Browsing the archives for the Leadership category

Unstated Expectations

When each was recruited to serve, what percentage of the members of your institution’s governing or Foundation Board were invited into a conversation about the giving expectations associated with Board membership? How many of your institution’s major donors have affirmingly stated, “we will continue to be supportive,” after finishing their most recent major gift with […]

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A Broker For Hope

The very best, most successful advancement folk never confuse what they do with how they do it. You aren’t a fundraiser.  You aren’t a gift officer.  You aren’t a relationship-builder.  You aren’t even a development professional (whatever that might mean!).  Those are all examples of how you do your work. When you work exceptionally well, […]

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The Delusion of the In-Person Visit

If we’ve learned anything over the last 6 months its that development officers and performance metrics’ systems myopically focused on meeting in-person donor visit goals have struggled to adapt. That’s because the real work has never been about the in-person donor visit. The real work has always been about creating learning opportunities and experiences so […]

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Out of Order

    The phrase, “out of order,” is used to describe when something is broken or not working or when someone is behaving in a way that is unacceptable or not customary. The reverse assumption, would be that “being in order,” is synonymous with being correct or acceptable, or working properly. Words matter, of course.  […]

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Who Is Speaking?

Maybe you’ve been in this meeting.  A colleague speaks up and with firmness states something like the following: “A lot of people are upset with our decision.” Or. . . “Many of our donors are complaining about our communications.” Or. . . “Our volunteers don’t agree with our strategy.” If you ever hear statements like […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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