Browsing the blog archives for September, 2012

The Value of Random Acts of Stewardship

At the very least, most advancement leaders give lip service to the notion that donor stewardship is important.  Thanking donors and recognizing them as appropriate are the baseline activities of solid advancement programs.  Expressing gratitude to our donors is the right thing to do ethically and tactically.  As the old saying goes, “Stewardship of the […]


Preempting the Preemptive Major Gift

A vice president for advancement and a president recently were on a solicitation visit with a donor.  The president is new to his position (less than a year) and the donor is a long-time supporter of this institution and is a major philanthropist in the region.  The vp and president were there to ask for […]


Do You Believe In The Benefits of Giving?

Here’s a simple “what’s really important” check for you today: Do you believe that giving is an important component of a healthy life? Do you believe that giving stimulates our brains in much the same ways that food and sex do? Do you believe that giving reduces chronic pain? Do you believe that giving lowers […]


The 3 Key Levers to Raising More Money

You will recall your days in elementary school when you first learned about the power of the lever and the fulcrum.  This tool shows us that putting our emphasis on simple, well-positioned components can have huge effects.  The Greek scientist, Archimedes is noted to have said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum […]


How Do Your Donors Learn?

I like books.  I have a Kindle.  But I prefer books.  And not because I’m a bookophile who craves the smell and texture of books.  And not because I like to have books as intellectual souvenirs as Seth Godin describes. No, I like books because I learn better from them. I have read a number […]


The Metrics of Perfection

How do you measure success?  More importantly, how do you view success? By this, I mean, how do you think about what success looks like for your advancement team?  For many institutions, an answer might be, “if we raise $(fill in the blank) million next year we will be successful.”  Or, “if we grow our […]

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How Volunteers Can Help You Shave Better

I have found that development volunteers typically fall into 1 of 3 categories – Latherers, Raisers, and After-Shavers. 1. Latherers – these are the volunteers who enjoy encouraging prospects to give or get involved.  I once had a college roommate who could get a party together within a few hours by calling all of our […]