Browsing the archives for the Leadership category

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 […]

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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 […]

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3 Ways to Market Giving

“Marketing,” to an advancement professional almost always refers to the marketing of their institution’s programs and services.  You market what you do.  Or more importantly, the impact of what you do.  You market your mission as a way to communicate the rightness and goodness of people giving in support of your institution’s efforts and outcomes.  […]

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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 […]

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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.  […]

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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 […]

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Every Donor Is An Exception

Over the last few years, I’ve taken to explaining the purpose of donor and prospect management as the “management of exceptions.”  By that phrase, I simply mean that all major donors and major donor prospects are “exceptions” to any conceivable universal rule one might use to engage them as a group.  Each of these identified […]

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Best Practices or Best Thinking?

As an advancement professional, you see the hackneyed phrase, “best practices” a ton.  Professional development opportunities tout the teaching of “best practices” for this advancement function or that one.  Members of your team may spend time benchmarking other shops to identify, “best practices.”  Perhaps even you have sought or are seeking the silver-bulleted “best practices” […]

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3 Questions To Help Avoid “Ask Fever”

Within the U.S. space industry, the term “go fever,” refers to the general idea that engineering teams sometimes rush to get a project completed or a program implemented without taking the appropriate time to assess problems or concerns.  “Go fever,” was identified as a contributing factor in both the Space Shuttle Challenger (1986) and Space […]

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Inputs and Outcomes

In the April 1, 2017 edition of The NonProfit Times, Mark Hrywna writes about the challenges and opportunities large nonprofit organizations face in keeping employees engaged and feeling valued.  In the article, Hrywna quotes Harry Johns, the President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association as follows: “The thing that’s most critical is engaging people in […]

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