Browsing the blog archives for February, 2011

Who Invited You?

On Saturday night, my 6-year old daughter and I attended my first Daddy-Daughter Dance.  It was a fantastic event and we both had a blast.  Fun music, some finger foods, and about 125 dads who were giving their all on the dance floor for their little girls. And I mean, the dads were really dancing. […]


Fundamental Attribution Error and Donors

If a donor with high capacity doesn’t give to our level of expectation, it is not uncommon for some to suggest she is simply ungenerous. Conversely, when we fail to respond fully to a solicitation from another organization, we tend to believe that the organization didn’t do enough to garner our investment. The “Fundamental Attribution […]

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We Need To Twist His Arm. . .

Or, put the squeeze on her. These aren’t fundraising strategies.  They’re assault.


Is There A Difference Between Advancement and Leadership?

I have written previously about the similarities between the practice of leadership and the practice of advancement. Recently, I stumbled upon this older but concise definition of leadership: “Leadership is about articulating visions, embodying values, and creating the environment within which things can be accomplished.”  — Richards and Engle, Transforming Leadership, 1986 If you want to […]


On Feeling Wanted

Wednesday was NSD.  For those who don’t follow college football in the United States, NSD is “National Signing Day,”  the day in which high school football players make official their college choice.  For the year-round college football fan NSD is a big day.  Better football players signed in February will hopefully mean more victories in […]


My Staff

Weak leadership is betrayed by the use of possessive pronouns. When I hear a vice president or president talk about “my staff,” or “my cabinet,” experience suggests that I’m dealing with someone who cares more about position and less about performance. Of course, the person using the “my staff” language believes such language portrays a […]


Stories Versus Menus

There are two approaches to developing funding opportunities: Develop a compelling vision for the institution’s future based on mission and values by engaging key leaders, donors, and constituents in a planning process.  Specific funding priorities are identified that support this compelling vision. Develop a comprehensive list of institutional needs and encourage donors to support the […]