Browsing the archives for the Development category

Happy Byproducts

If you still believe “raising money” is the goal, you’ve missed the point. The point is to educate people regarding a meaningful need, share with them the benefits and the joys of acting generously, and invite them into partnership to help address the need.  The money is just a happy byproduct of that work. If […]


The “Move” Metric Makes A Comeback

“Donor visits” have been a cornerstone performance metric for most all gift officer evaluations.  But, instead of advancement leaders communicating clearly that donor visits were only a proxy for donor engagement – that the visit only represented potential evidence of donor engagement – the donor visit itself became donor engagement. Sure, many performance metrics systems […]


The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Advancement Consultant

If you Google, “questions to ask before hiring a campaign consultant” (or something similar), you will no doubt wade through an almost-endless supply of results which purport to provide you with the keys to asking the most salient questions of potential consultants. There are tons of numbered lists – “the 10 questions every consultant should […]


Permission-Based Relationships

If you are not asking your constituents what channels they wish to receive different types of communications, you are wasting a ton of time, financial resources, and energy. If you are not asking your major gift donors when they might be open to discussing their next significant investment in your mission before inviting them to […]


More Diversity

We know that the more biological diversity (at the species level, the genetic level, and ecological level), the more natural sustainability and productivity for all life forms. We know that the more investment diversity in our retirement accounts, the more opportunity for higher returns with less risk. We know that the more gender diversity on […]


Squirrels, Doritos, Social Media, and Leadership

Our family dog, Mamie, a shepherd-mixed rescue, loves chasing squirrels.  It’s her natural instinct – her prey drive. If she sees a squirrel outside, she is immediately ready to hunt. She has learned to relate the animal with the word, “squirrel,” and, so, if you so much as whisper the word to her, she’s ready […]


Territoriality And Raising Money While You Sleep

  There is a characteristic that most financially successful people share:  They make money while they sleep.  This characteristic refers to the fact that financially successful folks have figured out a way to extend their ability to make money beyond their own efforts. They have saved and invested their capital in ways that earns them […]


The Outcomes We Predict

In his thoroughly-researched 2018 book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, “running science geek,” Alex Hutchinson, makes a compelling and fascinating argument.  Gathering together decades of research from various fields, he argues that the limits of human endurance in activities such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, etc., can only be […]


Winning Donor Engagement Beyond The Pandemic

Donor engagement will be different for a long while – perhaps forever – even after a vaccine for COVID-19 is in place and distributed widely. The ways in which we engage or involve donors will change because of the reduction of in-person opportunities, events, and activities.  Additionally, a change in our approach to donor engagement […]


When Being “Efficient” Is Not The Primary Goal

Supermarkets price milk and eggs (and turkeys during Thanksgiving) below, at, or just above their cost.  These items (and others) are called “loss leaders” or “leader priced items.”  Every time you buy milk or eggs, your local supermarket is, most likely, losing money on that transaction.  If one were to analyze a supermarket’s value by […]