News & Insights

“Transformational philanthropy” was the focus of a December 6 webinar sponsored by the In Trust Center and presented by Aimée Laramore, director of advancement at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and owner/lead consultant at ALlyd Solutions.



“What is going on at your institution that is exciting or amazing?” she asked. Laramore stressed the importance for board members to engage in conversations with prospective donors and communicate the vision of their institutions and schools. “Fundraising is exactly the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring we have a vision that is amazing and exciting.

“The ability to talk to others and to connect the school to venues, people, and resources that it might not otherwise have access to is an essential characteristic of a good board member,” she said. Attracting, cultivating, and retaining donors is really an obligation of every stakeholder, including board members, she stressed.

Laramore encouraged board members to use their networks to find prospective donors and engage them in conversations by asking these questions: What are your earliest memories of giving? Where did you learn to give? Who is your philanthropic hero? Who has inspired you to be a donor? When have you experienced radical generosity? When have you been a recipient of radical generosity?

These questions will encourage donors to move beyond “comfortable guilt,” which she says means “giving just enough to make you go away.” She suggests starting each board or subcommittee meeting by asking a member to give a brief, personal testimony of how he or she has been able to share the school’s mission or vision. “We talk about time, talent, and treasure so much that sometimes people forget an important fourth “T,” which is testimony.”

She recommends these resources for board members: A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri J.M. Nouwen and Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists by Valaida Fullwood.  

The webinar is now available on demand.

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Called to the Chair: Board Leadership for Unsettled Times


Dr. Rebekah Basinger addresses the opportunities and challenges that come with chairing the board of a theological school, which include how to design effective board meetings, enhance board member engagement, and develop the board for long-term effectiveness, while giving attention to the board chair and president partnership and the critical importance of call in both roles.

Stakeholder Management Planning


Every organization should be prepared with a plan that establishes specific communication goals for key stakeholders in order to ensure the success of its programs, initiatives, or ongoing communication strategy. In this webinar, Josh Peskin, Ph.D., an expert in organizational communications, will walk through the elements of developing a stakeholder management plan to help you engage with your audiences in a more effective way. Click to view.

Conflict + Crisis: Navigating the Shoals Part 1


Presenter Donna Alexander, President & CEO of Advoxum Global Strategies, offers best practices for navigating conflict and crisis. She examines the crucial elements of defining conflict and crisis, identifying, and prioritizing affected stakeholders, utilizing effective communication strategies, and ultimately, executing a plan of action.

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