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News and Notes from the Director

As of March 22, 2018

Thank you to those of you who responded to PSI’s communications survey. We’re pleased that a significant number of you said you appreciate receiving items from PSI by e-mail.  We will do our best to not inundate you with messages and mailings, but will selectively send you items that we believe are helpful for you or at least interesting.  From now on, this News and Notes column will also be e-mailed to you. As usual, this column will not be lengthy, and we carefully choose what might be of most value to you as we communicate with you. Watch for an e-mail that mirrors this column!  The e-mail will be sent to those whose information we have in PSI’s database.

PLEASE NOTE!  PSI’s MAP program has taken on a new look and new life. We have revised the program carefully, with advice from personnel who have worked or are working for academies.  We believe we now have a more streamlined, workable program. Please take a look on PSI’s website: Model for Academy Philanthropy.  Also PLEASE NOTE that PSI’s assistance is available in several ways, as described on the website—Options One and Two, and participation in the MAP program. We look forward to hearing from you, and please share the news.

The PSI Conference on Philanthropy is getting closer! Time is passing quickly, and we hope you’re making plans to attend PSI’s conference in Ft. Lauderdale.  Please take note of the Service Awards for which you can nominate someone and also the Milton Murray Trailblazer Award, which is given to a seasoned and accomplished professional.  See the box on the top of our website for more information. Be sure to notice the deadlines!

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? This campaign pointed out the value of peer-to-peer fundraising, but was also fraught with challenges—besides the campaign itself.  Here is an interesting headline– The Chronicle Daily Update

ALS patient group unhappy with how $115 million raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge is being spent

Published: Feb 15, 2018 8:40 a.m. ET

Social Media Platforms have a definite, positive role in fundraising campaigns, and we can learn a lot from the Ice Bucket Challenge. For more on this, contact me (

Donor-Advised Funds are here to stay.  Watch for notice of a PSI live webinar coming up on this topic. In the meantime, here is a highly credible resource for you: Giving USA Special Report

What would you like to know about fundraising, philanthropy, nonprofit studies, management and leadership of nonprofits? What topics would you like us to cover?



Until next time,


Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

For archived messages click here.

RICH TIPS: Orienting New Board Members


Dear Friends,

A board needs to do more than just take up space. It needs to provide value to the organization. Unfortunately, many boards can be formless and useless. A lot of the time, the reasoning behind this lack of activity, is orientation. As soon as new members join, they need to be oriented into the organization and they must be told the expectations of work and participation.

The responsibility of orienting new board members should be shared between the executive director, board chairperson and a few other board members. It should not be the sole responsibility of the executive director or of any one person. However, from my experience you only have a few board meetings to get the new members “on board” and get them rolling, otherwise they will fall into bad habits of expecting to do little or nothing. Board culture is ingrained and established very quickly for new members.

Below are some valuable insight for an effective orientation program that can help welcome new board members:

1. Introduce them to the organization.

Make sure the executive director and other important leaders, sit down with them and go over the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. It’s critical that the new board members have a solid understanding of the vision and mission of the organization. Have this take place prior to their first board meeting.

2. Give them a tour of the organization’s office and facilities.

Make sure they “see and feel” what the organization is all about, and have them meet some of the clients who can tell them stories that the new board members can share with the community and others. Introduce them to key staff and volunteers.

3. Introduce them personally to each board member.

Take the time to introduce them to everyone as key players, so they feel welcomed as an important participant. Provide the message that they are critical to the success of the organization and they are there not just taking up space.

4. Provide a board orientation manual with the basics.

Make sure the board members know what is expected of them in terms of committee assignments, dollar amount of financial contributions, the role of the board in relationship to the executive director, etc. I still like the three ring binders that are tabulated with categories such as: history and background; goals and objectives, budget and financial information; fundraising, legal documents (by-laws and articles of incorporation), brochures and marketing materials; list and bio of board and staff members; personnel policies and procedures; etc.

5. Take them out to lunch.

Make sure either the board president or the executive director takes the new board members out to lunch during the first month on the job. When you take them to lunch, give them an assignment to fulfill that will get them active right from the get-go. Make sure they “hit the ground running”.

6. Write them a welcome letter.

The board president should write a welcome letter to each new board member that formally welcomes them into the organization and thanks them for their time, energy and expertise.

7. Assign them a buddy.

Have the president of the board assign a new board member a buddy that will sit next to him/her during the first few meetings. This buddy could also go out to lunch with the new member, answer questions and make sure they are engaged and involved right from the beginning.

8. Provide them with necessary information.

Give the new members information such as annual reports, auditor reports, strategic plans, job descriptions, etc. Include some past minutes of meeting and other materials that will help educate the new member.

9. Put them on the agenda.

At the first board meeting, provide every new member an opportunity to talk to the board about their experiences, motivations, and passions. Within the next six months have them conduct a 10-15 minute educational session on an issue they are passionate about. This is a great way for the board to get to know the member and for the member to open up about themselves.


