coffee and book

5 Books I Put on My “Read Immediately List” in 2017

My “read immediately” list is far longer than what I will be able to get to in a lifetime, and that is how it should be. There were, however, some titles that made a real difference in 2017.

headlines

3 Headline Templates for Optimizing Fundraising Appeals

Donors only spend a few precious seconds scanning fundraising appeals. It is critical that eye-catching headlines and call-out text be crafted in a way that communicates the essence of the message. Here are three templates to help make the most of your headlines.

student with books

Vocation and Gen Z: Alumni as Mentors

Mounting evidence indicates that Gen Z-ers tend to be espeically open to coaching and mentoring. Given the right circumstances, alumni can be effective mentors, helping students grapple with the big questions of vocation.

Disney Castle

Be “Show-Ready” and “Optimize the Mundane” with Alumni

Here’s what a trip to Disney World taught me about delivering an exceptional level of service to alumni and donors.

hurricane damage

5 Alumni Engagement Strategies for When Tragedy Strikes

Alumni/Development work is all about relationships. Good alumni engagment after a disaster strikes is all about being responsive to the needs of the moment.

written letter

Before Your Next Appeal Goes Out, Check the “You” Factor

Appeal letters are at their best when the language focuses heavily on the donor’s need to know that he or she is the only one who can make a difference in that moment. Too many refernces to “us” and “we” redirect attention back to the organization, attenuating the importance of the donor’s role.

balance

Why I Now Use the Term “Balance” Instead of “Work-Life Balance”

Life is one indivisible whole, and to fragment it into discrete categories introduces a kind of needless schizophrenia. Instead of seeing work as this thing that is somehow at odds with everything else, we need to see what role it could/should play in enhancing all the other areas of life, so as to foster greater levels of happiness and fulfilment.

direct mail appeals

Gone in 20 Seconds: Grabbing Attention in Direct Mail Appeals

Over 90% of potential readers never open the envelope. The more that writers understand about how readers engage with direct mail appeals, the better chance they have of maximizing open rates.