Browsing the blog archives for February, 2015

Ask Fever

In the U.S. space industry the term “go fever,” refers to project teams making rushed decisions while “overlooking potential problems or mistakes.”  The reasons that “go fever” can grip a team can range from budget pressures to individuals not wanting to be viewed as the person who slowed progress or questioned authority.  This concept has […]


Centralized, Decentralized, and Compartmentalized

One way to describe the organization of advancement shops is the point at which they sit along the “centralized – decentralized” continuum.  “Centralized” shops are ones that provide advancement services to the institution they serve through one or several offices that report to one positional leader.  These shops are typically recognized as a “division of […]


Creating Your “To-Who” List

As someone who is part of the advancement process for your institution, you are in the relationship-building business.  To be successful you must work effectively and efficiently with and through others.  At its core, the work is about people. And you probably employ a task-filled “to-do” list in an effort to organize yourself and your […]

1 Comment

What’s The Purpose?

One organization I work with generates over $20 million per year from their direct mail campaigns.  The purpose of their direct mail program is to increase gift income. Another client – a private higher education institution with about 1,600 students – welcomes back to campus approximately 1,000 alumni for homecoming each year.  The purpose of […]


Seeking Strangers vs Delighting Friends

Strangers usually won’t invest significantly with you or your mission.  They don’t know you well enough to trust you. Friends, though, are much more apt to invest with you.  They know you well, are invested in their relationship with you, and they believe in you and your mission. When institutions plan for ambitious campaigns or […]


Being Uncomfortable

“I’m not at all comfortable – and I absolutely think we should do it!” This was a Board member’s immediate response to the Chair’s question: “Are we comfortable with Dr. McNeal’s campaign plan recommendations?” I was giving a presentation with recommendations to this Board and leadership team to assist them with their campaign planning.  Without […]