Philanthropy Blog

Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy

Tina G. Donahoo

September 10, 2015

If the title of my blog resonates with you, read on! In 2013, Blackbaud conducted a study of 1,000+ donors in order to understand the charitable habits of four groups: Generation Y (20-34 year olds), Generation X (35-49), Boomers (50-69) and Matures (70+).  One of the big takeaways: Gen X and Y are philanthropic. Approximately…

Posted In Volunteer Leadership & Board Management

Aspire and Plan for More Than Straight-Line Growth

Willard E. White, Ph.D.

July 30, 2015

Recently, a garden director invited me to review a special study he commissioned for his institution. I will share that the garden in question is relatively young, relatively small and very ambitious. They are embarking on a growth plan that will multiply acreage and multiply annual attendance through a series of planned expansions. The Garden had…

Posted In Strategic Planning

Compliance and Stewardship and Donor Relations

Julia S. Emlen

May 21, 2015

Close to a quarter of a century ago I began my career in fundraising as the donor report writer for scholarships at an East Coast university. My job was to report to donors on the expenditure of their scholarship gifts to the university and to send them thank-you letters from students who had received the…

Posted In Stewardship

Building Community in the Pacific Rim: The globalization of independent schools

Taylor B. Stockdale

April 02, 2015

The globalization of independent schools is one of the most profound shifts in our industry over the past 20 years.  Boarding schools, of course, have long been in the business of recruiting students from abroad, but they have a seen a substantial rise in the number of international students.  And day schools too have seen…

Posted In Perspectives

Let’s Get Engaged! Why alumni relations deserves our attention

Richard Allen Ammons

January 15, 2015

In a robust alumni relations environment, students and graduates alike view the college as an ongoing resource – a continuum of positive influence intellectually, professionally and socially. In turn, students and alumni have an enduring effect on the college. Not just in their growing capacity for philanthropic support but in the manner in which they…

Posted In Annual Giving

Five-Why Stewardship

Julia S. Emlen

January 14, 2015

In stewardship and donor relations we sometimes work against our own best interests. We are talented communicators, information managers, project overseers, events planners and implementers and just plain experts at getting things done. Our enthusiasm and dexterity are a source of pride…and often exploitation. That’s because when we take on an assignment, our most urgent…

Posted In Stewardship

Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report 2014 UK: Findings and reasons to be optimistic

Fiona Kirk

November 04, 2014

There is much good and encouraging news in the latest Coutts report. Whilst the headline growth in £1m+ donations, from £1.35bn in 2012 to £1.36bn in 2013, is far from exceptional, it perhaps masks what may prove to be long-term positive trends and messages. Are the higher numbers of first time donors at the £1m+…

Posted In Perspectives

Online Giving Done Right

October 15, 2014

There is a website that is totally dedicated to the visual depiction of just flat out getting it wrong. It’s called You Had One Job ( On it you’ll find images of everything from tomatoes for sale in a container clearly labeled carrots, to signs that would even cause my 6-year-old to scratch her head….

Posted In Annual Giving

A Gift Officer Walks into the Development Office…

Julia S. Emlen

July 31, 2014

Who thinks about stewardship and donor relations at the height of summer when the living should be easy? Even though I am preoccupied with thoughts of a few days on the water or a picnic in the back yard, and distracted by flowers in the garden and warm breezes, my mind has wandered back to…

Posted In Stewardship

Does data have to be BIG to be powerful?

Kathy L. Howrigan

July 10, 2014

Spend a few minutes with Virginia Gray, the Director of Annual Giving at Golden Gate University (GGU), and you’ll have the answer: No. In fact, data of all varieties and magnitudes can be used to make strategic decisions that dramatically improve performance. When Virginia was hired by GGU in late 2011, the university had a 3…

Posted In Annual Giving