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…

Now More Than Ever

The contentious political season is (almost?) officially behind us. And with it, the uncertainty of who might prevail as our President for the next four years has, at the very least, gained clarity. Now, more than ever, our divided nation needs to be brought together to accomplish common and important ideals. Now, more than ever,…

Next-Level Stewardship: Illustrating Impact

You and your Advancement colleagues are likely good at thanking donors. Experience suggests you send thank you letters within 24-48 hours of receiving gifts, make targeted personal phone calls to offer thanks, send handwritten notes, recognize donors in annual reports, and maybe even gather annually to thank donors in person. But experience also shows you…