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The Ascent


Like you, I’ve heard the word “systemic” more times in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years.  And perhaps you, like me, have a grieving heart over the incidents in our nation.    In the wake of the terrible events in our country, I’ve had to think hard about what “systemic” really means.  “Affecting the […]

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How to Build a Major Donor Caseload Part 1

BIG DONORS! In the next few articles, I’ll focus on the construction of a 7-figure caseload – a caseload of donors who annually contribute at least a million dollars to your organization per relationship manager. The Caseload consists of three major gift categories: Big Donors Bread and Butter Donors Beginning Donors (but still major) In […]

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How to Build a Major Donor Case Part 2

Bread & Butter Donors Heard a great (but rarely heard story) from one of our clients recently. See below. But first, we’re talking this month about building a Million-Dollar Caseload for each relationship manager on your team – annually. Today, we’re focused on the type of major donors we call “Bread-and-Butter Donors.” These good folks […]

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The Power of 8 Words

What!! Eight words? How can a clear mission statement only be 8 words long? When we begin a new client relationship, we almost always ask for them to tell us their mission. We ask this question all the time working with clients. Often, someone on the staff will pull out his phone, navigate to the […]

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Do you have “Joy in the Journey?”

On my wall hangs an art piece created by a time-tested technique by Vietnamese craftsmen. It consists of crushed eggshells, painted and glued in place. Mine depicts an elaborate scene showing a dock stretching into a placid, calm river. Up the hill from the dock is a traditional hut on a restful location, and two […]

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Powerful Planning: Where do you Want to Go?

Powerful Planning for Development Part 1: Where do you want to go? If you’ve ever used Mapquest or another navigation tool, you know certain inputs are needed before a plan for your trip can be devised. It all starts with where you are, where you want to go and how you want to get there […]

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Successful Foundation Strategy Considerations *Downloadable Checklist Inside*

We’re halfway through first quarter. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? You know, way back in January when the idea of creating a successful Foundation Strategy sounded like a great idea. Well, you’re right. A Foundation Strategy IS a great idea, but it’s doomed to fail without preparation. Four Key Indicators in a […]

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Powerful Planning: Where are you Now?

Powerful Planning for Development Part 2: Where are you Now? In the first article of the Powerful Planning Series Where are you Going?’ article, we talked about the central importance of knowing why you want to go where you want to go. Where you want to go is simply where you need to be to […]

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Powerful Planning: When the Unexpected Derails our Plans

Powerful Planning for Development Part 3: When the Unexpected Derails our Plans The irony of having written a series of articles on “planning” to be released during this time of seismic change is not lost on me. We are living through something unprecedented. Something that can’t be planned for, and something that has the power […]

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