Found Time

We’ve learned that Advancement work during a pandemic is different. It requires increasingly empathic approaches and more targeted messaging. It calls for greater creativity. And it certainly requires persistence. Something else that’s different about Advancement work right now: found time. That is, there is more of it. Certain constituents aren’t interested in meeting with you…

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,…

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 that others become better…

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.  For instance,…

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…

M. Jane Eaves

Direct Mail and the USPS

“Postal Service warns states might miss mail-in ballot deadlines!!” The headlines are everywhere about the challenges with the delivery of mail by the postal service. But what we have not yet seen are headlines bemoaning the impact on non-profit bulk mailing, often the backbone of our annual giving program. This year we are more dependent…

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 for gift officers also included…

Territoriality And Raising Money While You Sleep

There is a characteristic that most financially successful people share: They make money while they sleep. This characteristic refers to the fact that financially successful folks have figured out a way to extend their ability to make money beyond their own efforts. They have saved and invested their capital in ways that earns them interest…

When Being “Efficient” Is Not The Primary Goal

Supermarkets price milk and eggs (and turkeys during Thanksgiving) below, at, or just above their cost. These items (and others) are called “loss leaders” or “leader priced items.” Every time you buy milk or eggs, your local supermarket is, most likely, losing money on that transaction. If one were to analyze a supermarket’s value by…