutions makes both logical and emotional sense to them. Logically, donors have to recognize and agree that giving to our institution is a wise and productive investment.  Their minds need to agree, “Yes, this makes sense!”  Emotionally, donors need to feel that our institution’s work makes a qualitative […]

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The 5 Characteristics of Mature Development Programs

Annual Funds are successful prior to the start of the fiscal year.  Campaign goals are achieved before they are announced.  Tomorrow’s planned gifts were solidified years ago. Our successes today depend on how mature our development program was yesterday.   The more mature our programs, the more optimistic we can be regarding success today and […]

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On Being Peculiar

We use the word all the time:  “That’s peculiar!”  “He’s just peculiar.” And while our use of the word may not be snidely, on most occasions we use it to mean something less than positive.  In fact, the first definition for the word given by dictionary.com is strange, queer, odd. Many of your major donors […]

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The Preemptive Gift

You’ve done your homework.  You’ve cultivated her and her husband.  You understand what drives their philanthropic decisions and you have a data-driven, clear sense of their capacity. You’ve crafted a proposal that highlights the meaningful intersection between their values and interests and your institution’s work.  You’ve engaged a key Board member – one of their […]

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