Browsing the blog archives for July, 2011

The Influence of Expensive Wine

Perception is reality. . . or it at least helps create reality. We have known for some time that wine drinkers reported on surveys that more expensive wine tasted better.  The problem with these surveys, of course, is that we never really knew if it was the status of drinking expensive wine that led people […]


What Do You Want To Get Better At Doing?

Whenever I’m in front of a group of development professionals, I like to ask a question that goes like this, “when someone asks about your work, what do you say you do?” In most instances, I hear thoughtful and serious responses similar to the following, “I say that I build relationships with people who have […]


Talking About Tools

My father ran a small heating and air conditioning company.  Summer was his busy season.  When summertime heat kicks in, people will do just about anything to get relief.  And if the AC isn’t working, they want it fixed. . . and fast! During the summers of my youth I went to work with my […]


Admiring The Butterfly

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”  — Maya Angelou Imagine for a minute the challenge of the caterpillar.  Would you allow yourself to believe you could be transformed from a multi-legged, slow moving insect into a beautiful winged flyer? In […]


The 2 Questions A Leader Should Answer And The 1 A Leader Must

If you want to lead people – donors, team members, others at your institution – here are the 2 questions you should be able to answer: What are we doing? How are we going to do it? Most people can answer #1 – they know what they are doing.  If you say, “what is your […]

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Why Better Storytelling Won’t Lead to Larger Gifts

Leaders of institutions often share with me the following general frustration about communicating with donors and prospects: “We don’t tell our story well!” When probed, one (or more) of three underlying concerns almost always surfaces: A need to articulate more clearly, concisely, and authentically the positive “facts” of how the institution impacts students, patients, the […]


Clicks Don’t Equal Engagement

The 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report was released last month. A lot of interesting info and findings from this research.  Here are two key findings: More new donors aged 64 and younger give online as opposed to offline; With only 11% of online donors acquired in 2007 still giving in 2010, retention […]

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A Culture of Freedom

Yesterday, the United States observed Independence Day.  This pausing in the life of the country is designed to encourage reflection and celebration of independence from oppressive rule and individual freedom. Ok, we all understand what July 4th is about.  But what about your development shop?  How “free” is it? Here are 3 questions to ask […]