Distracting Ourselves

If a menacing alien lifeform wanted to take over our world by systematically distracting us, I’m relatively certain they could not hatch a more effective plan than to introduce email into our lives. They would sell us on the ease, cost-efficiency, and instantaneous nature of the communication. And, used to only phones, snail mail, and…

Details

Being Open To A Different Answer

Recently, I gave a 20-minute presentation designed to address the question, “when should you go public with your campaign?” The core of my response to this important question was (I admit unsatisfyingly), “it depends.” Simply put, there are no specific points of progress, no formula, nor definitive alignment of variables which would consistently forecast, for every nonprofit,…

Details

Describing before Prescribing

Gift officers put tremendous time and energy into identifying the best possible gift ask amounts for each of the donors they engage.  They also focus a great deal of attention on identifying the area or purpose of the proposed gift.  In other words, gift officers spend a lot of time prescribing gifts to donors. “We are asking…

Details

Point Of View

Without a point of view, any strategy that sounds good is worth trying. Without a point of view, it becomes exceptionally difficult to choose what to do and, (more) importantly, what not to do. Without a point of view, the annual calendar quickly devolves into a hodge-podge of activities without a general theme or purpose. Without a…

Details

Engaging Board Members

Advancement leaders tend to fall into 3 categories when it comes to their approach to Board member engagement: Keep Board members at arm’s length as much as possible because they are more nuisance than helpmate; Engage Board members as needed, primarily on their governance and fiduciary roles; Appreciate Board members and engage each in various…

Details

It’s Never Too Late

. . . to better engage your Board; . . . to reinvigorate your institution’s social media presence; . . . to make your direct mail solicitations more compelling; . . . to do something about climate change; . . . to get on the road and visit with donors more; . . . to…

Details

Building Trust vs. Promising Specifics

If you ask a conference full of major gift officers how to best motivate major gifts from new donors or how best to encourage increased giving from already generous donors, a significant number likely will respond that communicating how their major gift will make an impact is the way to go. The conventional wisdom is…

Details

The N=Me Fallacy

Here are some potentially less helpful starting points when brainstorming new advancement strategies with colleagues: “I wouldn’t go to that event . . .” “I don’t respond to direct mail . . .” “I’m not seeing that much at all on my social media . . .” There are 2 potential problems with these strategy-setting…

Details

Jimmy Buffett Can’t Sing

Even if you aren’t a “parrothead” (the endearing term given to Jimmy Buffett’s most loyal fans), you probably know at least a few lines of a Buffett song. “Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville. . .” is a classic many recognize. If you’ve ever been to a Jimmy Buffett concert, you know that a whole lot…

Details

Hiring and Retaining Top Advancement Talent

Date: August 24, 2022
Register Here
In this upcoming webinar, we will focus on the aspects you can control within your advancement staff and organization to hire, retain and continually inspire your team. Whether you’re looking for someone now, or you need to prepare for hiring new staff, this webinar will share ideas on how to keep your team from continually losing top talent.

Details