Advancement Associates Inc.

Issue No. 16

Fall 2012

All together now
Wikipedia gives the history behind "All Together Now," recorded by The Beatles in 1967. According to Paul McCartney, the title phrase was inspired by the music hall tradition of asking the audience to join in. He also described a "subcurrent" in the song, a dual meaning where "we are all together now."

Advancement outcomes are more productive when all members of an organization are pulling in the same direction. This issue of E-news examines how, when done thoughtfully and intentionally, the respective roles of various members all beckon constituents to "join in" in supporting an organization's mission.


Sherilyn Ortman, editor
CEOs discuss development

We asked CEOs to reply to this question: "What is the single most important role you, as a CEO, play in development?" While the most popular answer was "to be able to articulate the vision and mission of the organization," respondents agreed--without exception--that their role in fundraising could not be limited to just one function. Read more

One response summarized succinctly many of the sentiments expressed by others. See Edith Yoder's quote at right.
A three-legged stool

Neil Rowe Miller was one of the respondents in our informal CEO survey (see above).


Nine years ago Neil came to World Hunger Relief, Inc. (WHRI) and found out there was a development officer on staff. "Great," he thought, "I can just focus on developing the organization and won't have to be out knocking on doors." He soon learned it wasn't that easy--that people want to talk to the executive director! 


To read Neil's thoughts on development, including why he believes WHRI donations have actually increased during the recession, click here.

Lessons from the church relations team

If you were to ask each member of your administrative staff, "How does your department contribute to the overall advancement of our organization?" how would he/she respond? One doesn't need to visit with her long to realize that Sandy Miller, Director of Church Relations for Mennonite Mission Network, has obviously thought through this question.


What one might not realize is that, had you asked her two years ago, her answer may have been quite different. In 2010 as part of an organization-wide restructuring, Miller's staff was moved to Mission Network's advancement division. This move prompted anxiety among the church relations team for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that some equated advancement with development. By working with AAI Principal Rich Gerig, Miller has come to see building relationships as a legitimate-and measurable-advancement function. Read more

Sandy Miller (center) and other Mission Network staff lead worship as the Work in Progress Gospel Band Singers.
Educating staff members as stakeholders


"Stakeholders" are groups of people whose lives are affected by the fact that your organization exists. Some stakeholders are external: community leaders, vendors and suppliers, churches. Others are internal: residents and students, board members, volunteers. An effective fundraiser identifies the organization's key stakeholders and then actively invites their advocacy, including charitable gifts.


Though too often overlooked by development persons,
staff members are among the key stakeholders of nonprofit, church-related organizations and can play a 
special role in advancement efforts--but don't assume their automatic understanding and support. Read more
Regional church conference "focuses" on advancement


A dictionary definition of the word focus is "to give proper sharpness." It is appropriate, then, that the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference (PSMC) recently called a retreat of board members and representative stakeholders a "focusing exercise."


Rich Gerig visits with Pastor Steve Penner at the recent focusing exercise.

The event took place on August 17-18 at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. AAI Principal Rich Gerig led 18 participants in examining PSMC's current activities and creating its most compelling case for support.


PSMC faces unique challenges in communicating its case to member congregations, which are situated throughout a large geographic area and represent 11 native languages and diverse theological viewpoints.


Conference Moderator Brian Fry expressed appreciation for the way the retreat was structured. "The table group discussion format was a good way to get people engaged in discussing the issues at hand and to get their feedback." Fry went on to say, "An important result [of the exercise] is a better shared understanding among the board members of our mission as conference leaders and of a desired 'fully functioning' conference structure."

Advancement Associates, LLC 
PO Box 339
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311



In this issue
CEOs discuss development
A three-legged stool
Lessons from the church relations team
Educating staff members as stakeholders
Conference "focuses" on advancement
Foundations and social media
Upcoming events
On Tuesday, Oct. 9 Principal Rich Gerig will present at the Indiana-Michigan regional development officers' gathering on the topic of educating staff about why your organization is worthy of support.
For more information on the presentation or the topic, read "Educating staff members as stakeholders" in this newsletter or contact us.
In her own words

It's difficult to narrow down the single most important development role of a CEO, since the work of
development is, by its very nature, so multi-faceted.  I have found that being open -- visionary, invitational and transparent -- in relationships with board, staff and donors is key to development.  This approach provides space for dreaming, achieving and celebrating the mission, while acknowledging the difficulties, barriers and learnings as we work to achieve our goals. We all want to be a part of a mission that transforms lives and yet I believe that our donors also want to hear from me in authentic ways about the real-life nature of our work.  
Edith Yoder
Bridge of Hope National
Grantees don't utilize foundations' social media

Few nonprofits pay much attention to the videos, Facebook pages and tweets of their foundation backers, according to a recent study by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Read more 

Our team

Richard L. Gerig, MEd, Principal
Rebecca S. Drumm, CFRE, Associate
J. Daniel Hess, PhD, Associate

Sherilyn R. Ortman, BA, Associate

Michael D. Wiese, PhD, Associate

Email us


Join Our Mailing List