Browsing the blog archives for May, 2013

Paying Attention To Causation

The conventional wisdom is simple.  Higher self-esteem will lead to better life choices and results. So, we tell our kids they have “gifts” and are “special” even when they are not. (Ever watched “American Idol” when a horrible teenaged singer is confronted, quite possibly for the first time, with the assessment, “wow, you just aren’t […]

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Prioritizing the 4 Types of Major Donor Prospects

Essentially there are 4 categories of major donor prospects in your donor database: The Generous – Those with financial capacity who give to your institution up to their capacity; The Contributors  – Those with financial capacity who give to your institution but are not as generous as they could be; The Non-Engaged – Those with […]

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“Deep Human Connection”

Recently, at Duke University’s Commencement, technologist and philanthropist Melinda Gates stated to the assembled graduates: “Technology is just a tool.  It’s a powerful tool, but it is just a tool.  Deep human connection is very different. It’s not a tool.  It’s not a means to an end.  It is the end – the purpose and […]

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Why Donors Give: The Universal Truth

Here are a few cliches about why donors give: “Donors don’t give to meet your institution’s needs, they give to meet their own needs.” “Donors don’t give because you have needs, they give because you meet needs.” “Donors don’t give to institutions, they give through institutions.” “People give to people.” These cliches have become cliches […]

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What’s Important To Know

Millions of dollars are spent each year on professional development.  People attend conferences, webinars, conventions, workshops, and buy books all in an attempt to become more knowledgeable and become more valuable employees.  Learning matters. The more we know, the more effective we become.  That’s easy enough to understand. But if we can all agree that […]

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The Slow Yes

Recently, I listened as a candidate for a director of development position at a major U.S. university answered a question about how he handles rejection.  His response was a winner: “Yes, every development officer hears “no” from time to time and you have to have a plan for how to respond to a “no” response […]

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