GivingTake Blog Posts

All Nonprofits Are Exposed When Federal Funds are Reduced
Money works in mysterious ways. The cause and effect that often comes with spending money is not always linear. It is easy to overlook what happens when an organization does not receive its annual job training grant.  Or when a hospital’s Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement rate is reduced.  Or when the subsidy for housing vouchers […]
Getting Aligned with the Missionary Position
Are you a fundraising Mercenary or Missionary? These two fundamental leadership styles have direct application to the advancement work you do.  They are both effective and valuable, but it is important to know which you are, and how it aligns with the responsibilities of your position. Thanks to Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor’s latest book […]
Interviewing Fundraising Candidates – Getting it Right
We all know the challenge of finding the right candidate to fill our important fundraising vacancies, including the pitfalls of the interview process.  The April 9, 2017 NY Times article, “The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews,” supports beliefs I have had, for many years as a fundraising employer and recruiter, about this process. The research […]
Time to Play Your Federal Budget Trump Card
It’s time for the nonprofit sector’s stakeholders to exert our considerable influence on the national debate in response to the Trump administration’s chilling budget blueprint.  Nonprofit organizations account for 11.4 million jobs, 10.3 percent of all private sector employment, $370 billion in charitable giving and touch the lives of every American.  Collectively and individually, stakeholders […]
Fundraising Beyond Rock-Paper-Scissors
You may recall how disputes were resolved when we were kids using Rock-Paper-Scissors.  This is a zero-sum game to peacefully determine who will prevail when there is conflict and competition. What is great about this method is that each has its power over ONE of the others. Rock prevails over scissors. Scissors prevail over paper. […]
The Long-Term Trend That Is Going Unnoticed – UPDATED
My original post dated August 3, 2014 entitled “The Long-Term Trend That Is Going Unnoticed” argued a number of reasons why the overall national donor pool is shrinking. The pillars of the argument addressed the Giving USA analysis showing total giving rose 3.0 percent in 2013 over the 2012 estimate, adjusted for inflation.  There was no […]
Why 2017 will be Wicked Awesome
“Wicked awesome” is a uniquely Boston expression.  When the Red Sox won the World Series…wicked awesome.  When Whitey Bulger was captured…wicked awesome.  Before I get into why 2017 will be a wicked awesome year for many nonprofit stakeholder organizations, I want to review some studies that address how people feel and behave after they are […]
Beware of the Feeble Feasibility Study
Not all feasibility studies are created equal.  Over the years I have reviewed feasibility studies done by other consultants so I could prepare a proposal or assume the role of counsel for a prescribed campaign goal. Too often, the studies did not address the issues that are key to campaign success, or were unable to […]
Certainty in the Trumped-Up Era
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted November 14, 2016 6 Comments
You may have noticed during the presidential primaries and candidates’ debates that President-elect Trump rarely mentioned Congress.  He seemed to be operating under the premise that the presidency reigns supreme over all of government and that there would be few impediments to getting what he wanted. During the financial crises of 2008, 2009 and as […]
We are All in Human Services
Stakeholder organizations are often divided into different categories to help others navigate the nonprofit sector.  The categories typically include: Education, Basic Needs, Arts & Culture, Health, Religion, Youth/Family Services, Environment & Conservation, Animal Welfare, International Affairs, Policy and many others. To be sure, each of these categories addresses content with which advancement officers need to […]
Using “Marginal Utility” in Fundraising
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Major Gifts Posted October 8, 2016 1 Comment
It is not often that I use economic theory and principles when addressing fundraising matters…but perhaps I should more often.  The notion of “Marginal Utility” is the additional satisfaction a consumer gains from consuming one more unit of a good or service. Marginal utility is an important economic concept because economists use it to determine how much of an […]

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