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News from the Institute for Leaders in Development

  • 06 Feb 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apply by April 3, 2023

    The Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD) is now accepting applications for its Class of 2024. This nine-month program includes monthly, full-day sessions with an in-depth curriculum, mentor program, and the chance to create a customized project addressing a need or opportunity in your own organization and/or career. We’re prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion and working to build a program where participants of all backgrounds feel welcomed and embraced for the unique and powerful perspectives and experiences they model for this program and for the future of the fundraising profession.

  • 31 Jan 2023 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brie is outside in front of a green landscape. She is smiling at the camera and wearing a grey suit. Led by Brie Aguila (picture right, top), Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Relations, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Keri Kallaway (pictured right, below), Vice President, Donor and Volunteer Engagement, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation

    Do you know your organization's donor retention rate?
    A 2021 survey foundKeri is looking at the camera, smiling. She has shoulder length brown hair and a peach and navy blouse. that nationally, the average retention rate is 45%. It probably comes as no surprise that it's much more expensive to acquire new donors than it is to retain your current donors. Local experts Keri and Brie share ways they've worked to increase retention at their organizations along with best practices from the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). 

    Highlights + no. 

    • Replacing a donor can cost up to seven times the amount of keeping an existing one.

    • Retain your donors by following the Rule of Seven: create 7 opportunities or touch points with your donor before the next ask.

    • Penelope Burk's research found that a nonprofit will lose 77% of first-time donors if not thanked within 48 - 72 hours.

    Planning for & Measuring Success

    One easy way to track your donor's experience is to think about all of the experiences, opportunities, and communications you have with your donors: (1) core stewardship; (2) recognition; (3) regular stewardship; (4) events; (5) communications, etc. Then, use columns to track which touch points apply to each donor, level, or group.

  • 31 Jan 2023 9:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Renee is pictured smiling at the camera against a navy background.Led by Renee Feruffino, ILD '16
    Vice President of Development, Women's Foundation of Colorado

    Recommended Reading/Viewing

    Everyday Donors of Color, August 2021      
    Philanthropy So White 2021 (YouTube link)
    No Longer Talking About Race with While People blog post and book by Reni Eddo-Lodge

    Each organization must undergo internal work and ask whether they are doing the work to be able to steward and connect with donors of color.

    This could look like:

    • Direct investment in black entrepreneurship
    • Establishing giving circles that reflect common values and build community, shared impact
    • Highlight causes that are personal and hyper local

    Representation and Participation on Board of Directors and Investment Committees Matters

    • Consider the Data
      --Board Source: 78% of board member were white
      --Center for Effective Philanthropy: Of 218 Foundations, more than half (57%) had fewer than 25% people of color representation on their board.
    • Building authentic relationships and inviting donors of color to serve in leadership roles in your organization demonstrate commitment and show your donors that you are walking the talk
  • 13 Dec 2022 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Led by Serena Bruzgo, President, Craig Hospital Foundation

    A question we here often in this work and in ILD is, what size should a gift officer's portfolio be? Drawing upon her vast experience, Serena developed a process for determining portfolio size. She considers the weekly, monthly, and annual time she will need to spend with each donor and time required for other internal/external responsibilities from management, to staff meetings, to other types of fundraising and community involvement. Once you have this comprehensive understanding of your time, you will know how many donors you can work with at each engagement level.

  • 13 Dec 2022 12:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Led by Serena Bruzgo, President, Craig Hospital Photo of Serena wearing a grey suit and smiling directly at the camera. She has brown wavy hair. Foundation


Fundamentals ~ Joy of This Work

    Know Thyself: 
Use your strengths and those of your team members.
Love your Donor
Be authentic in sharing your joy and appreciation. Honor your relationship.
Donor Ready Initiatives
: Participants received thoughtful questions to ask themselves when considering readiness that can be tailored to each relationship. (i.e. Will this make good business sense to the donor? Will be donor be surprised by the amount, project, or timing?)
Give the Gift of your Time
: Map out your time on your calendar and protect the time needed for planning, reporting, research, stewardship, and in-person meetings or events.
    Invite with Dignity: Be sure that you and the donor are prepared for the invitation. Throughout your time together, you can identify lots of "little yeses" you've received along the way and leading you towards the invitation.
  • 01 Dec 2022 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Led by Martine Hyland (ILD '13, pictured center), Philanthropy Director, Children’s Hospital Colorado Right to left: Sarah, Martine, Shawna are smiling at the camera after the session. Foundation & Lauren Wise (ILD ' 20), Philanthropic Advisor, CU Anschutz *

    *Shawna English (ILD '21 pictured right), Philanthropy Director, Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation filled in for Lauren who wasn't able to join us this year but graciously shared her wonderful content.


