Author Posts

Larry Raff
Focus On … Annual Giving
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted January 9, 2012 0 Comments
  “In order to change something, don’t struggle to change the model, create a new model, and make the old one obsolete.” –  Buckminister Fuller A commonality amongst high performing NPOs is a strong and well oiled annual giving program.  Generally recognized as the foundation of advancement success, these essential efforts typically have two main objectives:  […]
Magical Thinking… Be On Guard
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted December 27, 2011 0 Comments
Give me a show of hands…how many of you have been in a meeting when a board member, boss, or colleague proposed a fundraising idea so outrageous or nonactionable that it appears to come from a galaxy far, far away?  As consultants, we frequently find ourselves protecting our clients from falling into the trap of […]
Occupy Advancement
By Larry Raff In Emerging Ideas, Insights Posted December 12, 2011 0 Comments
  These are wild and wooly times we are living in right now. The polarization of wealth over the past 40 years has become apparent to the masses, who are expressing extreme discontent clear across the country from New England to Hawaii. Political pressure is mounting to address this growing inequality. This economic and financial situation […]
Focus…Your Greatest Tool For Success
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted November 28, 2011 0 Comments
Collecting your thoughts and focusing on the job at hand are essential when preparing to compose a blog post or any thoughtful or meaningful message.  Without focus – the ability to draw a circle around a “to-do” and concentrate like a laser beam on it – the task is not accomplished, or the results are […]
What Comes Around Goes Around
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted November 14, 2011 0 Comments
Funding for your organization can – and should – come from many sources.  As advancement officers, it is incumbent upon us to be aware of traditional as well as newer forms of financial support.  One relatively low profile, yet extremely impactful source of funds can come from local, regional, or national “giving circles.”  For those […]
Leadership… Be Careful
By Larry Raff In Leadership & Management Posted November 2, 2011 0 Comments
Leadership is the essential ingredient to successful fundraising and advancement, and must come from both staff and volunteers.  Much has been documented and validated about the qualities and character traits of great leaders as well as the fabric of leadership.  Far less has been written about the art and science concerning the process of choosing […]
Warming Up to a Cold Call
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted October 17, 2011 0 Comments
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 […]
Destined For Mastery
By Larry Raff In Uncategorized Posted October 3, 2011 0 Comments
Master Gift Officer.  Just the words alone conjure up confidence, optimism, energy, and success.  And the phrase embodies what we all strive for:  demonstrating the highest level of ability, talent, and dedication within the development profession. Today, the job title isn’t on the tip of the tongue of most nonprofit fundraising professionals or organizations, and […]
The “Who’s Asking?” Paradox
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted September 19, 2011 1 Comment
Philanthropy – especially very successful philanthropy – always requires just the right “personal touch.” But what happens when relationships appear to close doors instead of opening them?  Here’s what I mean.  We’ve heard it from volunteers, and even from other advancement professionals:  ”I’m too friendly with her to ask her for a contribution.”  It seems […]
Economic Uncertainty or Deflection
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted September 6, 2011 0 Comments
The United States, arguably, is in its fourth year of the “great recession.” Fallout from the country’s debilitating economic environment has created grueling financial, professional, and personal hardships for millions of people. A complicating factor bottlenecking recovery includes the shroud of “uncertainty” that continues to be cited as an obstacle to renewed hiring by the […]
Desperation or a Good Idea?
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted August 22, 2011 0 Comments
Just what catalyzes your prospects and donors to give?  What channels grab their attention, heartstrings, and in turn, their checkbooks? Every few years, a hot new fundraising concept seems to emerge – one that “promises” to breathe new life into your advancement efforts. The past two decades have provided us with fundraising “salvations” including… These […]
Either… Or
There are few greater challenges in the profession than serving as the chief advancement officer (CAO) of a small to midsized shop.  Your boss and board have high expectation for your department and yet have little appreciation or understanding of the true dimensions, complexities, and public exposure risks (think gala) of running a high performance […]

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