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Top 5 tips: Attracting millennial donors to your mission

By Ben Gerig, communication director Millennial donors—adults between the ages of 20-35—aren’t as enigmatic as many development directors think. In fact, several studies indicate that we are a magnanimous lot—happy to be respectfully courted by nonprofits with a clear mission. Research shows an upward trajectory in millenials’ giving habits, making this the right time for […]

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Former clients respond: How are you intentionally nurturing donors under 40?

We asked a dozen advancement officers to respond to the question, “How is your organization intentionally nurturing relationships with donors 40 years old or younger?” Their replies revealed an impressive understanding of the needs and desires of this age group, coupled with creativity in their various approaches. Ruth Leaman, Hinkletown Mennonite School (Ephrata, PA): “We […]

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Capital campaign achieves more than monetary goal

For Good Shepherd Home of Fostoria, OH, the word “groundbreaking” refers not only to an upcoming event for a state-of-the-art therapy facility; it also describes the journey the continuing care retirement community has been on over the last three years—a journey to build a development program from square one. Already Good Shepherd Home (GSH) has […]

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Barn raising and fundraising

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” –Matthew 6:26 NIV Kevin King references this passage when describing the historical fundraising philosophy of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), where he has served as director for the last nine years. […]

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What’s in a word?

In our consulting work, we often hear certain words defined differently and used interchangeably: • Do you use mission or vision when referencing the raison d’être of your organization? • In creating your strategic plan, do objectives support goals, or is it the other way around? • And what about advancement and development? Is each […]

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For love of neighbor–Lutheran Services in America

For more than a century, Lutheran social ministry organizations in the United States have existed out of an intention to recognize God’s love for humanity, and to respond to that love through service to one’s neighbor. For Lutherans, these “neighbors” have included persons with addictions; those in need of affordable housing; veterans; immigrants and refugees; […]

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Educating staff members as stakeholders

“Every employee is in fundraising by providing good customer service to residents, families and visitors.” So said one perceptive retirement community CEO when asked for his perspectives about development. Indeed, a competent, caring and committed staff is one direct indicator that an organization is successfully achieving its mission and is worthy of constituent support. Here’s […]

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CEOs discuss development

It’s difficult to narrow down the single most important development role of a CEO, since the work of development is, by its’ very nature, so multi-faceted. I have found that being open — visionary, invitational and transparent — in relationships with board, staff and donors is key to development. This approach provides space for dreaming, […]

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A three-legged stool

Nine years ago, Neil Rowe Miller came to World Hunger Relief, Inc. (WHRI) and found out there was a development officer on staff. “Great,” he thought, “I can just focus on developing the organization and won’t have to be out knocking on doors.” He soon learned it wasn’t that easy–that people want to talk to […]

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Components of a good advancement plan

In my former life as a college administrator I had an experience that made me a believer about the importance of formal planning in the advancement office. To prepare for the new school year, our advancement team invested two full days in creating a plan that would guide our work. Results from the previous year […]

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