GivingTake Blog Posts

The Value of Diversity
  It seems to be in every nonprofit’s strategic plan…improve board and staff diversity.  According to Malcolm Forbes, “Diversity is the act of thinking independently together” – which in its own right should help bring the best ideas and strategies to the table.  This all sounds good and is very PC (post Jimmy Carter) but […]
The Case For The Case
So why should I support you?  Why does your organization merit a gift more so than the other million plus charities registered in the United States?  And why now? These are questions that any advancement professional should be able to answer effortlessly and convincingly about their NPO.  An organization’s case for support should concisely and […]
Endowment Fundraising – Weighing the Options
Perhaps the most confusing terms in the fund raising universe is “endowment.”  It seems there are as many perceptions and definitions for the word as there are people talking about it.  How do you personally define endowment, the nature of an endowment gift, or an endowment campaign? I recently led a session on endowments at […]
The REAL Value of Direct Mail
  The traditional (and frankly easiest) way to evaluate a direct mail program is to determine net revenue and the number of donors you keep, gain, and lose.  A mature and well managed program will invest in acquisition, end the year with more donors and, if you are really good, achieve an overall higher average […]
Creating Financial Rapport with Your Donors
Rapport.  That wonderful – and productive – state between two or more people when everything just seems to align.  The right words, and empowering body language, bring the conversation and its results to unexpectedly high levels.  Some gift officers are able to naturally bring rapport to their relationships with their donors and prospects.  This in […]
Focus … Major Giving
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle A colleague here at Copley Raff constantly reminds me, and our clients, to “fish where the fish are.”  By that she means to focus on the areas with the greatest potential payback and ROI.  In terms of advancement “fishing,” […]
Focus On … Annual Giving
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted January 9, 2012 0 Comments
  “In order to change something, don’t struggle to change the model, create a new model, and make the old one obsolete.” –  Buckminister Fuller A commonality amongst high performing NPOs is a strong and well oiled annual giving program.  Generally recognized as the foundation of advancement success, these essential efforts typically have two main objectives:  […]
What Comes Around Goes Around
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted November 14, 2011 0 Comments
Funding for your organization can – and should – come from many sources.  As advancement officers, it is incumbent upon us to be aware of traditional as well as newer forms of financial support.  One relatively low profile, yet extremely impactful source of funds can come from local, regional, or national “giving circles.”  For those […]
The “Who’s Asking?” Paradox
By Larry Raff In Insights, Planning & Strategy Posted September 19, 2011 1 Comment
Philanthropy – especially very successful philanthropy – always requires just the right “personal touch.” But what happens when relationships appear to close doors instead of opening them?  Here’s what I mean.  We’ve heard it from volunteers, and even from other advancement professionals:  ”I’m too friendly with her to ask her for a contribution.”  It seems […]
Economic Uncertainty or Deflection
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted September 6, 2011 0 Comments
The United States, arguably, is in its fourth year of the “great recession.” Fallout from the country’s debilitating economic environment has created grueling financial, professional, and personal hardships for millions of people. A complicating factor bottlenecking recovery includes the shroud of “uncertainty” that continues to be cited as an obstacle to renewed hiring by the […]
Desperation or a Good Idea?
By Larry Raff In Planning & Strategy Posted August 22, 2011 0 Comments
Just what catalyzes your prospects and donors to give?  What channels grab their attention, heartstrings, and in turn, their checkbooks? Every few years, a hot new fundraising concept seems to emerge – one that “promises” to breathe new life into your advancement efforts. The past two decades have provided us with fundraising “salvations” including… These […]
Either… Or
There are few greater challenges in the profession than serving as the chief advancement officer (CAO) of a small to midsized shop.  Your boss and board have high expectation for your department and yet have little appreciation or understanding of the true dimensions, complexities, and public exposure risks (think gala) of running a high performance […]

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