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.

Segmenting and Aggregating

Whether we have 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000+ donors, when we decide to invite each of them to make a gift we have choices to make. Typically, the first and most discussed choice is focused on segmenting our donors, or deciding which of these donors will receive which of our specific invitations. If we are doing…

It’s All About The Fundraising Results

Except when. . . it’s really about creating a culture where more people care enough to respond generously; it’s really about growing the board’s understanding of their philanthropic leadership; it’s really about helping the CEO experience the joy of inviting others to be supportive; it’s really about encouraging others to embrace the act of giving…

Of, For, To, and With

Advancement professionals routinely talk about their desire to “create a culture of philanthropy.” Far better, I think, to “create a culture for philanthropy.” Our cultures shouldn’t be of philanthropy. Our cultures shouldn’t be idly possessed or inactively influenced by philanthropy. Instead, our institutional cultures should be for philanthropy. Our cultures should actively promote, enthusiastically inspire,…

Taking “No” For An Answer

Our culture celebrates those with the grit, determination, force of will, and interpersonal skills to bend reality in their favor. It can be easy, for instance, to embrace the notion that the best development folk, “never take ‘no’ for an answer” from a donor. The effective fundraisers, this ubiquitous thinking goes, are the ones with…

Inviting Effectively

There are 2 primary components that lead to effectively inviting people to engage more deeply. First, we have to have clarity in what we want them to do.  What, specifically, are we asking of them? Give for the first time? Attend an event?  Be a member of the governing board? Increase their giving to a…

The Pressure For Gifts

There are two types of pressures gift officers can embrace. On the one hand, many gift officers can feel pressured to invite the biggest possible gift from a donor as quickly as possible. This pressure can cause gift officers to feel as if they have to “ask big,” and “not leave money on the table,”…

What Should Concern Us More?

“We’ve gotten some push-back from the direct mail piece we sent.  People are saying we ask for money all the time.” “People complained that we sent too many emails on our giving day.” “We’ve had people hang up on our phonathon callers.” Whenever I hear these types of observations from advancement folk, I regularly ask…

How Do You Think Best?

Not when or where do you think best.  We all have stories of that a-ha moment while taking a shower or waking up with the solution to an especially thorny problem we are facing. But, how do you think best? Do you think best by bouncing ideas off of other people?  Do you think best by scribbling…