Browsing the blog archives for January, 2017

Happy Anniversary

You may complain regularly that your database is deficient, inaccurate, or misused (or all three!).  And because of your database shortcomings, you may get frustrated that you cannot consistently use it to improve and enhance your donor identification, solicitation, and stewardship. Here, though, is a database stewardship and solicitation strategy that all institutions can use […]


Grow Up

If you’ve ever been admonished to “grow up,” you know the sting of those words can linger.  One of the reasons these words stick with us like they do is because they demand much more than a simple change in our behavior.  Rather, they are meant to communicate a much deeper transformation – a maturation […]


3 Steps To Increasing “Donor Durability”

Some number of your major gift donors are what I would term “durable.”  They are the ones who continue to give (often generously) regardless of their own personal and financial circumstances;  they are the ones who are deeply committed to your mission;  they are the ones who show up when you need it most;  and […]


5 “Alternative Facts” for Advancement Professionals

Recently, a U.S. political figure who shall remain nameless (only because it would be too embarrassing for her to be named) used the phrase, “alternative facts,” during a heated exchange with a reporter.  And since a fact is, by definition, well, “a fact,” I have no idea what the phrase “alternative facts,” is intended to […]


What Is The Work?

What if the purpose of your campaign is not to raise extraordinary amounts of gift income, but instead is to educate potential givers on the need(s) being met by your institution? What if the purpose of your alumni relations event is not to ensure that people have an enjoyable experience, but instead is to remind them […]


From “Why?” to “What?”

“Why?” isn’t the thing.  It’s not the building project.  Nor the endowment fund.  It’s not the new program.  Nor whatever the gifts might support.  “Why?” is what will happen once you successfully build that building, or grow that endowed fund, or start that new program.  “Why?” is how the money supports your mission and helps […]


3 Often-Overlooked Principles for Effective Volunteer Engagement

Effectively engaging volunteers – be they Board members, campaign leaders, special event volunteers, advisory council members, or others – can be a tricky proposition.  On the one hand, influential volunteers have an ability to open doors, leverage personal relationships, and tell the story of your institution with an authenticity that can be unmatched by those […]


One Simple Way To Make Your Meetings More Productive

Workplace meetings are important.  Studies show that collaboration in the workplace (meaning, when two or more people communicate to share ideas and achieve common goals) leads to all types of beneficial and excellent outcomes.  From increased staff member retention to coming-up with more effective decisions, plans, and solutions, collaboration works.  And while collaboration can happen […]


The Most Important Resolution

About half of Americans state a specific New Year’s resolution.  Most of these resolutions are focused, as one might imagine, or enhancing health or well being, gaining more education, or increasing one’s financial situation.  And while all those resolutions are fine and good, I do wonder if focusing on resolutions that endeavor to make ourselves better […]