From Crises To Confidence

Since March of this year there has been no shortage of folks willing to provide advice and guidance on how fundraising professionals should be responding in the face of the pandemic or global social justice protests.  Whether it’s through social media, virtual webinars and workshops, or other channels, most of the guidance shared has focused…

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Charlie R. Shepard Elected to Partnership

Gonser GerberLLP is pleased to announce that Charlie R. Shepard has been elected a partner in our firm.  Charlie joined Gonser Gerber in 2017.  He previously served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Asbury University (KY) and has over two decades of nonprofit and higher education leadership experience. “We look with great promise to…

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Found Time

We’ve learned that Advancement work during a pandemic is different. It requires increasingly empathic approaches and more targeted messaging. It calls for greater creativity. And it certainly requires persistence. Something else that’s different about Advancement work right now: found time. That is, there is more of it. Certain constituents aren’t interested in meeting with you…

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A Broker for Hope

The very best, most successful advancement folk never confuse what they do with how they do it. You aren’t a fundraiser. You aren’t a gift officer. You aren’t a relationship-builder. You aren’t even a development professional (whatever that might mean!). Those are all examples of how you do your work. When you work exceptionally well,…

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The Delusion of the In-Person Visit

If we’ve learned anything over the last 6 months its that development officers and performance metrics’ systems myopically focused on meeting in-person donor visit goals have struggled to adapt. That’s because the real work has never been about the in-person donor visit. The real work has always been about creating learning opportunities and experiences so that others become better…

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Out of Order

The phrase, “out of order,” is used to describe when something is broken or not working or when someone is behaving in a way that is unacceptable or not customary. The reverse assumption would be that “being in order,” is synonymous with being correct or acceptable, or working properly. Words matter, of course.  For instance,…

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Happy Byproducts

If you still believe “raising money” is the goal, you’ve missed the point. The point is to educate people regarding a meaningful need, share with them the benefits and the joys of acting generously, and invite them into partnership to help address the need.  The money is just a happy byproduct of that work. If…

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M. Jane Eaves

Direct Mail and the USPS

“Postal Service warns states might miss mail-in ballot deadlines!!” The headlines are everywhere about the challenges with the delivery of mail by the postal service. But what we have not yet seen are headlines bemoaning the impact on non-profit bulk mailing, often the backbone of our annual giving program. This year we are more dependent…

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The “Move” Metric Makes A Comeback

“Donor visits” have been a cornerstone performance metric for most all gift officer evaluations.  But, instead of advancement leaders communicating clearly that donor visits were only a proxy for donor engagement – that the visit only represented potential evidence of donor engagement – the donor visit itself became donor engagement. Sure, many performance metrics systems for gift officers also included…

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The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Advancement Consultant

If you Google, “questions to ask before hiring a campaign consultant” (or something similar), you will no doubt wade through an almost-endless supply of results which purport to provide you with the keys to asking the most salient questions of potential consultants. There are tons of numbered lists – “the 10 questions every consultant should…

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