On Comfy Pants and Building Loyalty

True confession: I have become obsessed with comfy pants. What does this revelation have to do with our work in Advancement? For me, it yielded an “aha” moment about offering thanks and building loyalty. Let me elaborate. As virtual meetings became a more necessary form of communication one year ago this week, and with webcams…

6 Creative Approaches for Your Day of Giving

If the last 11 months have taught us anything, it’s that: a) donors are resilient, b) they recognize the challenge you face in funding your mission during a pandemic, and c) they’re ready to be the hero of the moment. Despite a global pandemic and high unemployment, giving increased! To keep the momentum going, there’s no…

Addressing Your First World Problem

We’ve faced our share of adversity these last 10 months – some have faced more challenges than others. But usually, when adversity surfaces, a silver lining does as well. What’s the silver lining in our work this year? I submit annual gift support. For those continuing to invite annual support regularly and unapologetically, the response…

Meaningful Involvement

Yesterday we celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through the observance of a national holiday – the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. You may have observed this holiday by participating in some form of service that was meaningful to you and/or to the…

Read the Thin Ones

January is the month of new beginnings and new resolutions. As you implement your New Year’s resolutions, let me pass on some quirky advice I received years ago. Before I discovered this awesome field of Advancement, I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. I was a member of their Management Development Program,…

Imagine

Imagine dreams being fulfilled based on potential, not pocketbooks. Imagine the hungry being fed, the homeless given shelter, and the downtrodden offered hope because of generosity. Imagine teachers fulfilling their professional potential because they have the right resources. Imagine new facilities being built to advance educational instruction, care for the sick, and help the destitute…

Are You Ready?

The great hope for a return to the “old normal” arrived this month in the form of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Frontline medical workers, assisted-living residents, and individuals age 75+ appear to be the first recipients. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the now well-known infectious disease expert, has predicted that enough doses of vaccine will be available for…

The Truth About Milking Cows

I don’t know much about milking cows, but I do know this: You can’t milk a cow by sending it a letter. If this seems preposterously elementary and painfully obvious, you’re right! But to how many prospective donors have you invited philanthropic support by letter (or email) only? The annual fund is reliant upon direct…

Strategy vs. Enthusiasm

How should we go about inviting Mrs. Howard to make the lead gift? You might be inclined to respond to this strategy question by seeking to know more about Mrs. Howard as a person and as a donor.  You would probably want to know more about her history with your institution, her financial capacity, the…