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From the category archives: Development

Development

David Hollenbaugh's avatar

Giving and Getting in Christian Higher Education

In the last two weeks, several leaders have expressed to me the same concern. The question asked arises frequently, but in these instances focused on Development in Higher Education. I thought it was a good time to highlight some ideas and address the issue. The question: Where does faith and action intersect in the world of fundraising? Where to Begin This particular tension has existed since “fundraising” in Christian circles began. It can be theologically challenging, and it can also be a limiting factor if inappropriately translated. In the Bible, Nehemiah, David, Solomon, Matthew and Paul address this topic. In our contemporary experience George Mueller, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham, and a host of others answer this question. It is a good and valid question. Let’s start with perspective—God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He can do anything and everything, and he doesn’t need us to accomplish His objectives. For some reason though, God has given us a role in His creation and invites us in ...

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David Hollenbaugh's avatar

Major Gift Magic

Think of something you like and enjoy—cars, food, music, sports, gardening—you pick. Whatever you’ve chosen, it is probably a combination of art and science. Just peel it back a few layers. Cars include design and engineering, food combines presentation and chemistry, music involves performance and composition, and the list goes on. This is not the first time that someone has applied the phrase, “It’s art and science,” to make their point. However, how often do we stop and explore those components as we strive toward our daily goals? It is easy to operate at such a rapid pace and become so familiar with routine that we fail to recognize the importance of the two working together. Historically, what has been termed “magic” is instead, at its root, art and science combined. I am thinking of those magic acts that inspire wonder and awe, not the ridiculous science that “proves the woman is a witch” from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. When I present “Major Gift Training,” or as I coach and develop strategies with ...

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David Hollenbaugh's avatar

Why Have a Major Gifts Program?

Finding a development professional who would disagree with the merits of a productive major gift program would be difficult. Most would identify with the benefits that major gifts provide. But why do organizations still struggle in this area? For centuries, people have cultivated apple trees because they know that if they pay attention and do it well, the tree produces fruit. It can be a time consuming and tedious process. Sometimes personnel allocation and coordination is a challenge. More often than not, it’s simply a matter of overcoming inertia and moving forward. This is true whether you are beginning a major gifts program, involving new personnel, or experiencing the daily challenge of making appointments and visiting prospects. Build Relationships through Activity Many nonprofits report higher dollars from fewer donors in the past few years. As our donors decide how to provide support, relationship is a tremendous factor. Recently, and especially in challenging economic times, people choose to ...

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David Hollenbaugh's avatar

You Can Do Anything If…

The 18 mile marker came into view at the same time my right leg locked up.  Then the same with my left.  Still 8 miles to go in the Pittsburgh Marathon and this setback wasn’t in my race plan.  Time to make a decision?  No, I had already made it months ago during training.  I would finish—I just had to keep going. You can do anything if you can just take one more step. Recently, I talked with a Major Gift Officer that I coached for several years.  He is now in a new role, and our topic was motivation.  Enthusiastically, he shared his new mission with me.  In development, motivation is critical—for ourselves and for our donors.  It may be simple, but it cannot be overstated.  Two of the biggest reasons why development professionals fail are:  Inactivity and mission misalignment—or lack of motivation and lack of belief in the mission.  A focus on attitude and activity can make all the difference. Attitude and Activity Determination and persevera ...

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David Hollenbaugh's avatar

Adventure: The 1.5 Million Dollar Lost Gift

On an adventure, things don’t always go as planned, but that is the point where the adventure begins… When the donor called to tell me that he was cutting us off from his $1.5 million gift, it first felt like I was falling off the edge of a cliff.  But, as the dust settled over the next few weeks, it was more like being one of those guys who parachute off of mountaintops – and safely land with a rush of adrenaline. He “expressed” himself all over the phone.  I decided to simply take my beating.  I fought the urge to correct him, to tell him what I knew, and to fix the situation from my perspective.  But, it wasn’t an issue with my perspective.  In fact, it was all about his perspective – you and I both know that.  This was a monumental, Mt. Everest-sized issue to him. As my ear burned, I kept listening.  Have you ever been right and wondered why others didn’t “get” it?  This incident was all about a misunderstanding regarding suggestions as to how to handle a planne ...

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Comments
  1. Re: Running on Empty—When Summer Funds Run Low.

    I have learned so much from you Dave, and once again am reminded that if God's people aren't aware of...

    -- Susan LeCornu

  2. Re: Running on Empty—When Summer Funds Run Low.

    I have learned so much from you Dave, and once again am reminded that if God's people aren't aware of...

    -- Susan LeCornu

  3. Re: Secret Weapon of Relayed Information

    Great reminder, David.

    -- Ben

Adventures in Giving
by David Hollenbaugh
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About David

For more than twenty years, I’ve enjoyed building value and increasing results for the organizations I’ve worked with. I am grateful for the leaders and mentors who have invested in me professionally and personally and in the same way, I am honored to encourage others. I admire the ministries we serve and I love helping to fuel their mission to build and care for God’s Kingdom.

I see life as an adventure—family life with my wife and three kids, enjoying God’s creation in the great outdoors, learning something new, or just about anything. I believe that sharing that enthusiasm adds to the success—and fun—in whatever you do.

My hope is that you will find these Adventures in Giving both practical and supportive and that they will help you recognize your own journey as an adventure.

I appreciate your comments and I wish you the best in all you do!

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