GivingTake Blog Posts

A New Paradigm is Upon Us – The Donor Pyramid is Narrowing – Happy New Year!
It is time for our industry to respond to a changing donor-fundraising paradigm that is rapidly accelerating and can catch many stakeholder nonprofits off guard.  While the “donor pyramid” has served us well for decades, where the broad base of the pyramid represents many small dollar donors and the top represents transformational donors, new economic dynamics in the US population necessitate a new look at the pyramid and advancement strategies.
Understanding the Happiness U-Curve Helps Guide Staff and Donor Engagement
There is a growing body of research that indicates that no matter our economic circumstances or country we live in, that our feeling of happiness (self-satisfaction) is affected by age, and is predictable.
Leading from Behind – A Fine Balance for Success
Leading from behind: a leader, he said, is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”
These Days Everyone Needs a “Puppy”, Especially Your Donors
It has been 18 years since my wife Deborah and I last had a puppy.  But we recently decided we wanted another dog… and we needed it as well.  I am sure I am not alone having visceral reactions to the headlines of the day.  The words “unprecedented”, “unbelievable” and “are you kidding”, just don’t have the same force and significance as they once had not that long ago.  It is taking its toll.
Potential Effects of Trump Policies on Fundraising and Nonprofits
In addition to my post addressing how the new tax law is likely to affect fundraising, in this article I take a high level look at potential effects of some Trump administration policies on fundraising and stakeholder nonprofit organizations.  The playing field has changed significantly with the new administration and Republican controlled Congress. This post is rated “M” for mature audiences.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]

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