A Cause Greater

A Blog from Lon Swartzentruber

Lots of Grace & Lots of Space

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Nov 23, 2020 9:15:00 AM

It seems now more than ever; we each need more grace and more space in our lives.

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Topics: Process Consultation, governance, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, leadership and communication, executive learning, lon swartzentruber, sustaining relationships, advancement, nonprofits, coaching, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Humble Leader, listening, humble inquiry, Grace

Listening for Unasked Questions

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Sep 17, 2020 6:30:00 AM

As the ramifications of COVID-19 have rippled through our economy, the questions posed to leaders have taken on a heightened sense of urgency:

  • My child is living on campus in the dorm. What happens if she tests positive for COVID-19?
  • We’ve been working remotely for six months. When can we all return to the office?
  • My board members are in the weeds now more than ever. How can I help them get back to focusing on bigger issues?
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Topics: Process Consultation, nonprofit leadership, lifelong learning, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, stewardship services, Fundraising, fund raising, leadership and communication, Change Management, leadership communication, fundraising philosophy, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, coaching, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19, listening, humble inquiry, Edgar Schein, helping

Three Essential Elements of a Successful Fundraising Campaign: Element #3: Time as Your Ally

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Aug 4, 2020 7:00:00 AM

When developing relationships around a common sense of purpose, time has to be your ally. The more quality time you spend with someone, the better your relationship with them will be. There is no substitute for being together in authentic ways. Nowhere is this truer than in fundraising. Even during the global pandemic, we are finding new ways of being together.

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Topics: Process Consultation, nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, stewardship services, Fundraising, fund raising, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, Change Management, leadership communication, fundraising philosophy, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, fundraising and campaign consulting, coaching, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Three Essential Elements of a Successful Fundraising Campaign: Element #2: Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Jul 21, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Anything worth doing is worth doing well and to the very best of your ability. Embarking on a fundraising campaign is no exception. Your organization’s mission and the people you serve depend on it!

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Topics: Process Consultation, nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, stewardship services, Fundraising, fund raising, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, Change Management, leadership communication, fundraising philosophy, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, donor relationships, sustaining relationships, advancement, nonprofits, fundraising and campaign consulting, coaching, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Three Essential Elements of a Successful Fundraising Campaign: Element #1: Purpose

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Jul 7, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Charting a successful course forward for any fundraising effort (such as a capital campaign, funding initiative, or end of the year appeal) is important. It focuses you, engages your donors, and builds your broader constituency’s ability to fulfill your mission. Back in February, I introduced these three elements…now in the midst of COVID-19, they are still true and even more relevant than ever before!

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Topics: Process Consultation, nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, stewardship services, Fundraising, fund raising, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, Change Management, leadership communication, fundraising philosophy, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, fundraising and campaign consulting, coaching, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Towards (the Ultimate) Innovation

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Jun 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM
 

COVID-19 has changed things.

For certain COVID-19 has changed:

how we work and how we accomplish what we do

where we work and where we deliver for our customers

when we do what we do and the timeframes necessary to achieve them

In many cases, COVID-19 has also changed:

what our customers value and articulate as their desired outcomes

who our customers are and who it is that actually values what we do

In some cases, COVID-19 is also asking us to take a hard look at:

why our organization exists (in the first place.)

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Topics: Process Consultation, nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, Change Management, leadership communication, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, coaching, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

The Importance of Showing Up

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on May 14, 2020 8:00:00 AM
 

It’s been hard for me to write over the past month. It has been hard to be still, to be quiet, or to think deeply for very long. In fact, let’s be honest, it has been hard to do a lot of things lately.

COVID-19 and “stay at home” orders are having a huge impact on all of our work, our home lives, and our society.

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Topics: nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, leadership communication, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

3 Things Every Donor Wants to Know in a Crisis

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Mar 17, 2020 9:01:50 AM

Over the past several weeks we have all had to respond to the novel Coronavirus in some way. It has impacted each of us, our organizations, and our constituencies in a multitude of ways. 

In working with a client who is currently in the midst of a capital campaign, the virus crisis posed a set of unique challenges. We had to think back to other times of crisis or significant organizational challenge to consider how to potentially respond and communicate with donors.

As we worked, we found these 3 things every donor wants to know in a crisis to be helpful.

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Topics: nonprofit leadership, organizational purpose, Non-Profit Leadership, capital campaigns, leadership and communication, capital campaign communications, leadership communication, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, advancement, nonprofits, crisis communication, crisis, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Three Essential Elements of a Successful Capital Campaign

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Feb 25, 2020 8:00:00 AM

You may be on the cusp of launching a capital campaign, an organizational funding initiative, or your annual fund drive. No matter what “campaign” you are seeking to initiate, there are three essential elements that can help ensure its success.

For the next couple of months, A Cause Greater will focus on these three elements:

  • articulating a clear sense of purpose, or the campaign’s “why.”
  • developing deep and committed relationships to support your cause.
  • using time as your ally
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Topics: nonprofit leadership, capital campaigns, capital campaign communications, relationship building, lon swartzentruber, donor relationships, advancement, deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting

Pas de deux: Creating An Environment Where There is Alignment, Commitment, And Trust

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Jan 15, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Over the past three months, we have reviewed three environments and three behaviors that can help a board and chief executive achieve a close, collaborative, and trusting relationship with each other.

Below is the simple framework that we have been utilizing.

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Topics: nonprofit leadership, leadership coaching, lon swartzentruber, business, deep dive, nonprofit