GivingTake Blog Posts

The Case for Gray Hair
  The advancement profession is a rare sector where there is advantage to being “older” – a member of the gray haired workforce.  This designation most applies to those 55+ men (who still have hair of course) where our female colleagues often find more stylish alternatives.  The logic goes that most of our best donors […]
Top 5 GivingTake Blog Posts
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.  Rather than conduct a survey, let’s look at what topics are being read most by thousands of advancement professionals. The Copley Raff GivingTake Blog has been publishing for three years […]
The Power of Levity
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted November 24, 2013 0 Comments
Have you noticed that many successful and memorable speakers begin their presentation with a joke or a funny story?   There is nothing that can substitute for a good laugh, a quiet chuckle or a warm smile when it comes to building rapport with someone or with a crowd.  I have to admit that my primary […]
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted November 10, 2013 0 Comments
After (many) years on this planet I have come to believe people are inherently generous.  People want to help, and today’s society presents thousands of ways to step up.  That’s the good news and the bad news. This human trait is put on display most elegantly when disaster strikes.  The Japan tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and […]
Counting Cash Has Its Virtues
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted September 29, 2013 0 Comments
  My August 4th GivingTake post addressed “The Little Engine That Could” highlighting a recent $250 million gift received by Centre College in Danville KY from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust, representing the largest outright gift ever to a liberal arts college. As you likely have heard, the pledge fell through because a financial […]
Effective Altruism – A Critique
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted August 18, 2013 0 Comments
    Beware of academic modeling…unless you keep it simple it falls apart.  The August 11, 2013 NY Times business section had an article by Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University entitled “Good Charity, Bad Charity” that address the complex behavior of philanthropic giving and tried to fit it into an academic model. […]
7 & 8 Figure Gifts – Why Some Get Them and Other’s Don’t
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted June 23, 2013 0 Comments
It takes more than wishful thinking to get a share of the big gifts. I just read about Harvard receiving another eight-figure gift, substantially adding to its huge endowment coffers. And here you are, an advancement officer for a venerable institution, wondering what it is about Harvard that enables it to habitually attract such large […]
Boston Strong…Philanthropy Strong
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted April 28, 2013 0 Comments
  It has been just two weeks since the Boston Marathon bombing and so much has happened in those 14 days that it seems like a compressed reality.  Aside from the tragedy of the bombing and loss of life, limbs and innocence, a side of Boston and the nation has emerged that reflects an important […]
Research: The Power of a Humanized Mission
      The March 31, 2013 issue of the NY Times Magazine featured an article on Adam Grant, Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Wharton School.  Organizational psychology studies how to help employees get the most out of their job and how to design work so that people will enjoy it and want to […]
It’s Party Time!
  This New Yorker cartoon reminded me that event season is right around the corner. As sure as the sun rises and sets, so too does the annual onslaught of galas, golf outings, dinner-dances and awards ceremonies.  Between our clients and other non-profit organizations that receive my personal philanthropic support, spring-themed invitations are now arriving […]
Nonprofit Health Insurers…An Insult to the Rest of Us
By Larry Raff In Healthcare, Insights Posted March 10, 2013 0 Comments
  Where does your non-profit organization rankagainst one that, in 2012, made $163.9 million on $7 billion in revenues?  Or perhaps your NPO is closer to making $103.4 million or $22.5 million.  These are the earnings of three non-profit health insurers in Massachusetts; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Tufts Health Care and Harvard […]
Tax Deductions Hysteria
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted February 25, 2013 0 Comments
An article published in the Boston Globe on January 30th, “Uncertainty boosts donations at the end of 2012” described how area nonprofits and community foundations received larger than expected contributions at the close of 2012. According to the article, contributions to the Fidelity Charitable Fund and the Boston Foundation were up 24% and 300% in the […]

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