Read the Thin Ones

January is the month of new beginnings and new resolutions. As you implement your New Year’s resolutions, let me pass on some quirky advice I received years ago. Before I discovered this awesome field of Advancement, I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. I was a member of their Management Development Program,…

Imagine

Imagine dreams being fulfilled based on potential, not pocketbooks. Imagine the hungry being fed, the homeless given shelter, and the downtrodden offered hope because of generosity. Imagine teachers fulfilling their professional potential because they have the right resources. Imagine new facilities being built to advance educational instruction, care for the sick, and help the destitute…

Are You Ready?

The great hope for a return to the “old normal” arrived this month in the form of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Frontline medical workers, assisted-living residents, and individuals age 75+ appear to be the first recipients. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the now well-known infectious disease expert, has predicted that enough doses of vaccine will be available for…

The Truth About Milking Cows

I don’t know much about milking cows, but I do know this: You can’t milk a cow by sending it a letter. If this seems preposterously elementary and painfully obvious, you’re right! But to how many prospective donors have you invited philanthropic support by letter (or email) only? The annual fund is reliant upon direct…

Now More Than Ever

The contentious political season is (almost?) officially behind us. And with it, the uncertainty of who might prevail as our President for the next four years has, at the very least, gained clarity. Now, more than ever, our divided nation needs to be brought together to accomplish common and important ideals. Now, more than ever,…

Next-Level Stewardship: Illustrating Impact

You and your Advancement colleagues are likely good at thanking donors. Experience suggests you send thank you letters within 24-48 hours of receiving gifts, make targeted personal phone calls to offer thanks, send handwritten notes, recognize donors in annual reports, and maybe even gather annually to thank donors in person. But experience also shows you…

Going Beyond Gratitude

What comes to mind when you think of the word stewardship? Thanking? Recognizing? Expressing gratitude? Making wise use of resources? Perhaps you think of all of these things or something entirely different. First-Level Stewardship: Expressing Gratitude The first level of stewardship involves making sure our donors receive a timely thank you and ensuring they know we…

The Gift of Gratitude

What is the one thing you can give today that takes less than five minutes, builds constituent loyalty, increases donor retention, and improves the physical and psychological health in you and others? Gratitude. Is this on your to-do list today? It should be. Because here’s the thing about gratitude: When we give it, it grows relationships (this…