Philanthropy Blog

Are Alumni Membership Programs Still Worth It?

Christopher Vlahos

May 12, 2016

I’m asked regularly whether alumni associations that charge dues should consider changing their membership model to become more inclusive. What’s driving this question is the desire to engage all alumni at some level regardless of their member status, and this is where the alumni relations field appears to be headed. After all, these are alumni…

Posted In Alumni Relations

Alumni Relations-Development Integration: Concerns and Opportunities

Christopher Vlahos

March 17, 2016

The movement toward alignment of Alumni and Development functions has been validated by the recent Voluntary Alumni Engagement in Support of Education (VAESE) benchmarking study, which reported that two-thirds of alumni offices are either fully integrated with Development, or working toward integration. Yet in the same study, alumni directors expressed a concern that lifelong alumni…

Posted In Alumni Relations

Taking on the World’s Biggest Problems: Seven Strategies to Drive Giving to the Environment and Animal Welfare Sector

March 11, 2016

In its 2015 edition of the “Philanthropy 400,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported giving to Environment and Animal Welfare was up 12.2 percent year over year. Certainly good news for the sector, but it is not clear if the sharp increase for a single year will continue. What are the strategies that could help sustain growth…

Posted In Conservation & Environment, Perspectives

New Alumni Directors: Serving an Institution Other Than Your Own

February 22, 2016

by Chris Vlahos, who joins Marts & Lundy as a senior consultant on March 1, 2016 The most common question asked of any new collegiate alumni director: “So, when did you graduate (from our institution)?” Quite often, the response is, “I didn’t.” A generation ago, it would have been nearly unthinkable for the chief alumni…

Posted In Alumni Relations

10 Crowdfunding Characteristics that are Challenging Higher Education

Daniel P. Saftig

February 05, 2016

With direct mail, telemarketing and email yielding ever-declining fundraising results, the promise of crowdfunding is attracting the rapt attention of college and university development programs everywhere. Finally, it seems, the panacea has arrived. Crowdfunding appears to be the perfect approach for our burgeoning young alumni populations that have, until now, largely shunned the more traditional…

Posted In Annual Giving, Perspectives, Social Media

Capacity Analysis Proves Accurate In Predicting Campaign Range

December 10, 2015

Marts & Lundy’s Capacity Analysis continues to provide organizations with a predicted campaign range that tracks closely with their final performance. This is true despite the fact that many of these campaigns overlapped with the Great Recession. In this briefing, we report the campaign success of Marts & Lundy clients who employed the Capacity Analysis service by comparing…

Posted In Analytical Solutions

Emerging Practices in Board Governance

Lynne LaMarca Heinrich

December 10, 2015

November is board retreat/advance month for many of my clients, and every fall also finds me teaching the Nonprofit Boards course to 40 MBA, MPP and JD students at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Seeing the nonprofit sector through the eyes of a millennial generation that is focused – more than…

Posted In Uncategorized

Giving Tuesday – Can this relatively young movement help break the 2 percent ceiling?          

Willard E. White, Ph.D.

November 05, 2015

Recently, a client asked me to draft an email appeal for Giving Tuesday as we approach what’s now considered by many a fixed date on the annual fundraising calendar.  While I was aware of Giving Tuesday (I receive prompts online from favorite organizations), I was not aware of how pervasive it has become in only…

Posted In Uncategorized

Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy

September 10, 2015

If the title of my blog resonates with you, read on! In 2013, Blackbaud conducted a study of 1,000+ donors in order to understand the charitable habits of four groups: Generation Y (20-34 year olds), Generation X (35-49), Boomers (50-69) and Matures (70+).  One of the big takeaways: Gen X and Y are philanthropic. Approximately…

Posted In Volunteer Leadership & Board Management

Aspire and Plan for More Than Straight-Line Growth

Willard E. White, Ph.D.

July 30, 2015

Recently, a garden director invited me to review a special study he commissioned for his institution. I will share that the garden in question is relatively young, relatively small and very ambitious. They are embarking on a growth plan that will multiply acreage and multiply annual attendance through a series of planned expansions. The Garden had…

Posted In Strategic Planning