Friday afternoon reflections on another week of generous matters

Matching walk to talk – My friend Mark Vincent’s caution about using “Christian” as an adjective isn’t just for business owners. His words have application for fundraisers well. Swap out “fundraiser” for “business” and “donors” for “customers,” and you get the point.

I hear “Christian business” and I want (expect) standards to be higher. I suspect most everyone else does as well. . . In the end, claiming to be a Christian business might not expose the enterprise to grace, but to the ironic and strict application of legalistic expectations held by the customer. It seems, then, the best way to be a Christian in the marketplace is to live it long before assigning ourselves the label. (Depth Perception online newsletter)

You think you’re worth what? –The April issue of Blue Avocado comes with helpful advice for board leaders about benchmarking and analyzing  staff salaries. It will cost you a few hours, but “charting salary ranges gives a management team and the board a tool for determining whether salary spreads are appropriate to the multiple goals of attracting top talent, internal balance, and affordability.”

Thriving in tough times – A recent issue of Chronicle of Philanthropy features fundraising consultant Irwin Stoolmacher’s ten strategies for fundraising during the recovery. You’ll want to read the complete article, but until you can get to it, here are the highlights.  

  • Avoid the temptation to cut fundraising.
  • Continue to spend on marketing and public relations.
  • Stay away from hyperbole.
  • Establish a strong brand.
  • Scope out the competition.
  • Actively and consistently promote your brand.
  • Concentrate on getting donors to give more.
  • Create a quality website and update technology tools.
  • Embrace social media.
  • Increase your presence on the internet.

No easy compromises – If you wish there could be something other than the wrangling we’re seeing in Washington, D.C., consider the following from author Nilofer Merchant in The New How: Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy.

The hallmark of thorny strategy problems is that they involve contradictions—that is, they contain a set of conflicting goals or imperatives that create a tension that defies objective resolution. . . If this were not true, the problem would be straightforward.  . . Contradiction is inherent in all decisions involving significant change. . . There is rarely just one right answer when dealing with complex problems.


  1. Thank you for the encouragement.

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