GivingTake Blog Posts

What Makes Someone Care?
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted August 11, 2015 0 Comments
  This is a question explored in a recent NY Times article (“Empathy is Actually a Choice”, July 10, 2015) that examines a body of research that can inform advancement professionals in important ways. The research explores empathy and how it is applied and how it is influenced. For instance, research indicates that people are […]
People Just Want to be Heard
  This is a powerful notion that often is not considered or is discounted. By inviting input and advice, you will actually attract involvement from your stakeholders.  Here are some examples where advancement efforts can be furthered by seeking information from donors and stakeholders. We all have lemons to lemonade stories where a donor calls […]
Justifying the Hire of Another Gift Officer
  I get this question often…when is the right time to hire another gift officer? Perhaps a better question is how do I justify hiring another gift officer so I can get the position in the budget? You and your CFO/CEO will need some idea about the return on the investment (ROI) and the time […]
Do They Trust You?
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein The success of fundraising and advancement depends upon your credibility, and that of your organization and leadership with your donors. Donors have an overwhelming number of choices for use of their philanthropic dollar.  So the slightest reason for them to […]
The Power of Google Alerts
  I have used Google Alerts for many years, but it recently dawned on me just how useful they are and can be.  I have always created alerts for my current clients and prospective client organizations, but there are so many more uses that Advancement Officers can employ to great benefit. Your Alerts will send […]
Campaign Essentials – Info-Graphic
  Campaigns come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are staff driven, some are volunteer driven and some are more often hybrids.  The following is my attempt at an info-graphic summarizing the essentials for a successful campaign.     Your takes: 1.  When contemplating a campaign, be sure you have most of the essentials […]
Mars, Venus and the Case for Support
We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus…as the saying goes. We also know from research that women donors tend to be more generous and are more personally involved with the causes they support than are men. As advancement officers, it is our challenge to construct cases for philanthropic support that […]
Year-End Giving…a Mystery and Paradox
  It is a given in the advancement world that year-end is our busiest time of year.  You make or break your annual giving budget by what is given the last six weeks of the year. I have always found this phenomenon to be a bit of a mystery and paradox.  Let’s examine why there […]
Designer Performance Metrics
You are the leader of an advancement operation. 1.      Would you rather your most productive gift officer raise $3 million annually from 8 donors or from 28 donors?  2.      Are you choosing performance numbers or are they generated by the gift officer in consultation with you?  3.      Do you value team work that encourages relationship […]
The Costs and Benefits of Hospital Mergers
I just returned from attending the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy International Conference held in Palm Desert, CA.  As per usual, I learned more from my interaction with colleagues outside of the session rooms than I did from the content of most of the sessions. Over the course of three days, discussions with colleagues confirmed my […]
The Calculus of Staff vs. Volunteer Driven Fundraising
There are many ways to “skin a cat” the saying goes. Some advancement shops are heavily invested in building multiple volunteer committees, separate fundraising boards and using volunteers directly in fundraising activities.  Other shops have no volunteer committees and use individual board members or other donors strategically with specific prospect approaches…and often sparingly. Organizations like […]
The Koch Dilemma
How important is your organization’s mission…really?  Does it drive the decisions you make?  Does it drive decisions about whether or not to accept donations from donors who work against your mission? It is a true test of mission resolve to say “no thank you” to a donor offering a large gift, when that donor’s livelihood […]

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