The 5 Beliefs of the Best Annual Giving Leaders

Inviting gifts via direct mail is “not dead.”  In fact, it is a vital, effective channel to invite gifts from all prospective donors, including younger prospects. Like direct mail, using the phone to effectively invite gifts is “not dead.”  In fact, when we create a fun, engaging, high-energy event, we can gather groups of people…

Integration or Assimilation

The best advancement teams are an integration of role-specific professionals.  From advancement services, to development, to constituent relations, to communications, high-functioning teams recognize both the specific functional roles of each team member as well as the integration among all those roles and members. On the other hand, focusing all team members, regardless of role, on…

10 Truths About Motivating Generosity

Generous charitable support is consistently motivated by: being invited to give by someone the giver admires; believing in or having been personally impacted by the institution’s mission; trusting in the institution’s leaders to deliver on their vision for the future; having a personal connection with the institution today; believing that making this gift will be…

iLeadership

When he unveiled the original iMac computer in 1998, Steve Jobs told us that the “i” in Apple products stood for “internet.” However, as the spate of new “i” products from Apple emerged, one could also define the “i” as a stand-in for “individual” as well. The iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc., have provided individuals with more…

Amplification

In today’s social media soaked world, almost everyone is amplifying something. Whether we are liking or following or commenting or pausing to read, all of us are signaling and boosting particular themes, memes, and narratives. It wasn’t that long ago that only giant media companies had the reach and resources to amplify and promote to…

The Diagonal Problem

Organizational charts matter.  They aren’t the final answer to the question of “how effective are we?”  But they are an important component of that answer. When we don’t communicate based on the organizational chart, we risk problems. Take, for instance, a Dean of a college engaging the Foundation CEO regularly instead of her gift officer.…

Critics

In August of 2009, Usain Bolt became the fastest human to ever cover 100 meters under their own power.  He ran the distance in 9.58 seconds, easily besting his previous record of 9.69.  It was an astonishing feat of speed, power, and coordination. He was superhuman that night. Not long after, I remember reading an article…

The 3 C’s of Fruitful Visions

We can receive major gifts without a vision.  But, we can’t raise major gifts without a vision. All institutional visions, though, are not created equal.  Some simply don’t create the kind of generous donor response that others do.  Visions need help to become compelling from a development standpoint.  Fruitful visions are built on the 3 C’s: CEO Commitment – if…

Fundraising Naked

Long-distance runners are a peculiar group.  Typically, they love numbers, setting goals, and tracking progress.  In fact, in the long-distance running world, every run – even for recreational runners – is tracked by a phone, running watch, or other tracking device. The term “running naked,” emerged a number of years ago to simply mean, “run…

The Incremental Invitation

One of the most helpful but underutilized strategies available to gift officers is the incremental invitation. An example: After making a gift of $2,500 in 2022, a donor who has been giving consistently for the last few years, is assigned to a gift officer’s portfolio.  Not knowing much about this donor – save the giving…