Jennifer Spuehler has been part of the Chicagoland educational and philanthropic profession for more than 20 years. She launched the Gonser Gerber Institute in 2012 and continues to promote and execute the programs as Executive Director.

Intelligence and Practice

It’s fairly easy to find most any advancement-related strategy, program, approach, or tactic within minutes through an old-fashioned Google search. We can attend professional development conferences in person.  We can engage in synchronous and asynchronous online education programs.  We can listen to podcasts and read books, blogs, and articles. Today, we can even engage artificial…

Extending Ourselves

Be the first to: Offer a helpful hand. Provide a compliment. Find the good. Say, “I was wrong.” Walk away from gossip. Encourage someone. Deliver on time and better than expected. Provide a solution to a problem. Speak up. Change the subject away from complaints. Smile. These behaviors can often feel awkward, difficult, or vexing…

What To Ask In A Group

A president has invited a small group of major gift donors and prospects to serve on an advisory council for a new strategic initiative for the institution.  These are current or previous donors who have given significantly in the past, have a sense of ownership about the institution’s future success, and are especially interested in…

Context and Purpose

Both context and purpose are critically important if we aim to be consistently effective on donor visits, meetings with colleagues, phone calls with prospective donors, email outreaches to volunteers, implementing special events, sending direct mail invitations to give – really anything we do in advancement. By context, I mean the surrounding issues related to the interaction.  The timing, the relevant…

3 Aims of Constituent Relations

If we define constituent relations as those programs and activities designed to encourage people to engage more deeply with your mission or cause, then there are three primary aims of those efforts. First, constituent relations efforts should educate people.  Yes, this is education on your mission and it’s important impacts.  But, this version of education…