Constituent Engagement: Free Webinar to Offer Insights on New Program

Engaging constituents: a critical role for any nonprofit executive, fundraiser, or volunteer.

Engaging constituents: a critical role for any nonprofit executive, fundraiser, or volunteer.

RPR Fundraising is pleased to offer a FREE webinar on emerging methods of constituent engagement. Learn from one of our new associates about a compelling engagement program that is yielding tremendous results in terms of volunteer recruitment and donor cultivation.

Whether you’re a nonprofit executive director, a frontline fundraiser, or a volunteer board member, learning to engage prospective supporters and donors is critical to your organization’s success. Join us December 3 at 12 noon PDT!

Register here!

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Filed under Philanthropy, Professional Development

Can philanthropy be mutually beneficial?

The author contemplates the meaning of philanthropy and whether it can be beneficial not only to recipients but also to philanthropists. His five reasons why philanthropy can be mutually beneficial make for an interesting read…

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A friend in need…


Shay’s smile masks an amazing array of health and learning challenges.

I’d never heard of Turner Syndrome until my friend Lori told me about it last week. Her daughter Shay has dealt with more health challenges in her short life than I can even conceive of, and now those challenges all rolled together have a name.

Lori is hoping to take Shay to visit her grandparents in Nashville next month for Shay’s 16th birthday and Thanksgiving, but myriad life challenges have made it nearly impossible without help. I’ve committed to do just that, and to share this so others have the chance to help too. Read Lori’s hopes for Shay. Continue reading

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Library foundation stewarding donors, advancing mission at same time


I can read about Frank Sinatra’s life while sipping his family’s wine…an excellent pairing if ever there was one.

Last spring I attended the annual “Authors on the Move” event in Sacramento, the signature fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation. It was a terrific event that included opportunities to interact with authors of a wide variety of books meeting every interest (and to purchase their books as well). Even better, during the dinner portion of the evening the authors rotated table-to-table among the audience so that each table got the opportunity for some extended time and conversation with three different authors throughout the night. Continue reading

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“It’s important to give back what I’ve been given”

I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Omar Viramontes, the 2013 recipient of the Tom Tucker Leadership Scholarship, the single largest scholarship awarded annually by the UCSD Alumni Association. The Tucker Leadership Scholarship comes from an endowment established by a group of UCSD alumni in 2011, and Omar is the second recipient of the award. He will graduate in the spring from UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College, the same college I graduated from many years ago. Speaking with Omar about his experiences at UCSD not only stirred fond memories of my own time there, but also served as a stark reminder of the value of hard work and determination, and of the importance of family. Omar has clearly earned everything he’s been given, and he’s determined to improve the lives of others. Here is his story:

Omar Viramontes

Omar Viramontes hopes to put his scientific training to use to improve public health in underserved communities.

Behind every successful student is a story of how he or she got there. Sometimes it’s innate ability; sometimes sheer determination. And sometimes, it is through sacrifices parents make to see their children have opportunities they never had. Parents rarely advertise their commitments as parents. They simply make them. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Higher Education, Philanthropy

Reporting on a client’s progress

It was a pleasure to appear before the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education last month to report on the tremendous progress and growth of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, one of my firm‘s clients. Accompanying my report is the announcement by Foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg Gross of a new $500,000 gift to the Foundation.

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The Buzz On LinkedIn University Pages

An intriguing look at how LinkedIn’s new, much deeper approach to colleges and universities might impact advancement professionals, including both fundraisers and alumni relations staff. A worthwhile read!


Jen Doak (@jpdoak) is the online communications specialist at CASE and an alumna of the University of Connecticut. Kristin Simonetti (@KMSeditor) is a senior editor of CURRENTS at CASE, a former alumni communications professional and an alumna of Elon University .

LinkedIn announced its new university pages feature this week and there’s been a lot of buzz, much of it suggesting that the pages could be a real boon for alumni and prospective students. So what should advancement professionals know about them?

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It’s always fun to deliver good news…

I just had the great pleasure of calling a UCSD student to inform him that he will be receiving the 2013-14 Tom Tucker Leadership Scholarship, the single largest scholarship at the University ($10,000 to cover tuition, fees, books, and more).

UCSD AlumniHe’s receiving it as a result not just of his extreme financial hardship, but also his tremendous academic performance over the past three years, his significant record of leadership and volunteerism on campus and in the community, and his perseverance through some amazing challenges to get to the point that he will graduate next spring. Continue reading

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Filed under Higher Education, Philanthropy

Philanthropists of the World: You’re Doing It Wrong!

TIME Magazine journalist Dan Kadlec discusses a new book by Stuart Friedman, and offers his own well-reasoned solutions for what ails philanthropy. I look forward to reading Friedman’s take, but I absolutely agree with Kadlec’s three-point plan.

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Artists truly for the arts

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne helped launch the annual Artists for The Arts concert in Santa Monica 10 years ago, and a decade later he’s still volunteering his time to support arts education.

Last month I attended a Jackson Browne concert in Santa Monica. As great as Jackson Browne is, that may not sound remarkable on its face, even when I add that another 1970s icon, Gary Wright, was also on the bill, and the “house band,” Venice, is a highly accomplished group with numerous albums and world tours to their credit.

No, what made this evening an indelible memory for the packed house who saw the show was the fact that these stars shared the stage with high school students, and those students delivered some knockout performances on par with any pro. Continue reading

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