Make sure you thank them for their time and participation. It is also a good idea to begin to collect their birthday, anniversaries and other significant events so you can acknowledge them throughout the year.

Congratulations on any additions you have made to your board!

Rich Male


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To nominate a person for PSI’s Service Awards CLICK HERE or the Milton Murray Trailblazer Award CLICK HERE.

Fill in the form, Save As and send as an email attachment to

2018 Conference on Philanthropy

Be sure and check out our new mentoring program under the Resources tab

Become a peer-coaching mentor — or — the beneficiary of a mentorship who wishes to “learn the ropes.”


For questions and additional information, contact the PSI Network Connect Manager.

Charlotte Henderson

Charlotte Henderson will be teaching the newcomer’s workshop at the Conference on Philanthropy and will be available to meet privately for 30 minutes by appointment.

Introduction to PSI

We're Here to Help

We invite you to contact PSI any time you feel you need a consultant, at any stage of your fundraising efforts. We are here for any type of help, and we can even share carefully-selected consultant names or firms.

Perspectives from the Field

Glimpses of Fundraising in Adventist Organizations

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ON HOLD until further notice.

Inside Philanthropy & Fundraising

Our North American Division Partner in God’s work. Click here:

NAD Stewardship

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Do you know someone interested in the field of Fundraising or someone in the field wanting a different challenge? Be sure and direct them to our JOB CENTER. There they will find not only who is hiring but also a place to have their resume posted for those seeking to hire.

News and Updates from PSI

Fundraising Group Offers New Online Practice Test for Certification

By Eden Stiffman

Fundraisers who want practice their test-taking skills before taking an influential professional certification examination now have a new aid. CFRE International, the organization that offers fundraising certification, has launched a new online practice exam.

“It’s something that fundraisers have been wanting for quite some time,” said Jeff Stanger, education-resources manager at CFRE International. The goal is to give fundraisers a sense of confidence before taking the four-hour, 200-question exam. It includes questions that are similar in difficulty to the actual exam.

“This won’t suddenly make it easy but will help with the confidence that you have an idea of what you’re in for,” said Mr. Stanger, adding that it will be especially helpful for people who have been out of school for some time or who struggle with test-taking.

Other Testing Options

Fundraisers are not required to get professional certification, but 6,050 of them currently hold the credential, most of them in North America. As of June of last year, 103 fundraisers received the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, or ACFRE, which is administered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Many fundraisers say the certification is helpful in seeking new jobs and higher salaries and in reassuring donors and superiors of their professionalism.

People taking the practice test will receive feedback on the questions they get right and wrong. The new tool also provides feedback specific to the test’s six subject areas:

  • Current and prospective donor research
  • Securing gifts
  • Relationship building
  • Leadership and management
  • Involvement of volunteers in fundraising
  • Ethics, accountability, and professionalism.

In addition to the full-length, 100-question practice test, people can take 20-question quizzes to assess their knowledge in specific subject areas. Fundraisers can purchase 30-day and 90-day subscriptions for the study tool.

With the real exam, scores range from 200 to 800; a passing grade is 500 or more. About 75 percent of test-takers pass on the first try, Mr. Stanger said.

CFRE International is also developing a study guide and other study tools that will be released over the next year.

adventist learning community

Most of the contact information that PSI will get from you in the future will come through this site. By opting into our email, you will have access to important information that PSI sends out from time to time. We’ve also included areas for you to add additional information about yourself, your organization, and your interests, in order to help us target your specific needs.

Books and Resources

Successful Fundraising

Are you planning a building project—a new church, addition, school building, or Community Service building? Do you wonder how you should go about getting the funds? Does it seem like your campaign for funds goes on forever? Are your members or constituents tired of talking about money? If you have these questions and probably many others, Successful Fundraising is for you. Explore the options below to see which edition is right for you.

Successful Fundraising: A Handbook for Best Practices

successful fundraising cover 200

Successful Fundraising – Second Edition

Successful Fundraising 2nd Edition

Recaudación de Fondos Segunda Edición


Successful Fundraising – Canadian Edition

Diversity and Philanthropy

Written by Lilya Wagner, EdD, CFRE

A “one size fits all” strategy is not effective when it comes to philanthropy and fundraising in today’s diversified environment. This book enables nonprofit leaders, board members, staff, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations to better reach diverse populations and incorporate perspectives that increase success by surveying the cultural context for philanthropic action. In the PSI Library or offered on Amazon in both Print and Kindle: Order on Amazon | View Praeger Publishers listing

To learn more...

Be sure and check out the new web site developed to coincide with Diversity and Philanthropy:

New to the library

The Ask

A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit’s bottom line.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.

If you would like to check out this book or another from our library, please call Tandi Perkins 301-680-6139 or send an email to her at

Available for download

Your Future in Fundraising 242h

Your Future in Fundraising, by Dr. Lilya Wagner, is now available as a free download here:


The PSI resource center has an array of documents, samples, articles, books, and other materials that will aid your professional activity and practice.

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