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March 2017 – FYI from the Director

As promised in my last Director’s Message, each month I will summarize an article of significance to fundraising and also highlight the best journals in the field.  Those of you in higher education are familiar with CASE Currents, of course, but this journal frequently has articles that apply to other organizations and best practices.

The December issue of Currents contained a useful article by Sandra Gurvis titled “Ten Reasons Why People Give (and Five Why They Don’t).”  This article points out some of the most useful motivations that fundraising should note.  There is other research on the topic that we can share with you as well, but this is a great start to making ourselves aware or at least reminding ourselves why people would respond to our requests.

For example, the first reason listed is one to which I relate, with pleasure—“Giving is like eating chocolate cake!”  The second reason should resonate with Adventist organizations because we know (and research has proven this) that it’s more blessed to give than to receive—“Giving is an innate trait.”  By the way, a PowerPoint set of slides on the topic of “it’s more blessed to give than to receive” is available by writing to me.

The reasons listed in this article parallel much of the research conducted by Paul Schervish and John Havens, which can be found at this website:  There are other excellent resources on that site as well.

Of course, there are valid reasons why people DON’T give as well, and much of it has to do with how we treat our donors, including respecting their wishes and respecting THEM!

For more information on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, please see

Wishing you well!

—Lilya Wagner

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