Browsing the blog archives for September, 2014

A Search for Shared Vision

It is not the responsibility of the CEO to create the institutional vision.  It is her responsibility to see that it is created.  A big distinction. The next question, of course, becomes how best to create this institutional vision.   I would quietly suggest that the CEO who decides to create the vision herself causes many […]

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The Problem with Motions, Seconds, and Votes

Following Robert’s Rules of Order during a governing board or foundation board meeting might be helpful for imposing order on the discussion.  But, it is almost wholly unhelpful in engaging and exciting the philanthropic imagination of your board members so that ambitious goals can be achieved. If you want to get important things accomplished and […]

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Practicing the Art of “Giftfinding”

For all of human history until just very recently, people have used systems-level thinking to navigate the natural world and the opportunities and dangers it presents.  For instance, the ancient people of Polynesia practiced the art of “wayfinding,” which applied a sophisticated understanding of broad natural cues to safely pilot a canoe from one island […]

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The Illusion of Understanding

Recently, an annual fund officer was talking to me about making calls on past annual fund leadership donors who had not given in the last two years.  This list of donors was not that long, but it was still troubling.  All of these past donors had given at least $1,000+ annually until the 2012-2013 year. […]

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The Most Important Question To Ask Yourself

Here is the most important question a development officer can ask himself: “Am I more focused on how I look or on what I see?” How I look vs. What I see.  Where is your focus?  On your own presentation or on the prospective donor? When you are more concerned with “how you look,” you’ll […]

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