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…

Going Beyond Gratitude

What comes to mind when you think of the word stewardship? Thanking? Recognizing? Expressing gratitude? Making wise use of resources? Perhaps you think of all of these things or something entirely different. First-Level Stewardship: Expressing Gratitude The first level of stewardship involves making sure our donors receive a timely thank you and ensuring they know we…

The Gift of Gratitude

What is the one thing you can give today that takes less than five minutes, builds constituent loyalty, increases donor retention, and improves the physical and psychological health in you and others? Gratitude. Is this on your to-do list today? It should be. Because here’s the thing about gratitude: When we give it, it grows relationships (this…

The 3 Questions Major Gift Officers Confuse

“What amount could this donor give if she was enthusiastic about this request and our institution was her number 1 charitable giving priority?” “What amount am I going to invite her to give?” “What amount do I think she will give?” Far too often, major gift officers either do not know or are vague in their answers to the first 2…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…