Ideas, insights and inspirations.

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. College presidents play these 10 crucial roles: Visioning The Visionary: Knows the fundraising goal and is able to articulate the transformative impact that the funds will have on the institution, those it serves and society at large. The Strategist: Leads strategic planning based on thorough, objective assessment of institutional strengths and weaknesses in the context of societal shifts. Involves board members, faculty, alumni and corporate partners in their strategic planning process. Recruiting The Listener: Acts as the chief listening officer, infusing stakeholder views into the evolving campaign dialogue. The Matchmaker: Helps identify faculty and staff champions for each campaign priority. Involves different board members at all levels based on their talents and passions. … Continue reading

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…isn’t taking data from research reports and discovery sessions to come up with creative ideas for a campaign or a tagline. Honestly, that stuff is quite easy. The hardest part is letting go – of forgetting all the old notions, perceptions and sometimes predictable ways a client has communicated in the past; and replace it with a language, a tone, and a lens for the future. A single brand lens that all can shared by all – from prospective students and their parents to the college community to alums and future donors. But this isn’t easy to do. When we allow ourselves to forget old models, we create spaces for new ones to rise. Old vestiges are replaced with new tones, and a new language is created – a new focal point that raises the perception floor for a client, and helps them forever see themselves in a new light. I’m not speaking of tactics here, I’m talking about implanting … Continue reading

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