Reunions

By Rob Cummings Events

I really thought this was lost forever.  I’ve searched for this essay for two years.  It combines some of my very favorite things; superb writing, a story with a message, and a shared experience. According to his website, “William Zinsser is a lifelong journalist and nonfiction writer—he began his career on the New York Herald Tribune in 1946—and is also a teacher, best known for his book On Writing Well, a companion held in affection by three generations of writers, reporters, editors, teachers and students.” I first read this essay more than 25 years ago.  I regret I don’t know

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Events? Or Major Gifts?

By Rob Cummings Events

A reader writes: “Rob, one topic I would be glad to hear more about is special events. “I recently relocated from a large university setting to a much smaller development shop.  Special events occupy quite a prominent place in our fundraising strategy, and I’m constantly being asked to work on them. “It’s been quite a challenge.  I do see some benefit, but it takes away from my capacity for visits, proper follow up and strategy.  Should I be expected to do both visits and events? “If I may, two underlying topics here are, one, what is the role of special

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When Events Can Be Magic

By Rob Cummings Events

It was the biggest gala in our history.  We’d been working for months to give it our very best. We knew it meant so much to the organization. The thing about events, you don’t get a second chance to make it right. Soon after dinner I pulled an index card out of the pocket of my tuxedo and headed over to the president’s table.  On the card were the names and table locations of the donors he needed to see that night. I got to my boss’s table and asked if we could make the rounds.  He gave me a

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Why Events are So Valuable

By Rob Cummings Events

Events have been part of the advancement profession forever. Today this proven fundraising vehicle may be relegated to the development backseat. This technique is considered outdated by some, compared to social media and other trends of the moment. It’s interesting how often we regard the newest concepts as the best concepts.  Not always so.  When a fundraising vehicle has served so many for so long, there’s a good reason. As a carefully-positioned element of an overall annual plan, this “old warhorse” of development can provide targeted messaging to your key donors, an entrée to new donors, and multiple residual benefits. Events are

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