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05Mar 18

News and Notes from the Director – As of February 14, 2018

As of February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day from PSI, whether you’re reading this on the exact day or not.  And since I believe in not just a “birth day,” but extend it to a birth week or even birth month, please accept our best wishes whenever you read these News and Notes!

NEW AND IMPROVED!   Thanks to Charlotte Henderson, PSI’s mentoring program is vastly improved and we hope you will take a look at this exciting revision.  Check this out and take the next step toward even more professional development: Mentoring program

We will keep the upcoming PSI conference front and center for quite a while, to make sure you don’t miss information about this special event.  2018 PSI CONFERENCE ON PHILANTHROPY   June 26-29, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Pier Sixty-Six Resort.  Sponsored by NAD every 3 years.  Learn from top experts at the lowest price!  Network with Adventist professional development officers who have conquered the same challenges you face, and discover tools that make an immediate difference.  Basic Fundraising Techniques will also be taught in Spanish. Free 1 to 1 consulting.  Learn Now, Pay Later.  See separate 1-page ad in this issue for more details.

Event Website: http//

Some interesting new thoughts about capital campaigns and feasibility studies.  See CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY DAILY UPDATE, from January 10, 2018: Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign? Steps to Take Before DecidingBy Martha Keates.

For decades, most nonprofit leaders considering a capital campaign would hire consultants to interview key supporters as a basis for deciding whether to mount what in many cases would be an organization’s most ambitious fundraising drive ever.  If you don’t get this publication, we could share the info with you.  Basically, they present some alternatives to the traditional feasibility study.

Very soon we will have the forms for volunteer service awards given by PSI as well as the Trailblazer award on our website.  Watch for further notice but be thinking about whom to nominate so we have a good slate of nominees.  This is a chance to truly honor some person who has been instrumental in your success, plus honor someone from our own ranks.

There always seems to be some new and innovative way to re-think how we do things, and in the corporate giving realm, that is certainly true.  In a recent issue of Grassroots Fundraising Journal there was excellent information on yet another somewhat-new aspect of corporate giving, “Is Fiscal Sponsorship Right for You?”  If you are interested and don’t get this journal, ask me.

On February 19 and 20 the current MAP academy participants are coming on our site to discuss MAP and how to improve it.  Watch for more information on this very important event.

We say a sad farewell to a most valuable employee, Tandi Perkins.

She has been with PSI for about a year and a half and has been a great asset to all of us.  We wish her the very best as she relocates to work with exciting projects of the Alaska Conference. 

Until next time,


Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

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29Jan 18

News and Notes from the Director – as of January 29, 2018

Already the year is zipping by quickly, and I’m sure we’re all thinking, “How am I going to get everything done!”  Please remember that PSI is here for YOU, and check out our myriad of services that might be useful for you. Also, please alert your friends and acquaintances to this News column, which we will publish approximately every two to three weeks, and also peruse our website, which contains many resources.

Taxes are a big issue today. At PSI we’re collecting information and articles that try to enlighten us on this thorny issue.  Write if you need some of the latest materials on taxes, fundraising and nonprofits.

We’re building our “store” of webinars and invite you to check out the ones we have so far. If there is a particular topic you would like to have us cover, let us know. We will have “live” webinars in 2018, the first one being non-philanthropic income such as in-kind gifts, and the second one about donor-advised funds. Watch for further notices. And don’t forget the course that PSI has on the Adventist Learning Community website,

The December 5, 2017 Daily Update of the Chronicle of Philanthropy contained this article—”Donor States of America:  First-of-its-kind demographic analysis of giving dispels myths and reveals surprises.” If you don’t have access to this article, write me and we’ll share it with you.

And we will continue to keep our upcoming PSI conference front and center so that you can plan to attend. Randy Fox and PSI staff as well as the steering committee are working hard to make this the best-ever conference for you. Soon we will post the forms for the traditional PSI awards and scholarship applications.

The higher education senior professionals. Unfortunately Tami Condon and Troy Patzer had to leave a bit early.

At times PSI convenes meetings of representatives from sub-sectors of PSI’s constituents. This week the senior professionals working in higher education in the NAD gathered on the Union College campus and had two days of guided discussion as well as interaction with each other. At the meeting were LuAnn Davis of UC, Troy Patzer representing WWU, Carolyn Hamilton from SAU, David Faehner from AU, Tanya Sweeny from WAU, Carol Bradfield from ADU, David Colwell representing LLU, and Tami Condon from SWAU.  Many thanks to LuAnn and Union College for hosting this event, and thanks to PSI staff Tandi Perkins and Randy Fox for helping prepare for it.  Special guests were Andrea Ahrens from Christian Record Services for the Blind and John Huynh from Cal Poly in Pomona.

In the next month we will convene those academies’ representatives who are in PSI’s MAP program. Let us know if you have any special needs.

