GivingTake Blog Posts

Research Results: Advancement Officer Self Evaluations
By Larry Raff In Major Gifts, Training Posted May 4, 2015 0 Comments
    Before each Master Gift Officer Training (PLAN-MGO) over the past seven years, we ask each attendee to complete an 18 question self-evaluation.  Each group has been distinct, with different strengths and challenges. Students of all sessions were comprised of major gift officers, executive directors, annual and planned giving officers and trustees from more […]
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 […]
Congratulations to Elsa Gomes Bondlow, the 2015 planMGO Fellowship Recipient
By Larry Raff In Major Gifts, Training Posted March 21, 2015 0 Comments
The opportunity to attend planMGO would allow me to be in a fundraising learning environment, exposed to others with more development experience, sharing knowledge and ideas mutually beneficial to everyone’s professional growth. I am eager to continually learn more about working with donors, achieving goals, conducting successful asks, and developing winning stewardship strategies. My journey […]
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 […]
Leadership, Transformational and Historic Giving – Know the Distinctions
By Larry Raff In Healthcare, Major Gifts, Training Posted December 27, 2014 1 Comment
  The terms “leadership giving” and “transformational giving” have been around for a long time, and like most terminology in our industry, they mean different things to different people and organizations.   The term “historic giving” is one that is used in reference to setting a record over previous years.  But I use it in relation […]
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 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 […]
The Long-Term Trend That Is Going Unnoticed
  The Giving USA annual report on philanthropy is a valuable service to our profession, but the data collected and reported is missing a critically important data point, one that should be central to our profession’s global strategies.   Nowhere to be found is the national trend in the number of donors making gifts.  According to Giving […]
Are You A Gift Whisperer?
By Larry Raff In Insights, Major Gifts, Training Posted June 29, 2014 0 Comments
How do you go about encouraging your donors to consider supporting your cause in a bigger way? Can you comfortably and intentionally establish and deepen rapport rapidly and consistently with just about anyone? Do your donors instantly smile and show signs of feeling good about themselves when they’re in your presence?  Can you recognize those […]
Is it Transactional or Transformative?
Transactional fundraising is a hot topic in our industry lately, probably because cause-related marketing is being increasingly influenced by consumerism. The lines distinguishing sales from philanthropy are becoming blurred and a new lexicon has emerged around this, current buzz words being philanthrocapitalismand marketized philanthropy. I was struck by a recent article in The Atlantic, titled: “Is For-Profit […]

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