GivingTake Blog Posts

Endowment Fundraising – Weighing the Options
Perhaps the most confusing terms in the fund raising universe is “endowment.”  It seems there are as many perceptions and definitions for the word as there are people talking about it.  How do you personally define endowment, the nature of an endowment gift, or an endowment campaign? I recently led a session on endowments at […]
Be In the Moment…to Get Hired
Professional success.  For many fundraising executives, that means a constant inching upward on the career ladder.  Clearly, ambition, drive, and motivation are critical factors in moving the needle for ourselves as well as our organizations.  And, as executive recruiters, we are always on the lookout for advancement candidates willing and able to lead with energy, […]
Ask – Don’t Assume – About Your Donors
You may be familiar with the old adage about the word “assume”… that it makes a “donkey’s rear end” of “u” and “me.”   And this is especially true when it comes to major gift fundraising.  The first lessons of Philanthropy 101 include knowing your donors and their philanthropic aspirations.   It takes significant time, effort, and […]
Creating Financial Rapport with Your Donors
Rapport.  That wonderful – and productive – state between two or more people when everything just seems to align.  The right words, and empowering body language, bring the conversation and its results to unexpectedly high levels.  Some gift officers are able to naturally bring rapport to their relationships with their donors and prospects.  This in […]
DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted April 2, 2012 0 Comments
Did you know that the word “news” actually comes from the terms north, east, west, and south? … meaning that information – positive and negative – truly does come from all over.  And, in a way, advancement officers, CFOs, and consultants in the development world are newscasters, constantly delivering updates on the state of affairs […]
Determining How Much to Ask For – Art and Science
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted March 19, 2012 0 Comments
According to author and well known life coach Shakti Gawain, “You create your opportunities by asking for them.” And the same certainly holds true for those of us in the fundraising profession.  It is usually crystal clear when the time is right to ask for a gift… but equally murky on exactly how much to […]
Creating A Culture For Philanthropy
By Larry Raff In Emerging Ideas, Insights Posted March 5, 2012 0 Comments
Money.  It’s probably safe to say that this is the key topic that keeps most advancement professionals up at night.   For better or worse, it allows our organizations to fulfill on our missions, keep the lights on, and pay our salaries.  NPOs that are consistently meeting or exceeding their advancement goals have at least one […]
Focus … Major Giving
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle A colleague here at Copley Raff constantly reminds me, and our clients, to “fish where the fish are.”  By that she means to focus on the areas with the greatest potential payback and ROI.  In terms of advancement “fishing,” […]
Magical Thinking…Redux
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted January 23, 2012 0 Comments
  I’m crossing my fingers here that this follow-up posting will really resonate with many advancement professionals.  About a month ago, this blog featured an article about fundraising ideas so outrageous and/or inactionable that they appeared to come from a galaxy far, far away. We received a great deal of feedback that really brought the […]
Magical Thinking… Be On Guard
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted December 27, 2011 0 Comments
Give me a show of hands…how many of you have been in a meeting when a board member, boss, or colleague proposed a fundraising idea so outrageous or nonactionable that it appears to come from a galaxy far, far away?  As consultants, we frequently find ourselves protecting our clients from falling into the trap of […]
Occupy Advancement
By Larry Raff In Emerging Ideas, Insights Posted December 12, 2011 0 Comments
  These are wild and wooly times we are living in right now. The polarization of wealth over the past 40 years has become apparent to the masses, who are expressing extreme discontent clear across the country from New England to Hawaii. Political pressure is mounting to address this growing inequality. This economic and financial situation […]
Focus…Your Greatest Tool For Success
By Larry Raff In Insights Posted November 28, 2011 0 Comments
Collecting your thoughts and focusing on the job at hand are essential when preparing to compose a blog post or any thoughtful or meaningful message.  Without focus – the ability to draw a circle around a “to-do” and concentrate like a laser beam on it – the task is not accomplished, or the results are […]

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