From completing work on pending appropriations bills to a landmark overhaul of criminal sentencing laws, the week before Christmas on Capitol Hill will go down as a hectic one, to say the least. Lawmakers are also trying to make some headway on various tax measures and extend and/or reauthorize a number of important government programs, all against a backdrop of dwindling legislative days and the likely absences of lame-duck lawmakers not coming back next year.
With under one month to go before a historic midterm election, Democrats could take control of the House in 2019 and may even stand an outside chance of gaining power in the Senate. But, as Republicans in Congress prepare for this potential “blue wave” on November 6th, they have pressed ahead in September on a vast array of matters, making some significant progress on a number of issues following their annual summer break.
“Doing good” is changing. How will you respond when prospective donors raise these objections?
- If nonprofits could fix the world, they would have by now.
- Charities are yesterday’s news, like TV and taxi companies. We want something more like an app. Money in. Impact out.
- I do impact investing. I don’t give. With impact investing I get results and I make money, too.
- Volunteer? I organize online with my Twitter feed and followers.
- Work for you? Why? I can do more good and make more money starting a high impact company or working for one.
As the line between giving and getting blurs, it can become harder to know whether a particular flow of funds into a nonprofit is best characterized as a gift or as an investment. The situation may be particularly acute in, say, a university doing sponsored research in potentially very profitable areas. Consider a hypothetical university which does research into semiconductors. Which of these is a gift? And which is best seen as a business deal?
At CGP Conference in 2017, Tiffanie Purvis received CGP’s first Rising Star Award. She was nominated by her boss at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who characterized her as “not one to sit around idle for even five minutes.” There will be another Rising Star this year, but Tiffanie is still shining in her new position as Assistant Director of Gift Planning at the University of Maryland College Park. We asked her to reflect on her transition from law practice to charitable planning.
I can’t get over the wild and crazy way that many front-line fundraisers are taught to write contact reports, or not taught at all. They are either cryptic notes without much context – I’ve seen ones that say “had lunch” and nothing more – or they can be novels with ad nauseum and useless detail.
Well written ones stand out! They make it possible for others who come along to advance relationships without starting over. Every contact report should include notes about the four essential decisions every donor needs to make:
Topics: CGP Conference 2018
One of the pillars of a successful gift planner is being a mentor. Unfortunately, there is no playbook with a list of steps. Instead, you look to your mentors for other pillars, or traits, that will help you become a successful fundraiser.
I hold a black belt in Shotokan karate, and that practice led me through a variety of Eastern philosophies to the writing of Thich Nhat Hahn, a Zen Master who taught me (and many others) to practice meditation. A professional mentor is in some respects like a Zen Master, and I’ve had some great mentors over the years. From them, I learned a few key lessons that have surprising connections to mindfulness.