Very innocently. But making you feel guilty.
That work-book you bought.
I’ve got a few books like that on my office shelf. Some that I’ve started and abandoned after an interested afternoon, and others that I haven’t even cracked open yet. (but I will! I swear!)
But now, a solution.
Last week, some of my HBG colleagues and I – independent of each other – watched a vidcast of David Callahan and Emmett Carson in a fascinating, spirited, and sometimes provocative debate sponsored by Philanthropy New York. Callahan is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, and author of the new book The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. Carson is president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world, with $8 billion+ in assets. [Read more…]
You may think that’s an outrageous amount (and it is) but I’m saying it anyway. Let me explain why.
First of all, many professionals in the world have one main job. They repair things in a human body or in an automobile. They speak in front of cameras and explain what a company means to do, or what a politician did do. They deliver mail, or babies. They build houses or computer programs. [Read more…]
The number of gifts of $10 million-plus at universities are at an all-time high, according to a Marts & Lundy study. Beyond lending just their names or faces to events, an increasing number of celebrities are putting in volunteer time and money for the causes they care about. And new forms of giving vehicles like LLCs are emerging to meet donors’ needs for flexibility. Articles about philanthropy are increasingly in the main stream news, describing how giving is changing our society – in fractal patterns. This week I’m delighted to welcome HBG Assistant Research Director Elizabeth Roma to the blog to help share her thoughts and expertise on our new Gilded Age.
When I started college in the mid-1990s, I had no idea what I wanted to study, but I knew that I liked to read and think. After taking a variety of core liberal arts classes during my freshman year, I concluded that majoring in English would allow me to spend four years doing just that, and I loved (almost) every minute of it.
I still like to read and think (and I bet you do too if you’re reading this blog), and it turns out that I managed to stumble into a job that allows me to do just that—and even get paid for it! (Side note for those soon-to-be liberal arts graduates—and their parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, etc.: maybe prospect development is the career for you!) [Read more…]
As we bid a fond farewell to another terrific #ResearchPride month, I encourage you (if you haven’t already) to take a look at all of the great blogs, signs, and other activities that happened during this month of celebration, see here and here for the wrap up.
If you were one of those people who contributed a post, a sign, or a cake (!) I want you to know that you are awesome, and it’s not just me saying that. Your colleagues all think you are awesome, too. Thank you so much!
Of course, it doesn’t end here. We celebrate our pride all year; this is just our special festive season.
But now, I’d like to ask you to consider doing more than blogging, tweeting, liking and sharing.
Consider this your gentle but firm nudge to become a more active part of your community. Your Apra chapter could really use your help. From volunteering two hours at a conference, to speaking on a panel, to serving on a chapter task force or board…your ideas, your hands, your voice, and your skills are a precious gift and are truly needed. [Read more…]
You’ve heard me and several others talking about what’s happening on the UK fundraising/prospect research scene right now. Two charities have already been assessed hefty fines, and 11 other UK charities are currently under investigation for their fundraising activities including their prospect research/wealth screening activities.
It’s the wealth screenings that are the big deal part of it for us. [Read more…]
What single project or task would you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date? Walk me through the plan, how you managed it, how you measured its success, and what the biggest mistakes you made were.
It’s not an out-of-the ordinary question but I love the results.
You can always tell the candidates who are proud of something they’ve done. Regardless if they achieved a relatively small task like redesigning a profile format, or if they completely reorganized a prospect development shop, you can see them sit up taller in their seat. They visibly brighten. Some get right to describing it from the very beginning, and others get tongue-tied because they’re so excited to talk about it.
It is impossible to miss their pride.
Their excitement pretty much amps up the wattage in the room. When I hear people walking me through the steps describing their proudest accomplishments, I have to say that it has an infectious element to it – I can’t help but feel pride, too. Pride for them, as well as a general personal joy in how cool our profession is.
Pride comes from doing something that makes life better for having done it. For our profession, it usually comes from dreaming up a project, mapping out the plan, executing it, quantifying success and documenting the trouble spots to avoid next time. Pride is results-based. You have to put in the time.
Fortunately, progress in prospect development is pretty easy to quantify. We can plan and manage new projects that will move fundraising forward. We can measure how many prospects were identified. How many of those prospects went on to make major gifts. How many profiles we’ve written. How many new prospects were rated and assigned. And on and on.
We can look at what we’ve done over the past year or the past five, or the past campaign, and decide what worked and what didn’t. What we’d do better or differently.
Research Pride month is a celebration of all of those individual and collective projects that move our department, our profession – and our organizations – forward. It’s kind of hard to feel a sense of pride if you haven’t really accomplished anything. Or don’t feel as if you have.
I can tell you from personal experience, the room always goes a little dimmer when a candidate can’t come up with something that they’ve done that has made them proud. I doubt it’s that they really haven’t actually accomplished something worthy of pride – it’s more likely that they just haven’t taken the time to document a project’s steps and success. Or at least, I always hope so.
Pride is results-based
Documenting your achievements is important, for yourself and your career advancement, to help give you a sense of accomplishment. But it’s also important because it’s a way to show others what is possible. We prospect development pros share our achievements with each other and help our colleagues avoid our mistakes.
As Angie said last week, our collaboration begets innovation.
When we share our professional knowledge, it has an illuminating effect across our whole profession. And that pride is impossible to miss.
For the past two years, I’ve gotten more and more excited as March approaches. Here in New England, March is not a month that you tend to look forward to, weather-wise. There are no bank holiday weekends. And it’s a loooong month. But if you’re in prospect development, March is now a very special month.
Because March is prospect development pride month, and boy do we have a lot to be proud of. We are a professional community of really smart people who get the opportunity to make the world a better place every day we go to work. Who are actively motivated to learn something new every day. And who are generous in sharing tips, methods, and resources with each other. [Read more…]
There’s nothing quite like that feeling when your favorite frontline fundraiser calls you to say, “I got a meeting with the president and the prospective donor you identified!…” Boom!!
…or the feeling when they finish the sentence with “…and it’s TOMORROW!” Uh, boom.
You can just feel that rolling wave of adrenaline right now, can’t you? It’s awesome and terrifying at the same time. How on earth are you ever going to get them the information they need in time? [Read more…]
The cavalry can be a heroine, a hero, a bunch of dusty dudes on horses, or a squad of geeky introverts, but you only have to look at every movie ever made in Hollywood to know that when help is needed, it will come. [Read more…]