The chase for corporate support

CorporateJust about every organization we work with of late has been seeking answers to a seemingly universal question in the non-profit community: “How do we attract more corporate support?”

A fair question, but not when it comes at the exclusion of others, such as, “How do we increase annual giving from individuals?”

Or, “How do we build a pipeline of major gifts prospects from our constituent base?” Continue reading

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Trustees, Presidents, and Fundraising

Paul Lanning:

“…Trustees choosing a new president should focus on personal trustworthiness in judging the candidates. Would they themselves be inclined to make a major gift if that person came calling? With time and familiarity, might they do so?”

An important consideration…and an important acknowledgment that fundraising is central to the role of a college or university president in today’s world.

Originally posted on The AGB Blog:

This is the fourth guest post by F. Gregory Campbell.  He served for twenty-five years as president of Carthage College. Previously he had been special assistant to the president at Yale and the University of Chicago.  Read his last post, The #1 Strategic Priority: Building Endowment.

Virtually every search for a new president of a small college emphasizes fundraising prowess. That has to be a vital concern for any board of trustees, particularly those at private colleges and universities.

But how will the trustees know when they have found the right person? What qualities does an individual need in order to be a successful fundraiser? How will trustees know that their own expectations of the new president are realistic?

Years ago, during my first months as a college president, a senior colleague at another institution gave me some advice that molded my fundraising activities for the next quarter-century…

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Training tomorrow’s workforce: Where industry and academia meet

STEMNo longer is a college education simply students taking notes in lectures, reading books, and regurgitating on exams and in term papers everything they have heard and read over the preceding weeks. Today, the focus is much more on preparing students for the “real world,” including the ability to enter the workforce as experienced practitioners in their chosen disciplines. This is true in a host of fields including the grocery industry, where advances in technology have impacted every segment of the industry. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is the buzzword, but the story behind the acronym is core to the future of public-private partnerships in higher education.

Today we are in the midst of one of the greatest demographic shifts in this country’s history began: the retirement of the Baby Boomers. It took 30 years – from 1980 to 2010 – for the 65+ population to grow from 28 million to 42 million, or from 11.3% to 13.0% of the country. However, by 2020 that group grows by 15 million people, to 16.1% of the population; over the next 10 years, they add an additional 17 million people and grow to 19.3% of the US population. In years 2040 and beyond, this cohort will continue to represent 20% or more of the country. Continue reading

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A Fundraiser’s Resume

Paul Lanning:

Absolutely agree with Linda Spencer‘s post on her Living for Purpose blog about what every fundraiser’s resume should include. My firm reviews numerous resumes for major gift officer and executive director positions, and far too often they lack some of these basic elements. This is a terrific primer for anyone looking at polishing a resume in preparation for a job search in the nonprofit world…

Originally posted on Living For Purpose™:


We live in a world of hyper change. The benefits of that can be wonderful because advances in technology and science help make our lives easier and better, but sometimes it is very difficult because we all have to constantly reinvent ourselves and live in a world where absolutely anything can happen. Nothing is certain or can be taken for granted. We now live in a world where people who thought they had stability are finding out the hard way that there is no consistency.

I was a consultant for the last 10 years of my 20 year career as a fundraiser and I was used to the mentality of “feast or famine”, or as they say crudely in sales, “eating what you kill”. The ebbs and flows of business development and clients was common place for me, and for that I am exceedingly grateful because it provided me with…

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Simple tips for social media use for non-profits

SocialMedia_1I’ve had several conversations in recent weeks with non-profit board members and executives wrestling with how to utilize social media in their fundraising efforts. They almost universally know they need to do something, but they don’t necessarily know what or how.

As the success of the recent “Big Day of Giving” on May 6 illustrates, social media can be a powerful tool for engaging prospective donors to support a cause – both by giving and by spreading the word to others. Continue reading

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Planning the future of Filoli

Filoli Gardens

Filoli Gardens

On April 27 I facilitated the first of three planned community conversations with stakeholders at Filoli as a part of RPR Fundraising‘s ongoing work with the organization, focusing on the future of the historic country estate located in Woodside, CA. This is the start of a strategic planning process that will include plans for the estate’s Centennial Celebration as well as fund development and long-term sustainability plans.

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K-12, higher education…”fundraising is fundraising”

CCEFIt was a pleasure to serve as a panelist at 2014 California Consortium of Education Foundations annual conference, held at UC Irvine this week, to discuss lessons K-12 fundraising professionals can glean from their higher education counterparts. The panel, moderated by Andrea Sala of the Peninsula Education Foundation in Palos Verdes, also included Dr. Sylvia Acosta, Assistant Vice Chancellor at UC Irvine.

Our discussion was wide-ranging, but focused primarily on the importance of inspiring donors through storytelling, providing clear and concise messages, and creating a culture of giving. Continue reading

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