GivingTake Blog Posts

Generosity Volatility
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted January 12, 2015 0 Comments
What’s going on out there?  The rich are getting richer and giving less and the middle class is struggling and giving more!  According to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study of  IRS data the percent of income of the wealthy ($100,000+ income) that is being given to nonprofits declined 3.3% from 2006-2012 and declined 4.5% for […]
Some Fun – Raising Trivia for All Fundraisers
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted December 14, 2014 0 Comments
  There is so much information at our fingertips; I find it hard to set up the best filters to keep from being overwhelmed.  I have to admit, one of my favorite sources of quick, yet often profound information is the Harper’s Index.  If you are not familiar with it, I recommend checking it out… […]
Year-End Giving…a Mystery and Paradox
  It is a given in the advancement world that year-end is our busiest time of year.  You make or break your annual giving budget by what is given the last six weeks of the year. I have always found this phenomenon to be a bit of a mystery and paradox.  Let’s examine why there […]
The Costs and Benefits of Hospital Mergers
I just returned from attending the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy International Conference held in Palm Desert, CA.  As per usual, I learned more from my interaction with colleagues outside of the session rooms than I did from the content of most of the sessions. Over the course of three days, discussions with colleagues confirmed my […]
The Koch Dilemma
How important is your organization’s mission…really?  Does it drive the decisions you make?  Does it drive decisions about whether or not to accept donations from donors who work against your mission? It is a true test of mission resolve to say “no thank you” to a donor offering a large gift, when that donor’s livelihood […]
Beware of Charity Watchdog Groups and the Paradox of Shortsightedness
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted August 18, 2014 0 Comments
I never paid much attention to charity watchdog groups like Charity Navigator until reading a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy entitled “Charity Watchdogs Scoff at Direct Marketers’ Self-Reporting Effort” (August 4, 2014).  While I could go on for pages about the flaws and weaknesses of these rating groups, as many have, I will […]
The Long-Term Trend That Is Going Unnoticed
  The Giving USA annual report on philanthropy is a valuable service to our profession, but the data collected and reported is missing a critically important data point, one that should be central to our profession’s global strategies.   Nowhere to be found is the national trend in the number of donors making gifts.  According to Giving […]
Are You A Gift Whisperer?
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted June 29, 2014 0 Comments
How do you go about encouraging your donors to consider supporting your cause in a bigger way? Can you comfortably and intentionally establish and deepen rapport rapidly and consistently with just about anyone? Do your donors instantly smile and show signs of feeling good about themselves when they’re in your presence?  Can you recognize those […]
Wealth and Its Longevity
    The article in the April 20, 2014 NYTimes by Mark R. Rank raises a curious issue for advancement officers about wealth and its longevity.  Are those people in the “1%” of income a static group or do the members of the affluent change repeatedly? Rank and fellow researching Thomas H. Hirschl conducted a […]
An Ethical Dilemma – What Would You Do?
Do you have a nose for finding malfeasance?  Or sometimes does it hit you right in the nose and you are faced with some hard choices.  Life experiences do make you sensitive to the signs of something being amiss. 20 years ago, after moving from Portland OR to Boston to take over the statewide chapter […]
Campaign or Initiative…What’s in a Name
  Campaign vs. Initiative…is this a distinction without a difference?  This question seems to be coming up more and more with organizations we interact with. The issue seems to be driven, in part, by the visceral reaction volunteers have to the notion of a campaign.  Seasoned volunteers have lived through campaigns in the past and […]
Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted February 3, 2014 0 Comments
  Your answer to this provocative question may very well depend on whether you are a member of the Baby Boomer generation, the X generation or if you are a Millennial.  Of course, each group has its individuals who go either way or somewhere along the continuum.  But understanding whether you tend toward “working to […]

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