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.

Applying Fresh Starts

Katy Milkman at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania suggests that Mondays, first days of the month, New Year’s Day, birthdays, many holidays, and other “temporal landmarks” are a great times for humans to make changes. Dr. Milkman’s “Fresh Start” theory posits that moments in culture that we all celebrate (such as New Year’s…

Renting vs. Owning

When everyone worked from an office location 5 days per week, employers owned the results and employees rented out their services to their employers.  “You have purchased my attention, energy, and work product for these hours on these days,” was the message from employee to employer. Of course, employees stayed late and came in on…

Speed vs. Direction

When it comes to fundraising results, the first, easiest, and most misguided focus is on speed: “How quickly can the money be raised for the new building?” “I needed more unrestricted gifts yesterday!” “When will we reach the campaign goal?” Instead, the healthier, more accommodative focus should always be on direction: “In our community, who…

The 5 Beliefs of the Best Annual Giving Leaders

Inviting gifts via direct mail is “not dead.”  In fact, it is a vital, effective channel to invite gifts from all prospective donors, including younger prospects. Like direct mail, using the phone to effectively invite gifts is “not dead.”  In fact, when we create a fun, engaging, high-energy event, we can gather groups of people…

Integration or Assimilation

The best advancement teams are an integration of role-specific professionals.  From advancement services, to development, to constituent relations, to communications, high-functioning teams recognize both the specific functional roles of each team member as well as the integration among all those roles and members. On the other hand, focusing all team members, regardless of role, on…

10 Truths About Motivating Generosity

Generous charitable support is consistently motivated by: being invited to give by someone the giver admires; believing in or having been personally impacted by the institution’s mission; trusting in the institution’s leaders to deliver on their vision for the future; having a personal connection with the institution today; believing that making this gift will be…

iLeadership

When he unveiled the original iMac computer in 1998, Steve Jobs told us that the “i” in Apple products stood for “internet.” However, as the spate of new “i” products from Apple emerged, one could also define the “i” as a stand-in for “individual” as well. The iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc., have provided individuals with more…

Amplification

In today’s social media soaked world, almost everyone is amplifying something. Whether we are liking or following or commenting or pausing to read, all of us are signaling and boosting particular themes, memes, and narratives. It wasn’t that long ago that only giant media companies had the reach and resources to amplify and promote to…

The Diagonal Problem

Organizational charts matter.  They aren’t the final answer to the question of “how effective are we?”  But they are an important component of that answer. When we don’t communicate based on the organizational chart, we risk problems. Take, for instance, a Dean of a college engaging the Foundation CEO regularly instead of her gift officer.…