Author Posts

Larry Raff
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?
Hard Times are a Two-Sided Coin
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post Posted April 13, 2020 0 Comments
I started my career in food banking in Portland OR in the early 1980’s. Fresh out of graduate school with a masters-degree in public health and clinical nutrition,  I moved to Portland. Then two-weeks later I narrowly survived a house fire that consumed everything I owned.  Ronald Reagan was just elected president and the public […]
Fundraising in the Time of COVID-19
With a recent spat of college closures, mergers and acquisitions, a college advisory services firm called Edmit was about to publish its report that identified 200 US colleges that could run out of money in the next decade. A threat of a law suite by Utica College stopped the release of the report.
2020 Vision – Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
Happy New Year!  There is reason to be encouraged about 2020, with regard to advancement at least, and reason to do some adapting to the challenges the new year will bring.
Are Small Colleges a Safe Philanthropic Bet?
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted December 9, 2019 0 Comments
With a recent spat of college closures, mergers and acquisitions, a college advisory services firm called Edmit was about to publish its report that identified 200 US colleges that could run out of money in the next decade. A threat of a law suite by Utica College stopped the release of the report.
Are You Giving In to #GivingTuesday – Redux
I am reissuing this post, in part, because the donor universe is declining and under pressure with the new tax environment - making this post even more relevant. #GivingTuesday now has seven years under its belt. It seems prudent to review its growth and significance, and to see whether it elevates overall giving or just redistributes anticipated giving.
Workplace Culture: We Can Do Better
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion addressing gender bias, sexual harassment, and bullying in the workplace. This session on “changing culture” was hosted and moderated by Jane Doe Inc. and featured Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung.
Will Legacy Naming Recognition Become Too Fraught for Organizations?
The mess MIT and Harvard found themselves in by accepting gifts from Jeffery Epstein is a bellwether for things to come.  These institutions had the audacity to accept a lot of money from Epstein, with the intent to remain anonymous, and despite this slight-of-hand, the rolling heads hitting the fan could be heard around the world.
A Letter to Nonprofit CEOs About Fundraising
Dear Nonprofit CEO, I know your plate is full. You manage your board and your staff, have programs to monitor and design, staff vacancies to fill, and there are always fires to put out - and this is the shortlist. It is probably a true statement that your work history that prepared you to lead your organization did not include fundraising responsibilities.
Hate-Speech “Sells” in Today’s Politics – Will it Work in Nonprofit Fundraising?
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted August 7, 2019 0 Comments
This is a difficult topic to address, but one that has fascinated me for a while.  We are witnessing the phenomenon, last seen in the late 1960s during the George Wallace presidential campaign, of robust political fundraising on a messages of hate, divisiveness and demonizing of an entire classes of people. Hundreds of millions of […]
When You Get to a Fork in the Road – Take It
One of Yogi Berra’s famous utterances – When you get to a fork in the road… take it – has always resonated with me because it characterizes the forced choices we have to regularly make in our advancement work. Whether we like it or not, or whether we know it or not, we are constantly faced with forks in the road that give us options that may make or break our fundraising program, or at least slow its progress.
Are You and Your Organization Prepared for the Next Economic Downturn?
I don’t want to throw cold water on your fine day, but it is reasonable to start thinking about the inevitable economic downturn that may be just over the horizon.  Markets are cyclical and that means there are regular recessions every seven-ten years. Recent history includes downturns around the 1986 tax reform, the dotcom bust of the late 1990s, 9/11’s aftermath, and the burst of the housing bubble in 2008-2009.

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