Jason McNeal, Ph.D., Gonser Gerber partner, has provided advancement leadership to non-profit organizations for more than 20 years. Having served as the chief advancement officer at East Georgia College and Maryville College (TN), he also has consulted with institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Dr. McNeal has written extensively on key issues in non-profit fundraising and leadership including his blog that you can find at http://www.jasonmcneal.com.

Strolling vs. Scrolling

Humans are built to walk. Our walking ability not only provides us with the mobility to enjoy and govern our physical world in ways most other species can not, it also is a great form of exercise. Simply walking consistently produces a host of wonderful benefits including reducing body fat, enhancing memory, strengthening bones, lowering blood…

What Should We Do Now?

The economy is in recession. We’ve experienced a natural disaster. Our institution just endured a difficult leadership transition. The latest downturn in the stock markets has hit our community especially hard. What should we do now? Whenever real or perceived crises hit, it is not uncommon for advancement professionals to urgently ask this question. Too…

Telling The Donor Story

Gift officers are notorious for attending Prospect Management meetings and recounting the biographies and histories of the donors to which they are assigned. Over and over again, they tell the stories of what has happened in the past with that donor that sets up the potential for the next gift. What if, instead of focusing…

7 Degrees of Generosity

Here is a Human Generosity Scale I’ve been considering for some time.  It’s still in a draft form, but I thought I’d share this version: The model posits that there are 2 types of people who are unwilling to give – the Consciously Ungenerous and the Unconsciously Ungenerous. The difference is that the Consciously Ungenerous…

Should Giving Be Easier?

A mere 25 years ago there wasn’t widespread adoption of email or internet technologies. Texting from mobile devices didn’t become popular until the early 2000s and smart mobile phones weren’t ubiquitous until later that decade. Email, the internet, texting, mobile devices. . . We have experienced tremendous technological advances over the last 25 years.  And, as…

Advancement consulting for religious organizations

2 Types of Advancement Vision

Creating a vision statement for your advancement program is a helpful step in becoming more effective. If the advancement mission statement is focused on our purpose, or what we do, the vision statement is focused on what we are aiming to achieve, or why we are doing what we do. Our vision statement should be…

Just Go Play

My son plays high school basketball.  During the fall of 2020, his freshman year, his high school made the difficult decision to cancel most of their season due to the pandemic. Because he would be missing a full year of his high school career, my son went to his coach and asked what drills he…

“Be Gentle. Push Harder”

Not long ago I interviewed a major donor for a faith-based institution. I asked her about her perception of the advancement team’s effectiveness.  She was complimentary of the team and then said, “they need to be gentle, and push harder.” As we continued the interview, I asked more about what she meant. She shared that…

Feeling Questions

People feel the intent of the question, regardless of the word choice or content. “Can you help me understand the numbers?” can be an authentic, even humble question.  Or, it can be a passive-aggressive bomb. “Were you invited to the meeting?” can be a question that elevates one’s sense of value.  Or, it can be…

5 Fundamental Guidelines to Advancement Success

Advancement and fundraising success comes from the consistent and persistent implementation of fundamental strategies and approaches. But with so many technological “solutions” and various tactics one can be introduced to online or at a multitude of conferences, which strategies and approaches should we be consistently implementing? Here are 5 basic guidelines to help you discern…