Paradoxy: 2017

January 2nd, 2017

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.gratitudeAppreciation
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

Remember and may Gratitude overtake you, too.

(Not sure of the author but wanted you to consider this)

Submitted By: Robin E. Williams

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Capital Campaigns are NOT about Raising Money!

March 15th, 2016

I’ve come to understand that Capital Campaigns are about institutional transformation…..NOT about raising money. Improved donor stewardship is key.

True transformation will ensure intensive and far reaching, change to the core concepts and values of the entire organization. So change the way you think about thanking. Out think and out thank the competition. Make Donor Recognition efforts philanthropy branding and communication tools for the organization.

Just as a non profit organization spends time and money in prep for a campaign by evaluating just what has to be done to assure such meaningful change, early on, leaders must reflect on how their decisions to thank donors can be transformed.

Are day-to-day decisions to thank donors:

Proactive or reactionary?

Motivational or as an afterthought?

Programmatically planned or “in the moment” product decision-making?

Brand supportive or non-specific?

Any campaign (and, thus, an organization’s future) is best served if its thinking about thanking were transformed fully in preparation for imminent organizational change.

Written by Robin E. Williams  

The Path Is Yours to Choose

The Path Is Yours to Choose

 

7 Donor Communication Mistakes by Non Profits

October 21st, 2015

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The “Network for Good Blog” is a wonderful resource for fundraisers as they plan their communication efforts to their public.

This time: Avoid these 7 mistakes Continue reading »

A Recognition Policy “Moment”!

August 5th, 2015

Jot it down.  Whenever current events indicate an imminent “sea change” in the ways you thank and recognize donors, “jot it down”! The Cosbys “gift-return” is one of those moments.

Donor recognition policies, or the absence of them, are suddenly in the headlines.

This article about the giving back of Cosby monies says that the Cosby gift is not a large part of the Spelman endowment. Maybe not now.  But when it was given it was, indeed, significant! Even useful in garnering new donors.  It simply should be known that when that gift was given this couple were key donors to that Spelman campaign.

That Cosby gift changed the perception of Spelman as viable entity to which to give.  And now is not a time to minimize the impact of that gift or the transformational importance of the givers to the organization.

Nor must we celebrate them or that gift further.

It seems current events have led Spelman to remove the “Cosby” name from public namings/events associated with Spelman College.

Whatever you think of that action…..Think about yourself! Do you have a a written policy in place on how to handle such a situation ? Let someone else’s “truth” be a policy-making moment for your organization!!! Capture it. Codify it. Get it revised and/or approved and move on.DSCN3082 copy

A written “Policy” to me is a living document, kept alive through an efficient process meant to move idea-and-inquiry through a thorough evaluation.  Policies will never be comprehensive with all things considered. But managed with care, they can always provide reference and history for on-going decision-making.  If done well, a policy can exist as a logical, methodical reference of decisions made and that were meant to guide recognition and commemorative protocol with an equally methodical process in place to incite further change when needed.

Just continue to look to current events and trends to prepare for/insulate your organization against the future.

Stewardship: Picture-perfect

January 28th, 2015
Brand Integration

Brand Integration

A picture is worth 1000 words….done well, like this University has, a single picture is worth $1000s!

Years ago my firm worked closely with Columbus State University (GA) to establish a recognition program brand:  a signature for philanthropy on their campus.

They have remained committed and true to that brand. They consistently present their philanthropy brand as a sort of “visual byte” throughout  fundraising collateral, give-aways and campus recognition.

I urge you to establish your own visual signature and then work to integrate it throughout all that is fund-raising.

Written by Robin E. Williams