Viken Mikaelian

Workus Interruptus

Viken Mikaelian  

A personal rant. Not for the faint of heart or politically correct.

Endless texts, tweets, emails, calls, chats, IMs, Facebook updates… What do all these things have in common? They’re all uncontrolled by you and letting others control your time. All buzzing and vibrating and stealing your attention from what you should be doing. Not to mention co-workers at your door. “Got a minute?” “What are you doing for lunch?” “You did hear about Nancy and Bob…?”

This issue is about peak productivity. So turn off your smartphone, ignore your email, and dive in. There’s good stuff in here.

A variety of hand-drawn doodled text of time management concepts.

Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

What We Don’t Do

Viken Mikaelian  

Planned giving marketing firms should stick with what they know best.

Companies like to boast about what they do. Apparently, many firms also like to do far more than they should. More and more in the planned giving community I see “marketing” firms promising their clients the world. Continue reading

Tom Dieters

Get Rid of Your CGA Program!


Says the panicked board member… until you show him a better way to lower risk. 

Has this ever happened to you? A board member or finance officer who is unfamiliar with gift annuities sees a big liability on the books and panics. “Why are we doing this?” they ask.

Their concern is understandable. A charity normally pays a donor around 40-60 percent of the original gift in interest. For someone who isn’t familiar with gift annuities, that seems like a very bad way to raise money.

Unfortunately, the knee jerk reaction is all to often to pull the plug. Stop issuing CGAs and let the existing pool run its course. Continue reading

Chelsea Dinsmore

How to Be Massively Productive

Chelsea Dinsmore  

The Single Most Important Thing to do to Get More Stuff Done! 

What is the single biggest excuse people use to not do things they say they want to do?

Wait for it… (No pun intended.)

“I don’t have time.”

We’re about to blow that excuse away. But first, a question: Continue reading

Kill Your Print Marketing Campaign

Tom Roan  

These 10 common blunders are sure to do the trick.

Direct mail is king. But kings can be dethroned. Well-intentioned organizations do it all the time. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure your direct mail campaign is as kingly as it should be. Continue reading

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions

Greg Pierce  

Understand the benefits and increase your value to donors. 

First let’s clarify any confusion in nomenclature. Sometimes the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution is referred to as an IRA Rollover gift. This is a sloppy and misleading term, because an IRA Rollover is another distinct process. Better to use the term IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD).  Continue reading

Rebecca Langley

Add Hours Back Into Your Week

Rebecca Langley  

A technology round-up to help you increase productivity.

If your idea of increasing productivity is petitioning the universe to add a few hours to the day, take heart. There are less cosmically improbable ways. Let’s glance at how technology can work in your favor and add hours back into your week.   Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Marketing Planned Giving to Advisors

Viken Mikaelian  

In a perfect world, all of your benefactors who receive your planned giving mailing will immediately decide it’s a good idea, call their advisor for the go ahead, and then make your institution a gift that changes no only the trajectory of your long-term revenue goals, but your career as well.

Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. Of course it’s not. Continue reading