Author Posts

Larry Raff
Mosh Pit of Worthy Causes
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Core Service, Insights Posted September 23, 2021 0 Comments
We are experiencing a “mosh pit” of nonprofits trying to get our attention, to stand out from the pit in the hope to attract more contributions. When I am bombarded with advertising, cause promotions, direct mail appeals, email appeals and other creative efforts by a vast array of causes, I conjure an image of thousands of people in a crowd carrying the celebrity of the moment over their heads until they disappear back into the crowd – to be followed by another.  The moment is fleeting.
Is Philanthropy An Answer to Inequality?
I write this on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.  His murder - one of the first of a black man by police to be viewed in high-definition video - along with the Covid pandemic, has catalyzed a reexamination of how communities of color and other minority groups have been marginalized in our nation.  The resulting demand for social and economic equality and justice is righteous and must succeed.
Greater Economic Equity will be Our Bread and Butter
Let’s face it, as fundraisers, our success lies with the largesse and generosity of people in the top 2% of wealth – those with annual incomes greater than $400,000. In the alchemy of our economy, all equations balance in the end … so if wealth is concentrated in one place, there is an absence of wealth in others.
Revolutionary and Evolutionary Advancement Work in 2021
Copley Raff recently held a Zoom Reunion of planMGO alumni from across the country, to catch up and to discuss some compelling fundraising issues.  planMGO is a Master Gift OfficerTM curriculum and 4-day training that was conducted by Copley Raff from 2009 – 2016. The following are valuable insights from our discussion along with conversations […]
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Are You Feeling the Whiplash?
I want to address how important diversity, equity and inclusion are to the advancement field. As nonprofit leaders, we are well aware of the need to avoid a “stale, male and pale” board of directors. Though I fit the last two descriptors, I have a forty-year history of working with and living among diverse communities.
Social Justice and Fundraising
We are now seeing different changes … those driven by evolving social norms, and specifically, the movement to ensure racial justice and equity. This deeply personal issue also requires your organization’s attention. To address racial justice and equity, we must learn more, be introspective, honestly look at our personal biases, be respectful to everyone … and our organizations must craft policies that promote racial justice.
It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn
To succeed during these especially trying times, I suggest you do all you can to create the feeling and reality of forward progress and an institutional sense of positive momentum. It starts with planning both for the dark time and the slow-motion dawning.
Why NOT to Ask for a Gift — NOT
I have consulted with well over 200 organizations in my career. This experience has put me in a position to share some of the “greatest hits” of why organizations do not ask a donor or prospective donor to make a gift.  Allow me to share both their arguments against and my arguments for asking a […]
What Might 2022 Look Like for Fundraising?
This, our second economic crisis in the past 12-years, promises to be 10-fold worse with a longer and more disruptive recovery. The lessons we as advancement professionals learned from the great recession offer little insight to our current crisis. Life and the economy as we knew it will be profoundly different, even after the widespread use of a Covid-19 vaccine. While this is an enormously complex topic, I want to touch upon some likely societal changes and their implications for our work. Warning … the picture is not pretty.
Harm Averted is Benefit Unseen
There is a saying in public health circles - “harm averted is benefit unseen.” This notion could not be more relevant today, as we cope with the coronavirus pandemic. You and your organization may be in a similar circumstance. 
COVID-19: When is it Time to Start Campaign Planning or to Launch a Campaign?
The decision to undertake planning for a major gift campaign is hard enough during normal times- otherwise known as "the good old days". When making a decision to start campaign planning or a campaign, you will need a disciplined process to identify and weigh many key variables.
Coaching is More Valuable Than Ever as We Change the Advancement Paradigm
Every serious athlete has a coach. Every successful executive has or has had a coach. Every successful fundraiser has or has had a coach.  Why?

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