GivingTake Blog Posts

Are You Ready to Accept a Transformational Gift?
Hard as this may be to imagine, it is not so easy to say yes to accepting a transformational gift, or to respond to a windfall like the Ice Bucket Challenge. Surprising Potential Obstacles You can begin to identify obstacles by asking your CEO, “How would you use a gift of $10 million, $50 million […]
Harvey, Irma and Our Nation’s Soul
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted September 9, 2017 1 Comment
During Boston’s snow apocalypse in 2015, I had light hearted discussions with my clients in Miami posing which they were more willing to deal with – winters with the potential of 10 feet of snow or the threat of devastating hurricanes.   To a person, they all chose the latter. Irma has definitely called the question […]
Hate Won’t Wait. Speak Out!
When is it appropriate for nonprofit leaders to comment on a burning issue? I was discussing a close friend’s disappointment with the statement his synagogue released following the tragic Charlottesville demonstrations, murder, and equivocal statements from our President.  The synagogue denounced the Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and Alt-Right but did not invoke the President’s culpability in […]
The Cute and Adorable Strategy to Motivate Donors, Leaders and Staff to Action
We all know that it is helpful when you can incorporate kids, furry animals and the like into appeals.  After all, giving has a strong emotional component that often accompanies the decision to contribute. The benefits of using this tactic, however, go well beyond appeals. Recent Research Recent research from several sources demonstrates that using […]
When Leadership is Fraught with Cognitive Dissonance
There is no denying that a major source of frustration for advancement officers is when board and executive leaders proclaim their devotion to the mission, promise to help, and don’t behave accordingly. This cognitive dissonance is the consequence of a person performing an action (or not performing an action) that contradicts personal beliefs, ideals, and […]
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 […]

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