As always, wishing you the best!!  Lilya

Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

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01Jan 18

January 1, 2018

As of January 1, 2018

As we begin a new calendar year, we at PSI wish you the best for you personally and in your significant work for each of your organizations. Please remember our sole purpose for existing is to assist you and help you do your work in the best way possible.

Just a reminder that I share news and information with you every two or three weeks, and I look for the latest in resources as well as answers to questions we receive from the field. This time I’m featuring some new and very helpful books.

For those of you in healthcare fundraising, or if you know someone in healthcare, you may be interested in a new book by Betsy Chapin Taylor, a renowned authority on healthcare philanthropy.  She edited an excellent volume published by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Transforming Health Care Philanthropy. She has brought together authors who wrote about “grateful engagement,” using metrics, major gifts as art and science, and other relevant and current topics.

For those of you interested in global philanthropy, here’s a suggestion. Based upon the survey results of 4,150 donors worldwide, the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report is unique in that it is the only annual research project dedicated to studying how donors worldwide prefer to give and engage with their favorite their favorite causes and charitable organizations.

Download the Report:

All of us will be interested in a new book about congregational giving in North America.  Dr. Bill Enright is the author of Kitchen Table Giving: Reimagining How Congregations Connect with their Donors. A retired pastor, he is the Emeritus Founding Executive Director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University (2004-2015.) A Director of the Lilly Endowment, he has served on the board of numerous nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

And of course we refer you to the latest issue of the AFP journal, Advancing Philanthropy, which focuses on ethics, regulation, and how to approach these serious issues professionally. The entire issue is well worth reading!  If you don’t get this journal, perhaps we can help you with specific articles that interest you. Here are some exceptional titles:

  • Rules Were Made to Be Followed
  • Ethics:  Everybody’s Business
  • An Illustrated Guide to Ethical Problems
  • What We Need is T-r-u-s-t
  • How to Approach Donors to Give Monthly, the Ethical Way
  • It’s the Ethical Thing to Do
  • Education, Regulation and the New York State Charities Bureau
  • The Ethics of Overhead
  • Weaving Ethics Into Your Professional Life
  • The Role of Leader:  The “Marriage” of Diversity and Ethics (by Lilya Wagner and Birgit Burton)

We repeat, PSI is here to make your professional life easier and better, and we will do all that’s possible to serve YOU and your organizations! Greetings from COLD Maryland!!

Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

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30Nov 17

November 30, 2017

As of November 30, 2017

Just finished speaking at a fundraising professionals conference in North Carolina and during the lunch period a senior VP from a university updated us about tax issues. These are complicated and at times alarming issues for us, so it behooves us to be aware and knowledgeable, and maybe even take appropriate action within our professional associations. Here is the latest information from our collegial groups:




No doubt some other resources are also available.  Let us know if you have information or questions. And let’s hope for the best as it pertains to our causes and important work.

Don’t forget the valuable information from a leading “watchdog” organization—even if most NAD organizations don’t see the need for this approval process, at the least we should be aware of the requirements for approval by this entity. The website is and here is the masthead.

Do you need help in planning for your fundraising program, or perhaps have a form of guidelines that will alert you to steps to take?  Of course, contact PSI for assistance and materials, but also remember that we have a couple of planning and tracking forms designed particularly for academy fundraising and also a more general one for use by any organization.  Check with me at

Giving USA issued a special report on religious giving.  If you don’t have this, we can share some highlights with you.

Also, a really significant article appeared in the daily updates from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  Again, if you don’t receive this, we can give you the highlights or perhaps you can pull it up:

NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Donors Say They Don’t Give More Because of Money Constraints and Lack of Nonprofit Transparency

By Timothy Sandoval

Watch for PSI’s holiday greetings!  Until next time, and please contact any of us at any time if we can be of assistance.

Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

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08Nov 17

November 8, 2017

News and Notes from the DirectorIt’s time to plan year-end appeals.  Contact us if you need some ideas or information.

Congratulations to Janel Ware of Shenandoah Valley Academy!  She received her Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at a recent course taught in DC!   It was also a pleasure to have Miriam Battles from Oakwood University in the group!  Also pictured is Dr. Gene Tempel, founding dean of the School.







Also congratulations to the Advancement office of Walla Walla University, led by Jodi Wagner.  They received recognition for overall performance by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).  This is a stellar achievement and we’re pleased to know one of our ranks was honored.  See the list here.

A really important item of information for anyone who is doing fundraising appeared in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy Daily Update, Oct. 26, 2017, “The Best Research Available for Fundraisers:  A Roundup.” We base our services on both best practices and research on what works, and many of you will be interested, I’m sure, in seeing the sources of the research. If you don’t get the Chronicle, write me and I’ll send you the article.

A yearly highlight for PSI is the President’s Dinner, and it was held in the new NAD building this year, during year-end meetings (see photos on Events page on our website). Our sincere thanks to Dr. Amir Pasic, current dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who gave an excellent keynote address. We appreciate those who attended this special event and have shown interest and support of PSI’s work for NAD constituents.

