Perfecting the Conference Call

Done well, conference calls can establish consensus and expedite tasks. They can also waste time at an exponential rate with n equal to the number of individuals asked to stop what they’re doing and call in.To ensure the best use of time and technology without ticking off clients and co-workers, consider the following tips. Avoid…

But We All Had a Good Time!

A couple of Saturdays ago, I had a great time with the Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers who were holding their conference in Houston.  You know, we don’t talk enough about volunteerism.  Helen Shaffer was my host.  She and her husband, Jim are a great couple dedicated to the advancement of the Houston Symphony.My…

If Not Now, When?

My son, Austin, would tell you that I am more sentimental than most people would think.  When he was young he was embarrassed that I cried at the end of Disney’s “That Darn Cat.”  I guess not everyone feels the emotional draw of that movie.This weekend I am in Kansas City, my corporate home, and…

A Cautionary Tale

I want to thank my friend, John von Kannon at the Heritage Foundation for sending me the following essay by Stephen Friess. While it is a sad commentary, Stephen admits that his family didn’t treat their philanthropy from the perspective of other investments they make.I share this not as a warning to philanthropists, but an…

Lead with Your Best

If you have followed my blog for any time, you know that I am a student of writing and a graduate of how not to write.  I won’t bore you with how I prepare to write, but suffice it to say that writing doesn’t come naturally to me.  Those of you who have read my…

Wisdom and Some Odds and Ends

A dear friend of mine was listening to one or more of my many stories.  She said, “You should write a book called Bob Wisdom.”  Well, I have written a few books I thought were wise, but apparently she didn’t!This got me thinking about how I do think a lot about fundraising.  In fact, I…

Gotcha Journalism

Recently, I blogged about the NPR video and criticized the fundraiser.  The more I thought about this, the more compelled I felt to write more and the takeaways from this event and others.Orient your staff on their responsibility to represent your organization at all times. Depending on the role—especially those in leadership positions—nonprofit professionals should…

Recognition Should Come to the Donor

A few months ago Purdue University gave the Neil Armstrong Medal to Captain Charles “Sully” Sullivan, the Hero of the Hudson.  This is only the second time that the Armstrong Award has been given. Ever wonder how these awards are created?  Well, I was talking with Murray Blackwelder, the then Senior Vice President of Purdue,…