November 2009 
AAI E-News  
A quarterly e-newsletter from Advancement Associates, Inc.
In This Issue
AAI offers cutting edge research method
Grants feed WHRI budget
Answering a donor's difficult questions
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Client at a Glance
Who: Eastern Mennonite School 
What: K-12 Mennonite school
Harrisonburg, VA
 Upcoming Events
See us next at:

Teaching-Family Association (TFA) annual conference
Nov. 18-21, 2009
Charleston, SC
Our Team
Richard L. Gerig, MEd, Principal
Rebecca S. Drumm, CFRE,  Principal
Sherilyn R. Ortman, BA, Associate

J. Daniel Hess, PhD, Associate

Michael D. Wiese, PhD, Associate
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Emerging research method to benefit CCRCs and others

staff and resident

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) can spend a lot of money trying to determine what prospective residents really want and need. In a highly competitive marketplace, CCRCs must better understand the reasons why older adults select one retirement community over another. Often, quantitative surveys are conducted to gather such information; however, marketers should wonder if statistics really reveal why people buy. 

In addition to more traditional market research tools, Advancement Associates, Inc. (AAI) is excited to offer a cutting edge research method for CCRCs whose decision makers want to probe deeper.Read more.
In Theory & In Practice
Grants feed World Hunger Relief budget
Dale Barron Dale Barron of World Hunger Relief, Inc. (WHRI) makes it clear that he had no interest in being a fundraiser, adding that he still doesn't! But, he says, "my desire to support the [organization's] mission overruled any misgivings I had about performing as a fundraiser." And he's proven himself effective in that role. During his tenure as development director, WHRI's annual income has increased by nearly 500%, one third of which is grant money.
Barron's success with grants is notable and has brought with it a wealth of knowledge that he graciously shares. Read more.
Ask the consultant
How can our organization best address a donor's difficult questions with directness and integrity?
A: Remember that donors believe in your organization--even during the potentially awkward times when they ask tough questions. Borrowing and expanding ideas from Relationship Fundraising (Burnett 2002), here are some keys to consider in your response:
  1. Be honest. Above all, fundraisers must be honest. And donors--your investors--can handle disappointing news.
  2. Be prompt. A prompt reply shows you take the donor's concerns seriously. However you respond, answer inquiries the next day, sooner if possible.
  3. Be regular. Regular, planned communication keeps donors in touch, informed, and involved. They will also appreciate the freedom to ask difficult questions and will be apt to trust the answers received.
  4. Be involving. While addressing donors' questions, invite their opinions and concerns. Donors want to offer more than just their money.
  5. Be faithful. Stick to any promises made and stand by your organization's mission in your responses. Remember: the only purpose for fundraising is to support mission.
Do you have a question to "ask the consultant?" Email us!

Building relationships. Advancing your mission.