Tribes or Ecosystems

Brand tribes have been a buzz concept in marketing circles for a few years now. From a marketing perspective, tribes – or customer communities made up of like-minded people who gather together based on shared interests and brands and the values those brands project – represent an opportunity to efficiently engage and motivate a large group…

The Big Gift vs. The Best Gifts

We can be convinced that the solution to our problems must be in receiving the “big gift” from our wealthiest donor prospect. Maybe for your institution that’s $25 million. Maybe it’s $10 million. Maybe its $1 million. For a time about 20 years ago, the idea of the “mega gift” and the people with the…

The Agenda and The Work

“We can’t get our Board/Advisory Council/Volunteer Group to focus on consistently helping us with fundraising and giving.” I hear this complaint regularly from advancement leaders. And, then, I review the previous meeting agendas for the group and find: Too much reporting from institutional leaders, instead of time for question-asking and discussion; Too much quantitative data…

More and Less

Everyone expects “more.” Each year, our annual fund goal increases.  Our new campaign will be the biggest ever.  The goal for the number of donors next year will be more than this year’s goal. Getting to “more,” though, often means focusing on less. If our annual fund goal is increasing, who are the small subset of current…

3 Ways We Make Decisions

Why are we reducing our direct mail solicitations from 4 per year to 3? Why are we no long conducting a phonathon to interactively engage donors and invite their gifts? Why are we continuing to plan for the next gala? Why are we no longer printing our magazine and only creating a digital version? Why…

Asking The Right Questions

This past week Jason’s Blog broke. The specifics don’t matter much (mostly because, while I’m comfortable with technology,  I’m definitely not a techie and I still don’t fully understand what happened).  Just that the site went down, it was not a simple issue, and I didn’t know how to fix it.  So, it was time to do everyone’s favorite…

Administrative and Marketing Assistant

We are seeking an Administrative And Marketing Assistant to join our team! In this important role, you will perform clerical and administrative duties that drive company success. Send us your cover letter and resume now! Responsibilities: Provide direct administrative support for two-to-three assigned consultants. Compile data and draft reports for studies, audits, and other relevant…

Strolling vs. Scrolling

Humans are built to walk. Our walking ability not only provides us with the mobility to enjoy and govern our physical world in ways most other species can not, it also is a great form of exercise. Simply walking consistently produces a host of wonderful benefits including reducing body fat, enhancing memory, strengthening bones, lowering blood…

What Should We Do Now?

The economy is in recession. We’ve experienced a natural disaster. Our institution just endured a difficult leadership transition. The latest downturn in the stock markets has hit our community especially hard. What should we do now? Whenever real or perceived crises hit, it is not uncommon for advancement professionals to urgently ask this question. Too…

Telling The Donor Story

Gift officers are notorious for attending Prospect Management meetings and recounting the biographies and histories of the donors to which they are assigned. Over and over again, they tell the stories of what has happened in the past with that donor that sets up the potential for the next gift. What if, instead of focusing…