SOLUTIONS Blog Posts

Social Justice and Fundraising
We are now seeing different changes … those driven by evolving social norms, and specifically, the movement to ensure racial justice and equity. This deeply personal issue also requires your organization’s attention. To address racial justice and equity, we must learn more, be introspective, honestly look at our personal biases, be respectful to everyone … and our organizations must craft policies that promote racial justice.
It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn
To succeed during these especially trying times, I suggest you do all you can to create the feeling and reality of forward progress and an institutional sense of positive momentum. It starts with planning both for the dark time and the slow-motion dawning.
What Might 2022 Look Like for Fundraising?
This, our second economic crisis in the past 12-years, promises to be 10-fold worse with a longer and more disruptive recovery. The lessons we as advancement professionals learned from the great recession offer little insight to our current crisis. Life and the economy as we knew it will be profoundly different, even after the widespread […]
Why NOT to Ask for a Gift — NOT
I have consulted with well over 200 organizations in my career. This experience has put me in a position to share some of the “greatest hits” of why organizations do not ask a donor or prospective donor to make a gift.  Allow me to share both their arguments against and my arguments for asking a […]
Harm Averted is Benefit Unseen
Recognizing success can be elusive. And staff, who are closest to the “action”, are often least aware of how their work and their organization are making a difference. I know this is counterintuitive, as evaluation and planning are so much of our work. Here is a story to illustrate my point. During interviews with staff […]
COVID-19: When is it Time to Start Campaign Planning or to Launch a Campaign?
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post Posted July 1, 2020 0 Comments
The decision to undertake planning for a major gift campaign is hard enough during normal times- otherwise known as “the good old days”. But today, with the potential for subsequent waves of Covid-19 infections, deciding to mount a campaign is a more complicated undertaking. The campaign that was urgent four months ago may need to […]
Coaching is More Valuable Than Ever as We Change the Advancement Paradigm
Every serious athlete has a coach. Every successful executive has or has had a coach. Every successful fundraiser has or has had a coach.  Why? Good coaches help you find the excellence that is in you. They are versed in the behavioral dynamics of teams and organizations and can detect beliefs and fears that may […]
Hard Times are a Two-Sided Coin
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post Posted April 13, 2020 0 Comments
I started my career in food banking in Portland OR in the early 1980’s. Fresh out of graduate school with a masters-degree in public health and clinical nutrition,  I moved to Portland. Then two-weeks later I narrowly survived a house fire that consumed everything I owned.  Ronald Reagan was just elected president and the public […]
Fundraising in the Time of COVID-19
With a recent spat of college closures, mergers and acquisitions, a college advisory services firm called Edmit was about to publish its report that identified 200 US colleges that could run out of money in the next decade. A threat of a law suite by Utica College stopped the release of the report.
2020 Vision – Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
Happy New Year!  There is reason to be encouraged about 2020, with regard to advancement at least, and reason to do some adapting to the challenges the new year will bring.
Are Small Colleges a Safe Philanthropic Bet?
By Larry Raff In _CRI Blog Post, Insights Posted December 9, 2019 0 Comments
With a recent spat of college closures, mergers and acquisitions, a college advisory services firm called Edmit was about to publish its report that identified 200 US colleges that could run out of money in the next decade. A threat of a law suite by Utica College stopped the release of the report.
Are You Giving In to #GivingTuesday – Redux
I am reissuing this post, in part, because the donor universe is declining and under pressure with the new tax environment - making this post even more relevant. #GivingTuesday now has seven years under its belt. It seems prudent to review its growth and significance, and to see whether it elevates overall giving or just redistributes anticipated giving.

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