Philanthropy Blog

Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report 2014 UK: Findings and reasons to be optimistic

There is much good and encouraging news in the latest Coutts report. Whilst the headline growth in £1m+ donations, from £1.35bn in 2012 to £1.36bn in 2013, is far from exceptional, it perhaps masks what may prove to be long-term positive trends and messages.

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Online Giving Done Right

There is a website that is totally dedicated to the visual depiction of just flat out getting it wrong. It’s called You Had One Job ( On it you’ll find images of everything from tomatoes for sale in a container clearly labeled carrots, to signs that would even cause my 6-year-old to scratch her head.

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A Gift Officer Walks into the Development Office…

Who thinks about stewardship and donor relations at the height of summer when the living should be easy? Even though I am preoccupied with thoughts of a few days on the water or a picnic in the back yard, and distracted by flowers in the garden and warm breezes, my mind has wandered back to work (kind of) and I’m thinking about stewardship and donor relations in a paraphrase of an old joke.

On the first day of work, the new gift officer asks the administrative assistant where to find stewardship. What’s the answer?

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Does data have to be BIG to be powerful?

Spend a few minutes with Virginia Gray, the Director of Annual Giving at Golden Gate University (GGU), and you’ll have the answer: No. In fact, data of all varieties and magnitudes can be used to make strategic decisions that dramatically improve performance.

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A Shout-Out for Conservation

You could hear conservationists everywhere let out a collective cheer when news outlets announced Howard G. Buffett’s gift of nearly $24 million to South Africa National Parks for a 30-month initiative to deter rhino poaching in Kruger National Park.

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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