Browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category

The Gift and The Giver

It’s easy to focus on “the gift.”  What is the amount we are seeking?  For what purpose?  Over what period of time?  We talk about the gift in strategy sessions, when we ask for it, and when we receive it – especially when we receive one of significance!  We write proposals that answer the questions […]

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Using Your Database to Invite, Report, and Steward

The most fundamental and effective organizing strategies when using your database (certainly not the only organizing strategies!): Inviting Donors and Prospects to Give – you will be most effective in inviting donors and prospects to give when you organize your database by giving history.  In other words, to be the most effective and efficient in […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Intersection of Politics and Giving

The 2016 U.S. Presidential election is now behind us (although my Facebook feed would suggest otherwise).  If we can remove the divisiveness from the election for just a moment and look at what the candidates proposed about charitable giving policy, we will see that neither of the major party candidates were focused on enacting tax […]

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The Value of Influence in a Post-Expertise World

One of the by-products of our digitally-connected age is the waning value of expertise.  The growing understanding today is that the everyone’s right to express an opinion is synonymous with the notion that everyone’s opinion is equally informed. Medical doctors and research scientists have been publicly second-guessed by celebrities with influence but no medical training […]

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The 3 Most Damaging Fund Raising Myths – Part II

Note:  This post is part II of a series of III in which I will identify 3 separate fund raising myths that make us less productive. The first installment in this series focused on the myth of donors giving only (or substantially more) for restricted purposes.  This second post springboards off that myth and highlights the […]

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From Conduit to Conductor

If you are a successful gift officer, you might view your role as a bit like a conduit – a connector that weds donor interests with the needs of your institution.  The best gift officers have carefully crafted questions and strategies designed to engage prospective donors so that deep understanding of values, beliefs, and interests […]

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Making the Invitation

If there is one word in our work that captures people’s imagination and interest more than, “asking,” I don’t know what it is.  Gift officers are conditioned to talk unremittingly about “making the ask,” presidents and CEOs wonder if they are “asking” enough and for enough, Board members want the development team to “ask” more, […]

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Do Not Solicit

Recently, I was with a client and we stumbled upon my donor record in their database.  “Do Not Solicit,” it read. “That’s interesting,” I observed.  “Why would you have me classified as a “do not solicit?” “Well,” came the response, “we didn’t want you to receive all our phonathon calls and direct mail solicitations. . […]

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