Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Welcome to your new adventure. You may have been invited into this crucial governance role as a steadying force, a change agent or a contributor of your expertise. No matter your role, get ready to play it by focusing on the 3 W’s of stewardship: Wisdom, Wealth and Work. Begin your journey by immersing yourself in the college. Review its mission, history, strategic plan, master plan, status of accreditations, SWOT analysis, competitive benchmarks, key operating plans, financial statements, budget, university magazines and organizational culture. Meet all the cabinet members and know their key priorities. Meet all other trustees and know the committees they serve. The 3 W’s of stewardship – wisdom, wealth and work – underpin the twelve things you’ll need to know to steer the college to health and prosperity: 1. Know Revenue Sources and Financials: What is our revenue breakdown? Are we a tuition-dependent college? Are we research funded? What is the extent of our corporate and foundation … Continue reading

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This post was informed by our agency experience with clients and partially inspired by my reading of Jim Langley of Langley Innovations’ books on fundraising. College presidents, vice presidents for advancement, and board members form the trifecta for envisioning, executing and consummating a successful capital or comprehensive campaign. Board members do far more than simply fundraise. They also quietly direct and choreograph the fundraising dance by playing three crucial roles: Strategist & Visionary As institutional visionaries, they: Ensure strategic planning is based on objective institutional assessment, not naive and self-serving assumptions. Apply a strategic, evidence-based, milestone-driven approach to all aspects of the campaign. Serve as sounding boards for the overall purpose of the campaign. Act as venture capitalists to ensure that campaign priorities are sensible, business plan-like and investable. Help select talented fundraising consultants and hold them accountable. Demand that funds raised are invested quickly in designated initiatives. Donor Every board member must be a lead, major or a supportive … Continue reading

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