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Fundraising for Boards: A Guide

A book by James Langley


The level of alumni engagement with and giving to alma mater is a clear sign of an institution’s continued relevance. This connection is one of the reasons why the advancement operation is a key priority for the board.

Yet the greatest barriers to higher levels of fundraising success can rarely be isolated in the advancement operation. They include:

  • Lack of strategic adaptability
  • Inability to listen to constituents
  • Shifting value proposition of higher education
  • Short-term fundraising focus
  • Lack of knowledge about how private support is secured and sustained

Board members, knowledgeable in institutional aspirations and external realities, play a critical role in addressing these barriers and opening new opportunities for strategic advancement. For many institutions this need is greater than ever before. This unique guide from Jim Langley explores the role of the board in every stage of building a stronger philanthropic culture and securing private support.

James M. Langley

Founder and President
Langley Innovations

Before forming his own comprehensive advancement consulting firm, Jim served as vice president for advancement at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, he led the institution’s offices of alumni affairs, strategic communications and marketing, development, medical center development, and advancement services. During his tenure, he produced record numbers in new commitments and dollars, despite a difficult economy. He also launched a number of innovative programs, including the acclaimed Student Discovery Initiative.

Jim arrived at Georgetown after spending eight years as the vice president for advancement at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, he led the planning and execution of the institution’s seven-year $1 billion campaign, then raised almost half the target amount in three years, despite a weak economy. Jim also previously served as vice president for external affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology, increasing annual gift income from $26 million to $76 million and more than tripling the institution’s endowment to well over $500 million. Operations under his management have won awards in virtually every area of university advancement.

Guide your board members through understanding their role in fundraising success.

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