    • Remember that it’s okay to ask permission. If you're worried you're not calling at a good time, just ask. Often people are happy to have you call again at a better time.
    • Whether you're meeting in person or over the phone, keep this research based statistic in mind. The effectiveness of your communication comes
      7% from the words that you say;
      38% from the tone of your voice;
      50% or more from your body language.
      Over the phone, changing your body language could translate to having a more successful conversation even though the donor can't see you. Many find they have a better energy and tone when they're standing up or walking vs. seated.
    • Reaching donors over the phone can be tricky. Martine shared, "Be persistent, I’ve never been scolded for it." Your donors are busy, busy people. By being persistent, they have more chances to get back to you when they may have a pocket of time.
    • Martine and Shawna acknowledged that sometimes we're reaching out to donors who may have had a negative experience in the past, or just not have been contacted recently. These can still be successful conversations. They suggest saying "Thank you for your patience" vs. "I’m sorry." Another helpful phrase can be, "I’m so glad you shared this with me and I’ll make it right." These can be more powerful and more positive.
  • 01 Dec 2022 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Led by Christy Clay (pictured top right), Strategic Planning & Christy is smiling at the camera. Backdrop is a brick wall. She has her hair up and is wearing a navy suit jacket.Organizational Effectiveness Facilitator, and Jen Darling (pictured bottom right), President & CEO, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. Jen is also one of the founders of ILD!
    Jen is smiling at the camera. She has curly brown hair and is wearing a white blouse.

    Highlight - Final Thoughts 

    Manage/plan from where you are – even if you don’t have a development plan for your org or department, you can still make/manage your own plan

    Hold yourself accountable – Find a measurement schedule that works well for you and go back and check in 

    Control your time – Am I talking with the people who matter the most? How am I aligning with stakeholders and my direct reports?

    Am I meeting your expectations? Ask this question of your team 

    BIG VISION – Begin with the end in mind 

    Focus and Filter – Be discerning and don’t follow every idea that sounds good. Being grounded in your Yes will help you say No.

    Jen and Christy shared the science behind simplifying your work and focusing on your priorities...including living a balanced life and setting boundaries that work for you.

  • 20 Oct 2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrea Pacheco, ILD '20, Vice President of Development, Conservation Colorado, Andrea (left) and Amy (right) are facing the camera and smiling during their presentation to the class.and Amy Daly, ILD '14, Director of Communications, NextFifty Initiative, led the afternoon exploration of Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) [Pictured right: Andrea (left) and Amy (right)]

    • If you are new to CCF, find the 10 principles here
    • CCF is based on belief that the communities we serve and benefit must be centered. The national movement is BIPOC-led and ever-evolving. 
    • Key ideas include: equally valuing the importance of our donors, volunteers, staff, and board; donors are part of a larger community of support; and moving award from transactional language in communications and relationships with our donors.
    • On the foundation side, you'll see a move towards Trust-Based Philanthropy, which is a peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. At its core, trust-based philanthropy is rooted in a set of values that help advance equity, shift power, and build mutually accountable relationships.
  • 20 Oct 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Scott Arthur, Vice Chancellor of Advancement at CU Scott Arthur is pictured presenting in a blue blazer with a thoughtful expression on his face.Anschutz [pictured right], led the morning session this month. He inspired the cohort with his vision for transforming organizational culture, metrics, and donor relationships. Scott makes every second count and covers a tremendous amount in just a few hours' time.

    • The presentation is centered upon the ideas shared by Jim Hodge. Click here to watch his Ted Talk.
    • Start by shifting away from a focus on securing donations. Donors want to invest in community change. Bring them along on that journey. It allows you to focus on the joy of giving.
    • Culture matters. Create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. Establish trust. Be authentic. Eliminate gossip.
    • Embrace benefactor-centric philanthropy – it’s about them, not us. Make your goal or project resonate. Will this be inspiring to the donor? This alignment helps to create a strong relationship.
    • Metrics of visits – it’s not the number of times you visit that matters, it’s how deeply you engage a benefactor. Next, establish metrics for gift conversations and opening conversations. Focus on your engagement rate. Metrics should not be all about closing gifts and dollar amounts.
  • 30 Sep 2022 9:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    2018 Faculty Awards Announced | University of Denver

    Dr. Ellen Winiarczyk, Director, Nonprofit Studies Program,University of Denver University College [pictured above right]

    The class is using the book Strengths-Based Leadership and took the Clifton-Strengths assessment prior to the retreat. Ellen led the class through individual and group activities to help them better understand their profiles and also explore their group profile.

    We're happy to share highlights from the day:

    • A strengths-based approach is really impactful for teams. A much-loved example is Lessons from Geese, including the importance of standing by each other when one is weak and when one is strong.
    • Operating in your "strengths zone," you may find improved: confidence, direction, hope, kindness, and a greater chance of good health outcomes in life. 
    • Using this tool can increase employee and team satisfaction.
    • Effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and build on each person’s strengths
    • Diversifying team members' strengths activates innovation, adaptation, and ability to deal with changes
    • Broader groupings of a team’s strengths contribute to overall success

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