7 Degrees of Generosity

Here is a Human Generosity Scale I’ve been considering for some time.  It’s still in a draft form, but I thought I’d share this version: The model posits that there are 2 types of people who are unwilling to give – the Consciously Ungenerous and the Unconsciously Ungenerous. The difference is that the Consciously Ungenerous…

Should Giving Be Easier?

A mere 25 years ago there wasn’t widespread adoption of email or internet technologies. Texting from mobile devices didn’t become popular until the early 2000s and smart mobile phones weren’t ubiquitous until later that decade. Email, the internet, texting, mobile devices. . . We have experienced tremendous technological advances over the last 25 years.  And, as…

Advancement consulting for religious organizations

2 Types of Advancement Vision

Creating a vision statement for your advancement program is a helpful step in becoming more effective. If the advancement mission statement is focused on our purpose, or what we do, the vision statement is focused on what we are aiming to achieve, or why we are doing what we do. Our vision statement should be…

Just Go Play

My son plays high school basketball.  During the fall of 2020, his freshman year, his high school made the difficult decision to cancel most of their season due to the pandemic. Because he would be missing a full year of his high school career, my son went to his coach and asked what drills he…

“Be Gentle. Push Harder”

Not long ago I interviewed a major donor for a faith-based institution. I asked her about her perception of the advancement team’s effectiveness.  She was complimentary of the team and then said, “they need to be gentle, and push harder.” As we continued the interview, I asked more about what she meant. She shared that…

Feeling Questions

People feel the intent of the question, regardless of the word choice or content. “Can you help me understand the numbers?” can be an authentic, even humble question.  Or, it can be a passive-aggressive bomb. “Were you invited to the meeting?” can be a question that elevates one’s sense of value.  Or, it can be…

5 Fundamental Guidelines to Advancement Success

Advancement and fundraising success comes from the consistent and persistent implementation of fundamental strategies and approaches. But with so many technological “solutions” and various tactics one can be introduced to online or at a multitude of conferences, which strategies and approaches should we be consistently implementing? Here are 5 basic guidelines to help you discern…

3 Questions To Ask Before Visiting A Donor

What do I know about this donor? What do I want to learn about this donor? What is the preferred outcome from this visit? The first and second questions should be focused on what we know and want to learn about the donor based on their their professional life, their personal life, our institution’s priority…

Hope and Indifference

Two socially transmitted doctrines. In one, we invite an authentic, joyful, heartening belief to overtake us:  “Tomorrow will be better than today.” In the other, we give in to a cynical, misanthropic, resigning frame of mind and heart: “I’m not concerned about tomorrow.” There is no question that advancing our institutions is done best when…

From “How” To “Why?”

Yesterday, I used OpenAI’s artificial-intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT,  for the first time. I asked ChatGPT the following question:  “How can I raise more money as a university development officer?” Here, in full, is the response I received in less than 10 seconds: “As a university development officer, your primary responsibility is to raise funds for your university.…