GivingTake Blog Posts

Is “Planning” a Cop Out?
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted October 27, 2013 0 Comments
  Words are powerful and have influence on our behavior, whether we know it or not.  I’ve been reflecting on the notion of “planning” and the “plan” and what they tell us subconsciously. While “planning” is an active process that results in a “plan”, inherent in this is the general understanding that “things may change” […]
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 […]
Taking It to the Next Level
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted July 8, 2013 0 Comments
How do you know when it is the right time to plan for taking your advancement operation to the next level?  And, how do you know that it is reasonable to expect you can?  These are big questions that can be career making or career ending if not addressed or answered correctly. Many organizations are […]
“Mapping” Fundraising Strategies
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted June 10, 2013 0 Comments
Supermarkets do it.  Telecommunications companies do it. Public health departments do it. Police departments do it. They use geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to improve the way they do business.  It is about time the advancement profession uses it.  We at Copley Raff are finding many applications for this technology to help elevate programs to […]
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 […]
Research: The Power of a Humanized Mission
      The March 31, 2013 issue of the NY Times Magazine featured an article on Adam Grant, Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Wharton School.  Organizational psychology studies how to help employees get the most out of their job and how to design work so that people will enjoy it and want to […]
It’s Party Time!
  This New Yorker cartoon reminded me that event season is right around the corner. As sure as the sun rises and sets, so too does the annual onslaught of galas, golf outings, dinner-dances and awards ceremonies.  Between our clients and other non-profit organizations that receive my personal philanthropic support, spring-themed invitations are now arriving […]
Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted January 28, 2013 0 Comments
A recently released study, UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, should be on the radar of all development professionals. The research, a joint project of    CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, provides an important assessment of the state of the advancement profession. Key findings include the challenges faced by […]
Boards as Investors and Donors
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted December 11, 2012 0 Comments
  What’s in a name?  That’s a challenging question when it comes to fundraising.  The nomenclature behind philanthropic giving has evolved over the years.  Terms for what is essentially giving money or resources to a nonprofit have ranged from making a donation; contributing; making a gift; giving a grant; making an investment; venture philanthropy; and, […]
It’s the DEMOGRAPHICS, Stupid!
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted November 13, 2012 0 Comments
So the results are in, and Barack Obama will continue as our President for the next four years. No matter how you personally feel about the outcome, this victory, and the strategy behind it, has many lessons for us in the advancement world.  The pundits can explain President Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney in more ways […]
Politics, Policy, and Philanthropy
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted September 4, 2012 1 Comment
  The health and vitality of the nonprofit sector and the growth of philanthropy have never been more influenced by federal and state political climates than they are today.  As the 3rd, private, and government sectors plan for their economic futures, they face great uncertainty given the wide range of theories and options for addressing […]
State of Affairs
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted August 20, 2012 0 Comments
In an unusual twist – somewhat analogous to a mobius strip – I conducted campaign planning interviews for the same project for the same hospital, albeit two years apart. Why?  The expansion under consideration was put on hold soon after the interviews were completed and analyzed in mid-2009.  The project was brought to the front […]

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