GivingTake Blog Posts

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.
Donor Portfolio Definition – Little Consistency But Important to Get Right
It has become clear to me after working with many dozens of organizations and training on building major donor portfolios, that the word “portfolio” means many different things to advancement professionals.  I will try and capture the range of definitions being applied in the field.
Are You Asking the BIG Question of Your Leadership?
There is a BIG question you can ask your CEO and your board that can define the readiness and help position your organization to raise real money.  The answer will help you to define your next strategic advancement moves and/or your next career move. The BIG question to leadership is “what would you do with […]
Do Nonprofit Employees Have an Edge on Job Satisfaction?
We all want to be satisfied in our job and to look forward to the work ahead when our feet hit the floor in the morning.  The people I meet who once worked in the private (shareholder) sector and migrated to the nonprofit (stakeholder) sector often say they did so because of a lack of job satisfaction in their prior position.  “It was always only about making money.”
Fundraising Friction – Ways to Reduce the Heat
Fundraising friction are all those ways that advancement offices, websites, development officers and campaign design make it harder for donors to make a contribution. Friction points are often overlooked and not seen for what they are.
A New Paradigm is Upon Us – The Donor Pyramid is Narrowing – Happy New Year!
It is time for our industry to respond to a changing donor-fundraising paradigm that is rapidly accelerating and can catch many stakeholder nonprofits off guard.  While the “donor pyramid” has served us well for decades, where the broad base of the pyramid represents many small dollar donors and the top represents transformational donors, new economic dynamics in the US population necessitate a new look at the pyramid and advancement strategies.
Understanding the Happiness U-Curve Helps Guide Staff and Donor Engagement
There is a growing body of research that indicates that no matter our economic circumstances or country we live in, that our feeling of happiness (self-satisfaction) is affected by age, and is predictable.
Wisdom From My Grandfather – and a Warning
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted October 31, 2018 7 Comments
The recent massacre of eleven Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh, the vile hatemongering of the Trump administration and complicit silence by Republican party leaders… has my guard up.
Leading from Behind – A Fine Balance for Success
Leading from behind: a leader, he said, is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”
Alexa – A Little Known Tool for Advancement
I want to share a tool with you that very few people I speak with have heard of.  Alexa.com is owned by Amazon and ranks website traffic domestically and internationally.
These Days Everyone Needs a “Puppy”, Especially Your Donors
It has been 18 years since my wife Deborah and I last had a puppy.  But we recently decided we wanted another dog… and we needed it as well.  I am sure I am not alone having visceral reactions to the headlines of the day.  The words “unprecedented”, “unbelievable” and “are you kidding”, just don’t have the same force and significance as they once had not that long ago.  It is taking its toll.

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