News & Events

Are you ready to go global? Part Two: The going-global organizations

February 1, 2017

Without the ability to answer ‘yes’ to the defining characteristics of a truly global organisation, the temptation is to undertake some general ‘Development Tourism’ so that you have ‘warmed up’ a community of friends and created a network of potential supporters. Yet this inclination often results in a shotgun approach, with no guarantee that these efforts will align with your domestic fundraising programme, institutional vision, and engagement opportunities. At best, time and resources would have been misdirected, but at worst, you will damage relationships by being unable to join them up with your confirmed priorities and model. My advice is […] continue reading »

Are you ready to go global? Part One: The truly global organisation

January 31, 2017

As I prepare to attend my third CASE International Advancement Conference in New York this week, I have reflected on my experience as an international advancement professional. I’ve come to realise that my work has broadly fallen into supporting two types of education institutions: the truly global organisation, which has integrated international opportunities and priorities into its core mission and business activity; and the going-global organisation, which recognises the opportunities and expresses a general commitment to strengthening its international reach, but has yet to fully embed this goal into the heart of the organisation. Whether you are just starting out […] continue reading »

Graham-Pelton announces Scottish office and expansion

January 24, 2017

The rapid growth of the European division of Graham-Pelton Consulting shows no sign of slowing with the opening of a new office in Edinburgh to further support our growing list of prestigious clients. A dedicated team of professionals local to the area are led by Karen Cairney and Colin McCallum; two leading lights in the Scottish fundraising sector. Scottish clients to date include institutions such as University of St Andrews, Glasgow Life, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Dundee, the James Hutton Institute and George Watson College. Karen Cairney was most recently Director of External Engagement for Edinburgh Napier University. Karen […] continue reading »

A look back, a look forward: possibility

January 17, 2017

We’ve recently discussed the ways that the themes of promise and challenge shaped the philanthropic landscape for 2016 and set the course for 2017. In our conclusion today, we discuss the possibilities ahead. With the promise of demonstrated philanthropic growth yet an uncertainty about societal attitudes toward giving in a post-Brexit and President Trump world, it is important to keep focused on data and donor behavior. Grow your donor pool by understanding your donors. The Pew Research Center reports that Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S., and they are catching up in the […] continue reading »

A look back, a look forward: challenge

January 16, 2017

While yesterday we celebrated promise, today on the blog we acknowledge that 2016 was a year that also included challenges — and that with challenge comes opportunity for your institution. Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, campus discord, headlined violence… these factors and more have joined economic vulnerability in impacting philanthropic behavior and fundraising efforts. Alumni donors have always had the option – and exercised that option – to withhold their giving in reaction to their alma mater’s decisions, changes or activities… but the tendency to make such a statement of dissatisfaction may be increasing. As colleges and universities face student […] continue reading »

A look back, a look forward: three big ideas for 2017

January 13, 2017

As we enter a new year of philanthropy, Senior Vice President Pat House, Ed.D. offers a 2016 industry recap that focuses on the themes of promise, challenge, and possibility. Today, we start with promise: The June Giving USA 2016 report shared the good news that 2015 was America’s most generous year ever for charitable contributions, totaling more than $373 billion. Contributions from all sources were up, and giving to education reflected a strong increase above 5%. More encouraging reports followed throughout 2016: According to the latest Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report, donations of ₤1m or more in the United Kingdom […] continue reading »

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Development Leaders in 2017

January 5, 2017

Ready to make 2017 the best development year ever? As you begin a fresh calendar year with your development team, consider adding some of these recommended resolutions to your list to create a vibrant, focused, and highly successful development shop. What additional resolutions are on your list this year? 1. Lead with Impact. Strike the words “we need…” from your vocabulary this year, and describe your case for support, cultivation discussions, and giving priorities by sharing a vision for the impact your organization can have through greater philanthropic investments. 2. Ask More. And we don’t mean just for gifts! What […] continue reading »

What George Michael taught us about philanthropy

December 28, 2016

Reading about George Michael’s approach to giving during his life has been uplifting. How wonderful to see someone’s generosity of spirit being celebrated alongside his talent. So what can we learn about philanthropy from George? 1. Give without judgement Apparently, George listened to a woman in a café who was distressed about her debts. He then handed the waitress a cheque for £25,000 to give to the woman. This story could have been so different. George could have thought, “Well, she has done some stupid things that have got her into this situation, so I won’t give.” He could have […] continue reading »

Isn’t that a bit illegal?

December 18, 2016

I originally wrote this post in June 2015. It was titled, “Isn’t that a bit distasteful?” Fast forward 19 months, and I am reposting it as my contribution to the current crisis within the sector around the use/abuse of data. Back in 2015 I asked someone who was leading a charity whether they had wealth screened their database. They responded with discomfort and said, “Isn’t it rather distasteful to find out how rich someone is?” Their view was that we should treat everyone in the same way, and those who are richer will automatically give more. I couldn’t have disagreed […] continue reading »

A response to the ICO’s findings that RSPCA and British Heart Foundation broke data protection laws

December 15, 2016

The ruling by the Information Commissioner’s Office has sparked fierce, passionate debate and a lot of confusion across the charity sector. We have reviewed the detailed findings of the ICO and would like to clarify four areas where there is potential for unnecessary confusion: Myth 1: Wealth-screening is illegal The act of wealth screening is not illegal, rather it is the act of doing so without the individual’s knowledge that you are doing so and giving them the chance to opt-out (under the Data Protection Act 1998) or to opt-in (after 25 May 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation […] continue reading »

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