Coming soon!! Charlotte Henderson is working on a comprehensive mentoring program and it will soon be available! We want to use this “tool” to help new fundraisers, strengthen those who are already in practice, and recruit new individuals to our great profession. We also have information on careers in fundraising—contact me or any PSI staff member if you wish to have information, and be sure to download Your Future in Fundraising, available on our website, or purchase this at low-cost from  We always welcome new individuals to this great profession.

Don’t forget that besides personal counsel that PSI provides, we have many resources such as a library and we do grant searches for you.

Until next time! We try to bring you news every two weeks. Apologies that this is late due to my computer locking me out (thanks, Windows 10!) while traveling.

Lilya Wagner

Mobile:  317-250-8274

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Lilya's Corner

Suggested Resources

In the library

Nonprofit Excellence in Fundraising

Nonprofit Fundraising 101Built upon the success of the best-selling “Nonprofit Management 101,” this easy to digest book provides practical, comprehensive guidance for nonprofit fundraising around the globe. With tips and tools, expert advice, and real-world insights from almost fifty industry leaders, this robust resource addresses the entire spectrum of fundraising for nonprofits, including: Planning, hiring, and tracking progress Individual donors, major gifts, events, and direct mail Board and volunteer engagement Foundation and government grants Corporate partnerships Online and email fundraising.

Advice from the Expert

March 2018

What works in fundraising?

By Melissa S. Brown

Fundraising professionals want to know: is direct mail still a reliable way to raise funds? What share of all giving comes in on-line? Do our peer institutions use SMS/Text messaging? These and other topics are covered by the twice-annual study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative or NRC (

Organizations use NRC findings to make decisions about where to invest fundraising dollars. Charities look to the NRC to see whether other organizations report increases, decreases or stable receipts from each of the 15 different methods studied, and how widely used certain methods are. Very few charities use telephone appeals or text messaging, for example. Nearly all use direct mail.

The NRC also asks specialized questions in each wave. A year ago, in Winter 2017, the group reported that a quarter of charities saw a decline in charitable receipts related to the 2016 elections in the U.S. An even earlier study reported the many ways that board members are involved in fundraising, beyond making the ask.

With a decade of data and hundreds of participating groups in each wave, the NRC is the only source of long-term trend information that looks at specific fundraising methods and considers results by organizational size, region, and sub-sector or mission (education, human services, arts, etc.).

The Winter 2018 survey is open through March 6th with a report planned for April. Take a look!  When you complete the survey, you’ll get an early peak at results.

About Melissa S. Brown: Research and writing to help your organization turn knowledge into action. Voted “One of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers” in 2016

Upcoming Presentations:

The Fund Raising School Proposal Writing and Grant Management Chicago, IL March 15-16, 2018

AFP-Greater Wichita Chapter The Future of Philanthropic Culture Wichita, KS April 5, 2018

Evansville Area Fundraising Council The Future of Philanthropy May 9, 2018

Member Association of Fundraising Professionals Association of Philanthropic Counsel, Armandina Evaluation Association Consultant, Indiana Youth Institute Faculty, The Fund Raising School

Career information for fundraising professionals and practitioners

Finding Meaning in the Mysterious

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

News and Notes from the Director – As of February 14, 2018

As of February 14, 2018 Happy Valentine’s Day from PSI, whether you’re reading this on the exact day or not.  And…

read more

News and Notes from the Director – as of January 29, 2018

Already the year is zipping by quickly, and I’m sure we’re all thinking, “How am I going to get everything…

read more

January 1, 2018

As of January 1, 2018 As we begin a new calendar year, we at PSI wish you the best for…

read more

November 30, 2017

As of November 30, 2017 Just finished speaking at a fundraising professionals conference in North Carolina and during the lunch…

read more

November 8, 2017

It’s time to plan year-end appeals.  Contact us if you need some ideas or information. Congratulations to Janel Ware of…

read more

October 13, 2017

As promised, here is installment #3 from PSI, catching you up on a few select items about our work and…

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October 2017

As of September 25, 2017 As announced last time, we’re beginning a new Director’s Column this month, and will publish…

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September 2017

Beginning this month, PSI staff and I will use this column for a biweekly update of: news in our fundraising,…

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August 2017 – Nonprofit Governance and Compliance

August 2017 – Nonprofit Governance and Compliance

Most fundraising professionals and many nonprofit personnel are familiar with the newspaper, Nonprofit Times, which is available as both hard-copy and on-line…

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July 2017 – Helpful Study on Oversight

One of the influential and significant organizations in our field is the Urban Institute, which houses the Center on Nonprofits…

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June 2017 – Advancing Philanthropy

As most of our readers no doubt know, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is a leading group for the fundraising…

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May 2017 – Working with a Board of Directors

Nonprofit World Magazine is a useful, readable, hands-on type of journal and is entirely on-line (See Nonprofit World). According to Jason Chmura,…

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