GivingTake Blog Posts

Master Gift Officer Trigger List
  You are probably asking, what is a Master Gift Officer?  That is a term we have coined that is the focus of our PLAN-MGO 4-day Master Gift Officer event.  Today, what matters in the fundraising world are skills and the ability to build authentic relationships, not titles or restrictive boundaries. Gift range responsibilities are […]
Campaign or Initiative…What’s in a Name
  Campaign vs. Initiative…is this a distinction without a difference?  This question seems to be coming up more and more with organizations we interact with. The issue seems to be driven, in part, by the visceral reaction volunteers have to the notion of a campaign.  Seasoned volunteers have lived through campaigns in the past and […]
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 a Lead Gift
The ingredients of campaign success are like real estate…leadership, leadership, leadership.  It comes in many forms, the most tangible of which is the stretch gift by your most prominent volunteers.  It is not hyperbole to say that the commitments made by your most loyal supporters, who are known to be wealthy, will “set the pace” […]
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 […]
The Myth of Advancement Benchmarks
By Larry Raff In Emerging Ideas, Major Gifts, Training Posted September 2, 2013 0 Comments
There seems to be this belief that by “benchmarking” an organization to other “peer” organizations that something useful can be learned.  Or that insights will emerge that will help your organization…or make it feel bolstered or diminished in some way. Consultants are often asked to do benchmarking as part of an assessment engagement, but unfortunately, […]
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. […]
The Little Engine That Could
Centre College in Danville KY is indeed a little engine but with a lot of horsepower.  With total enrollment of 1325 students, this small and highly regarded liberal arts college uses what it has to gain standing among the giants in higher education. My June 23rd and July 7th  GivingTake posts, 7 & 8 Figure […]
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 […]
Getting Value from Training
By Larry Raff In Major Gifts, Training Posted May 26, 2013 0 Comments
There is no substitute for professional development and being a life-long learner. All professionals need to step out of the day to day to be immersed in new thinking, alternative approaches to challenges and stimulation of our creative side. There are a confounding number of training offerings for advancement professionals that offer a wide range […]
Fundraisers…the Great Equalizers
There are so many reasons for fundraisers to feel good about our profession and the work we do.  We have the opportunity and the obligation to represent worthy and important organizational missions and to enable philanthropists of all stripes to share their love of humanity in  meaningful ways. If this were not enough motivation to […]

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