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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Hiring and Retaining Top Advancement Talent

Date: August 24, 2022
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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.

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New Year, New Habits

For many Advancement professionals, this week marks the first in a new fiscal year. Accordingly, it seems like a good time to assess ways we can be more productive and more focused on the most important elements of our lives – personally and professionally. I’m taking stock. Feel free to join me! A good way…

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Motivations

We regularly discuss donor motivations, why people give and get involved, and how to appeal to their interests. What’s far less common are discussions focused on why we ask donors to give, why we invite volunteers to get involved, or how to appeal to our own motivating factors. If you are an advancement leader and…

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