Be The Wave

Ocean waves are constant. If you’re like me, that constancy is big part of the allure of a beach vacation.  The dependability of both the visual and aural “white noise” of waves at the beach cause an immediate sense of peace and calm for me. But ocean (or Gulf) waves are more essential than providing…

Trust-Based Philanthropy And Who Knows Best

“Trust-based philanthropy,” is all over the business news pages these days. Essentially, in a trust-based model of giving, donors embrace three perspectives regarding their support: Unrestricted giving, when done through helpful nonprofit partners, offers the best type of philanthropic support to make a difference; Helpful nonprofit partners are those who are willing to be transparent and relational…

5 Simple Steps to Raise More Money

The 5 critically-important, unvarnished, and uncomplicated steps to raising considerably more money: Start by creating an institution-wide strategic plan that invites input and perspectives from a variety of constituents.  The finished plan should specifically identify key priorities your institution will pursue over the next 3-5 years and should paint an inspirational narrative of how you…

The Future of Stewardship

In today’s advancement world, the function of “stewardship” is constrained (typically and artificially) to those activities and responses the institution makes once a gift has been made.  For instance, we steward a donor through our public recognition programs and how we extend thanks based on their giving level, etc. But this constrained view of stewardship…

Becoming Expert vs. Becoming An Expert

Becoming expert (adjective) is different than becoming an expert (noun). The former implies a willingness to embrace a developmental journey focused on enhancing one’s experience, knowledge, skill, adroitness.  The latter evokes a desire to seek a position or standing among others. Becoming an expert is an end result in which one is viewed as a…

Translations

The primary role of your case statement is to translate the funding priorities of your institution into messages prospective donors will embrace with enthusiasm. This translation occurs in two fundamental ways: First, your case needs to do the practical work of translating all of your “institutional speak” into everyday language that regular folk understand.  Acronyms, jargon, and…

Taking Notice

It’s easy to take notice of the mass happenings. The red news banner on the bottom scroll of your television visibly blaring the phrase, “Breaking News.” The homerun in the 9th inning of a tied world series game that has everyone in the stadium on the edge of their seats. The Netflix show that everyone…