Author Posts

Larry Raff
Board Overreach
Who is in charge? A recent dust up at Suffolk University in Boston over a conflict between the board and its new President of seven months, shined a bright light on what happens when boards are too controlling. After the departure of its president of more than 20 years, Suffolk has had five presidents in […]
ROI Redux…Return On Involvement
  Return on Investment is one of those gross measures many boards and CEOs focus on as an overall measure of effectiveness.  Generally speaking it is a useful tool except if you are in a growth mode.  While the ROI might suffer, your top line revenue should grow significantly rendering your added expenses justifiable. My […]
Philanthropy: The means for sustaining population health programs
  If a population health initiative gets initial funding from a foundation, health insurer, or a hospital, and shows strong results…will it get more funding to maintain its good work? Likely not. Public health leaders are often frustrated by having to shutter outstanding community health programs when the start-up funding from foundations, insurers, hospitals, and […]
Turning Gratitude Into Gifts
   Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel    Those acts can be volunteering for a nonprofit organization, helping a friend or a stranger, or making a financial contribution. Giving is an act born from emotion.  You […]
TOP 5 GivingTake Posts Over the Past 5 Years…A Taste of What’s Been on Our Mind
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 The advancement profession is […]
Fundraising Forecasts for 2016…a head scratcher
  This is the time of year when I take stock to reflect and project about new advancement trends and developments, and what seems to be gaining steam to make a splash in the coming year.  2015 was a quiet year for innovation and 2016 looks no different. The past five years or so brought […]
Fundraisers Want Tools Too
  Call me nuts (upon fear of bodily harm), but as I conduct more and more trainings and consult with more and more advancement shops, the clamor for effective and simple tools is becoming overwhelmingly apparent.  There are plenty of ever emerging social media channels to distract us, but few useful tools to help get […]
It is Time to Revisit Charitable Gift Annuities
  I was skeptical at first.  A colleague introduced me to a strategy that removes all risk to the nonprofit organization (NPO) when writing a charitable gift annuity (CGA), and reduces significantly the risk of default to the donor.  This is especially true for smaller NPOs and younger donors.  Larger NPOs can tolerate more risk […]
New Gift Counting Standard… Self Serving?
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted October 5, 2015 0 Comments
  My jaw dropped when I read the latest edition of Healthcare Philanthropy, the publication of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy(AHP). Under the heading of “The Climate of Integration” AHP says its recent gift-reporting standards recommend that charitable institutions show total productivity of fundraising efforts by recognizing revocable bequest commitments and life-income gifts at the […]
Doing the Right Thing…Even if It is Hard
  Every now and then I construct a case study about a situation that applies more broadly to our work in the non-profit sector and has many potential paths to the outcome.  While this particular case is personal, it has application to the advancement field; for example, the dilemma of legacy naming opportunities that may […]
What Makes Someone Care?
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted August 11, 2015 0 Comments
  This is a question explored in a recent NY Times article (“Empathy is Actually a Choice”, July 10, 2015) that examines a body of research that can inform advancement professionals in important ways. The research explores empathy and how it is applied and how it is influenced. For instance, research indicates that people are […]
People Just Want to be Heard
  This is a powerful notion that often is not considered or is discounted. By inviting input and advice, you will actually attract involvement from your stakeholders.  Here are some examples where advancement efforts can be furthered by seeking information from donors and stakeholders. We all have lemons to lemonade stories where a donor calls […]

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