Browsing the blog archives for April, 2013

Buying Ugly Socks and Answering For Donors

Last week I sat in a major gift donor prospect management meeting with a client and listened as a gift officer said, “What we know from visits and our research is that John (the donor) has the capacity to make a $5 million gift during our campaign.  But I just don’t think he will give […]


Why Empathy Matters in Leadership

“A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” You’ve probably seen this sign on someone’s desk or door in your office.  Perhaps someone even has muttered the words to you in a moment of frustration. Here’s the thing about this statement —  everyone agrees with it.  Everyone.  If […]


“A thought just occurred to me. . .”

A seasoned and effective development leader once told me, “never leave a visit – even a first visit – without asking for something.”  His rationale was that the prospective donor understands your role and is expecting some sort of ask.  If you don’t ask for something, you don’t appear to be doing your job. Over […]

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Make Yourself Uncomfortable

For most all of us, the reality is that we fall short of living out our full promise not because we fail in attempting something ambitious and important but rather because we simply get comfortable.  Comfort comes in the form of familiar people, old habits, daily routines, and mindless decisions.  In our fast-paced, 140-character, always […]


5 Things Effective Development Professionals Say

It’s common for board members and other volunteers (and some development professionals) to ask the question:  “What is the best way to ask someone for a gift?”  What they are looking for, of course, are the “magic words.”  The words or phrases that, when uttered with confidence and enthusiasm, wondrously unlock a donor’s generous spirit […]

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