Browsing the blog archives for September, 2010

Performance Metrics – Webcast Opportunity

If you are interested in learning more about how to implement performance metrics well, I’ll be giving my take in an upcoming webcast sponsored by ALDE – the Association of Lutheran Development Executives.  Here are the specifics: Date:  Thursday, October 28, 2010 Time:  3:00 – 4:30pm Central Site Fee:  $75 – you can’t beat this […]


Sleeping with Eyes Wide Open

Recently, our son who is four, appealed to my wife and I that he deserved to go to bed later than his older sister because he took a nap during the afternoon.  The problem was that he, in fact, did not nap.  But he argued to the contrary.  Finally, after proving beyond all reasonable doubt […]


What We Wish Donors Really Knew

Development professionals work tirelessly to educate donors.  In fact, I believe that donor education is really the core of our work.  This education typically involves one or more of the following areas: Institutional education – we educate donors about our history, services provided, communities served, and institutional accolades; Vision education – we educate donors about […]


Benedict Arnold And Your Donors

The value in understanding history lies not in the notion that times stay the same, but, rather, that human nature does. Take the case of Benedict Arnold.  We all remember him as the traitor during the Revolutionary War.  But for many of us, that is all we know of the story. When historians attempt to […]


What’s More Important: Donors or Their Gifts?

Does your institution care more about its donors or their gifts? Before you answer, let me ask the same question in a more practical, perhaps more helpful way. After you receive the gift, how long does it take, on average, for your institution to thank and extend a gift receipt to a donor? In the […]

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How Happy Are Your Donors?

In prospect management meetings all across the country this week, advancement teams have prioritized donor portfolios based on the two most important variables currently in use: Capacity (a wealth estimate of some sort), and; Interest (an estimate of how ‘close’ or ‘engaged’ the prospect is with the institution). No matter the terms used for these […]


Your Collective Board. . . Isn’t

A Board is a collection of individuals.  The important word here is “individuals.”  Not “collection.”  Each member of a Board brings her own passion, interests, abilities, capacities, and shortcomings to the group. Boards work and are generous, not because administrators engage the collective group, but rather because administrators first engage each peculiar, individual member in […]


Asking Every Day

I’m teaching a class on “Annual and Major Gifts Fundraising,” this fall in the Master of Nonprofit Management program at Northpark University.  For one of the textbooks, I’m using Asking, by Jerry Panas. As one would expect, it’s a great, spot-on, quick read.  Jerry offers many, time-tested examples of how to go about the process […]


Virtual Opportunities

The whole world is on Facebook.  Or at least it seems so. And the whole world is changing because of it – including how money is spent.  Since early 2008, we know that the Great Recession impacted every aspect of our lives.  From steep home price declines, to almost 10% unemployment, to staggering government debt […]