Some People

Your case statement isn’t designed to delight every prospect. Your proposal isn’t crafted to appeal to every donor. Your website can’t be created to attract every visitor. Your direct mail solicitation isn’t written to enthrall every reader. You shouldn’t be seeking to connect with everyone.  That’s a fool’s errand. Far too wide and too broad a…

5 Fundamental Leadership Responsibilities

If you provide leadership to an individual or team, you have 5 responsibilities: Goals – With their input, agree to the 4-6 most meaningful goals to their role or function that should be achieved over the next year.  These goals should be specific, quantifiable or timebound; Plan – Help them (as needed) prepare and present their annual…

“That is how we’ve always done it”

No phrase in professional life is met with more frustration.  It is almost always wholly unsatisfactory as a response, hints at passive aggression, and underlies a stubborn unwillingness to change. However, “that is how we’ve always done it,” is also a helpful reminder for leaders. When that phrase is used, we tend to focus on…

Giving And The Loneliness Epidemic

In stark and startling-fast fashion, Americans are choosing to be alone more than ever before. According to various reports, by 2021, adults in the U.S. were spending 58% less time with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, than they were in 2014.  Meanwhile, the amount of time spent completely alone has increased at a similar pace…

How Do You Know. . .

your social media efforts are working? your gift officers are effective? your annual giving program is growing sustainably? your stewardship program is engaging? your database is healthier? your constituent relations program is expanding? By the way, “I will know because we are raising more money!” is a horrible response to all of these questions. Gift…

Magic, Manner, and Consistency

The idea of magic is easy to fall in love with.  There must be a secret code, a key, a phrase (“Abracadabra”), a spell, a process. . . And, if I can just learn the secret and apply it, work will become more frictionless, answers to vexing questions will be more clear, and all will…

On MacKenzie Scott and the Impact of Giving

MacKenzie Scott has given away approximately $14 billion over the last 3 years. During her most recent giving cycle, Scott gave almost $2 billion to 343 organizations, and made the following statement: “I needn’t ask those I care about what to say to them, or what to do for them. I can share what I have with…

A Smaller Group Of Donors

At its core, the difference between annual giving and major giving is the size of the potential donor pool.  While all constituents are invited to make annual or sustaining gifts, we only engage with a smaller subset of donors who have the prosperity, propensity, passion to make major gifts. This one difference drives all other…