GivingTake Blog Posts

What Might 2022 Look Like for Fundraising?
This, our second economic crisis in the past 12-years, promises to be 10-fold worse with a longer and more disruptive recovery. The lessons we as advancement professionals learned from the great recession offer little insight to our current crisis. Life and the economy as we knew it will be profoundly different, even after the widespread use of a Covid-19 vaccine. While this is an enormously complex topic, I want to touch upon some likely societal changes and their implications for our work. Warning … the picture is not pretty.
Harm Averted is Benefit Unseen
There is a saying in public health circles - “harm averted is benefit unseen.” This notion could not be more relevant today, as we cope with the coronavirus pandemic. You and your organization may be in a similar circumstance. 
COVID-19: When is it Time to Start Campaign Planning or to Launch a Campaign?
The decision to undertake planning for a major gift campaign is hard enough during normal times- otherwise known as "the good old days". When making a decision to start campaign planning or a campaign, you will need a disciplined process to identify and weigh many key variables.
Coaching is More Valuable Than Ever as We Change the Advancement Paradigm
Every serious athlete has a coach. Every successful executive has or has had a coach. Every successful fundraiser has or has had a coach.  Why?
Are You Giving In to #GivingTuesday – Redux
I am reissuing this post, in part, because the donor universe is declining and under pressure with the new tax environment - making this post even more relevant. #GivingTuesday now has seven years under its belt. It seems prudent to review its growth and significance, and to see whether it elevates overall giving or just redistributes anticipated giving.
Workplace Culture: We Can Do Better
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion addressing gender bias, sexual harassment, and bullying in the workplace. This session on “changing culture” was hosted and moderated by Jane Doe Inc. and featured Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung.
A Letter to Nonprofit CEOs About Fundraising
Dear Nonprofit CEO, I know your plate is full. You manage your board and your staff, have programs to monitor and design, staff vacancies to fill, and there are always fires to put out - and this is the shortlist. It is probably a true statement that your work history that prepared you to lead your organization did not include fundraising responsibilities.
When You Get to a Fork in the Road – Take It
One of Yogi Berra’s famous utterances – When you get to a fork in the road… take it – has always resonated with me because it characterizes the forced choices we have to regularly make in our advancement work. Whether we like it or not, or whether we know it or not, we are constantly faced with forks in the road that give us options that may make or break our fundraising program, or at least slow its progress.
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.

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