News, commentary & industry best practice for advancement professionals


The Weekend Briefing is distributed every Sunday evening by email to development officers around the country.

Written by Rob Cummings, The Weekend Briefing brings practical information and best practice in fundraising to development professionals who work without the resources and support enjoyed by larger institutions.

Yet the Briefing finds an audience among fundraisers at every level of experience and among organizations of every size.
The art and science of this noble profession unite us all.

You have indeed mastered the art of fundraising and the ability to share, delight, and inspire the rest of us.”

Every Sunday I look forward to The Weekend Briefing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and providing an opportunity for fellow advancement professionals to learn week after week.”

“Thanks for your commitment to sharing your thoughts and reflections, and ideas, with all of us. No matter where we are in this work, it has value for us.

“I believe the Briefing serves to build our community by supporting fundraising professionals at all levels and from all kinds of institutions, effectively reminding even experienced professionals of key tenets, lessons learned and shared experiences. When I receive the Briefing, I think of colleagues around the country who are probably also smiling at your examples and stories and nodding their heads in recognition of the lesson shared, as I do. You reinforce that sense of community among us all.”




Rob Cummings’ career spans 40 years as an advancement leader for many of the Chicago area’s oldest and most respected institutions. Through his deep understanding of the field and his capacity to nurture the growth of development professionals, Rob has established a distinguished record of success in major gift solicitation and building strong fund raising programs.

Rob Cummings

Beginning his career at St. Ignatius College Prep, Rob crafted the strategy for its first Campaign, funding the rebirth of that famed Chicago institution. His leadership at Loyola University Medical Center and Saint Xavier University saw the first seven-figure gifts from living donors to each institution. Rob transformed the development program at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind into one of the most successful of its kind in America, spearheading a Centennial campaign and raising $25 million overall. He has served as Vice President for Advancement for the Cristo Rey Network of schools, chief development officer for the Franciscan Alliance hospitals in northwest Indiana and as chief development officer for the Midwest Province of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

A mentor to many fund raising professionals, Rob has presented at virtually every major industry conference. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, two Golden Trumpet Awards from the Publicity Club of Chicago, and the St. Ignatius Alumni Medal. The first issue of “The Weekend Briefing” was emailed to 19 development directors on September 15, 2008. Today this digest of news, commentary and best practice is distributed at no cost every Sunday night to 1,100 advancement subscribers across the country.

Rob lives just off the 13th fairway southwest of Chicago. He can be reached at, on Twitter @TheWkdBriefing and on LinkedIn.



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