5 Phrases Used By the Ablest Gift Officers

“I don’t know.” This phrase provides a reason to circle back with the donor (if needed).  Just as importantly, this phrase builds trust because it positions the gift officer as a professional who is confident and humble enough to admit there is something they don’t know. “It occurs to me. . .”  This is a conversation-enhancing…

The Absolute Worst Time To Start A Campaign

“Donors won’t be able to give because inflation is too high.” “The stock market’s downturn will cause donors not to give.” “There is a recession coming so this isn’t a good time to start a campaign.” You’ve probably heard Board members, donors, or well-meaning colleagues make statements similar to these when the idea of a…

Budget Decisions

Most advancement leaders agree: Major and principal gifts most often emerge from longer-term, trusting relationships built with donors on a foundation of personalized, face-to-face interactions. Annual giving programs are most effective when they are built on a foundation of consistent, multi-channel direct invitations to give. Special events should be few and are inefficient for fundraising.…

Strengthening Your Advancement Culture

If the only people who are involved in major gifts discussions are the major gifts officers, silos will be built. If the only people who pay attention to advancement budgets are the accounting and finance professionals, disconnections and confusion will emerge. If the only people with a focus on recruiting attendees to an event are…

Things Good Leaders Say

Not long ago I had the good experience of listening to Adam Weinberg, president of Denison University address parents and families of current students.  He delivered prepared remarks for about 15 minutes (no powerpoint) and he spent another 45 minutes addressing questions from the audience. Here are 3 things president Weinberg said that struck me:…

Volunteers As Priceless Reviewers

If you are seeking a service, a product, or an experience, you can find an online review as quickly as you can access Google. Of course, finding online reviews quickly is not the same as trusting online reviews.  In fact, it is estimated that between 30 – 50% of all online reviews are fake and designed to fool…

Be The Wave

Ocean waves are constant. If you’re like me, that constancy is big part of the allure of a beach vacation.  The dependability of both the visual and aural “white noise” of waves at the beach cause an immediate sense of peace and calm for me. But ocean (or Gulf) waves are more essential than providing…

Trust-Based Philanthropy And Who Knows Best

“Trust-based philanthropy,” is all over the business news pages these days. Essentially, in a trust-based model of giving, donors embrace three perspectives regarding their support: Unrestricted giving, when done through helpful nonprofit partners, offers the best type of philanthropic support to make a difference; Helpful nonprofit partners are those who are willing to be transparent and relational…