Staff Development

On the Value of Sabbaticals and How Are You Using Your 40 Hours This Week?

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Featured, Staff Development | 2 comments

On the Value of Sabbaticals and How Are You Using Your 40 Hours This Week?

When I first started at The Nature Conservancy, the Employee Manual defined “full-time” work as 35 hours per week. Later, we would joke that we’d like to meet someone who could actually do their job in 35 hours. Hah! Over time, as I became aware of how I actually spent my time, I began to wonder whether I even worked 35 hours a week. To be sure, I was “present” for 40 and even 50 hours or more. But was I actually “working”? Now, a lot older and somewhat wiser, I have begun to question what should actually count as “work.”   Does reading the New York Times online (or on your phone) count...

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And that brings us ‘round to Do, oh, oh, oh……

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Featured, Staff Development | 1 comment

And that brings us ‘round to Do, oh, oh, oh……

Start again. January of another year. 2017 is over. History. Fa, sol, la, ti, Done. And January brings us ‘round again “to Do.” 2018 yawns before us. It could be anything. What will it be for you? January is a good time for reflection. Where have we been? How did we get here? What could we have done differently? What have we learned?   *     *     *     *     *     *     *     * For example: Do you hold on to your email? You shouldn’t. It clogs up the server, and someone once told me that claiming they have to go through your email is a classic strategy for FODs (Forces of Darkness) to...

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Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Board Development, Featured, Staff Development | 1 comment

Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

I returned yesterday from the Land Trust Alliance’s Annual “Rally” Conference in Denver. It was easily one of the two or three best Rally’s I’ve attended. The venue was terrific. The workshops were engaging and increasingly inclusive of difficult topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Gender Bias. And Denver turned out its glorious best weather for us. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Vice President Anita O’Gara and I conducted a four-hour seminar on Annual Giving strategies that drew a sold-out audience, and I reprised my Development Committee Makeover workshop from last...

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Got Story?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Featured, Staff Development | 2 comments

Got Story?

One of the problems with field trips is that groups of people make too much noise. “Shhhhh,” the Naturalist said for the third time. “Listen.” For the life of me, all I heard was the wind in the leaves, and the people behind me clomp-clomping on the boardwalk. Wait – back up. Wrong time of year and wrong type of leaves. What was making that sound? Slowly, various members of the group looked down, below the boardwalk, and they showed everyone else where to look. The ground was moving in a way that nearly gave me vertigo. Fiddler crabs. Hundreds of them – maybe thousands. Scuttling sideways,...

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Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Why are we doing this event? Because we did it last year. Why do we send out an appeal letter in October? Because that’s what we’ve always done. Why are our $250 donors called “Patrons”? Why do we host an annual golf tournament? Why do we write notes on renewal letters? Someone wise once told me that every once in a while, instead of trying to climb faster or smarter or more efficiently, it’s important to step back and make sure your ladder is still leaning on the right wall. I’ve written about this...

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Denomination Rules: How much should we ask for?

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Denomination Rules: How much should we ask for?

I get asked fairly often how I determine what to ask for from a major gift prospect. My flip answer is always: “Depends on how much you need.” It actually depends on a great deal more factors that that, but I get tired of stopping at “It depends…” So, here’s a few general rules of thumb, I’ve used in my work and career: I’ll ask anybody for $1,000. Many people spend that on designer coffee and internet service every year. Got a smart phone? – you’re capable of entertaining a $1,000 price tag. Therefore, by extension, I’ll ask anyone for a five-year pledge totaling $5,000 – assuming it’s a...

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