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TOP 5 GivingTake Posts Over the Past 5 Years…A Taste of What’s Been on Our Mind

holiday card cover 2015

What better way to find out what is on the minds of our advancement colleagues than to see what they are reading about on blogs.

The Copley Raff GivingTake Blog has been publishing for five years now, and here are the top five most read posts:


#5 The Case for Gray Hair

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The advancement profession is a rare sector where there is advantage to being “older” – a member of the gray haired workforce. This designation most applies to those 55+ men (who still have hair of course) where our female colleagues often find more stylish alternatives. The logic goes that most of our best donors are, themselves 55+ and find it easier to have rapport with advancement officers who are like themselves. READ MORE January 20, 2014


#4 Warming Up to a Cold Call


Cold calls.
Even the moniker of these usually dreaded method of outreach is, well, cold. But the best gifts, and relationships, always emerge from conversations, and they’ve got to start somewhere. I was recently asked address a meeting of chief advancement officers representing specialty post-graduate colleges. When asked what they would most like to learn about, the group came to a quick and universal consensus: how to make cold calling easier. READ MORE
October 17, 2011



#3 The Long-Term Trend That Is Going Unnoticed


Nowhere to be found is the national trend in the number of donors making gifts. According to Giving USA donations in 2013 increased 4.4 percent (in current dollars) from the revised estimate of $320.97 billion for 2012. Adjusted for inflation, total giving rose 3.0 percent over the 2012 estimate. We don’t know if this rise in giving was from more donors or fewer donors. READ MORE August 3, 2014

#2 The Myth of Advancement Benchmarks



There seems to be this belief that by “benchmarking” an organization to other “peer” organizations that something useful can be learned. Or that insights will emerge that will help your organization…or make it feel bolstered or diminished in some way.

Consultants are often asked to do benchmarking as part of an assessment engagement, but unfortunately, the reporting on federal 990s is so inconsistent, and sometimes downright fraudulent, that very little can be learned from the numbers. Let’s look at some key metrics: READ MORESeptember 1, 2013

#1 Don’t Shoot The Messenger


Did you know that the word “news” actually comes from the terms north, east, west, and south? … meaning that information – positive and negative – truly does come from all over. And, in a way, advancement officers, CFOs, and consultants in the development world are newscasters, constantly delivering updates on the state of affairs in their organizations. A much under-appreciated skill in this vein is that of delivering unwanted news, which seems to surface more often than everyone would like. After all, have you ever witnessed a CFO deliver disappointing or even alarming financial news to a board and directors and then seen leadership leave the meeting with a spring in their step? READ MOREApril 2, 2012



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