All posts by Mark Zobel, Ph.D., C.F.R.M.

Executive Director for Philanthropy and Stewardship, and Adjunct Professor of Philanthropy at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois

bag over head

Thou Shalt Not Kiss-Off Donor Intent

Alumni/Development work is always and everywhere about relationships. Relationships take time to build and are based on trust. Building trust by honoring donor intent might seem like good old-fashioned common sense. The problem is, common sense isn’t so common anymore.

bill-of-rights

A Guided Tour of the Donor’s Bill of Rights

Any philanthropy professional worth his or her salt is, or should be, on intimate terms with the Donor Bill of Rights. It outlines the backbone of trust, which lies at the heart of all philanthropy, and organizations who ignore these tenets do so at their peril.

person meditating

The Value of Margin in Alumni/Development Work (and life!)

One of the most overlooked productivity hacks has to do with the concept of margin. That is, creating space in your workflow for not actively working on a project. That might seem counterintuitive, but building in empty space is actually integral to the overall project management process.

students at graduation

Student Satisfaction and Alumni Giving: 7 Strategies for Engagement

There is a strong correlation between student satisfaction and alumni giving. Here are 7 ways advancment can help ensure greater student satisfaction on campus.

drops of water creating a ripple effect

How I GTD: What a “Mind Like Water” Can Do

A mind that is untroubled by worries over the various inputs of the day is free to respond to the needs of the moment, and then return to a state of calm. GTD is all about restoring the calm.

workflow chart

How I GTD: My First Big Breakthrough

David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology is not about getting things done. It’s about clearing the mind so that one can focus on the needs of the moment.

Iceberg

Alumni Relations and Icebergs: The Hidden Makings of Success

Engaged alumni, a thriving annual fund, regular major gifts, these are all highly visible signs of a healthy alumni/development program. The reality, though, is that the vast majority of what makes these successes happen lies behind the scenes where no one can see. Much like an iceberg, the bulk of what drives institutional advancement is largely hidden from view.

coffee and book

How I GTD: 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.