“I wish all my deans were here, so they could finally make the shift from transactional to relational fundraising.”
CDO of a major research university, at a recent workshop
Programs for Academic Institutions
If you’re in development at an academic institution, you have challenges and opportunities far beyond any others in the social sector. If you want to …
- Give your best professional staff meaningful ways to grow, so they become leaders who advance large initiatives, facilitate transformative gifts, and maybe even turn the “impossible” into reality. (Better than seeing them leave for greener pastures?)
- Let academic leaders do what they naturally want to do: develop human potential and advocate for big ideas, using a framework of intellectual depth and sophistication. (Think this might work better than pushing them to “sell” and persuade?)
- Develop your culture of philanthropy in a way that fits perfectly with your institution’s agenda of social innovation and civic engagement. (In fact, the methods we teach were developed for exactly that purpose.)
…. then ask us. That’s what we do.
Jim Lord’s visionary thinking begins with the very first visit, making it possible for me to raise millions of dollars. This is a thoughtful, transformational experience.
Judi Taylor Cantor
Director of Planned Giving, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health
How it works
The foundation of our programs is a two-day experiential-learning workshop. This proven curriculum — unlike anything that’s ever been available to the development profession — has been offered privately for many years and is only now becoming available to a wider (but still select) circle. The workshop sets the stage for participants to …
- Join with donors as an equal partner instead of a supplicant … shoulder-to-shoulder, looking out at society and seeing the big dreams you can accomplish together.
- Strengthen their (and your) belief in what’s possible, your belief in one another, and your shared confidence about the future -- all critical to major philanthropic investments.
- Guide them on their heroic journey, so you’re genuinely “donor-centric” at the same time you’re advancing your institution and its contribution to society.
- Underscore your personal “why” -- the connection with purpose that’s at the heart of your ability to connect with donors.
- Replace constant busy-ness (the plague of today’s professionals) with more thoughtful, highly leveraged actions.
You can read more about the workshop here.
Workshops include participants from other institutions and causes. After years of experimenting with different formats, we have found that the best results are obtained when people get out of their usual routine, interrupt the day-to-day conversation, and enjoy a true retreat with the benefit of fresh perspectives.
A few of our distinguished alums ...
Jim Hodge, like too many development officers, found himself facing burnout. Exposure to fresh ideas not only kept him in the field, but gave him a new mindset that laid the foundation for an exceptional 35-year career in principal gifts at Mayo Clinic and the University of Colorado. See how Jim energized his career.
Dan Loritz faced unusual challenges in getting his university's largest-ever capital campaign off the ground. A high-engagement approach let Dan skip the conventional feasibility study and case for support, meet the campaign goal, increase it, and then far surpass the new goal. Discover how Dan did it.
Jay Hughes, high-level advisor and confidante to families of wealth, shares insights on building relationships of trust and influence. His mentoring of Charlie Collier, leading philanthropic advisor at Harvard, has had a lasting influence at the highest levels of the development profession. Go behind the scenes with Jay.
Three options for you
1: If your institution has dozens (or hundreds) involved in raising money …
A handful of institutions will be offered priority access to enroll in next year’s programs. This will give you guaranteed access, customized follow-up, and savings on tuition.
To assess whether this is the right fit for your institution, the first step is to enroll two or three of your development staff in the next public workshop. You can apply for your seats now and we will work with you to identify ideal participants.
After the workshop, if we all agree this approach is a fit, we will look together at options for making it available to a wider circle within your institution or cause.
2: If your institution has fewer people …
Smaller institutions have tremendous potential to transform their fortunes through high-engagement, high-value philanthropy -- if they do it right. In fact, a bold and decisive step can transform an organization from the inside out and set the stage for a whole new level of success.
Nothing makes us happier than to see folks like you thrive. We want you to benefit (just as much as the “big guys”).
So we invite you to apply to send a small team to our next public workshop. Early application is advised, as space is limited. We’ll be glad to work with you to identify ideal participants.
Teams of at least four people from the same institution can take advantage of a special benefit: We’ll meet with your team after the workshop for a private strategy session -- to make sure you’ll put your learning into action and get a great return on your investment.
3: If you want just one or two seats at a workshop …
You are welcome to apply to attend on an ad hoc basis (if space is available).
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 347-9546 ext 101.
My first Quest workshop with Jim Lord at Cambridge University was a turning point. After it, everything was changed. We grew our first private university in Germany, which set the example for more than 100 others. And rescued another university 14 days before it would have gone into bankruptcy. (It’s now flourishing.)
That’s why I made a gift of the workshop to some dear friends in Austria, people who had saved my life on a mountain-climbing expedition. It was that significant. And now that same Quest spirit is growing the confidence and courage of the 500 young entrepreneurs I’m coaching in the new German economy. They seem to be inspired -- maybe because of that turning point of a workshop some 20 years ago. Let’s do something more together!
For over 20 years responsible for fundraising and strategic planning at the first private university in Germany; coach to entrepreneurs, consultant to major corporations in Germany and international political institutions.
The workshop with Jim changed the entire leadership of Daystar. The question was no longer, “How can we raise so much money?” Instead the new focus has become helping the donor to have a meaningful experience through his or her contribution to the cause. As a result, we’re raising much more money, and I’ve been asked to lead an initiative to shift the way we look at students, just as we have shifted the way we look at donors.
Consultant and Trustee, Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya
The workshop I attended with Jim came at an inflection point in my life. I needed to decide whether I was going to become a “leader” or a “foundation administrator” for our community. It helped me become more comfortable with the idea that leaders don’t have to have all the answers (which I didn’t) but can be the people who ask the right questions (which I learned to do). In the intervening years, we’ve grown the foundation tremendously, both in size and in service to the community.
Kevin K. Murphy
President, Berks County Community Foundation, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA; former Chair, Council on Foundations
Jim Lord is a visionary. He inspires us through his ethical approach to — and sensitive appreciation of — both the process of fundraising and the outcomes it produces to society’s benefit. Jim evidences his lifelong quest for higher ground and new vistas in our field. Once again, as always, he’s blazing trails.
Kent E. Dove
Vice President for Development (retired), Indiana University Foundation; Leading author, consultant, and teacher