Browsing the archives for the Development category

The Real Change That’s Coming Post-COVID-19

We should all be imagining how advancement work will be rearranged, adjusted, and altered post-COVID-19. It’s easy to think of remote-work or work-from-home norms as becoming commonplace policy, especially for gift officers.  The integration of video conferencing and digital technologies with in-person, human-to-human donor engagement is another aspect of our work which, most likely, will […]


Giving Is Greater Than The Gift

The first 5 months of 2020 have been distressing.  An understatement, I am aware. Just as the world was beginning to understand how to “re-open” safely from the COVID-19 virus and its vicious health and financial calamities, we were faced over the last week with an even tougher test – one squarely confronting the perceptions […]


The Day-Trading Boss

If you haven’t yet worked for him or her, you probably will at some point. He’s the VP who focuses more on metrics than on the relationships and processes the metrics are there to measure. She’s the President who wants to know why gift officers aren’t asking for major gifts during a first meeting. Day-traders […]


What Am I Doing?

The world is filled with leaders in every industry (including advancement/development) who rarely ask themselves this important question. Posers, caring more about the perception of leadership than the practice of it, almost never ask this question.  Even still, some are able to ascend to high-level, leadership posts (again, yes, even in advancement/development). It doesn’t matter […]


This Next Year. . . And Beyond

Today marks the first work day of 2020.  And, while there is some measure of confusion, today also marks the first work day of the new decade – the decade of the ’20s.  Every New Year holiday brings with it the time and opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future.  A […]


The Most Important “Impact” of Giving Is Not What You Think

With the dawn of another U.S. Thanksgiving holiday just days away, we will soon welcome the commencement of the official “season of giving.”  The month of December will experience millions of donors acting with great generosity and each year at this time I am reminded of the concept of philanthropic impacts. Specifically, and, it seems, […]


The Nuanced (But Key) Lesson Behind Robert F. Smith’s Gift

Amid all of the publicity regarding Robert F. Smith’s announcement to repay the student loan balances for each of the Morehouse College graduates a Sunday ago, there is a key lesson to ferret out, if advancement and nonprofit leaders are willing to look (and listen) closely. Yes, the gift is wonderful and should be applauded.  […]


It’s All About The Donor, You, and . . . Who?

Just recently I was consulting with a university president when, in a moment of personal and professional transparency, he shared his lamentation that he had “gotten too close” to one of the institution’s most generous donors.   I asked him what he meant by that and here was his all-too-familiar story. “I’m not quite sure how […]


Giving The Gift

Imagine with me for a moment that you are sitting with one of your most generous donor couples.  It is a husband and wife who are now contemplating the 7-figure gift invitation you have just extended to them.  In the past they have given significantly to your institution – but not at this level.  If […]


You Have 2 Missions – And You Should Choose to Accept Both

I sometimes wonder how many nonprofit leaders realize they are serving two distinct but related missions? First, of course, is the mission of service particular to your institution or organization.  You may have an education mission, a healthcare mission, a nutrition mission, a faith-filled mission, a mission to assist the homeless, etc.  Most nonprofit leaders […]