Are We Getting Better?

We are busier than ever before. We are working harder than ever before. We feel more harried than ever before. We have more tasks on our to-do list than ever before. We feel more pressure than ever before. But, are we getting better? Better at communicating.  Better technically.  Better at engaging donors. Better at inviting…

Advancement Consulting for Colleges & Univeristies

Raising More Money

What if that isn’t the goal? What if the goal is to invite more people to care? Or to educate more people on why your institution’s mission matters? Or to generate more understanding about the lived experiences of others? Or to encourage more people to experience the joy of giving? Or to connect more people…

Believing What We Say

“We don’t believe what we hear.  We believe what we say.” Social scientists have proved this old saying over and over again in a multitude of studies.  For instance, and as Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long report in their book, “The Molecule of More,” if we talk with someone about the importance of honesty and…

Letting The Outside In

I visit with many college and university presidents, nonprofit executives, and other leaders. When I ask, “so, how are things right now?” I often get one of two types of answers: A reflective, introspective response focused on what is happening within the institution. How things are progressing with the leadership team, for instance.  Or, how…

I Need Better Data

“I need better data,” is the response we often hear (and sometimes give ourselves) when we are uncomfortable with a next step. Consider: “I need more data before I know how much to invite him to give. . .” “I need better data before we can run an accurate list of donors who gave at…

Tyson Pinion joins Gonser Gerber as Senior Consultant

Gonser Gerber LLP, advancement and leadership consultants, announces the appointment of Dr. Tyson Pinion as a Senior Consultant. As a member of the Gonser Gerber team of consultants, Pinion will provide counsel to educational, healthcare, and other nonprofit organizations in the areas of building effective advancement programs and comprehensive campaigns, board development, enrollment management, integrated…

When Givers Don’t Give

You delivered a well-crafted major gift proposal to current generous givers.  This particular donor couple has been close to your institution for years and made one of the larger gifts to your last major campaign. Based on your recent visits and discussions with them, you know the gift amount proposed was in the ballpark (it…

Goals and Strategies

What are you trying to accomplish? Increase your donor base OR Increase your dollars raised? Enhance the number of people you serve from your community OR Enhance the sense of community among the people you serve? Raise more annual fund money OR Raise more money through annual giving? Get more people to respond to your appeal OR Get more people to experience the…

3 Campaign Decisions Only Leaders Can Make

Multi-year, comprehensive campaigns have lots of moving parts and many engaged parties.  There are many ways that campaigns can be successful (and, also, many ways they can fail).  But, as with most things on which human cooperation depends, successful campaigns require effective leadership. Specifically, there are 3 campaign decisions only leaders can (and should) make. …

Where Do You Work?

Some people work in the future.  The next donor visit.  The next gift.  The next goal.  The benefits of this approach are that the future is almost always perceived to be better and some sort of progress almost always occurs.  The downsides with this approach are that others may not feel important to us and…