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.
Less is MORE in Building Relationships
Who among us, whether we work in a large shop or small, email coworkers to address a work issue when you could have just walked down the hall to speak with the person?  Or how about when you have a chance to work with a board member or volunteer - do you opt for a phone call instead of a face-to-face meeting?  While the conveniences of modern life are easy to default to because it is presumed to be more time effective for both parties, I want to raise the question if that is indeed true?
Disagreements Strengthen Friendships – If We Get Out of Our Bubble
I have had a 15-year friendship with a fellow board member of a biomedical research nonprofit we support.  Ben was a very successful business man, now retired, and is politically conservative.  My political leanings are decidedly progressive. Over the years, Ben and I have had fun sparing over the political issues of the day, spanning […]
Fundraising Beyond Rock-Paper-Scissors
You may recall how disputes were resolved when we were kids using Rock-Paper-Scissors.  This is a zero-sum game to peacefully determine who will prevail when there is conflict and competition. What is great about this method is that each has its power over ONE of the others. Rock prevails over scissors. Scissors prevail over paper. […]
Using “Marginal Utility” in Fundraising
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Major Gifts Posted October 8, 2016 1 Comment
It is not often that I use economic theory and principles when addressing fundraising matters…but perhaps I should more often.  The notion of “Marginal Utility” is the additional satisfaction a consumer gains from consuming one more unit of a good or service. Marginal utility is an important economic concept because economists use it to determine how much of an […]
We Need to Change the Conversation
Words are powerful and have a way of evoking an immediate emotional response to the reader or listener. When you hear the references “nonprofit” organization or “for-profit” corporation which one gives you a: ·         Stronger sense of competency? ·         Stronger sense of viability? ·         Feeling of strength? ·         Sense of longevity? ·         Sense of management prowess? […]
Boots on the Ground
  Having “boots on the ground” has become a metaphor of late for – if you need to do the hard work, you need be all in.  The military reference is obvious, as is the commonly used term “campaign”.  Merriam-Webster’s first definition of campaign is:  a connected series of military operations forming a distinct phase […]
ROI Redux…Return On Involvement
  Return on Investment is one of those gross measures many boards and CEOs focus on as an overall measure of effectiveness.  Generally speaking it is a useful tool except if you are in a growth mode.  While the ROI might suffer, your top line revenue should grow significantly rendering your added expenses justifiable. My […]
Philanthropy: The means for sustaining population health programs
  If a population health initiative gets initial funding from a foundation, health insurer, or a hospital, and shows strong results…will it get more funding to maintain its good work? Likely not. Public health leaders are often frustrated by having to shutter outstanding community health programs when the start-up funding from foundations, insurers, hospitals, and […]
Turning Gratitude Into Gifts
   Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel    Those acts can be volunteering for a nonprofit organization, helping a friend or a stranger, or making a financial contribution. Giving is an act born from emotion.  You […]
Fundraisers Want Tools Too
  Call me nuts (upon fear of bodily harm), but as I conduct more and more trainings and consult with more and more advancement shops, the clamor for effective and simple tools is becoming overwhelmingly apparent.  There are plenty of ever emerging social media channels to distract us, but few useful tools to help get […]

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