Philanthropy Blog

Constituent Research: Understanding what makes your donors happy

This is the second in a series of blog posts answering questions from Marts & Lundy’s January 23, 2014 webinar Annual Giving in 2014: Trends on the Horizon. You can view the entire webinar here.

Do you know your constituents as well as you should?

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Creating a culture that nurtures the shared interests of patient and clinician

All healthcare organizations have an affinity group as central to their fundraising potential as alumni are to universities: their patients. However, the complexity of patient relationships — and the regulations that govern them — make designing programs that build a culture of patient giving much less straightforward in healthcare than in any other nonprofit sector. And, all too often, healthcare organizations are far too timid in moving forward with strategic patient philanthropy.

Silos Clutter the Landscape of Cultural Institutions

A response in support of Avoiding Silos  (HuffPost Arts & Culture, February 10, 2014)

Michael Kaiser hit the nail on the head in a recent posting about silos within arts organizations.  Silos exact a terrible, sometimes hidden, price at every level of operation. 

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Leading from Behind May Not Be So Bad

It seems that the hardest part of measuring the effect of stewardship and donor relations activities on fundraising may be formulating statements about what we want to measure. I’ve been working with colleagues to develop case studies that look at stewardship outcomes at three distinct points in a campaign: pre-campaign planning; mid-campaign adjustment and end-of-campaign assessment.

About Crowdfunding

This is the first in a series of blog posts answering questions from Marts & Lundy’s January 23, 2014 webinar Annual Giving in 2014: Trends on the Horizon. You can view the entire webinar at

 Allows you to match a unique cause with an interested, motivated audience


Q. How do organizations using crowdfunding handle tax receipts?

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Prospect Development: What’s in a name?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that there’s been a slow but significant evolution in the world of prospect research; or should I say prospect development? That’s the name being applied to the scope of work that was once focused solely on finding information about prospects. Prospect research has grown significantly beyond those parameters with the addition of prospect management, data analytics and the responsibility of moving prospects through the cultivation cycle.

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Spaghetti, Trivia and Year-End Giving

January 4, 2014, was National Spaghetti Day. It was also National Trivia Day. And, it was precisely 361 days from the end of this year. It is the latter that causes me concern.

I received an appeal in the mail on January 4 that was dated December 9, 2013, and asked for my “year-end gift.”  I like the organization from which the solicitation came, and I have supported it in the past, which makes the mistake even more disappointing.

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Another View: From the town square, where the meaning of “charity” is evident

In light of Robert Reich’s opinions on philanthropic giving, which he recently shared in a blog published in the Christian Science Monitor, we are compelled to offer a different view. The reality is that there are extreme differences in wealth in this country – this is an undisputable fact that must be recognized.

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Reigniting relationships: mobile alumni engagement at Colgate

I spent more than seven great years on the staff at Colgate University and worked closely with alumni as we rolled out new communication strategies, always aimed at building relationships. It’s a proud, passionate and energetic alumni base. Fertile ground for innovation in alumni engagement.

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‘Tis The Season…To Confidently Reach Out To Potential Donors

Barring an act of God, the remainder of 2013 represents the best conditions for major and principal gifts fundraising since 2000, if ever!  Shout it from the rooftops, be as encouraging in your communications as you can be, and get the heck out of the office to see your investor-potential donors.

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